Friday, December 7, 2012

Poker in Ventura

So, I am out here in Ventura doing a job, and via the internet I saw they had a casino out here, so I decided to check it out. It's called Players Casino

As I get closer to the place, I come across one of those long strips of auto dealerships that you see in most cities - an odd place for a casino, but I kept driving.  Sure enough, I come across an auto dealership with the word CASINO on it in bright letters, and boy did it look shady from the outside!  It was at night, and from the outside it looked, well, odd.  I paused on the street for a bit before I decided to walk in.

When I walked in, it was much brighter than it looked like from the outside.  People looked normal for the most part it was bright.  It had a bar and restaurant in the back, and I would say it held about 30-35 tables that were running 1/2 $100 max, 2/3 $300 max, and your various limit games and a couple O8 games.  These are pretty good limits for a CA casino, so I decided to buy in for $200 at a 2/3 table.

To summarize, I maybe was up to $260 and everntually busted out on a missed nut flush draw after about two hours.  The play here was solid.  Probably one of the better tables I have sat at in a casino.Granted, I didn't hit the deck especially hard, either - I think a pair of 10s that flopped a set was the best hand I had the whole session.  Again, it is the non-destination poker thing - I am going to go back, possibly tonight, and downgrade to the 1/2 tables and see if I can get anything going.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Been a while...

....yes readers, if there are any left.  It has been a while but poker has certainly taken a back seat as I get further acclimated into life in Los Angeles.  According to my trusty phone app, I have only logged 27 hours of cash play since Labor Day, but am averaging about $40/hr when I do play.  I've made around 1K  since then.

The poker excursions have been to Vegas and Pechanga, both twice.  Why do that, you ask, when I have 5 casinos minutes away?  Well, none of those establishments are DESTINATIONS.  People go there to play poker, period.  At the very least they are enthusiasts, and while there is money to be made, the soft spots are  far fewer at Commerce, the Bike, or any of the other rooms. Vegas and Pechanga ( a resort casino in Temecula) are real destinations where money seems to just fall from trees.  Let me give you an example from a hand I played at Pechanga the other night.

So to my left is a guy that, when I sat down, had just won the hourly high hand with quad 9's or something.  That netted him $100, which he added to his stack.  We were at a 1/3 table with a $200 max, so he is full up.  I came in with $100 because $120 was about the average stack, and I didnt plan on staying long, as I was only passing through from an audition in SD. Anyway, I get AQ of spade in LP.  Some limps and I make it yo 11. Two calls.  The flop comes 10 K X, two spades.  A check, then the bonus guy throws out 10.  I re-raise it to 30, seeing a nut flush draw and four outs for a sraight.  He announces all-in.  I think for a minute, figure I came in short anyway and push my remaining 80 in.  Turn, a brick, And I river an off-suit Q. I am figuring for sure he is holding two pair, or at least a K...and he shows some raggy 10 high hand and mucks! I missed and still won.  This is the kind of play we find at Pechanga.  I left with a little over a double up after 2 hours.

You don't see this as much at Commerce or the Bike.  I see a lot more free time coming in January, and I may just have to commit the extra miles on my car and hit Pechanga more often.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Vegas baby!

Nothing like an impromptu trip to Vegas to get the poker juices humming.

And hum they did.  I need to come here more often!

If that isn't a portent of my good fortune, I don't know what is, but I digress.  So, Erin and I were about to visit the LaBrea tarpits when we started talking about Steve, who decided to have a birthday party in Vegas - it was unbearably hot out, and we figured getting so close to bubbling tar was not a good way to spend the day, so, we decided to just jump in the car and go.  Considering I wanted to be somewhere I could just pop downstairs and play, we bid on a room at MGM and off we went.

We get settled in and as I went to the poker room, I discovered it was not there!  The area is under construction, so the usual juicy post-nightclub location was gone, and now was temporarily located in a rather drab enclave a few hundred feet away. Hmph.  Well,I havent been to Vegas since the Aria opened, so I went over there to check it out.

Beautiful room.  And they are running 1/3, which I always enjoy.  I bought in for $300 and down I sat. No sooner did I sit down when I get A10 and flop two pair.  An older gentlemen looked me up all the way to the turn and went away when I re-raised him when no flush draw made it to the river.

