Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Hello folks, a trip to Morongo

Long time, no post!  Admittedly, there has been a severe lack of poker content to report. Despite the abundance of casinos in my immediate area, I've been unable to really make it there due to pressures at work and other things completely out of my control.

I still have not made a deposit on Bovada since 2009, and I still hold a pretty sizable stack of chips there, although I haven't had wins like the 11 K i scored in 2012. A lot of up-and-down , but as it remains my only online outlet, I continue to grind away there.

My last live casino poker session was in late October last year, but I've had a good win rate at some local home games in LA. But as we all know, the casino is where the big money is. So, on a quick trip about 90 minutes east, Morongo Resort and Casino was the place where I would make my return to the tables. My aim? Get back to basics, pay attention, and try to end the day with at least a double up.

Morongo is one casino I had.not yet visited in the four years that I've lived in the area. At first glance, it isn't a very attractive room in that it is completely enclosed in glass... about 13 tables, and a relatively sterile environment. As I stated before, the limits and blinds in California leave a little bit to be desired, but at Morongo, the limitations were a bit more liberal. The 1/2 tables have a max $100, while 1/3 is 100-300. There were five names on the 1/3 list, but there was a seat open at 1/2.  Begrudgingly I headed there.

My 15 minutes there was another snoozefest. No real money was going to be gleaned. Tighter than a hipsters pair of pants. Sensing this, I immediately made some $10 bets that prompted folds every time, but after collecting a few pots, I took notice at the rake being collected by the dealer, and I saw two red chips and one white chip on the cap. Well this certainly looks like $11 to me. An $11 rake? This can't be possible. Well, it turns out that even though I saw none of them in play, these were actually $2 chips, so the max rake was $5. The $5 chips were actually a confusing deeper red, which I would encounter shortly as my name was called for 1 / 3 after about 10 minutes. $20 up, I move to the 1/3 table and add on another hundred dollars.

As I usually do, I stayed out of the action for a good 10 minutes. Barring a superior hand, this is always something I do to get an idea of the competition. Immediately I noticed one spewy guy two seats to my right. Two seats to my left, a guy with a big stack yelled in unison with me "string" when the spewy guy made a string bet. I made a preliminary conclusion that the guy two seats to my left had a modicum of Poker knowledge, and might be somebody I should avoid early on while I gathered more information.

To alleviate any suspense, I was at the table for about 1 hour , as I achieved the aforementioned goal earlier in the post. I chipped up and down for about 30 minutes , missing a late position set-mine here, raising a king-high flop with sevens there. I didn't sense anyone at the table being particularly strong, and I probably should have stayed longer than I did. But, this was my first trip back to casino land in a while, and I wanted to record a win.

Up and down like this would not be enough, however. I needed a big hand. I woke up with JJ, and here comes a pretty decent story.

A guy one to my left, who.has been pretty quiet up to this point was the villain in this instance. I believe there were some limps ahead of me, and i made it $15 to account for them. $8 or $10 had been standard here so far.  Villain calls my $15.  The flop comes 8 10 3 rainbow.  I make it $22 villain calls. A black 6 makes draw.  I now pop it to $36.  He calls again. The river bricks, i think it was.a red 2. I count $50 out and bet.  Villain pauses, and almost too quickly says, "All In."

He has me covered.  I eliminate a better pair, he seemed competent enough to 3 bet me with qq-aa on the flop.  A set seems unlikely...with the club draw there a made set would almost certainly raise the turn.  66 is a story i could buy, but i could also buy a hand like AQ-A10. 

Then I see it.  The telltale neck vein.  Beat beat. Beat beat.  I look him up and down.  It increases (it was already fast). Now, in my experience this has meant two things- the nuts, or nothing. Or at the very least, nothing that he feels can beat my hand. We all look at tells and reads and you're never 100% sure that we can trust them. However, the neck vein and the overall body language gave me a lot of confidence that villain was bluffing. An overpair here is relatively well disguised, and it's entirely possible that he isn't incorporating it into his thinking. After about 30 seconds I decided to call.

He sees the JJ and promptly mucks his  hand.  A round of 'nice call' from the gallery, and i ask, "AQ? A10?"  he replied, "i figured you had AK and kept missing.  I had an 8."

About 30 minutes later i rack them up with $427. Trusted my read, clocked a win, and now to the pool and a pina colada.  Not a bad return.