Sunday, November 21, 2004

Desert Diamond

If Casino Arizona was a bust, Desert Diamond was a jewel in the rough. Rarely have I had such a good time in a cardroom.

I remember that we visited DD a couple of years ago. They had a nice, new casino on highway 19 south of Tucson. For whatever reason, now it is in a trailer, attached to a tent. I suspected hard times, but was told that they just couldn't get a regular clientele to travel so far down highway 19, so they were building a new casino closer into Tucson.

Trailer or no trailer, the place was rocking.

We signed up for everything, since there were no seats open. They were spreading 3/6 HE with a full kill, ditto for Omaha 8 and 6/12 HE. They had interest lists for Stud 8 and 10/20 HE.

That night, they were holding a NLHE tourney. They have various ways to earn extra chips in their tournaments, sort of like many of the smaller cardrooms across the country. So many hours played live before the tourney is xx extra chips. If you purchase your rebuy in advance, extra chips. A tiny add-on, extra chips.

I ended up sitting in the O8 game for three hours. It was fantastic. The action was good, and some pots were in the $300+ range. Sometimes I'm such a dunce, I was so focused on my low that didn't get there, that I neglected to notice that I had a straight flush. I called out my ten-high flush, only to be told by the table that I had a straight flush. I get tunnel vision easily, especially with split games, since I don't play them very often.

For Omaha, the players were fantastic. Everyone is used to "Argu-ha," and this game wasn't a total exception, but for the most part, everyone got along, and there weren't eleven dealers sitting at the game (actually, they spread a nine-handed game, but you get the point). Most players were friendly and jovial. I thought I'd sat down at the wrong table, lol.

The tournament was equally friendly and juicy. I doubled up early on with a few premium hands that got excessive action. Then I got stupid and forgot my competition. With a ton of chips, I tried getting fancy with some top cards. Naturally I'd forgotten whom I was playing against, and the action I would get regardless of how I played. Once I had QQ. There was a guy in the eight seat who was shaking like a leaf whenever he was in a hand. He had a policy; always raise with any suited ace in any position. So I figured I'd get some FPS going and let him hang himself. I smooth called his raise, instead of popping him, which was my first mistake. When the board came low, I let him trap himself with a bluff, then put him in. No, he didn't get his ace, he ended up getting running hearts, for a flush. That was the end of my FPS.

We had an extremely loose Asian at our table. I think he was a dealer, but could be wrong, because he was wearing a ball cap and I couldn't remember. He was stealing quite a few pots, but didn't always know how to respond when getting caught. After the rebuy period ended, he decided to go for my blind. I found kings and reraised all-in. He looked at his chips for a while. If he didn't call, he would be left with maybe 1500. If he did, we were almost even in chips. He called. He showed T8s and caught two pair. I was eliminated in about 20th or so.

I was puzzled about him calling my all-in. It took me a bit of thinking about it, but I finally figured out what probably made him call. He was extremely loose and aggressive. I think maybe he thought that if he folded when I looked him up, he would be on a short stack, and could no longer play lots of pots. He would be forced to slow down. To some players, being forced to play conservatively is almost worse than being eliminated altogether. He could not adjust to being a short stack, so maybe he figured he'd rather go out in a blaze of glory.

Glenn got closer to the money, fizzling out when it got down to the final two, shorthanded tables. Glenn has become a really good tourney player lately. I have been very impressed with most of his play.

We really liked Desert Diamond. It was only 90 miles south of Casino Arizona, but yet a totally different world. We decided to stay overnight and play there again the next day, after a trip to see Biosphere 2.

Not once in our 12 hours or so play at DD did anyone asked to see mucked hands. Not once were the rules of poker, its integrity, twisted into an angle shot. Players were kind and cordial to each other, for the most part.

Tomorrow, I will write about our second days' adventures at the Diamond.
One thing I have noticed about my life is that people who are less fortunate than myself tend to attack me viciously. No biggie, it happens all the time, I'm used to it.

I have been a member of 2+2, UPF, Poker Clan, Hendon Mob and other poker forums for a long time now. Before that, I was a long time member of some health forums, when dealing with my own health problems.

One of the sad affects of these forums is that some people feel it is their business to go around attacking other members. The attacks are usually unprovoked and angry. I have had to deal with it for ten years now. It doesn't really change. I, myself, refuse to "flame" anyone on any group. I won't flame even if they flame me. I won't put myself down to their level in order to feel better about myself. I have way too much self-confidence to worry about what they think.

Sometimes, though, something is so funny or unique that it is worth writing about. I figure if it makes me laugh, maybe someone else will crack up about it and have a better day because of it, too. So that is why I'm sharing this one with you.

Lately, I have been flamed by someone. No surprise, right? Well, the funny thing about this is that in my life, there have been a couple of instances of someone who lives an "alternative" lifestyle trying to give me advice on my own lifestyle.

Once it was with a friend of my mom. He was a gay guy who went to my mom for haircuts. He became a really good friend of hers. One time, we were all out at dinner. He had found out that my latest boyfriend was a black guy. Suddenly, unprovoked, he started in on how he was raised the "old fashioned way" and didn't believe races should mix. He went on and on about this for fifteen minutes. When he was done, I was like, "Dude, you are gay! You get persecuted at every turn, and you, in turn, are a racist and telling me whom I should and should not date??? You are the last person I would ever expect to say something like that!"

About ten years later, I got some life advice from a hooker. She was virtually living on the street, working on and off in a strip bar, on drugs, in and out of jail and mental institutions, etc. I was reading a book, and she told me, "You know the problem that you have, Felicia?" Intrigued, I asked her what my problem was, and wondered how she could fix it. She told me that I read too much. That I used reading as a means to escape the real world, and plunge myself into a fantasy world. She went on to tell me how I could find other hobbies besides reading that would have more to do with the public, etc. Yes, she was dead serious. I was just sitting there trying so hard not to crack up.

It is amazing how people who are living fringe lives themselves feel they have some kind of right to tell others' how they should live their lives. Tell others' their shortcomings, and what they could do to improve themselves. That cracks me up.

Most recently, another hooker has been flaming me and giving me advice on how to live my life. Jeez, what is wrong with these people? I'm so sorry that you are not happy. I'm so sorry that your life is in shambles and that you have to sell yourself to survive. But I don't presume to give you advice on how to live, stop invading my life. If you don't like my writing, please, stop reading it. No one is holding a gun to your head, for cripesake.

I am extremely happy. I have been in a fantastic, monogamous relationship for nine years. I have been happily married for seven years. I was very fortunate to be able to retire at 30, as well as my husband.

So there is my laugh for the day. Told by three people, all who live very alternative lifestyles, that mine isn't good enough for them, and that I should change myself, to become the way they'd like me to be. Hehe, "why don't you blow me...blow me a kiss..."
And now, I guess I'll wrap it up by promoting a journal that I love. I keep saying that I'm going to go back to my "journal of the week" or something similar, but I run out of time, I can't seem to find the time to promote my favorite writers. Today, I'm going to make sure I get one in, even if I never find the time again!

Simon Trumper is a pro player from England whom I've spoken about before. He is a wonderful person to be around, as are a lot of Brits who play poker in the bigger tournaments. He immediately impressed me with his high standards and etiquette at the table.

I started reading his journal, and immediately thought to myself, "Daniel Negreanu!" He writes a lot like Danny. He walks his way through hands, thinking about them as they are being played out, then writing them up that way, for our benefit and instruction. Reading Simon's journal is like getting free lessons in poker from a world-class player.

His journal is too good to ever be missed! Thank you so much, Simon!