Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Watch it Glow-Grow-Grow!

Well, Glenn didn't get picked for the drawing. The whole thing seemed to reek of corruption, as it was. Then again, everything at Riverside has always been that way, since opening, according to the stories I've heard.

It was really odd, most of the names drawn weren't there. They probably drew 150 names. Some of them were drawn multiple times, like more than five! Then other names of people who play every day and had a billion entries were never even picked once. A husband/wife duo also were picked, which seemed odd. Relatives of employees were allowed to be picked in the "employee" drawing as well as the player drawing! The first cousin of Don Laughlin was picked for both! Then he went on to win the player drawing tournament. Then someone said he took the cash, which is just insane, because it is 10k less than the retail price of the car! Plus he has to pay taxes immediately.

Like I said, the whole thing seemed fishy, but that is RS, love it or be "invited" up to Don Laughlin's mansion on the mountain to be "shown" his extensive gun collection and hear the 'silence is golden' speech. Don't heed the speech? Well, there are lots of people who haven't been heard of again who were regulars in Laughlin.

But enough of my conspiracy theories. I am just running so well that it's insane. I did have one bad night, on Sunday at Palms. I couldn't do a thing in the tournament. I had the type of table with a lot of passive, calling stations. Any ace, any suited cards, any pair. Half of the table were raisers and re-raisers, the other half were passive, the whole table was loose. Steal attempts were thwarted at every turn. Every pair I was dealt was outdrawn. No suited cards went anywhere. No connected cards, either. Raising was virtually pointless, although I gave it my best try, due to the calling nature of the table. A couple of times I was able to steal with the raise/CB follow-up, but literally just a couple of times in two hours. It was just one of those nights. Nothing worked.

Glenn didn't make the money that time, either, but we are running so well that we didn't even blink. I am 3:4 in the money, Glenn is 2:4, but his two were wins.

The cash games treated me equally bad on Sunday night at Palms. There was a 4/8 HE, which just sucked. The players were passive, mostly, and simply calling with anything and everything. My first hand there was in the BB with pocket queens. Raiser up, 849 callers. Flop, turn and river were low, I think the highest card out was a ten. Bet the whole way, only to be shown a rivered set by a guy who called 44 all the way.

Just a few hands later I had 77, raiser up. Rivered again by a four. Guy had A3o and called all the way for a runner gutshot ;)

And just like that, I was down $100. I moved to a new $200 max buy-in NLHE game. The players were playing approximately correctly, and I couldn't get anything going on. I made about $20, but then put my name back on the 4/8 list.

Glenn busted out and decided to play 4/8 as well. The game was sometimes more aggressive, but mostly very passive. We both lost a ton of money due to not being dealt many suited connectors, suited cards, connecting cards, etc, and when we did, nothing coming of them. I got kings, raiser up, got called by 99, Q7o and a myriad of other hands. 99 flopped a set and raised me right off. Q7 flopped top pair and stayed in. Q7 went for runner full house to beat 99, although she kept betting it even after it was clear she was beat. I got out.

Basically one of those fubar nights where nothing works and one is left scratching his head. No tilt, just eventually got tired and left.

So that brings us back to Monday night (last night) and the Riverside. The players are usually worse at RS. More aggressive, less predictable, but playing so badly that it's usually easy money.

After the so-called drawing, I briefly sat in the O8 game, lost about $19, then moved to the no-max NLHE game that Glenn said was good. I recognized almost everyone. Overly aggressive, play NLHE like it's limit, deep money players. Trickiness never works in this game. Trapping has a better chance, getting in check-raises is a gimme. Caution is very important.

I opened up a bit, but besides Glenn, I was still probably the tightest person at the table.

One of my first hands I played 87o in LP for no raise, flopped a straight, but there was a flush possible. Bet slightly under the pot, was raised by a guy who doesn't have to have anything, smooth called. Turn was another club and he checked it down with me (???) only to show me the queen of clubs. Odd, but that's Laughlin. He is actually a decent player. I guess he figured that if anyone had the king, she would be me, and he thought I might be scared of the ace.

I don't usually tilt, so instead of sulking, I did the lick-my-chops Johnny Moss routine. I knew the table, knew the players, felt the vibe, and got into the zone.

