Friday, June 29, 2012

What goes down must go up....

Short post: I had a very very decent session at the 1-2 Ctown tables last night.  I was dealt Aces 4 times within 6 hours, got dealt 2 sets and a nice sprinkling of flushes and straights.  I got paid on nearly all of my hands, and more than overcame the run bad I experienced the other night at Ctown.  My table was absolutely TERRIBLE - 2 competent regs and the rest totally loose passive players who would fit or fold the flop - a great setup.

Charles Town opened their newly relocated poker room on Wednesday, so I was playing in it on the second day that it was open.  What a difference!  They situated it downstairs, steps away from the table games, with plenty of slot machines within eye shot.  The location is SO MUCH better than before; there were a TON of walk-ins from slots / tables, which is precisely what I want as a player.  The result was a ton of action without any tough decisions.  They kept the old poker room upstairs for tournaments - 30 tables - while the new poker room holds 26 tables or thereabout.  Needless to say, I was extremely happy with the new setup and the results.

Monday, June 25, 2012

2-5 Recap & a taste of Caesars AC poker room

This post is a few days late; I've been busy going from one vacation to the next.  I was in Ocean City at the beach last week, while this past weekend, my family & I made our way up to Long Island, NY for a birthday party for my wife's aunt who turned 80 years old.  We stopped at AC along the way up to NY, and I was able to get in a 5 hour session at Caesars (their bad beat jackpot was north of $500k, and they pay out all of the Harrah's / Caesars properties when someone hits it).

2-5 @ Charles Town:  Not much to report here.  I lost around $50, short stacking, trying to find a hand to shove with good equity.  I made a limp / raise plays when the money in the pot got decent (i.e. limp - limp - limp - raise - call - call I raise 3-4x and get folds), but other than that, in the 2 hours I played, it was fold fold fold for me.  I sat down at the 1-2 table, realizing that I wanted to play a little poker rather than sit & wait for a hand with a 40BB stack.  I sat down and ran into two hands where I was favorite and got crushed (one was an OESFD + overcard, AI on the flop & instasnapped by a donkey with nothing more than top pair, and one was AI on the turn with AA vs. TP improved to top two on the riv).  This was the first time I had ever run through my pocket bank roll at a casino, and could not rebuy as I had expended all of my money (of course I could have hit the ATM, but it was late and I didn't really want to do that).
I think the 2-5 game played a little more aggressively than the 1-2 game; I saw a lot more check / raises and slow played medium strength hands; I'm not really sure what to make of that.  I suppose the players give each other a bit more respect for their folding capabilities and allow each other to "catch up" a little bit, but there was a certain trickiness to the element of play.  I was able to read each player fairly accurately, though - just as other players were able to do to each other.  It remains to be seen whether I'll go back to play 2-5 again; it may become an every-so-often type of thing as opposed to a regular thing.

1-2 @ Caesars / Atlantic City: Wow.  This was a calling station fest.  I didn't really hit any hands here either, though I did walk away +$50.  I was able to run a play or two (check / raise 2 players on an A high board on the turn where I knew both scared of Aces up; had a OES draw).  These players were the antithesis of Charles Town players - totally readable and ABC.  I saw one player limp everything, hit 2nd set (Jacks) on an Ace high board and check / call a river bet vs. bottom set (no draws on the board, just the second stone nuts), limp KK and get paid by the same player, and hit all manners of odd straights and flushes but never bet / raise and get paid the minimum.  He walked, or I believe was in a wheelchair, so rolled away with +$400 or so.  It is maddening to watch donkeys luckbox their way into hands and then not get paid.  Give me those hands!  Regardless, I did not hit the bad beat, nor did anyone at the other properties.  Oh well.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Shotting 2-5 @ CTown

I'm getting ready to take a shot at the 2/5 game at Charles Town.  From my limited research throughout the web, I've concluded that 10x BB per hour is considered "crushing the game."  While my averages are not quite $20 / hr at 1/2, they're within ~10% of that mark.  With a decent sample size under my belt, and my recent work getting me back in the black for Ctown, I think I owe it to myself to try it out.  My plan is to short stack the game, buying in for $200, to get a feel for how different it plays.  I intend to look for spots to 3-bet shove, playing the spoiler of short stacker, but mainly want to see what it's like.  The lure of $50 / hr is calling my name.  I'm ready to answer the call.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Finally... Profitsville...

