I got in a decent session at Maryland Live! last night. My records show that the last time I played there was exactly 1 month ago. Of note, I've moved my preferred poker room from MDL to the Baltimore Horseshoe due to the 1/3 game, Mississippi straddles, looser / easier action, etc. It's interesting; I talked with the wifey, negotiating working in a poker session during a busy family weekend - full well knowing that I wouldn't have time to play Saturday or Sunday.
After watching the hooligans on TV, I saw that the 'Shoe was closing their poker room at 9PM in order to comply with the city-wide curfew - for those who don't know or watch the news, there's been significant protests and rioting in the city leading to a 10PM curfew shutting down the ENTIRE city. Since I had "late" meetings - reference to Pete P. Peter's crazy work schedule that "late" is a relative term, I knew I wouldn't have much time to play and started thinking I would just bag the session altogether. Then, I remembered that the DC area has a choice of poker rooms and I could go to Live! instead. Good call, Poker Meister (pat on the back for my own stupidity and not thinking out of the box).
Before I get into the hands, which were kinda unmemorable from a strategy / challenge perspective, there was an interesting rule / issue that happened while I was there:
New dealer sits down and begins to deal (as dealers are expected to do). As he's dealing, he asks if anyone received a cracked card - he explains that he felt something funny as he dealt the cards, as if it were a cracked card (the cards are plastic - but I've never seen a cracked card, only bent cards). No one owns up; to be honest, I don't think anyone really heard him / processed the request. About 20 minutes later, a player to my left sends in the card saying it's a fouled card - 5 of spades - an otherwise meaningless card. Action continues with the hand, the guy to his left raised to $12 and picked up 2 callers. I had limped my 45hh and refused to act until they expose the card. The dealer explained that the card should not be exposed until after the hand because it doesn't affect the play. I argued that it definitely does affect the play; other players potentially know the card since it is marked - no different than playing with a fouled deck / marked card. Floor is called, the situation is explained and she says that the MDL policy is to replace the card after the hand. I disagree with the policy verbally, explaining why the card needs to be exposed and she complies, flipping the 5s. FWIW, I fold my 45hh and we move on.
So here's the question: with a marked deck that had been in play for AT LEAST 2-3 hands, shouldn't play be voided? Some players are playing with potentially biased knowledge of the deck - I doubt that anyone knew about the marked card, but it opens up the hand to unfair play. Play could have been influenced based on the knowledge the 5s was dealt; it in fact would have modified my decision had I known (I would show the card ASAP, like the guy turning in the card, rather than cheat / angle shoot). However, is this a standard rule? Don't show the card and replace it after the hand? What is the rule here?
Anyway, so there I found myself, sitting at the 1/2 Maryland Live! tables, seeing a bunch of the regulars at the 'Shoe who also had the same thoughts. No sooner than 2nd hand in, I flop a set of 4's turned King's full, only to get it in against a flopped set of Q's turned King's full as well. Puke! Easy $200 gone.
8th hand in, I flop KQ top two vs. AA all in on the flop which held - WTF??? HOW DID THAT HAPPEN??? And I find myself +140 with $550 in front of me.
A little later, I make an egregious mistake with AK, calling a 4bet,
flopping A XX, turning a K and getting it all in for $300+ and I find
myself down $200 once again with $200 in front of me.
I later get into the mix with who turns out to be the huge whale at the table, flopping Aces up with A7hh on an Ad7d3d board after 5 callers call a $7 raise from UTG. I lead $25, got the fish (BB) caller, lead a 7x turn for $50, and raise the fish's $25 lead on a Jd river (i.e. 4 flush board). Looking down, I see a $100 chip on top of some greens and move the stack into bet position. Realizing my mistake, I put out a total bet of $225 - oops! I thought the stack was ~$150. Well, the fish hems & haws, complaining about how he has a really good flush and that he can't lay it down - I thought I was sunk here and he was auto-folding only to have him shove over for my remaining $17. I obviously snap it off an show the 7's full for a really nice double through.
This was my night, repeated over & over. Good news is I got AA a few times (one time against the fish, he rivered a backdoor 4 straight which was just a stupid stupid hand - 6 9 with the flopped pair and backdoor straight & I shoved river for ~$150 after around $225 in the pot), spiked a K on the river against the same fish after 3betting from the SB with KK to $45 ($100 behind) from a $10 3-way pot, having him call with AQ only to flop an A and see me shove into him (don't care about the board; I'm always shoving a 3 bet pot - he has 2-1 implied with his call; whatever...).
In the end, I wind up with a decent winning session - a relief - but I wasn't too happy about the roller coaster that I had to experience to get there. I guess we'll all have days like that...
Friday, May 1, 2015
No play at the 'Shoe (thanks, Baltimore rioters) leads to funky play at MD Live! - and a poker rules question
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