Chips started flying my way. No problemo letting the LAP's take money off of the more passive, timid players, then taking those chips off of the LAP's.

A few people were there from SoCal. Laughlin is a mix of local and mostly local snowbirds, and tourists from California. The Callies like big pots, bit hands, lots of action. Since I have experience playing at Commerce, and since I am used to their style, I just let them blow off their money. I don't pay much heed to the table talk or trash.

One guy tried to represent being a WCP. I didn't buy it from the first. For one, he made some errors that didn't indicate he knew what he was doing, much less what he was talking about. He goofed at one point and talked about a LIMIT 20/40 game with a 2k min buy-in. Right. He also goofed on TDA rules, after claiming all of these big cashes in TDA rule events. He sweated big hands too much, with nothing in the pot. He acted like he was having an aneurysm facing a huge bet or raise with only five big blinds in the pot, lol ;)

I truly love these people, and mostly he was good natured about it. I stacked him once. I had ducks and he let me see a free flop in one of the blinds. I flopped a deuce and check-called. I check-raised the turn for a 150% pot-sized bet, due to a scary turn card (straight possible, flush draw, ace). He moaned and groaned but still called. The flush got there and he decided to try to bluff me out (I think maybe he had two pair, A7, but why was he calling UTG in the first place with that?). The problem was that he had lost so many pots already that he was shallow (bought in for $800) and only had about $150 left. So naturally I called, and he said "good call" and mucked. Rebuy!

The rest of my chips came from well-timed aggression and/or good steals, good flops, good cards, etc. I was never in any danger of losing my chips, even though I only bought in for $300, lol ;)

I forgot how easy NLHE cash games are. It's like free money. No wonder I got so sick of it. But at least it's always entertaining at Riverside, and the players all had great senses of humor and rolled with my sickness (and yeah, I'm so sick).

There is a condom machine in the women's bathroom at RS. Go figure. No tampons or pads for those unlucky young women who still have that burden, but plenty of condoms.

One is a "glow in the dark" condom. I love the slogan. It says, "Turn out the lights and watch it glow-grow-grow!" That is my new catch-phrase and I have to tell everyone I meet about the condom. I wanted to buy one and give it to Glenn as a card protector, but he is too shy to use it in that way! :)


So if I don't update much in the next couple of days (before heading up to Vegas), have a good hearty laugh at my ridiculousness and don't forget to put it on, turn off the lights and watch it...


Felicia :)

Monday, July 24, 2006

Slow Week

I'm kind of losing my steam for the psychology series. I guess in some ways it's lack of interest. I get an e-mail, IM or comment here and there, but most people are just sort of holding their breath, watching the series, enjoying summer, etc. Like me.

Today I worked out in the garden a lot, even though the heat is sometimes so overwhelming that it sucks the breath out of my lungs. I love gardening and truly get more pleasure out of it than anything poker has ever given me. Not to mention it is so great for my health, compared to poker (gag).

Anyway, we are wrapping things up to head up to Vegas on Thursday morning. Glenn finally got his starting day assignment. 1d, July 31st he will be starting. For those of you following CP coverage with a passion, look for Bagrowski.

Glenn also won some tickets for a drawing to be held tonight at Riverside. Twenty names will be drawn for different prizes and entry into a freeroll following the drawing. Every one of those names receives something, no matter how small (and it's not like a keychain or something, it's at least $100).

Then the twenty sit down to a two-table tournament. The winner receives a car or $7500 in cash. Yeah, I don't know how they came up with this horrible figure. The car is supposedly worth $17,000, but if you don't take the car you only get $7500, lol. Only in Laughlin.

So hopefully Glenn will get something out of it. I don't have any entries, as I haven't played much at Riverside until just the past few days. Some regular player have like 50 entries, so Glenn's four look pretty paltry right about now. Worse case scenario, he'll win some money in cash games tonight.

Have a great week,

Felicia :)

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Palms $80 NLHE Tournament

I cashed out of the big NLHE game ($40 max buy-in ;) and took my seat in the tournament. I was glad to see only one other woman at my table. Poor Glenn had four at his. Women in Laughlin tend to be very passive calling stations. Sometimes I'm sitting and pounding them with chips, as they mildly, passively call, only to be shown the absolute, stone cold nuts by them. It gets frustrating. They play monsters the same way they play trash. Call, call, call.

