Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Finally! A [short] poker session!

As has been par for the course lately, I've been balls-to-the-wall busy.  This [extended] weekend, the Meister family took a trip up to NJ to attend a bris for a new baby in the family.  The trip was uneventful, but it was a 24 hour turnaround - up Sunday, back Monday.  I was fortunate enough to convince the wife to leave NJ prior to any major traffic, so we made it back to Maryland around 4:00PM.  Knowing that MD Live! had their new poker room open this past week, I hustled the wife into taking the kids to go shopping, intending to go "check out" the new room and achieved great success!  She took the bait & went shopping - my son needed shoes, my daughters needed clothes and who knows what she wanted...  But I got to play a short session.

The rundown

Parking was a pain - I'm not sure whether I'm just dumb or if it's always a hassle there, but parking was painful.  I had to park around a block away from the casino, maybe further.  For those who don't know, the lay of the land is that the casino is located immediately next to a Mills outlet mall property, so you have a mall surrounded by a huge parking lot, and a casino with an 8 floor garage.  Now it should be noted that I did not venture into the garage, figuring it would be a bigger pain, but the parking "near" the casino was consumed by shoppers and casino patrons.  However, parking was my only complaint; all of the other details are on the upside.

I found the room in the back corner of the casino.  The way they run it, you line up outside of the room to wait to register your name on the waiting list.  I arrived and waited in line for around 20 minutes before finally being granted entry and signing up.  They had a huge variety of offerings, from HORSE to 2-2 PLO (and up) and 10-25 NLHE.  I think I saw a Stud game going as well, which was somewhat of a surprise.  I signed on for the 1-2 and 2-5 NLHE games (1-2 was 117 deep and 2-5 was 45 deep), as well as the 2-2 PLO which was open seating.  I opted to waitlist myself on the 2 lists while taking the seat and passing time at 2-2 PLO (fun fun fun :-) ).

The poker room consists of 2 floors, perhaps a bit smaller than the Charles Town poker room - 52 tables, from my understanding. My 2-2 PLO table was located upstairs, but they don't have a cashier upstairs, so I had to wait in line for chips at the downstairs window.  After getting chips, hitting the head (I just drove in from NJ, after all, and a car ride tends to make nature call), I journeyed upstairs to find table 46, 2-2 PLO.

There doesn't seem to be a logical ordering of the tables, though I'm sure there is, but it was near impossible to find 46.  Once I finally found it, there were no open seats, though I saw a bunch of familiar faces at the 1-2 tables (a bunch of people from the Chuck had already migrated to MD Live).  There were a ton of open seats at 1-2 tables, and I sat down at one.

The seats were leather or leather-like.  Very comfortable.  The tables had no betting lines; mostly plain tables with a leather bumper / padded ring and cup holders for drinks embedded.  The chips were 95% brand new.  The dealers were mostly experienced, coming from Charles Town, AC and Philly to deal.  The players were about what I expected; the fish were very fishy - I'm assuming that the fishy fish will be weeded out within the year or two, like what Charles Town experienced.

Playing with a players card yields $1 / hour credit towards casino goods / restaurant.  They have a bad beat and a mini bad beat (Aces full of Tens beaten nets 10% of the bad beat - not sure how they qualify the hand though).  Drinks and food in the room were weird; prices were like $2.11 or $3.44 instead of even numbers like $2.00 or $3.00.  I think beers are $5, though.  There's free wifi access, and of note, the cell service sucks (at least for AT&T).  No need to post when coming in as a new player.

The play was mostly loose passive.  Lots and lots of limping, rarely a 3bet, and no creativity.  The old guys were nuts only and the younger guys were reckless aggro.  I'll have to share a few fish stories with you as well as a hand:

Fish story 1:

I'm the "fish" in this story, because I misread my cards.  I limp J3hh on the BTN or CO and we see a 6 way flop of A Q 3 rainbow (one heart).  The fishy fish leads for $8 and gets 2 callers and I decide to peel a turn.  The turn is a J completing the rainbow board.  Fishy fish again leads for $8, gets 2 callers, and I pop it to $32, happy with my 2 pair.  No one has shown aggression and I'm fairly certain my 2 pair are good.  Fishy fish insta-calls, tight gentleman (in fact, I think he was an Canadian online player) calls after much hesitation and another guy folds.  River is a 7(?).  Checks to me and I same bet $32.  Fishy fish INSTA CALLS (like lightning) and Canadian gentleman is long faced and folds (later claims he folded AJ - I believe him - he says he put me on KT for the straight).

I flip up my "2 pair" and call 2 pair to the somewhat dejected fishy fish who shows Q 6o.  Only problem is that I flip up J5hh, no J3hh like I thought I had!  Bummer - $64 wasted and what and idiot I am.  What an even bigger idiot the Q6 guy is; what was he "soul reading me" for J5 when I myself believed 2 pair to be good?  And he's never believing I have an Ace or a better Q?  LOL GG.  Facepalm on myself but I'm salivating for this guy calling with middle pair on a scary board against me.