Erin was cool enough to join me at the table to watch, which is an interesting dynamic.  When I see that happening, I always assume the guy to be a little splashy, trying to impress the girl he is with.  I decided I would use that to my advantage and get really talkative, order a Jameson's, and act like I'm not really caring about what happens at this table.  I open raise everything for a bit, and fold when I whiff the flop.  Meanwhile, I'm canvassing the table.  I can identify one good player, wearing a Cincinnati Bearcats t-shirt.  Everybody else is, well - not very good.  They are also literally DISCUSSING how they play a given hand.  I would normally not listen to such drivel and assume it to be deception but that was not the case here.  So, I settled in and was convinced tonight would be profitable.

I flat call a gentleman's raise to 7 with 5d7h.  OK, ok, but it was 7 bucks!  A VERY splashy fellow opposite me calls.  The flop?  5-5-3 rainbow.  He makes it 30?  Since he isn't Grump, I did not put him on 2-4, although 33 could be a possibility - but why try to take it down there?  I'm a bit confused, but I decide to stick with my image despite my fear of being outkicked, so I 3bet to 100.  He looked at my one stack of reds and said, 'How much?  Never mind, OK, let's go, and he shoves all-in?? Outkicked, I think, but....I call for a few bucks more.

He tables A10??  I'm shocked. nothing shows for him - and I'm up to $500.

Then a classic hand ensued of AA vs. JJ against a nice enough fellow who - ironically, had a girl sitting with him too, and he refused to let those Jacks go.   I'm up to $700.

I figure that's a good profit for one night, but right as I am racking up, I get QQ. I raise to 11 with two callers.  Flop comes QA3 ranbow and I make it 25. JJ guy shoves all in, I call, he tables AJ and I take his last $50 with trip Queens.  Bingo!

The next day I decide to give the MGM room a whirl.  I sat down at a 1-2 table with a blonde girl to my left who was on vacation, and was already not knowing when her turn was...cue happy dance for me! I swear I am not there two minutes when I flop trip 7's.  A guy's AA gets cracked and I double up to $400.  I immediately assume table captain status, and considering the tightness I was witnessing, no one wanted to mess with me.  Any raise I put in over $25, people were folding.  I was in heaven.  I don't really recall the hand I won next but it knocked me up to $575 and I stayed there for a while and got up after about two hours.

I realize heading home - I've never left Vegas down.  The tourist population is so, well, horrible at poker that I find that I only really suffer when the board betrays me.  Granted, I always seem to hit the deck hard when I visit, but I'm leaving out a lot of solid profitable play where I used those moments to my advantage in later hands.  Vegas poker is a different animal in that ir is a destination for so many other things - your player pool is going to be more seasoned in LA because their casinos are not destinations.

This basically means I'm coming to Vegas a bit more often.

Monday, June 25, 2012

I gotta tell the bad stories too...and some fun facts about props and teams

So today's trip to Commerce was largely unimpressive - I lost two buy-ins, due mostly to the fact that I saw nothing better than a pair of 4's in three hours, and lost my last buy in with AQ against KJ when I shoved on a 9-Q-X-X board only to have the K felt me on the river.  However, I did glean some interesting information about games here in Southern Cali.

I was talking to the man at my right, solid player, and we didn't tangle at all, so he was pretty freely talking about some issues I was unaware of.  At one point he said " I don't play at the Bike.  They have too many house players."  It was an odd enough wording that I wanted him to clarify....did he mean just people who played there regularly, or did he mean people who played for the house, like props?  I had heard of props before, but I thought it to be largely myth, something you'd need to do to get a private club game going.  No, in fact, he said it was common out here.  He confessed he didnt know who all of them were, but once you were at a table with them, they were hard to miss.  Unlike Commerce, the Bike sometimes has trouble keeping some games going, so props come in, get some action going, and take home a paycheck.  Where can I get a job like that, I wondered.  I then probed him for more juicy facts, and when I mentioned that I had some bad luck at Hollywood Park, he said, "they play in teams over there. Dont go there."  I was flabbergasted.  Teams?  Granted, cards will win when they win, but subtle moves of the chips between team members can give lots of information to the other player about what they have.  Had I been bamboozled by collusion?  He said he had been approached by these people, which is why he knew, but he politely declined, allegedly. This was fascinating to me - and a bit unnerving,  I'm not so naive to think that things like this don't go on, but I suddenly felt like I might have been molested by my once-friendly Uncle Poker -  but the visions were so cloudy I don't quite remember what happened, or if anything happened at all.  Either way, money is going to get a bit tight for me this month and I doubt I will have much opportunity to play anyway.  I'll be doing a concert in mid-July in SF so there will be no poker for me then - though I may pop in and review a couple of rooms on my way up there and back.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Commerce streak