I am proud to announce that I am finally a break-even player at Charles Town!  It has been 33 sessions - almost 2 years in the making - but I got there!  I knew I would eventually, and knew I was close going into last night's session (~$450), but I'm officially done.  Time to move on.  It just goes to show how much I've won at Delaware Park in the [limited] 10 sessions I've played there.  The DP winnings have more than made up for the losses at Ctown, and now I can look forward to profitsville at Ctown as well.

A few hands to share from last night's session:

First hand: I hold KQo in the hijack, facing 4 limpers.  I am coming in for a raise with this hand, nearly always, from this position.  However, I look to my left (as is good practice and any live poker should almost *ALWAYS* be looking to their left to see what the action ahead of them will be doing) and see the #1 see (BTN) with chips in hand, ready to raise the pot.  From the looks of it, he will be raising to $15, as is typical for this particular player - loves to position raise, decent player, lays down when he's beat and bets when he's ahead.  I decide that instead of coming in for the raise myself, I will let him raise and get trappy with the numerous over callers, as they are wont to do at CTRS.  As expected, he picks up 2 [I believe, if memory serves me] callers for the $15 raise, and I face a decision for the ~$54 pot.  After taking a look at the 2 limp / over callers, and finally peeking at seat #1 (I'm in seat #10, so this is no easy task given the dealer's positioning), I decide to keep with the original plan and limp / raise to $50 even.  Watching #1's genuine discomfort, he motions to call and then looks at his cards for a few moments.  After some deliberation, he folds his hand, as do the over-callers.  I have played my first non-traditional live hand, and won - read the situation for exactly what it was, executed the move and was rewarded perfectly.

Second hand:
UTG with JJ - I again, decide to get trappy.  I know full well that if I raise to ~$11, I'm going to get a host of callers where, with a hand that's going to flop overcards somewhere near 45% of the time, I'm going to be miserable playing a large pot from out of position.  I decide, given the table dynamics (nearly every hand is raised and/or 3bet), to limp / raise as I did with the KQ hand.  To make such a move from UTG says a much stronger hand than from the other positions, but I'm happy taking a flop with 1 or 2 people instead of the 20 that would normally call the $11 raise.  As if scripted, seat #1 (same dude as above) raises to $12 and picks up 2 callers to the BB, an ABC player who, though a nice guy, tried to act and portray a more experienced player than he actually was.  He decides to 3bet to $45 (a bit small for my tastes, but a sizable 3bet which forces me to reconsider my plans).  People are folding out of turn, assuming I had made a move, while I sat and thought about the hand and the player.  In fact, everyone folded back to the 3bettor and I got a ton of information as to odds (if I'm calling this bet, I'm assuming I'm set mining, and will need about 3 callers + the 3bettor in order to make it immediately profitable).  Now I'm faced with an even easier decision, whereby I'm likely behind and getting terrible odds (20% of the effective stacks).  I fold and ask him to show - he shows AA and I pat myself on the back for losing $2 :-).

Third hand:
Simply a whining hand but evidence of the BS that goes on at CT.  Late in the night, I decide to raise TT from middle position after 1 limper; I toss in $13 and get 4 or 5 callers.  Flop comes Kd 7s 3s - pretty decent for my hand.  SB leads for $30 into the ~$60 and I'm faced with a decision (my worst annoyance as described above; out of position with non top pair holding).  There are 3 players ahead of me yet to act, with a flush draw board and an overcard.  There are PLENTY of kings in each of the caller's ranges: 2 calling stations and an aggro decent player.  The 2 stations do as they do: call, while the aggro folds his BTN.  They trio go to the turn and see the 8c; brick city.  The SB continues to bet $50 and both call (one particularly bad terrible station is short and calls his $45 remaining stack).  The river is an offsuit 2 and it checks through.    I'm going to begrudge my crappy luck at CTRS and show the hands: Ks5s for the SB, KJ for the better of the 2 calling stations and the particularly bad calling station: K2 for the semi-scoop and KJ wins the $10 side pot.  WTF?  Case K?  I have 50%+ equity pre-flop!  Facepalm.  I just love the super bad station's comment afterwards: I knew I was beat there but I had to call.  "I knew I was beat but had to call."  LOL.  Oh yeah, then he changed his story to: "I felt like the 2 was coming...  I knew it was coming."  Sure...  2 outter on the river...  too bad I couldn't capture any of your money which was clearly on fire.

That's it.  I'm improving at live poker.  I'm definitely utilizing my reads.  I find myself acting more boldly, trusting my instinct, and watching players more intently.  I love the limp / raise move for nothing more than reading the situation.  I'm trying to think out of the box more often, instead of just trying to peddle nuts.  I believe there are a bunch of spots where I can be profitable if only I take advantage of them.

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