Monday, October 18, 2004

Yuma Trip Report

I traveled to Yuma, AZ last weekend for my roommate's wedding. I wasn't sure how much poker I would get to play but it turned out to be quite a bit.

Thursday night we went to the Paradise Casino. When our gang showed up there was only one table going at 4-8. We had 8 players on our own so we told them to open up another table. Naturally I put my name in first because I knew it would take 15 minutes to set up the new table and by then there was a good chance that my friends would lose interest because there was also blackjack there and 4-8 was a little high for a couple of my friends.

I sat in the first game and noticed immediately that there were a couple guys that were habitual bluffers and a few loose players as well. I won a pot early and was up $40 quickly. The other table finally got going so I put in for a table change to play with my friends.

The fun thing about playing with my friends is I can play off my image with them. When they play with me and a bunch of strangers at the casino they know I play really tight. If I am playing against them all at the same time, I tend to be more loose aggressive because I can bluff them out of some pots. My friend Robert finally noticed this the other night.

Unfortunately, the cards were not coming for the first two hours with my friends. I did not win a single hand for 2 hours. I was the only one on the table for quite a while who had not won a hand. Eventually a couple of my friends got up and went to play Black Jack and a couple of new guys sat down, including one of the dealers who was off duty. He wanted action. He immediately started raising every pot preflop.

That was just about the time I was dealt A-7 of spades on the button. He raised early and I had a few callers before it got to me so I just called. I got two spades on the flop. Off Duty Dealer bet with a couple of callers and I raised on a free card play. I got my 5th spade on the turn and it went from there. I even got raised on the river so I got an extra bet in. I went from down about 100 to up $3 in one hand. I proceeded to lose a little of it back but I left down $40 for the night.

On Friday night we played No Limit hold'em at Chris' Dad's house. None of these guys knew how to play very well. They don't know to bet more than $1 or $2 dollars at a time unless they go all in. I got beat for my first $20 when I bet my top pair into a flopped full house. Then I slowly made my way back. It got to the point where there would be 3 or 4 limpers for $1 preflop. The flop would come and if I caught any piece of it, I would just bet the pot and take it down. I ended up $18 for the night. The funny thing was Eric had never played no limit (he'd only seen it on tv). He won about $100 because he kept hitting straights and flushes. He would always bet low because he didn't want to scare anyone out of the pots. It worked in reverse because people would try to push him out and he would always call them with a better hand.

That's what makes poker so popular. You can go on a great run of cards and beat everyone with no skill at all.

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