Thursday, July 16, 2015

Mohegan Sun Pocono trip report

Not much poker to report lately; I've been vacationing (vacating?) with the family in the Pennsylvania hills of the Poconos!  As is typical for me, I'll experience a good run followed by a series of bankroll destroying sessions (with quotes, because they actually don't destroy my bankroll but mentally destroy me).  Overall, I make money and average out to a decent hourly rate (~10x BB / hr, which is considered beating the game handily) but it's till frustrating to ride the downs of the game.  Coming into PA, I'm riding a downswing of about 3 sessions.

Anyway, since Pennsylvania (PA henceforth since it's annoying to type out the whole name of the state) recently added gambling to their sources of revenue / taxes, pretty much anywhere in the state, you're reasonably close to a casino.  In this case, I was about 30 minutes from Mount Airy Casino Resort and 35 minutes from Mohegan Sun Pocono.  I opted for the latter because of the game selection; Mount Airy had 2 tables going and Mohegan had 4-5.  I wound up playing a sum total of 2 sessions with 1 interesting hand to discuss.  Before I get into the hand in question, let me set up the Mohegan Sun room:

This is very much a locals casino.  The poker room is located far away from the main parking lot, in a subterranean area underneath the live horse racing track.  No windows, but decently lit room - however, it feels like a basement, which it is.  The room maybe has 15 tables, spread out, with 3-4 $1/2 tables operating at any given time, in addition to the low buy in tournaments that run daily with buy ins of $40-$125.  The room is comfortable, reasonably clean (the chips are filthy though), and the floor staff and dealers are friendly.  I found the locals to be welcoming, but they are definitely locals - they know one another and know how to play one another.  Fortunately, they're mostly awful players, save for a few exceptions - 3 players to be exact - who know how to maximize and seem like they would be consistent winners.

The room has magazines 'a' plenty, offering back issues of Card Player and Ante Up! magazine.  They also have some interesting promotions.  Instead of the bad beat jackpot, they have a roughly 12 hour high hand which wins all the bad beat drop money that was collected during that 12 hour period.  Typically, the high hand wins ~$400.  Yes, high hand is anything from a flush on up - you must use both cards in your hand and a pair in your hand for quads to qualify.  Another, even better, offering is the hot seat promotion that runs from 10pm - 2am and 3pm - 7pm on Sundays and Mondays through July.  Every 20 minutes during those times, they pull a seat out of a hat and award the winner $100 cash.  Given the limited tables in play, this is an awesome promotion with each player having a very high chance of winning at least once!

So, going into the room, I'm running on a down streak which continued for my first session.  I've been card dead for those prior sessions, and I could feel my cards starting to pick up - I was dealt KK, AQ, and some other premiums as well as hitting 2 pairs a few times.  One hand, I limped 67s and flopped 6s7sTd beauty 7 way.  SB leads for $10, I bump it to $30, call, to my left raises to $85, flat, flat, SB folds, I stop & think for a long time before folding, fold, raise all in, re-raise all in, and the rest fold - turns out to be a set of 7's (live poker is rigged) vs. the flopped nuts with a re-draw (8s9s).  6 on the river (live poker is rigged) and the 7's full takes it down.  I pat myself on the back and silently curse the poker gods.

However, I still got hit by the cooler stick on a later hand that I'd like to discuss:

I'm dealt 22 in EP and limp / call a $7 standard raise by a bad player.  6 way flop of 7 6 6 rainbow - a good flop for a small pair like mine, but 6 way?  I check and it checks through to a turn 3.  I lead the turn for $15 and I get called by one of the competent players who thoughtfully called (as opposed to snap called).  2 falls on the river (nice!) and I lead for $60 - hoping he has a 7 or 45 or something worthwhile.  This guy hasn't said anything to me all night - but he takes off his sunglasses, and asks me why so much - and why the flip of the chip at the end?  (I'd been putting out a stack and then flipping the last one in all night, just as I bet this pot.)  I answered that I'd been doing that all night - and after careful thought, he announces all in for about $100 more.  I snap call and am shown 77 for 7's full besting my 2's full (live poker is rigged).  Down a buy in+, I walk away an hour or two later down less than a buy in.  Thoughts on folding the hand?  I keep thinking this is a straight cooler, but wonder if I can be folding to a competent player in this spot.  At that point in the hand, given the paired board and the sudden interest in the pot, is he ever shoving worse than a boat?  In other words, is he shoving 6x or 45?  Overpairs?  I don't think it's a big leak calling that bet - (I don't think betting the river is wrong ever) but thoughts on how the hand played?  I go back & forth on my being coolered vs. overplaying my hand.

Next session I played on Monday night.  It was a 180 turnaround from the prior session; I hit every draw (including a hot seat for $100!) and walked away a huge winner.  One funny hand:

My image is very aggro, but showing down every time with the winning hand that no one is giving me credit for.  I sit on $800 vs. my opponent with $250.  Host of limpers and I raise KQo to $15 on the BTN.  3 callers - $60 in the pot and a broadway A J T rainbow (just the nuts ho hum) flop.  Middle to late aged man bets into me for $30 and I call, hoping I get at least one other caller - no such luck.  Turn is an 8 or something.  He continues to lead for $60 and now I stop and think - he's committed to the hand!  He's got $150 behind or so.  I think for awhile and finally shove - he hesitates for a good long time before finally stacking his chips and calling.  I don't hesitate to show the nuts immediately, and he shoves his high stack over, throwing his cards down in disgust and walks away.  In writing this, it was funnier to witness than read, but the whole table was amused...  Poor guy.