So, it is now three consecutive $100+ outings at the Commerce the past couple of weeks - so I think it'll be my home base for a while.

In my last post I discussed the $40 tables at Hollywood Park.While those tables are quite exploitable, you aren't really playing much poker that shallow. At 20BB, you're basically playing tight and then pounding your big hand when it comes.You basically have no fold equity with your stack so you are going to end up showing down - and you'll either get lucky, or not.  While 33BB at a Commerce $100 table is not that much better, it seems to be 'the place' where most people think of when they think of poker -to add, there is a lot more casino action here, which attracts a lot more fish.

Tonight I felt like I was in complete control.  Frequency has helped me elevate my level of play live, and I'm usually confident where I am at - and I know who to avoid.  It is fascinating to me how wedded LA people get to top pair.  Seriously.  While there are some sharks in the water, the play is epically bad.  While I could probably profit from longer visits, I leave if I double up. Tonight that took two hours.  Why do this?  Well, I want to build the roll up enough so I can take bigger shots, because the higher you go, the deeper you can play out here.  The $200 table is 3/5, so thats 40BB, and $400 is - wait for it...5/7.  No joke, east coasters. There is  $1500 max 5/5 game that is probably a table I'll investigate when I can put $500 down, but I'm not there yet.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The mystery that is the $40 buy-in

It is true, folks.  Out herein LA they have a MAX $40 buy-in 1/2 NL table.  In fact, not just one, but many.

The pit guys say it is for people with scared money to 'try out' NL.  Well, I like scared money, so for the past couple of days I've frequented a few, and have made a tidy profit.

Not that other people with my mindset haven't figured out how these tables work - but it is oh-so-much-more obvious to spot them.  People are committing their stacks at these tables with top pair, or even second pair - and 20 blinds deep, it isn't difficult to see why.  The flipside is that you have almost no fold equity at these tables, unless there are big stacks with air who will gladly fold.  We're not talking a fortune here, but of the three times I've played there this week, I've left up somewhere around 2 buy-ins every time. In all honesty, a $40 max table is probably more around what I should be playing at, given my bankroll - so I think I'll be hitting them more often.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

My first Los Angeles bad beat

Hollywood Park, Thursday, I experience my first day of felted on the West Coast.

Since I have some friends in Santa Monica, Hollywood Park has become the most frequented casino of late - a tournament series is popping up at the Bike next week so I plan on going out there sometime soon (I've yet to play a tournament out here), but anyway, the story.

When an aggro hits a table in LA, they really hit.  When you consider how shallow your buy-in has to be, you either play like a nit and ABC it until you find a good spot (me), so you can play some real poker deep, or you're like the guy I played with.

I had built my $100 buy-in up to $180 or so when this happened. Deep stacked LAG with headphones who had been punishing the table limpers for an hour decided to go to the $300 5/5 table ( I know, I know - more LA blind madness), "didn't want to carry the rest of his chips" becuase he couldn't find a third rack, so he announced he was playing his last hand blind.  He raises blind for 80- something.  I show up with QQ. I, naturally, shove it all-in against any two cards.

The flop:  8 A Q.  Nice!  This should be easy.  Turn: A Brick.  River: K.  He turns over his cards...

"Give me the money!"

Jack Ten.  Truly brutal.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Hollywood Park - a review

I was due in Santa Monica tonight at 8, so beforehand I decided to hit the last of the undiscovered LA casinos, Hollywood Park.

On the way I passed the historic LA Forum.  It looks deserted now but I remember it from the days when Magic and Karim used to play would always see it on TV.

