There it sat, in my wallet - 1 crisp, mint green $100 bill. It had traveled with me from my last stop out of Vegas at Southpoint(see previous post), 4 hours west to LA, and there it sat still - untouched, un-deposited - pristine, almost virginal. Oh, dear Benjamin, I've been contemplating corrupting you, sending you to that Lion's Den, the Airplane Hangar where $100's go to die - the Commerce. There, at the $100 2/3 table, would you meet your end, as so many of my $100's have before, or would you come out with new brothers and sisters?
Time to buy a new house, Benjie.
It's true, my record at Commerce has not been stellar. The oft-mentioned 'non-destination' locations in LA have been -EV for me over this past year, but I reckoned that a Saturday at Commerce would be as good of a day as any to hit the felt, and I was 100% correct - well, actually 400% correct, as you'll see.
After a leisurely meal of Veggie Pad Thai at the Wood Dragon and a 15 minute wait for a seat, I sat down at 7:45pm. My initial assessment was that the table seemed soft enough. The first five hands or so went without nary a raise. Two guys at 3 and 4 seemed utterly disinterested - young studious Asain in 6 was the most active, and this dude in 7 - who had an accent similar to Malkovich's in Rounders, just looked tilted. And I was right.
After a sea of limpers I get JQss in the 9 seat and raise it to $15. Malkovich calls. The flop comes x-Q-x, and M checks, and I make it 20. M calls. I'm not seeing much on this board that he'd be playing, but I decide to keep barrelling - at 2/3 with $100 stacks, you sometimes just have to take the high pair and go with it. He checks the turn, I make it 35, he calls, the river brings a gutshot possibility but he checks, and I check behind. Pot goes to me. Malky goes tilt, and for the next couple of hands, both of which I was involved in, he pops it ridiculously high to induce folds from all of us - but I could tell it was one of those chest-thumping ego-fests, and he would become my target when his ego takes control. I find QQ. He opens to 15 and I raise to 45. He calls. Qxx with a diamond flush draw. He bets out 25, and I call. I dont see him with diamonds, this is his ego talking. The turn pairs the board with a 3, and he checks. I make it 60 with my boat, and he puts the rest of his stack in. Silly rabbit. I call, and he tables 55 with one diamond. He says he was coming back, but he doesnt (sad) and I'm up to about $260.
Two more hands summed up my night nicely - I get a little gambly with 78os, limping ahead of two other limpers. The BB, a nice guy who I had just had a pleasant exchange with about something, I forget, checks. The flop is 356 rainbow, and the BB opens to 12 everyone folds to me. This guy had not been getting much out of line, fairly quiet. I am sure he has hit the board somehow, especially since he was checking any 2 in the BB. I figure him to be on an up and down draw, but that I was on the higher one, so I didn't even bother to worry about it. I call. The turn brings a sweet sweet 9. He checks, and I decide to check as well. His check told me that he probably had the 4, no set, and no viable flush draw so I'm ok with seeing one more card, hoping it catches him somehow, and the river brings the 7. He bets out 20 and I shove. He says "Well, I think we have the same kind of hand, but you've got me beat." He tables 2-4. He flopped it! Good read, but he took a bad line there. I am now tripled up and then some.
After some solid non-showdown play, I was sitting on a $400 stack and was contemplating getting up after 2 hours, but then I get KK. I bet 17 and gt one caller. The flop? Bing! K-10-8, two clubs. I get a check, and I make it 25. I'm surprised when he calls, so I suspect a flush draw. The turn brings a brick non-spade, and he leads out. ? Hm. Well, I have the best hand here, so I pop it up to 60. He shoves for not much more. OK! Nice guy, but he had the case K, and a 10 for two pair, classic cooler. One orbit later, and I leave the table at 10:30 with $515.
So, I think the weekend is when you hit these places. Although I hit the deck hard in that session, it bolstered my confidence about playing places like The Bike and Commerce. While sharks do swim in these waters, my Benjamin found a family out there.