Saturday, October 23, 2004

Finally a win against live people

I went back to my old fertile stomping grounds of Wild Horse Pass Indian Casino on the Gila River Reservation. I used to play there all the time after rounds of golf on Whirlwind. Since they have had a pro tournament on the golf course and now planting the winter grass, I haven't played out there in 2 or 3 months.

I have had rotten luck lately playing live. My flushes and straights aren't coming in, and my top pair hands are being consistenly beat by the rivered flushes and straights. It's been fucking with my mind and I have been playing too many hands and being too aggressive because of it.

This time I decided I was going to tighten up early and try and play my best poker. I have found that if I take a deep breath and listen to my inner voice on my reads, I am actually pretty good at determining whether these guys have a decent hand.

I sat at the 3-6 table and started my session. Immediately I dug myself a hole and was down around $60. I broke my new rule a couple of times by trying to win the pot with 2nd high pair after everyone checks through on the flop. You really can't do that against loose passive players. Anyway the cards were cold, I bought another $50 before a kill pot to make sure I had some ammunition and still I was getting nothing. Finally I was down $120 and cursing my luck.

The good thing is, I was playing solid poker. I was playing tight preflop. The few times I was in a hand, I got out at the right time when I was surely beat. I had a couple more hands where I was ahead until the fateful river straight or flush. I know that Ed Miller says you should call down a lot of these but my reads were really good and I think there might have been only one out of 7 or 8 where there was any chance at all that I was being bluffed. That time the pot was not that big so I still think it was a good play even though he had a sly grin on his face after he raked the pot.

My reason for folding these hands is that these players were so bad that I don't think they were smart enough to think of bluffing at the pot when the straight or flush draw shows up on the board. Especially when they check call all the way and then hurriedly put their bet in on the river.

After 45 minutes I don't think I had won a single hand. Finally I started getting dealt AK like crazy. And finally the top pair hands were holding up. Plus it was nice to hit a couple of flushes and nut straights as well.

There was one hand where I raised with AQ under the gun and there were 3 other callers. The flop came Q-10-9. The big blind came out betting and I my gut tells me he has the straight already. I'm only one card away along with top pair, top kicker. I want to see where this guy is at plus get rid of the other guys. I raise and both of the other guys cold call?! The the inital better raises again. Here's where I get a little stupid. I raise again trying to get the other guys out. They both call again!

Well now I'm pretty sure this guy has the straight. I have no idea what the other guys are chasing. The next card is a Jack and we all check it through. The river is a King so now I have the nut straight. I double check to make sure. The guy on my right leads out (I guess he was going for the check raise on the turn) and I raise and the other two moronic cold callers finally fold. The initial bettor is sick about it and he calls. He knows he's beat but he calls anyway because the pot is so big. After that monster pot I was all the way back to even.

From there I continued to win a few pots here and there and eventually cashed out up $107.

Thank god for Gila River Casino!


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