Friday, July 30, 2010
Like the title says... I hate it when the buffet is the best part of a poker night.
Don't get me wrong - I loves me a good buffet! I'm sure Ed would keep my secret, but in the spirit of full disclosure, yes. We hit up the Empress Casino buffet and I caved to the lure of chocolate-vanilla twist soft serve with a crumbled chocolate chip cookie on top. And yes, I'm about to go run 3 miles in penance.
Anyhooo, on the advice of a dealer at Empress, I headed back there last night with my friend Ed in tow to go fishing. The dealer said that Thursday nights were the best.
Boy, was she wrong. I spent 7 hours tossing lures into a friggin rock quarry.
I made good on my observation from the other night and bet after those orphan pots (and won a few of them). I also made bad on an old tendency to overplay big pocket pairs.
But let's back up a bit. I made it off of the feeder table up $50 or so - always a good thing. I settled into the main game and was in good company. I liked my neighbors to the left and right. We chatted photography and birds and poker TV and the passage of the HR2267 bill (one dealer hadn't heard about it. I felt so politically savvy).
I was fairly card dead throughout the night, but survived on conversation. About 5 hours in, I saw a flop with AK. Flopped the gutshot Broadway draw. Called an early position bet. The turn was a blank. The bettor checked to me. I took that as weakness, and I bet out. I was hoping to take the pot away from the guy right there. But then - whoops. Didn't realize there was another guy to act behind me. I thought we were heads up. He called. The other guy folded. (Damn. My semi-bluff probably would have worked had we been heads up). I should have taken a moment to recompose my thoughts. The realization of my screw-up had me discombobulated (though the dealer was not announcing the number of players in the hand like they usually do). The river fell a blank and I checked. The other guy bet out, and I figured I could only beat a bluff. I folded.
He showed his bluff - AQ. He was open-ended. My bluff was better than his! Had I pulled the trigger on the river, I'd have taken that pot.
Then, one of the quieter regular old gents gave me some advice under his breath. Obviously, those two had tangled before. I believe the phrase he used was "reckless ol' bully," explaining that the guy bluffs all the time and bets with nothing. A punk kid rolled his eyes and nodded in agreement.
It really depends on the situation as to whether or not I take advice from regulars. Sometimes I sense that there's an unspoken bond between them that compels the regulars to stick together (and possibly mislead the non-regular "targets"). More often, though, the advice turns out to be genuine. I think I do get more unsolicited advice as a girl than I would as a guy, and in this case, I think it was genuine.
Noted: the Brett Hull lookin' guy is an aggro-bluffer (BH for short).
As the last couple hours wore on, I noted several hands where BH showed down crap, pushing all the way. This reinforced Gramp's advice, and I can't say that it wasn't in the back of my head as I embarked upon what would be my last hand of the night.
QQ in the big blind. I hate playing big hands from the blinds. Despise. Loathe. Did I mention that I hate playing big hands from the blinds? Grr. Anyway. It was limped 3 ways. I raised preflop to 6xBB (average raise for the table was 3.5x BB). Got 3 callers (surprise!). Flop came Axx. Small blind checked to me. I bet out $40 (pot size). BH (aggro-bluffer) called. The rest folded. Turn came a blank.
I'd been all in with BH one time since the bluff hand, and had beat him with a straight. In my trigger-happy (and rather exhausted) state, my puzzle assessment said that a) he'd assume that I had something (he thought I made a big laydown on his bluff, which is why he showed it, and the last time I went all in, I had a monster), and b) he had nothing, because he's a friggin aggro-donk bluffmonster.
I pushed all in. It was only about a pot-sized push, but still. He didn't take long to call with his Ace. I was felted.
Lesson for today: slow down. Even though I had a game plan during that last hand, had I slowed down and just reviewed my thoughts, I'd have come upon a realization that would probably have prevailed. Why play a big pot with just 2nd pair? He called a preflop raise. He could very well have an Ace. Sure, it had a craptacular kicker, but it was an Ace. Don't let the target on his forehead take precedent over solid reasoning. Trigger-happy moves tend to be careless moves.
Ed seemed to finish better than I did, though I left before him and didn't get the final tally. Now, it's time for me to go run off some of last night's buffet debauchery. (Thanks, Ed! nom nom nom). Speaking of - the Empress buffet was pretty good. It was no Vegas buffet (I really wish there was a section with Chinese food), but the food was good - above decent but below awesome.
Off to run!