Fish story 2:

Same fish, I'm not involved in the hand.  Decent to good player (better than me, I think) raises limpers to $17 in the BB and I dutifully fold my suited Ace - all limpers fold to the same fishy fish who calls in the CO.  They see a 9 6 2 two diamond flop and fishy fish immediately leads for $30 or $40.  [I'll call him] Good player contemplates and talks to fishy fish for awhile, trying to get a read, before announcing all in.  He's telling fish AA is good there; if he has AA, good game, or something like that.  Fishy fish nearly beats him to the pot, calling off his remaining $~100 for a total of $134.  Cards run J(?)d 9d and fishy flips up 9x5d for the 4 flush and trip nines to good player's overpair of Tens.

Facepalm; I feel for the guy.  Fish couldn't understand the problem after good player started to grouse about the hand.  To good player's credit, he stopped talking about it fairly quickly and fish was none the aware.

Well played hand 1:

Dealt AA in  mid position.  I raise to $15 with 2 limpers already in the pot.  Good player calls on BTN and limpers fold.  I really wanted fish in the pot, but so be it; he folded what I guess was absolute garbage (apparently 95o is not garbage).  We see a J 9 9 flop and I cbet $25.  Player calls and the turn is a blank.  Here's where I would normally bet $50+ on the turn to a bad player, but I check the turn and expect a bet to be followed by a river bet.  I know my player will float me or call his pair of Jacks on the flop.  I'm fairly certain he doesn't have a 9 there.  However, if I continue to bet, I think it makes it easy for him to fold.  If I let him bet, he feels comfortable trying to push me off the hand, which is what he tries to do.  As planned, he leads for a meager $25 on the turn.  I hesitate, then call.  The river is a blank and I check.  He bets $50 and I raise him to $100.  He folds.  Claims he has an overpair (QQ) but I think he calls there with QQ for $50 to win $~230 in the pot already.  I think I played that hand well - proper use of fancy play.

Fish story 3:

Here's me again, a little lost.  Limp 76o (no misread; actual hand) mid position and we see a 6 way flop of K 7 3.  Fishy fish is involved in the hand, but all check to new player in CO who bets $5.  4 callers and I decide to peel.  Turn is a 7 and fishy fish leads for $5 this time.  3 callers, I call and CO raises to $10.  3 callers (fishy fish too) and I call.  River is a blank and all check to CO who leads $20.  Calls in 2 or 3 spots around to me and I have a dilemma as last to act.  I think I should raise here, but I have trips, no kicker.  If anyone has a 7, it's almost always better than mine - PLUS the tight old Canadian guy is in the hand calling along (i.e. if he can't call $32 on the riv with AJ, then what can he call $20 on the riv with?).

Decision is on me and I weakly just call (I should have raised to $40-50) and am shown a variety of 2 pair hands: AK from Canadian, KQ from CO, and fishy fish claims he had two pair on flop.  My chance to make more money from fishy fish was stifled by my weak play.  I got up 2 hands afterwards (to meet my wife and kids for dinner and to regroup because I was pretty upset with myself).  If there's a silver lining, that limp made me around a $140 pot.


I'll definitely be back.  I could make this casino my new home casino.  Problem is that the drive from my house is 45 minutes, equidistant to the Chuck, but the drive from work is 20 minutes longer without traffic.  If I'm going to leave from work, I'd have to leave long before rush hour, whereas I take mostly back roads from work to the Chuck.  I'm going to try it a few times - the benefits far outweigh the downside.  The next time I'll be able to play is next week :-(.  I want to get back in action; the month or so off has done me good except shaking off the rust of misreading hands or trusting my raises.


  1. Waiting list 117 deep for 1/2? That's insane. I'm not sure if we're blessed, or cursed, with the availability of tables here in LV.

    Game sounded great.


  2. "I'm assuming that the fishy fish will be weeded out within the year or two, like what Charles Town experienced."

    Make hay while the sun shines.

  3. @Mojo - Definitely. Cliche fits well; I have been dying to get back there.

    @s.i. - 117 deep, but I figured out pretty quickly that they move quick because most of the names on the list are no shows. There are tons of empty seats that they hold to give time for the players to show up.

  4. Hi PM,

    I like that "Fishy Fishy Fish! Fishy Fishy Fish!"

    Had a few hands at Live:
    78os on the button, limp along with 4 others, BB makes it 20. All 4 call, so, I toss the extra 18.

    F: 78K, all check to raiser, BB religiously bets 100. I ship 193 total. He snap calls (AKos).
    T: 9, R: 2.

    For the next 20 minutes he tells anyone and everyone what a bad call it was with 78os.

    For the next half hour, he goes on monkey tilt and ships (80ish) AI every time I limp. Too bad I didn't get 78os again to bust him.


    Read on V: I saw him showdown 3/4 hands, all of them with top pair and no kicker. I was just waiting for a spot to see if I can double up.

    Call a raise of $6 with A7s (effective stack 103 and V covers me). 3/4 callers. Pot: 24
    F: 783, EP bets 10, MP calls, I call in LP. Pot: 54
    T: 7, EP bets 20, MP calls, I ship 93 total. EP folds, MP tanks for 2 minutes and calls.
    R: 3.

    I take it down with 7's full and say I got lucky on the turn you must be way ahead on the flop. He says yes I had you with J's. No raise preflop, he flats $6, $10 and $20 respectively and doesn't hesitate to call a pot sized shove.



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