Hopefully, I can continue the run into tonight's session at the 'Shoe now that I'm back in town.


  1. PM:

    Congrats on the strong finish in PA 👍.

    On the last hand, it reads as if the older guy leaves before the river. It's hard to imagine any calling hand that wouldn't have outs there. Even a big ace would have chop outs. Any guess on what he could have? Only possible no out hand is a pair of 9s, but that wouldn't play out that way. Odd.


    1. I'll admit that I have a problem where, when I have the nuts, I forget to put people on a range of hands. Sometimes, this causes me to loose value on bets because I'm always going for max value when my opponent may not be able to pay off for max value. In this case, my read said he's led for 2 streets, showing extreme strength. Therefore, in retrospect, I think he shows up with AJ an awful lot, but I was figuring on 2 pair combos. The fact that he folded and started walking away said that he had Ax and thought I was outplaying him with a weaker hand though. So ultimately, not sure, but Ax is a definite.

  2. I pat myself on the back and silently curse the poker gods.

    Isn't that the way it always is?

  3. seattle irish, with AJT8 on board, and a made straight in the winners hand, theres not a card in the world that could chop if all he has is a naked ace. but how come u cant figure this out on your own?

    1. Tony, of course you must have misread the statement! With a naked Ace, AQ and AK would chop a river K or Q respectively... But of course, seattle irish was ahead of you there, so don't worry about it...

  4. Set under set was a cooler hand. I'd also give the guy some credit for the slowplay, but I cannot fault you for the way you played it.

  5. Hand 1 w/ 22: Online play would say this is an open fold in early position. However, I agree with your inherit assumption of the absolute atrocious play of live $1/$2, so I'm ok with a slightly wider range given the magnitude of post-flop mistakes. As played, I prefer opening to limping since I think it disguises your range. As a player that has long limp-called small pocket pairs from UTG and UTG+1 I find limping here is super transparent. Basically I can just barrel you all day and you'll be pretty uncomfortable unless you spike your set. You'll then check-raise me and won't get the more than 10:1 payoff that you're looking for. If the table is more active with a lot of opens, than I'm ok with limp-calling, don't love it but ok with it. If it's a passive loose weak limpy scared table like most 1/2 tables than I prefer opening hands pretty much all hands you play. Save the limping for monsters or flatting in position aggro players that like to barrel.

    Flop: Check-fold. You could make an argument to float by binking a 2 on the turn and find profitability in that play. However, I don't think you can call more than 1/4 pot or so. So basically if there is a weak stab, float it and who knows maybe they stabbed with overs or some draw that blanks out. If they like to barrel this is burning money. If they don't barrel you may get a free river out of your float, so a decent investment to peal one. I just wouldn't assume you have more than 10% equity on the flop.

    Turn: I think leading here is sort of burning money. What % of the time are you check-folding the river when you don't hit a 2? Uhhh 95%? Even when you do, how much value are you getting when you do 1-time it? In a pot this multi-way, I generally play small ball and keep it cheap until you hit the nuts. Than you get to be the guy that stacks the guy that couldn't fold his two pair, poorly played over pair, or not nuts hand. I suppose you could bet 1.5x or 2x pot and get a ton of folds. That would look incredibly strong from your position too. However, that's spending dollars to chase nickels and I don't think it's profitable in $1/$2. I'd rather make plays in 3-bet pots heads-up than try to play against the field.

    River: I like the overbet and this is one of those situations where you have to consider changing your plan. I know when you binked the 2 for the 2 outer all you were thinking about was vegas and the freaking mirage. And then you get raised and realize you have the low boat. In your mind the bet was for value and then you're forced with a decision to take a bet-fold line. It sucks. Nobody wants to fold there and it definitely wasn't in the script. I like you're thinking with the large bet. You definitely get calls from 6x, 45, maybe some random OPs like JJ+. If you throw in 77, 67, 33 and something random like 88, you're still making money on your call. The problem is the raise. Does 6x, 45 and OPs raise you? Does this player (as competent as he is) think he has enough fold equity in this spot to get you to fold? He may or may not be thinking on that level, but anyway you look at it his value range dominates his bluff-raise range here. I doubt he put you on 22. I'm sure he was trying to think what the heck you had. I would assume he would put you on a good six or maybe you binked the straight on the turn. I'm curious - did you ask him afterward? Overall, don't forget that bet-fold doesn't mean you're weak and can be a very trustworthy friend in tricky river spots.

  6. When the competent played raised, you probably should have sensed that you were beat. However, laying down a boat is extremely difficult -- certainly much easier said than done.

    lol at the guy who walked away in disgust.

    1. Why is laying down low boat hard here? Is it any different than laying down the lowest possible flush on an unpaired board?


Blog Archive