Although I had a rough showing today, I have to say I liked the vibe at Hollywood Park.  Something about it felt oddly comfortable.  It is small, like Hustler, but something about it made me more comfortable - can't quite place it.

I sit in the 1 seat and I am card dead.  No other way to say it. This is a $100 max 2/3 table (I know - madness)and one guy was definitely the captain as I sat down.  He was raising about 80% of his cards, and I was just dying for something to trap him with, but nothing came.  The best thing I saw all day was JJ, and I had to lay them down when a tight guy raised the captain.  I had the captain on aq because he put out a larger than average raise for him UTG, and then the tight guy 3 bet...I had him on KK or QQ, so I laid the Jacks down.  I told the guy next to me exactly what I thought, and sure enough...AQ v QQ.  i like it when my reads are right.

I then took over for a while.  I raise late with one limper with Qh7h and flop two pair.  I trap the captain by calling every raise until the river when an Ace comes.  He reps it with a $40 bet and I shove...he folds.  I then bluffed the same guy out with 99 on a board with KQ83 and induced a turn fold. I then went up and down a bit, catching absolutely nothing, and left 30 down.

I'm glad I finished the tour....but I'm still not set on my favorite place yet.  It is all very location specific. Technically Commerce and The Bike are closest, no doubt - and I dont see a trip to Hawaiian Gardens in my future. I think my next trip will be back to the Bike.  It was my first trip, and I should give it another shot.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Hustler casino - a review

I haven't had a whole lot of opportunity to play since my recent trip to Pechanga - lots of settling in, taking meetings, all that LA stuff you have to do.  But - I had a day where I booked two callbacks in quick succession, and was only 15 miles from Hustler after my last one, so off I went.

Now for starters - I had always assumed that this was like Larry Flynt's Hustler, so I envisioned it being adjacent to a strip club or some such thing.  But indication of any affiliation whatsoever.  I might be wrong, but it just seems to be the name of the casino.  Two things about this place right off the bat - it is small, basically just a big circle , but it is dominated by poker tables.  The other thing - it is probably the best appointed place.  The tables have a nice purplish felt, and the chairs are ok.  The food/drink thing varies wildly in LA as OJ was $2.75, even bottled water was $1. Also, as usual, Limit is King outrageous limits too...$50/$100 was running while I was there.  And also, the high blinds for NL.  A seat at a 1/3 $100 max table was open - I had no idea how long I might stay, so I settled for it.  Going in with 33BB is not my preference, but...

When everyone is that deep, players are really easy to profile.  While some folks were up to around $180, I could tell in about two orbits who was smart and who was looking to gamble.  I didn't win a hand for about an hour...but I was gathering valuable information.  I dusted off about $40 when a jittery guy who was always calling with second pair actually found the K against my 1010, when I figured he was drawing to a flush, and I reloaded it back to $100.

Big moments.  Splashy Asian to my left, I have JJ.  Many limpers as usual, I pop it to $15, and only the Asian calls.  I shouldnt say splashy....over the 90 minutes, he has gotten in with good hands, maybe not best by the river though.  Flop comes 8 -x-x two diamonds, and I have red Jacks.  Now here is something I ALSO see a lot in LA.  People are really poor at protecting their cards.  I could immediately see a black card that might have been an 8, but I wasn't sure.  So, at this point I knew he could only have one diamond, if that.  He makes it 18 and I call.  The turn brings another diamond, not the ace, so I'm wondering if that other card is the ace.  Oddly, he checks to me - based on my read, I'm thinking that he can't have a diamond here unless it is a low one, and only three diamonds can beat me.  I make it 32.  He calls.  River is a brick, and now he leads out for 22, and now I have no reasont o think he has anything better than two pair or trips, and I call.  He shows 88, and  yells 'Ha Ha!  Trips.' and starts to take the pot.  Whoa mister!  See my Jd?  He feels pretty stupid, and I scoop it.  He does another stupid thing later...

This is a place where I was sure I was beat by the river, but I have 99, and I dont really remember all the action, but Asian clearly misread his hand, because on a 5-7-8-3-K board, he shows a4os and yells 'straight.'  Uh-huh.  Thank you!