My table had a nice mix of some very young newish guys and older guys who have been around poker for a long time. No one really knew how to play except one guy who got moved away first. Then I was able to dominate the table easier.

It's hard to wiggle around much if opponents won't fold to a bet, a bluff, a raise, a check-raise or an all-in. If they are really new enough to think that maybe top pair no kicker is good, they will hunt you down for all of their chips. They always think trips are a set, and always think any straight, flush or full-house must be the nuts. So when I play in these types of events, I always have to choose my spots more carefully. Like stealing the blinds in late position. Betting a scary board when I have a feeling my opponent has something like a pair.

It doesn't always work out, and sometimes I get crippled early by making a great play that simply looks stupid in the eyes of my tablemates.

I had some chips early, but then made two plays that put me down to about 4x the big blind. In one hand, I was in the BB with AQs. One player limped, another raised for all of his chips and then the action got back to me. It was only about three more big blinds to me, so I smooth called. I could have re-raised in this spot, to get the limper out, but I knew that the small blind and the limp were virtually nothing as a side pot, and wanted to see what would happen after the flop. Plus, the limper would only have one blind left (four black chips) if he called the raiser, so pushing him for a decision pre-flop would gain me nothing.

The flop came down something like KJ9 with two of my suit. I went ahead and checked, to see what the limp/caller would do. He put in the rest of his chips. I called. He turned over A9 and had flopped bottom pair. The original raiser had 44. The turn brought a four, and I never got my flush or ten. Oh, well.

Right after that hand, I had J7s in the SB. I was allowed to limp, and I believe five of us saw the flop. Jack was the high card and I fired out a bet smaller than the pot (maybe 1000?). Only the button called. He played just about every hand, and I had never seen him raise even once. Likewise, I had rarely seen him fold, ever, even on the river. I was wary and decided to slow down. He could surely have a draw, but he could also have top pair, two pair, trips, a set. Virtually anything, in other words.

The turn paired the board and we both checked. He looked kind of deflated. Now I was almost sure I had him. The river was a total blank, so I fired again. He hesitantly called me, only to turn over pocket queens! Okay.

So here I was, crippled, down to about four big blinds left after my awesome plays, lol ;)

The cost of this tournament was $40 with a $40 optional add-on (one only) and a $5 dealer's add-on. We had fifty opponents.

I managed to stay afloat by making a few successful steals. I had maybe five big blinds when our table was broken and I was moved to Glenn's table. All but one of the women were out, thank God, due to their call, call, calling. I took the place of one of them in the two seat. Glenn was in the nine.

It was at this point that I started making some mistakes. Having not really played Hold'em tourneys in a long time, and even other tourneys, I had forgotten some things. It's not like a bicycle, where one can get back on, wobble around for the first few yards, and then get right back into it. Constant practice is the only way to play a mistake-free event.

I was really short stacked after going through the blinds. The big blind got moved to balance tables, and, and the dealer accidentally moved the button forward twice. Now the guy who should have been the small blind was given a free pass to the button, while I lost a position. I protested, but the dealer kept dealing anyway. I protested more loudly. No one said a word, not even Glenn. I tried and tried to keep him from dealing out the hand. He argued with me.

I never, ever get this. I just don't understand it. It seems to be epidemic in Laughlin and even Glenn used to argue with me and other customers when he was in the box. It's like a Laughlin thing. I don't experience it much, if at all in Vegas, LA, Foxwoods, etc. Only Laughlin. The dealer will make a mistake. A simple, little thing that we all do, every day. But instead of stopping the action, or calling the floor, or a myriad of any other course of action they could take, they suddenly start arguing with the player!!! Yes, the person who pays them, the customer. For three years I have watched this behavior by Laughlin dealers in virtually every cardroom in town, and no one seems to know why it happens, or why it's allowed. Dealers have been known to call players "stupid," "retarded," "ignorant," etc, and there is never any action taken against these dealers. The same people who pay the salary of the dealers in town are the ones constantly getting yelled at. I just don't get it. Glenn says he doesn't either. He says he has no idea why he argued with me and other customers in the box. He says he saw other Laughlin dealers do it for two years, so he just started doing it, too, regardless of whether the customer was right, or he was right.

