Rocks and Maniacs
Things are still going rather well. I'm playing Hold'em more than ever. The one year hiatus from full-time HE really did a ton of good. While I had forgotten so many things about the game, I also left behind my misery of being forced to play HE all the time. Now I think of it more like a dance. A dance that I'm able to change with every session (and sometimes within a session). Whether I'm waltzing or moshing depends on the table dynamics. The ability or lack of ability to adjust never ceases to amaze me. Some opponents cannot change their game whatsoever, regardless of how necessary it is.
I'm going through my second reading of Ed's book. Definitely more thoroughly this time. I remember when Ed told me it was coming out, and I said I just wasn't interested, although I like Ed very much. I said I couldn't wrap myself around Hold'em anymore, I was way too burned out on the game. He told me that he'd mail it to me, to give the book a chance. I loved it immediately, but it didn't change my disgust of playing ALL HOLD'EM, ALL THE TIME. So on the shelf it went.
Now I'm looking at it in a new light. Not only are the games at RS always amusing, but they are challenging in the respect that no two games are ever the same. Unlike so many cardrooms around Laughlin, RS is never predictable, except in the fact that there will always be drama on any given day.
Usually in the summer, Laughlin is dead. The RS, however, attracts all of the southern California water crowd. They love the river. They have jetski's and seadoo's. They tend to play in the California way. Loose, aggressive, thinking maniacs. One minute the table can be pretty predictable. Loose, passive, typical locals/snowbirds. The next, a maniac will sit down and suddenly every betting round is capped.
Lately I have been getting more than my fair share of big pocket pairs outdrawn. Almost every AA, KK, and QQ have been cracked regularly, yet I get paid off on suited connectors and smaller pairs which flop sets. I am also able to check-raise whenever I want, due to the more aggressive nature that these games have taken on.
In one hand on Sunday, I was at a really volatile table with a thinking maniac. He is a youngish guy (late 20's) who obviously has lots of money. He races boats and claims he owns some kind of dealership in SoCal. I believe it, due to the way he is treated at RS. I saw him buy in for over 4k at the NLHE table on Friday night. Sometimes he would just go in blind on every hand. Other times he picked his spots. I tried to get his sister, a beautiful cocktail waitress there, to cut him off, but she claimed he knows what he is doing. Money doesn't seem to mean anything to him, and unless he has had to much too drink, he is pleasant to me (not the men, as much, but I had no problem with him).
Anyway, he was forced to play 4/8 full kill with overs on Sunday. I had to sit to his left for several hours, which means he was touching me the entire time. I don't get off on that, but since he'd dropped over 1k, some of it to me, I didn't complain.
So in the big hand, he did his normal blind raise. I was in the BB with Q4s and called. An UTG player, a tight, cautious, solid young guy also called.
I flopped the nut flush with an AKJ club board. Never got the straight flush, but this is when things got hinky. I meant to check-raise the young Californian. Instead, from UTG, the solid kid bet out. The maniac called (!?!), and I got off my CR. The maniac refused to call one more, and it was me against the kid I definitely wasn't hoping to bust.
The kid had not raised PF with AKo. Oy. He was so disappointed with the way he'd played the hand. He asked me if I'd have called if HE had been the one to raise PF. I told him no way in hell. I hope he learned to be a bit more aggressive, even with a maniac at the table.
I could go on and on about other odd hands, but they were ALL pretty odd, given the nature of the game.
Glenn and I played in the NLHE tourney at the Palms earlier that night. I didn't last that long. I tried to make a play against a calling station and it didn't work out (I had just been moved to that table and had no idea the guy was such a CS).
I survived with very few chips and got moved again. Then I managed to triple up with KQs. Then a loose, aggressive player raised out of MP with K9o (?!?). I was in the BB and went all-in with AQo. He thought for a minute, but finally said something about "giving me a bad beat" and made a horrible call with no overlay (I was the BB, there were no limpers, so calling was terrible in this spot). Men can be such creeps. I had previously thought he was an okay guy, but then this breech of etiquette combined with something retarded he said later that night (about women belonging in the bedroom) made me rethink my previous opinion on him.
Men, keep your frigging sexist and racist opinions to yourself. Please. Yes, I know you may have no penis and no balls, but I don't go around telling you that after giving you a bad beat in the poker room, do I? Likewise, you should probably keep your unwanted opinions to yourself, or maybe you will find yourself facing a gun barrel in the parking lot when you cross the line with some volatile player who has no patience to put up with your BS like I do. Do yourself a favor and keep your big mouths shut.
Okay, so anyway, to un-derail this post, I am still doing very well. I can get into a big hole (>$300 at a piddly 4/8 game) and still manage to dig my way out if I sit long enough. Poker is so easy.
During the tourney at Palms, however, I thought Glenn was going to win again. They were on the bubble, and Glenn had some decent chips. Then he flopped the nut flush in a big hand. He managed to get two all-in's out of it! One of the all-in's was the calling station I talked about before. This man had the king high flush to Glenn's ace high.
Yes, you guessed it, he got runner-runner straight flush.
He didn't seem to think this was odd in the slightest. Glenn was the bubble man, but shook it off and still played good poker at Riverside afterwards.
And so are the days of our lives,