Another example of splashiness.  Guy comes in, headphoney guy with $60,plays EVERY hand in an orbit.  He then commits all $32 left  and I have 77 again.  There were limpers behind and I shove all in on him (I have about $220 now), assuming he was just trying to take the limped pot right there.  He shows 6-8???  77 holds up and I scoop again.

A little up and down, but I leave with $240, with $80 for three hours work.  That'll do, pig - that'll do.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Revel, a review.

Well, considering my days as a NY'er are numbered(for those not aware, I am moving to LA, though I am clinging to a residence here), I figured one last trip to AC was in order - specifically, to gaze upon Revel, the much-ballyhooed new casino and resort in town. My trip was troubled from the start, however.
I'm not sure what I ate, but starting from the bus trip down, I was not feeling well. I felt even worse as I arrived at Bally's (the only place I could get a free room, oddly) and quickly proceeded to my room and spent the remainder of the day in and out of the loo. Exhausted, I fell asleepand awoke at about 3:30am. Well...I logged onto Bravo Poker and it appeared some games were going on downstairs, so down I went.
Not much to report on the poker front. I lost my buy in when a diamond didnt come wiyh AdKd against top pair. So, it was now 8am and still feeling a bit wobbly, I jitneyed over to Revel.

I can tell you right off the bat, that the Borgata has met its match. Revel has trumped Borgata in almost every way possible. The amenities, look and feel, and even the perfectly tailored sandy beach just outside were all top-notch. While the decor is lighted in a way eerily reminiscent of some portions of Mohegan Sun, it is of a slightly different, more decadent quality. It feels kind of lik
e walking into a chocolate cherry cordial when you step into the main gaming floor.

Though it was asoft opening and almost no eateries had opened yet, you could see where they were and they all looked great...the only place open was a taco stand that looked exactly like a food truck.

All around the periphery of the lower floor were long hallways with what can only be described as sitting rooms spaced between them. I'm assuming shops will eventually spring up around this oval, but none were evident yet.
One drawback is that getting to the poker room proved downright difficult. It is on the mezzanine, and the only really convenient way I saw to do it was to go up a flight of stairs on the lower floor. There is an escalator on the boardwalk side to go up, but there must have been a turn I missed, because I couldnt get to the poker side that way. I wanted to play, but no games were up.

There is also apparently amazing view on their Sky Deck, but I didn't go. I was still not feeling so hot and I felt that playing any more would be detrimental, so I just hopped back on the bus. A disappointing day for poker content, but in LA I will surely have more adventures to tell, since I'll only be 15 minutes away from The Bike and Commerce, to name a few.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Delaware Park and Showboat - Trip Summary

This mysterious place known as Delaware Park was holding a series with some low buy-ins, including the bane of my existence, Omaha8, so Craig, Yvonne, Tony and I planned a trip to take it on, and then stay the night in AC where Elizabeth was, play the Showboat 11am tourney the next day and then head home.

So, Delaware Park. Ghetto on the outside, and kind of equally ghetto on the real decent food options, low ceilings, and just quite simply not very hospitable as a venue. Pluses - the track was nice outside, the Omaha8 dealers were VERY on the ball (unlike Harrah's), and there were two full rooms of poker action going real waits, and lots of games were being spread.

I, of course, busted out about halfway through. Tony lasted the longest of us, and I lost about $14 in an uneventful 1/2 NL session while we waited. When all of us busted, we made our way to AC.

I was too tuckered out to play, so I went to my free Showboat room, ordered room service and went to bed, hoping that in the AM I could play a little cash before the 11am tourney. No such luck.

I got up at 8am and the room was deserted. I mean, empty. I could have just strolled over to the Taj and found a game, but I have sworn that I will never set foot into that hellhole again, so that was out. I did get some news about The Revel while I was waiting around....this is the new behemoth of a hotel/casino that has been sitting unfinished on the Strip for years, and now is finally opening, apparently in installments until a grand opening in September. It seems a lot of the Showboat personnel might be jumping ship to work there, or at least, that is what it sounded like. Apparently the Revel is touting a great poker room, with $2.50/hr comps. I'll believe it when I see it.

