Monday, January 31, 2005

The Gila River is So Soft!

I don't know why but I am always amazed at how much worse the level of play is at the Gila River Casino versus Casino AZ. Last Saturday, Robert called me during the U of A basketball game and said Jon and himself would be heading out to play poker and that I should join them.

For some reason I thought the casino would be dead on a Saturday afternoon with bad weather outside but it was packed. After signing up, Jon got seated first and me and Rob were still waiting. Finally they decided to open up a new table. Rob wanted to sit on my left because he wanted to get out if I decide to raise. We don't collude, but if Rob folding when I am in a hand is what it takes to have some company at the table than so be it.

I patiently waited for some decent starting cards and took mental notes on the other players. The two players to my right were buddies and obviously didn't know much about the game. They would play any 2 suited cards, any face card, and would call down with any piece of the flop. One of the guys had a cowboy hat so I'll refer to him as Cowboy. Anyways after watching for 30 minutes, I whispered to Rob that the Cowboy was an ATM machine and I was planning on making a withdrawal.

Finally I get JJ on the button. The details on this hand are a little sketchy, but I'll do my best. There were 5 or 6 callers and I raised. Cowboy is two seats to my right and had already limped in. He reraises and I cap it at 4 bets. A couple of the players drop out. The flop is Queen, Jack, 7 all different suits. There is an early bet, and a couple of calls including one from a player who was actually somewhat decent and the Cowboy raises. I reraise, the decent player calls two more, and Cowboy calls. The turn is harmless, but it does match one of the suits on the board. Decent player checks, Cowboy bets and I raise. Decent player calls (hmmm) and the Cowboy raises me again. Now 90% of time if someone reraises before the flop and then raises after the flop comes out Queen high he probably has AA or KK. Maybe he has AQ. I figure if he's got pocket Queens I am just going to lose a lot of money. Knowing how bad this player is, I am willing to take the chance that I can get a lot more money out of him if my initial read is right. So I reraise and one more call and Cowboy calls. Finally the river comes and it's an Ace there is no flush possible, but there is a straight out there. I am not too concerned about the straight because it would be incredibly dumb for someone to have stayed in preflop with King - 10. What concerns me is the possibility of trip Aces. The pot is absolutely huge. First player checks, and Cowboy checks. I briefly think about checking. I am sure the good player missed his draw or he would have bet. I decide the Cowboy needs to be value bet so I bet. The good player folds his busted draw and the Cowboy check raises me! I say out loud that I didn't think he even knew how to do that. I have to call because I am getting something like 30 to 1. Here's the best part.....the Cowboy turns over Ace-King for a pair of Aces. Wow! He had nothing, but an inside straight draw until the river when he hit his Ace. The check raise was a way for him to lose even more money. I am not sure how big the entire pot was, but my profit was $120.

After that I just played textbook poker and won $42 more dollars and left up $162.

I also played a lot of online poker over the weekend. I have noticed that my tournament play has sucked lately but my ring game has been pretty good. I think I am suffering from fancy play syndrome in the tournaments. I make a play that works against a good player, but the bad players call me down with 2nd pair or a flush draw and hit it.

Overall the poker has been good lately and my bankroll is back up to $1200 after my Vegas setback last month.

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