Friday, August 20, 2004

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

I have been traveling around Arizona looking for a house for us. Visiting new cardrooms is often fun, but always interesting.

Apache Gold is a very small casino. They have only five poker tables; 3 HE (9-top, but they will squeeze in 10), 2 Stud. They are closed on Monday and Tuesday.

The staff is extremely friendly and easygoing, compared with some of the other cardrooms I've visited in Arizona (that is for another post). Money does not play. The rake is 10% up to $3.00 and a $1 bad bead jackpot drop which is taken out immediately, flop or not. They don't use a forward moving button, so the blinds can get kind of crazy. They play a full kill on their 3/6 HE games. They also spread Omaha8, but I never saw a game get going. Stud is 1-4 vs. the typical 1-5.

Apache Gold allows smoking and drinking. Tableside food service is available for 1/2 price. The food is good. Players are comped via a player's card, but I'm not sure what the hourly rate is, at this time. Poker room rates are $35 per night, and available at the adjacent Best Western. The phone service sucks on the reservation, so don't expect to be able to dial up to your ISP.

Globe is only about 3 miles from the casino, and has everything you could possibly need, with over 10,000 residents.

Now, onto the exciting, NLHE tourney.

Because the bad beat jackpot was over 10k, and pretty easy to hit (any aces full beaten), there wasn't a huge turnout for the tournament. The regulars told me they usually get 2 tables easily, most often 3 tables. There is a bounty on one player at each table for $20. The bounty does not come from the prizepool, it comes from the bad beat jackpot drop. They also have progressive bounties on casino employees. The weekday tourneys offer a free buffet coupon, just for entering. There is no juice on their tourneys, all of the money goes back to the players. The buy in is $20, plus $2 optional for the dealer's tokes. The $20 gives you 800 in chips, the optional $2 gives you 400 more. If you have been playing a cash game prior to the tourney, you are given 100 more in chips. There are rebuys in the first 3 levels (45 minutes), if you get below 800 in chips. The structure is turbo style, with blinds doubling every 15 minutes.

We started out with 11 players, squeezed into one table (ugh). There were multiple rebuys, as many players called all-ins. Most of the players played the tourney like it was a cash game, and they even sucked at that! Playing draws seemed to be the common way to go. Players would go all-in on any draw, even if not the nut, if they happened to make the hand. Any two suited, any two connected, regardless of gaps, were played to the river.

I picked up JJ early in the tourney. I was called in too many places, and knew I was beat on the flop. I dumped it. We quickly got down to about seven players. After paying my bb of 200, I was down to <800, so I made a rebuy for $10, which gave me 800 more. I ran cold until I picked up AQ on the button right before the rebuy period ended. I shoved all-in, only to be called by one of the best players there, who sat to my left in the SB and had KK. I got no help, and got another rebuy. My cards went even colder, and I saw nothing even in the top 8 groups, so I folded hand after hand.

We were down to five players when I was in the BB with only 600 chips left. The blinds were 400/200. I got trash. Two players went all-in, and were called by a 3rd, who had the best hand. Suddenly I went from last, to third, without ever winning a hand!! I was all-in with my trashy SB hand, and I was all out.

Okay, so this might not be so stunning to some of you. But I have never, ever cashed in a tourney without winning even one hand... So the pay wasn't so great, only $50, but better than losing $42, huh?

Several of the players came up to me after the tourney, which, incidentally only lasted about an hour, and said they "should have played like me," folding virtually every hand, and still making the money. No, I wouldn't suggest this strategy. I just happened to only have one Group I hand, and one Group III, something which they did not know.

I almost felt like I was stealing from someone, lol. It was a very strange experience. I guess, in some circumstances, "tight is right."

Hope you enjoyed! If you are in the southeastern part of Arizona, check out Apache Gold. I have rarely seen a softer game, and the rake/bbj drop is definitely better than many of the reservation cardrooms in Arizona.