So, the cards flew at 11am, 45 runners. 20K chips. About 20 minutes in, a chatty foreign regular tangles with me. I get AK preflop at 100/200, I raise to 700, and a call from CFR. Flop comes 2A7 rainbow, I fire 2000 into the pot, a quick call. Turn brings a spade draw 4, I make it 4000, and a quick call. I'm thinking that if he called my 700, he isn't going to keep flatting with trips, and if he has hit top two, I dont think he'd call a raise with a4 or a7, and would most likely raise with top two. My main worry was him flatting with a2. A K hits on the river and I shove. He calls, and I felt him with A10. Up to 39K.

I basically floated there for a while with little pots here and there. I then flopped top two with a2 suited, trapped a guy and felted him as well. Up to 49K.

I then joined Elizabeth at a very lively table, where I kind of went en fuego. Quad queens, set of 5s, then a set of 6's that turned into a boat brought me to a very comfortable stack of 122K that I rode all the way to the final table.

Paying 5, I, in my usual charitable manner, start making chatter about paying the bubble their buyin when we got to 6. Everyone seemed to agree, and a good thing, because guess who was the bubble? I was busted by a dude who was in his first tournament, that guy that always asks what the next bet was. I was at about 11 big blinds after a long string of bad hands, and shoved with ad10d. He showed up with AJos, and I got two diamonds on the flop, but the third one did not come. So, even. Elizabeth cashed for $600 after a 5 way chop...but I was happy with my play. It had been since December that I had even cashed in anything, so it was a good feeling to just bubble.

I plan on seeing ALL IN-the movie this week in NYC...I'll be posting a review!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

PARX 08 Tournament, etc

Another trip to PARX, this time with Craig and his cousin Ken.

In my bones I feel like I have the appropriate mindset for 0E, it is a thinking game, a patient game and often a folding game. Somehow, though I succeed playing it in cash format, the tournament success has evaded me - I've never ONCE cashed in an 0E tournament, save a few one table SNG's online. I've read all the strategy (what little there is for a fixed Hi-Lo tournament)and I feel like I am doing things right, but I somehow end up getting counterfeited all over the place. Anyway, this trip was another failure in that department, busting out 92nd out of a mere 138 players.

Then I sat down at 1/2 NL and promptly won my buy-in back in, oh, about fifteen minutes? No huge pots, I just ran over the table for about an orbit with some good hands, and some not so good hands - it is so liberating to have two cards to play when you have just spent five hours with four cards in the hole. I should always ply a little Omaha first and then go to NLHE, because I always seem to win that way?

Anyway, not much time to go into detail today, but I left down $5.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Bike and Commerce - My LA casino review

Greetings from sunny California, where I have been working and playing for the past two weeks.

Even though I have been to LA many times, it has been since my poker infancy that I was last here, and I knew that I would be unable to avoid the temptation to sample the cardrooms in the area, so I decided to take a day and hit both the Bicycle Casino and Commerce Casino - I contemplated going to the much-hyped Hustler Casino, but ultimately decided that I could not walk in there with a straight face. The two casinos are a few miles from each other, and both only about 30 minutes away from Hollywood in traffic.

So, to the Bike I went. The area of Bell Gardens, CA is not exactly BelAir. It's pretty grungy and dusty down there, and the Bike proved to be quite similar. Atlantic City citizens - all I have to say to describe the Bike is 'Taj' and you will have a pretty clear picture. It's so much like the Taj, when I walked in I thought I was there.

Now, a moment about games here...there is no conventional "1/2" like we know it out here. It appears that there is a buy-in cap of sorts, and the only thing available at the Bike was a 2/3 $300 cap buy in. Looking at what was signing up, high Limit games are big....really big out here.
40/80 tables looked commonplace with 3 tables running. As I'll mention in the Commerce section, no-limit seems to not be as prevalent out here. Anyway, I sat down at the aforementioned table.

I was only here about 90 minutes, but a few things - a woman came by with a food menu, and I was hungry so I ordered some stir-fry asain vegetables. When the veggies came, I pulled out my wallet to pay, and she said "Compliment" in broken English. So, food is free here! That's a first. I was up and down for a bit, then lost all-in with jacks to a rivered K. On to Commerce.

