Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Tourneys at the River Palms

So I'm playing live again in Laughlin. I'd forgotten how nice the locals are there. Wow, what a change from Vegas. And if the change is a complete 180 from Vegas locals, then the difference in Commerce locals is from the earth to the moon.

I found out about the River Palms shaking up their dead poker room and giving it new life. You can read my post about that info here.

The first tourney I played there was on Saturday night, July 3, 2004. It was an Omaha 8 tourney, but I was desperate. Yes, even I will play Omaha 8 when I get crazy enough from lack of live tournaments. The no-juice policy didn't hurt, lol.

Only 14 opponents signed up for the O8 tourney. Well, they are just starting tournaments, after all, and the tourists don't yet know what snakepits they are entering when they go to the Belle or the Riverside.

The tourney was much more passive than the O8 tourneys at the Belle I'd come to expect over the seven months I played them (twice per week, EVERY week, for seven long months, I repeat). May hell freeze over before I have to do that again :)

I got into calling almost every hand. Only the very worst hands were thrown away before the flop, because I never had to worry about being raised, and the stakes started out so low. I must have seen 20 out of 25 flops in the early levels. I built my towers by sucking out on players who refused to bet their hands, or by jamming the pot with the nut high or low. Most of the time the 2nd or 3rd nut paid me off.

By the break, I had increased my stack from 500 to 1300 without having to do a rebuy. I naturally took the add-on, which gave me an additional 2000 for only $20 more.

I wish I could write how exciting and fun the Omaha tourney was, but Omaha is Omaha, and although the players didn't bicker as much as they did at the Belle, it still isn't the game that makes my heart race. I played for the money and because I'm a tourney addict, that is all.

This tourney paid three people, just like a SNG; 50%, 30%, 20%. The bubble prize was a free entry into any evening tourney (they are more expensive than the daily morning tourneys at 10am).

I had so many chips by the time we hit the final three that I was forced to call almost any all-in before the flop (the blinds were so high that most of the time someone was all-in BTF in their blind, or when it was my blind). This way I eliminated more opponents and collected $5.00 bounties.

When we were HU, I had my opponent all-in almost every hand, due to receiving some outstanding premium hands. Unfortunately, she survived all of them when she was shorter than me! I ground my way back to the chip lead by being much more aggressive than her, but would lose it time and again when forcing her in with premium hand and then losing.

Finally one of my hands stood up, and it was after I'd just won the previous hand, so I had her outchipped. Whew! I received one last bounty, along with my $300 first prize.


On the fourth of July, I played a NLHE tourney at River Palms. They added $1000 to the prize pool, in addition to several increased, blind bounties. I was lucky to win one of the $100 bounties (one out of two). Fifty of us entered.

When we were down to about 20, our table was six handed. I got ATo on the button and had less than seven times the BB (I was actually doing very well, but the blinds were outrageous for the total number of chips on the tables). I made a move to steal, but the SB has 22 and decided to take a ride with me. He had me slightly outchipped. He caught the case deuce (the BB had exposed the third deuce before he folded before the flop). C'est la vie. I guess I don't have to tell you that this guy didn't cash, lol.


On Tuesday, July 6th, we had our double qualifier Stud 8 tourney. Yes, this is the only tourney of this type in all of the USA that I know about, maybe even the world. Bonus!

Only eight of us showed up, and no one had ever played this game before. I think I was the only one who had even played Stud 8.

I basically had to run the tournament. The dealers had no idea how to deal this game, nor did any of the players understand how to play it.

It was FUN, and I do mean that. Yes, maybe it's because I love Stud.

When we got HU, I had my opponent outchipped. She is from southern CA and the only other player who had a clue. She was relatively tight (relative to the other six players), and very aggressive. I figured it would come down to me and her.

We traded the lead back and forth a few times. On the last hand, she had me slightly outchipped. I had hidden nines with a king kicker. I raised her bring-in. She had a low card and called. She caught another low and called. I went all-in. She had her low, and ended up catching a straight to eliminate me in second.

I took my $100 second prize and a couple of bounties and left smiling. I love Stud. I wonder how long this tourney will last. I'm not holding my breath for more than a month, but I'll savor every minute while it holds out.