Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Memorial Weekend Live

With my sister and brother in-law in town I was able to visit the Ameristar Poker Room under the guise of taking them out to the casino. Saturday nights trip was uneventful and I managed to lose my $100 buy in at 3/6. The casino was nearly empty and I found seats with no wait in the card room. I don't know where everyone went but the entire city seemed short in the population department for the entire weekend.

The first table I sat at had to be the tightest live table I've ever seen. This was in stark contrast to my previous visits and no one at the table was having any fun. No conversation, No family pots, and No winning for me. After losing a buy in and taking a short walk I headed back and found myself finally seated at a fun table. It was obvious at least two of the players knew what they were doing but I felt I could exploit them and win back some of my earlier losses. I was able to enjoy this thought for about 15 minutes when my brother in-law announced he was ready to leave. I didn't get my chance but I knew we'd be back the next night and I'd have it then.

Fast forward 24 hours and the card room still doesn't have a waiting list. I sit down and everyone is having a good time. Conversation is flowing almost as fast as the chips and I'm up $50 in half an hour. Then the sky abruptly falls in around me as a few players get up and our table is shut down. There are three other tables hosting 3/6 in the room and I pick the one with three empty seats. I had a 1 in 3 chance of picking the right table to play at and I'll give you three guesses to figure out if I picked the right one. Not only that but with a seat at each end available, I can sit on the fun side, or the dark side. Staying true to form I mistakenly take the dark side. Before I even get my first cards the player two to my right is bitching about the suckouts he's taking and how bad the players are. His mouth never stops spewing forth a bitter barage of negativity. I so want to reach out and put my fist down his throat. He doesn't have the temperament for the game and is sucking my emotional stability down with him.

The player to my immediate left is a super LAG. Never saw a pot he didn't want to raise preflop and never saw a river that didn't seem to make his hand. Between the two of them I was mired in a tar pit of seething darkness from which I could not escape. Before too long the table was comprised of half regular full time players and half recreational players looking to have fun. The regulars kept berating the recreational players and criticized every mistake to poker protocol being performed. Even the dealers weren't immune to the lashing being dealt out by these guys. It turns out that the original whiner was a regular along with the LAG and they had no love for each other. I can say with great sarcasm that it was a joy to be seated between them. Looking back I should have asked to be moved to another table. I'm still new to this live thing and I just wanted to keep my head down and my mouth shut.

About 4 hours into play I finally get a new regular to my right. He's a young guy but he knows the game and we immediately start a decent conversation. As my eternal luck holds true though my sister and husband are now ready to leave and I've had all but $25 sucked out of me. The LAG was catching (but only against me it seemed) and with the lack of playable hands at this table it's just been a small grind.all night. Since I want to have some action before leaving I announce to the dealer I'm going to straddle the blinds. I don't care what I get for cards and I'm getting all of my remaining money into this pot. The LAG calls and it's folded around to the BB who calls. As I'm reaching out to raise the dealer scoops all the chips off into the pot and then realizes he didn't give me the option to raise. Everyone now knows I wanted to but I tell the dealer to go ahead and give a flop. The recreational side of the table then utters their confusion as to how I can raise and one of the regulars begins to school them on the principles of the straddle bet.

Anyway the flop comes rags and I bet out. Both players call. Turn, another rag and I bet out. LAG calls, BB folds. The river pairs the board, I bet out again. The LAG raises and I put the rest of my chips all-in. I announce that I haven't looked at my cards yet and ask the LAG if he wants to see them with me. I flip the cards up on the table revealing a KJ suited and I have King high. The LAG shows pocket A's and he's managed to beat me again. As I get up everyone gives me the nod and the recreationals are aghast that I never looked at my cards. As I reach the exit and swipe my card I hear the table laughing and finally having a good time. Your welcome regulars.

Damn, I should have done that earlier.