Anyway, back to the tournament. I'm begging the guy to stop dealing, but he won't, and he's yelling at me that I don't know what I'm talking about. I explained it again and again, and finally someone at the table had the balls to speak up and say that yes, the button was moved twice, and the hand is a misdeal. I think it also helped that the TD was out and about at the tables and knew I was correct, he himself having moved the BB off of the table.

I think the dealer apologized, but this is where things went bad for the guy sitting to my left. He was obviously pretty new, but had built up a lot of chips, and was trying really hard to play correctly. He made the fubar mistake of looking at his dead hand in the cutoff before the action got to him (and the action never got to him because finally a misdeal was declared). He had pocket tens. He groaned.

The very next hand, with the button now in the right spot, I went all-in with nines and he overcalled with AQs. This is where I totally made a mistake and screwed him royally.

I said something like, "Well, I can't wish you luck in this hand, I hope mine holds up! I have pocket nines, what do you have?" He flipped over his cards, as did I. What we neither one realized is that during the whole commotion with the previous hand, an EP limper (the only woman left, and a call, call, calling station) was still in the hand! So she could see my cards and his cards. She still opted to call the all-in anyway, with the third best hand.

The flop came down Q9x, two spades. He still could drive action on his hand, but I'd pretty much killed his action, because she could see his cards and the only way she would call him is if he was beat. The turn and the river were blanks, with no flush possible. So the guy next to me would have gotten all of her chips. Why? Because she had the KJ of spades!

I apologized profusely, and he took it well, but I knew he was thinking that my big mouth screwed him out of two hands. I can't even remember the last time I did something like that. Years, most likely. But like I said, tournament poker is not like riding a bike. I was flustered and didn't even notice the meek and mild calling station trying to limp in, in EP, during the end stages of a tournament! Oy, vey.

I'm not going to go through every hand, or how I got to the final table, because I have two, much more interesting tournament and cash game stories to write up. But I did get really lucky to get there. And I screwed the poor guy who had been on my left twice more! This time, though, it was his own fault, most likely due to him being flustered, like me, and also being somewhat of a new player.

He got moved to balance the tables and I didn't expect to see him again. However, when he got moved back to our table, he was in Glenn's old seat, the nine seat, which Glenn had just vacated due to two icky beats.

At any rate, he wasn't playing that well, and in one hand I was so short stacked in the BB that I had only two chips left (half of a blind). It was folded to him in the SB and he LET ME HAVE IT ON THE BUBBLE! Wow. I was so shocked I just sat there. I didn't rake in the chips, I didn't give my cards to the dealer, I just sat in stunned silence.

In the next round, I was UTG when he was the BB and I pushed with 44. It got back to him, and he finally did the right thing and called with 88. The guy to my left told me he'd folded a four. I got up expecting fully to be the bubble, and caught a four.

That poor guy was so screwed. He went out only a hand or so later, on the bubble, after having had so many chips earlier. It was like that mistake just rattled him so much he could never get any momentum going again.

So I got to the final table, and basically got my money back. I was the shorty, and pushed UTG with JJ, only to be called by UTG +2 who had KK. IGHN, but I netted $10 and had a cash again, after playing 28 hours and bubbling in those two O8 events. Still feels good, even though the field was smaller and softer than anything at Orleans or Rio, lol.

Next up, two more tournaments and running over cash games!

Felicia :)

I Run Goot!

I'm in the middle of some big posts. Suffice it to say, Glenn and I are running so ridiculously good that it's tough to keep it in perspective. Of course, running good in Laughlin isn't something to overly brag about ;) It is sort of like running good in LLO8. King of the special olympics, here we come!

In the last three tourneys I've played (the first three NLHE tourneys this year, I believe, after a long, long period of not playing Hold'em and not playing tourneys at all), I'm 3:3 ITM. More on that later. Glenn is 2:3 wins.

Glenn has some posts up about it. He is in the middle of one now, as well. Keep checking his blog if you get sick of waiting for me.

I gave Chris Fargis some last minute tips on Razz, and lookey here, he is ITM as well! Jeez, I should charge for my coaching and/or cheerleading services. Funny how I can help anyone except myself (that does seem to be changing, however).

I wonder if I could convince Chris that my services are worth 5%, hmmm!

Felicia :)