Sunday, September 06, 2009

Marathon at Ft McDowell; Bad Beat Jackpot

Kory turned me on to the football promotions at Fort McDowell casino this year. For the college games they will splash pot $75 on 3 tables for every touchdown and $75 on one table for every field goal. Since Fort McDowell has 1/4 of the tables as Casino Arizona, your chances of hitting one of these bonuses is much higher.

It would seem that the key to winning these prizes would be to pick the highest scoring games. On the preannounced schedule, it would seem that the Oklahoma/BYU game would fit the bill. The over/under in Vegas was 69 points and Oklahoma was favored by more than 20 even though BYU is a top 25 team. We figured this game was good for 8-9 touchdowns for sure.

In a debacle on the scale of last year's Super Bowl promotion, the game was a real snoozefest. Oklahoma's Heisman winning quarterback, Sam Bradford, hurt his shoulder at the end of the first half. This totally ruined any chance of this turning into a high scoring affair. The final was 14-13 with BYU scoring the upset. My table did get splashed once, but I could not find one pair our of all 5 cards on the board and the winner won with a pair of 5's and 7 kicker.

Even if I don't win the promotional funds, I should still be able to pick up some money from the other bad players right? I was down a quick $80 in the first couple of hours with losing lots of small pots where I raise with AK, whiff the flop, bet the flop and/or turn with nothing and give up on the river to see someone calling me down with 2nd pair or worse. In fact I saw one hand where a player actually called on the river with 5 high. Let me repeat that....there were two other players in the pot and he called down with 5 high!

Kory asked me to join him at his table, but I wasn't about to leave my table of horrible players. Alas, nothing went according to plan as Kory had to leave early because of a babysitting issue and I continued to lose pot after pot.

With the game winding down, I was down over $200 and pulling out my last $100 bill. I called Michele to give her a progress report and told her I was about to make my triumphant comeback. She gave me to OK to stay as long as I wanted so I went back to grinding.

I gave myself a couple of artificial deadlines to stop and go home but I managed to find an excuse to stay each time. 9:00 PM came along and I had managed to make it all the way back to only down $20. Since I was so close to making a profit and starting to catch some cards, I figured I would stay and try to get to the positive. By 10:00 PM I was down over $100 again and was too stubborn to leave stuck this much after all this time.

Here is where the miracle happens. A stocky younger man had sat on my left for the last 15 minutes and proceeded to lighten up the table. The proceeding gentleman in the seat was causing tension at the table by criticizing other players and acting as if he was God's gift to poker. We were all glad to see him go. The new guy was a clown, but in a playful way and it was fun to banter back and forth with him as he played any two cards.

He was caught up in a hand with a quiet asian lady in the one seat. The board was 2d-10h-5h. The lady had bet her hand and the guy on my left called. The turn was a 2 of hearts completing the flush draws. Now the asian woman checks and the guy bets. She calls. So it looks like the guy on my left has hit his flush. The river is the 3 of hearts. Now she bets and he raises. They are heads up and start stacking chips for reraises. Since it is heads up there are unlimited raises and eventually they both get around $28 in on the river.

The guy on my left blurts out, "I hope you have 4 twos lady!" and rolls over his straight flush with the Ah4h. She does roll over the the 4 of a kind and the entire table celebrates.
The bad beat jackpot fund was $5,200. That means the 4 of a kind wins $2,600, the straight flush wins $1,300 and the rest of the table split the last 25% only 6 ways since we were two players short. That worked out to $217.
It's been years since I won any kind of share of a bad beat, but I distinctly remember it taking a long time to pay out. I was tired after playing for 7 hours and ready to go home. Sure enough I had to wait until after midnight before we finally got paid.
Knowing that I was going to be there a while, I made a goal to finish strong and at least break even with my initial bankroll before adding my table share. Finally things started to go my way as I hit some longshot draws and bluffed a couple of pots successfully. I managed to get all the way back to down $5 on the day before they called my name.
I went up to collect my winnings. I tipped the dealer $10 and went back to rack up my chips. After a quick late night stop at Jack In The Box, my profit for the night was $199. Poker is definitely a hard way to make an easy living.

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