Friday, July 15, 2011

Trip Report: Commerce Casino in Los Angeles

The Hustler Casino and Crowne Plaza Hotel
 Continuing on my second night of my trip, I decided to make the 20 minute drive to the largest poker room in the world, the Commerce Casino.  Let me say that it is HUGE!  According to their website, there are more than 200 tables.  I was surprised to see that for a Tuesday night, it was jammed; I estimated a good 70% of the tables were in action.
Entrance to the casino; seems legit, no?
The configuration of the casino was a section of table games sandwiched between 2 huge poker floors catering to cash games.  Apparently, there is an additional poker floor on another level, open for the tournaments regularly hosted.  This place was clearly huge, but given the setup, it did not have an overwhelming feel like I'd imagine the basement of the Rio feels like during the WSOP.
Inside the NL poker room
Upon finding a table (a quick process; the floor manager found me a seat almost instantly), I immediately noticed that the chairs are TERRIBLE.  In addition to the padding being worn down, the chairs were of the 4-legged variety, i.e. no swivel, no wheels, no height adjustment.  To compensate for the harsh padding, there are wedge pads readily available at random empty seats which you can grab to "soften" the crunch to your rear end.  In my case, though, for the 3-4 hours I would be playing, I thought the seats were bearable.  However, given a longer session, frequent breaks are absolutely necessary because you could likely develop bed sores (I joke), but you really would need to get up and stretch your legs.
The limit / high limit poker floor
Commerce has a buy in and blind structure similar to Hollywood Park.  Its rules are consistent with Hollywood as well (missed weird button / SB rules, betting line, etc.).  This time, I immediately sat down to a 2 / 3 blind structure with a $100 buy in, not wasting time at the 1 / 2 $40 tables.  It was a good choice; the first table was filled with mostly passive limpers, coupled with 2 aggressive types.  I sat in the 1 seat, and took note that the 9 seat (it seems that all poker tables in CA are 9-person tables) was playing every single hand, calling far too lightly, and playing hands to the river.  I would sit and wait for a playable hand prior to getting involved with Mr. Station.

It wasn't too long  until I picked up 99 on the button.  Mr. Station, in the CO opted to limp, as has been his habit.  I also had one other limper, an aggro who was a limp weak- / raise strong- hands type person.  I immediately popped the $3 blind to $16 ($115 effective stacks) and lost the aggro.  Mr. Station called and we saw a HU flop of J 7 3 rainbow, about as dry as it gets.  Mr. Station checked to me and I led for ~$25 into ~$40, to which he called.  The turn was an x (can't remember, but it wasn't an overcard to the board and it 2 flushed the board), and he checked again.  I continued to bet ~$40 and he called once again.  The river paired the board (3, it must have been), and he decided to shove all in for his remaining ~$40...  No decision snap call for me, and I scooped a decent pot for a second pair holding.  He showed K7o FTW!  From that point, I was off and did not slow down.

I would go on to build a $186 profit at the table and decided to move when Mr. Station quit and the table got far tighter / aggro.  I switched briefly to a table where I lost ~$10 of my new $100 stack (remember you can't sit down with more than a buy in at a new table in which the player requests a table change) in an orbit before reading the table for similar aggro.  I saw the table behind me was chatty, noisy and cheering for hands to hold, etc.  I knew that this kind of table is the table I'm after; players who care what happens after the money goes all in.  I spotted an empty seat and immediately switched.

At my new "home card game" table, I immediately took an aggressive line, 3-betting  and raising all in with my $100 stack.  I 3bet with AQ against an EP raiser who I read for weak.  He called / folded to my cbet shove.  I raised QQ and collected a family pot of limped blinds.  I was all in on the flop with J9s against a flop of T 8 x ss - and doubled up my initial ~$100 with the flush on the turn (against T4o - overvalue hands much?).  Finally, I was confronted with the only real decision of the night:

Given my reputation as the table bully / table captain / table aggromaniac (and I'm not usually in that spot in live poker), I raised to $25 with AQs in the CO against a table full of limpers.  By this time, I had an effective stack of ~$250 and started to tighten up, as I'm not entirely loving the thought of shoving a ~100BB stack pre-flop without a truly decent starting hand.  The SB flatted and the BB shoved all-in - a stack of nearly $300 (he has me covered).  The UTG instantly calls with his shortish ~$60 and I'm faced with a decision for my stack.  As you may have gathered, I'm not loving the thought of, at best, flipping for my stack, so after a fair amount of time, I folded.  In addition, I was not loving the tightish flat from the SB, his first such move in my series of raises.  Anyway, it turns out that the SB snaps and I would have been up against 77 (SB), JJ (BB) and T9s (UTG).  K QQ flop and blanks on the turn and river - the BB scoops a $580 pot and he's feeling pretty smug.  I am silently cursing myself for not having the balls to call of the raise - particularly once I get more hands on the SB who turns out to be an ABC player.

Anyway, I would end the night $425 to the positive.  The Commerce Casino trip marks my first decent live session win in about 2 months.

Up next on the trip report is Larry Flynt's Hustler Casino.  Stay tuned :-).

1 comment:

  1. Good ca$h, good report and great photos. These look like they were taken with a camera (not a phone camera, but a real one). I'm looking forward to any more reports -- these are great.


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