The Commerce Casino was, in short, a welcome scene change. For starters, it looks like an actual casino from the outside. Inside, I walked into a nicely proportioned gaming floors with blackjack, pai-gow and the like, and ahead of me was a very nicely appointed poker room with big screen tv's, etc. Not as big as I heard it was, I thought. Also clear place to put your name on the board...instead, there were inscrutable marker board with various levels - very high levels. Unsure of what to do and already a bit baffled by the lack of 1-2NL in California, I just went up to a floor person and asked to be seated at a NL table. He said, "10-20? 25-50?" I said, "Um, no, more like 1-2." "Oh. You're new here, right? NYC?" "Yes." "Follow me."
He led me out of that room, which I now realized was the highroller room, and beyond a wall was an incredible sight. A HUGE, MASSIVE airplane hangar of a room with easily 150-200 tables, with floor perople and screens in six places. I quickly sat at a table that was 3-5 with a $200 cap (I know, right? bizarre).

I knew right away that this would be a good session. The table was soft, real soft. My first hand was a flopped set. And chipped up rather quickly. I went up another buy-in not long after holding AQ and an AQ8 board. I led out and was called every street, K, then 7, I scoop it when he shows q8. I go up two more buy-ins when I call a raise in LP with 3d5d, and two 5's come. A raise to 20, I call. The turn is the 3. Villain bets 60, I call. River blanks, and villain bets 125, I shove my full stack and a call. He tables AA. Boing!

I saw a lot of draw-chasing, lots of second pair at showdown, just basically a lot of sloppy play. I had a good read on who to attack and who to avoid....and I ended the day up $700. should I choose to move to Los Angeles, I think I have found my new home!

Friday, January 6, 2012

PARX on Wednesday

So I returned to PARX again on Wednesday night, taking advantage of the sweet Zipcar deal ($39 from 6pm-8:30am), this time taking Lisa in tow, as she had never been. After a tasty dinner at the Noodle Bar, play began.

I have to preface this by saying...PARX simply looks NEW. Something about the color scheme, the shiny floors, reminds me of a visual version of 'new car smell.' The poker room itself, while vast, has a sort of girlish quality (purples, greens - not a very masculine aura). Basically, you wonder if this style is a hindrance to the casino or not. You often see programs on TV about how casinos are designed a certain way for certain reasons - when you see a low ceilinged room that is bright orange and people are throwing craps, something feels a little off. Anyway.

I sat down for 1-2 and immediately smelled something odd. I mean, literally. The guy next to me smelled awful. When I say awful, I'm vastly understating the sheer complexity of this odor, and it appeared that everyone knew it. I was hearing vague allusions to it bit by bit, as if a running joke had been occurring already. I tried to stomach it, looking over to Lisa's table periodically to see if there was an opening there. Finally, he got up and everyone chimed in. Nothing all that interesting happened at this table, as I chipped down to about $180 there. Lisa waved me over as there was an open seat, so I moved there.

Talk about a passive limping was rampant, and depending on who limped, a bet of $12-15 would often take it down outright. There were two solid guys to my left, both of whom has big stacks. The first big hand I got involved with was with AcQs, and I promptly dusted off about 90 bucks chasing a club flush all the way to the river. The board was so dry I felt like I could make a stab at it multiway, but two flushes made it on the turn. Reload 100.

I got back up to even by simply value betting aces and having them hold up - always nice. I then open limped 44 and flopped the set, checked around and got into a raising battle with KK, the set held up and I felted him. My big fold of the night was against the solid Asian guy. I had 7d8d. The flop came 9T_ rainbow. After three bettors.the turn...a jack. So, I have the low straight. Asian guy puts out 40, and I call. The turn is a brick, and Asian goes pot-sized bet. Now here, I'm immediately wondering what level this fellow is thinking at. On one level, that size bet certainly isn't begging for a call - he may be trying to push me off the hand. Then again, QK is the absolute nuts on this board, so if I've called him on the turn, he knows he has me. We've all been in this position before but the bet sizing had me a bit confused, so I took my time. He was moving around a little, then he turned his chair and looked away. I concluded by that gesture that he wanted a call, so I didn't give it to him. I folded and he showed QK, sure enough.

I filled out a flush with Ac6c, had a few AK meet up with pairs and that was about it, ending up about 150. I think on the way back, we made it back to the city in about 80 minutes. It's crazy how close the place is. I need to go back more often. This weekend, AC with Dawn ans her gang.