Saturday, February 7, 2004
I had an itch to go do something today. It was Saturday, sunny and the warmest day of the winter so far (about 70 degrees). Everyone had been telling me about a little tourist town near us named Oatman. Like so many other Arizona towns, it was a mining town that went bust. Their claim to fame is that Olive Oatman and her family were attacked by Indians when she was a child. The parents were killed, a brother escaped, and Olive and her sister were taken to live with the Indians. Later, when her brother finished growing up, he made it his duty to try to find his sisters. Only Olive had survived, I couldn't find out how her sister died, but the wording made it sound more like illness, not murder. Finally the brother found and rescued Olive. They named the town Oatman after her.
Today, Oatman is a tourist trap kind of town. It looks similar to Tombstone in photos, but in actuality, it was nothing like Tombstone. In Oatman, burros are pets and live in the town, where they choose. They are docile and can be fed carrots and petted. They have the right of way in the road.
We had a great time, and got our daily ration of Vitamin D (the sun). The road to Oatman from Kingman was harrowing and dangerous, at best. We had to travel through at least 10 miles of crazy mountain roads. I would suggest that visitors approach from the west, from Bullhead City, due to the conditions of the road from Kingman.
After we left Oatman, we decided to head back via Bullhead, since the road was so bad. Naturally, that put is right in the path of Laughlin, and poker. Glenn wanted to play, after indulging me by going to Oatman and even acting like he had a good time.
The Belle was packed, and the 10/20 game had a list. We both got on it. I didn't like the lineup much, but what am I going to do, I have no choice.
Finally I got called for the game. It really did suck. I lost every hand, never got a pot. It didn't suck because I lost, it sucked because of the lineup.
The final straw was when Kenny's wife got seated. In the past, I have talked about Kenny and his wife. They are from southern California, but supposedly his wife is not allowed to play at any cardroom there, due to excessive cheating and marking cards. Although this is just rumor at the Belle, I have avoided playing in any games with her, on their frequent trips to Laughlin. This time I was going to wait for my blind, before getting up.
Her first hand was when she posted the big blind. She hadn't bought in yet, so she was playing behind $200. When the option got back to her, she tried to throw her hand in. The dealer protested, telling her she was the big blind. She argued, saying she wanted to fold. The dealer stood firm, telling her that whether she folded or not, she was still required to pay the $10 big blind. She got into an argument with the dealer, and when the floorman brought her $200, he also required her to pay the $10 BB. She was clearly upset at her cheating being thwarted. Glenn and I both got up the next hand (it would have been Glenn's BB, I was to his left). We called out, "two seats open!" Other players started calling seats open, because they knew that she was a cheater and would do anything she could to cheat the pot.
Later, I heard that she dropped several hundred dollars in the game. That is not the point, the point is that she is a cheat, and shouldn't be allowed to play, period. For whatever reason, the Colorado Belle is super lax on cheaters and angleshooters. They are constantly pampered and "pooh-poohed" when caught. This puts an end to my cash games at the Belle. I had already pretty much quit the 10/20, but this sealed my fate.
Glenn called over to the Riverside, which we hate, but which has some juicy games, especially on the weekends. We were told they were running a 5/10 with a FK. We put our names on the list. The PA called us as we were walking to the poker room.
To my surprise, several of the regulars at the Belle were at the Riverside. People I'd never seen play at the Riverside. It seems that more than a few of them were disgusted by some of the allowances that were being made to cheating players at the Belle, and had decided to play cash games over at the Riverside. What a switch, huh? Usually only the scumbags prefer the Riverside.
I played about an hour of 5/10. I got four Group I hands, all cracked. I just wasn't feeling Hold'em, and the game was very tight with only one weak spot, so I decided to play a bit of shorthanded Stud. The Riverside got rid of all of their Stud tables, save one. It is just amazing to see the rapid decline of Stud these days :(
It was fourhanded for a while, but six by the time I got there. The one, four and five seats were mother, son and fiancÃ©e. They were all poker newbies, and fed the rest of the table. They played against each other, making the seasoned players chuckle at the naivety of paying more rake.
My big and only hand at the table was when I had split aces. I raised to $6 on third. Both the fiancÃ©e and the mother stayed with me. Believe it or not, they called me the entire way. The mother went all-in on sixth with her last $2.00 in quarters. She wasn't aware that she could go all-in, she thought she had to fold her hand when she couldn't cover the $5.00 bet. The fiancÃ©e actually bet into me on sixth, when I hadn't improved. The pot was so big that there was no way I was laying my hand down. We both checked on seventh (the mother waiting, as she was all-in). Believe it or not, the girl had nothing! She said, "I was trying to bluff."
The mother had an unimproved pair of tens and I took the whole pot!
As I played, I realized that the fiancÃ©e would bet $1.00 if she had a hand, and bet $5.00 when she was bluffing. Every time she got called down, she would always say the same thing, "I was trying to bluff." Hilarious! I love being around newbies.
The Riverside was running their final satellite for the WPT seat of $2500. The competition would take place at 10pm. We left before that time, but I heard that the poker room manager won the $2500. Um, that wasn't fixed. No, no way, lol. What a surprise (not). The atrocities continue at the Riverside, and all of the dealers and players were talking about it. Even the dealers at the Riverside were saying it was fixed. Nobody really seems to care, to them it's just expected. I guess it's become desensitized to me, too, because when I heard that the poker room manager won the seat, I laughed and said, "Wow, I'm sooooo suprised" in a super sarcastic tone.
My journal keeper of the day is:
My buddy Jason (from our early days at 2+2) finally got in gear and started keeping a regular journal again. Go Jason! Jason has always been both candid and humble. He doesn't boast about five-figure wins per month. He doesn't brag about how he plays all of his hands perfectly, by rote, like so many of the other, young online players. He is realistic and grounded.