Ugh.  So I got creamed at 1-5 at Foxwoods last Saturday.  I should have seen the bad juju coming when 100 or so of my colleagues were displaced, friends were having accidents, and I was sporting a month long headache, but stubborn is stubborn so I went, 10AM to 10PM.  Blech.

It was just bad luck, and in my own defense I will say that a worse player would have lost 5x as much money in the same amount of time, which was approximately 8 hours of playing.  Missed flushes, cruddy cards, beat made hands, yadda yadda yadda, it happens, but not usually so slowly, and all in the same session.  I was reading hands alright, but it still wasn’t working out.  One lost hand got down to the 5th card.  We both had AA, both had a king (damn) , both had nines, then I had a 7 and he had an 8.  So WTF.  The betting was rather spastic, or aggressive if you prefer, but that did not help in this case where I was losing over and over.

I did tear myself away at one point, ate dinner, but then, refreshed, I went back for more!  My rolled 5’s, only rolled hand of the day, lost to a player who put in his last dollar and made his flush.  Yay!  Started having those thoughts about the automatic shufflers being broken and/or haunted. Eventually I gave up.

I exercised pretty good tilt control against one of the worst  players I have ever seen.  Sometimes one says “So-n-so plays every hand” but this woman really did.  I saw her drop $200 in no time, but then won $300, all with the same foolish non-existent hand selections.  I rarely change tables at a live game but when I saw three 7’s come out for her, I had to leave.  Thankfully she was whittled down to nothing again.  I guess I was her lucky charm.

I will probably do the poker hissy and head to Mohegan Sun next, because I’m mad at the haunted card shufflers at Foxwoods, but also, because the players at MS are even worse.  I’ll be able to try more Monday tournaments; now that I’m in a new job I can get Mondays off a bit easier.

I was just an innocent bystander…it’s a democracy.

"If you break it in half...you don't get two nickels, you get shit."

I spent 12 hours at Foxwoods Saturday. Things went well, but I think I need to move up a level. Spread limit is really bugging me, so enough of this nickel and dime stuff. The low level hands are very give & take. You can’t play too tight or else you miss out on easy money, but, no one else plays tight either so there is always a random suck-out for every stolen pot. Beach reading will be 7CS4AP again. Some of the examples will have more resonance after the Mohegan tournament. I’m still smarting over the raised fours.

[00:30] Playing 4 8. Kickin it old school. Don’t know about this…Half these players are awful. So I’m doomed

[02:00] This game is killing me. I’m getting pocket pairs left and right, flopping sets, and losing. Worse, I’m making correct folds on the turn and the rivers my two out winner. Down 100 but it feels worse. Not tilted but getting that online rigged feeling.

[04:00] Bus is gone I’m here til 4pm. Still minus 100. I got quad tens on a straight flush board! No one had it tho. Back to even.

[05:00] Sick rush. More quads.4 8 broke up, I’m 59 to the good. But with the cards I got I should be a millionaire.

[09:30] Playing 1 5 stud for 4 hours. Down 50. So still up for trip. Not tired. Yet. Coffee time.

Some of those weekday 1-5 players are easy to train. I can get them to fold to me on 3rd w/an ace. But I don’t know about the weekend, or how long you’ve been playing with the same bunch of celery…

[10:30] Mostly the black elderly guy set who seem competent to my untrained stud hi mind. The problem is seat 1 is a call station so you gotta show down. The house coffee here is actually good. I’m in good shape stamina wise.

You’ll do ok against them. They can often be sexist so they try to bluff me sometimes, but you’re not a girl. When you finally crash, go to the Veranda. Everyone raves about their breakfast (all day i think), its so big that its always near-empty looking, and you might be able to catch a Carol Burnett style nap.

[12:30] We probably discussed this. Are you able to make these cheep 60 ladies tournys at 11am? I’m afraid to eat since ill instantly crash after. Cheesecake will happen. If I eat anything it’ll be something omlettey. Bus leaves at 4. I’m winning here now.

Great about the winningness. I am a believer that if you can just stick with it at stud, you can and will win. It’s just when you’re a bus slave like we are that it gets all fouled up. I am goofin’ on facebook and see that Ashley Adams says he’s at Foxhegan all weekend, and asks for ppl to please say hi, so takes a look around, while you’re winning and happy.

[14:00] Well I know what he looks like but I’m not looking beyond the 5 10 for him. Just got dealt all the 9s. You get a picture if I can fill a rack.

You know, this whole dialog makes a purty good blog poast….

Yes – third place. Could have been second, but as usual, I had a bus to catch. Note the final table sandwich coupon.

Oh my my and thank you ma’am. When I grab the mic you scream ooh God Dayem!

for casino buses. At long last I have a winning stud session at Foxwoods! Nothing to write home about in terms of how much I won, but I did break an annoying losing streak.

Because I was on vacation, I had the luxury of making 3 failed attempts to get to CT before I finally made it down. The first try, I was havin’ short money, next morning, woke up late, next next day, eldest daughter was sick. Then Saturday morning I woke up 35 minutes before the bus would depart, so I showered, did 1/3 of my hair, hit the ATM, left money and instructions, and ran down the street like a nutter, catching the bus just in time to board. Had to wait until Providence to get a coffee, but I was glad to get it.

I was good to go. I had enough to cheerfully play 1-5. I decided on this game early because last time I was on the 5/10 list all day and never got a seat. That was a distraction, so I said forget it. Got on the 1-5 list, then within minutes, a new table is called and me and a bunch of dudes looking like Bass Pro Shop models hit the ground running.

Nothing noteworthy happened to start. Took down some small pots, chatted about the special Foxwoods spicy bloody mary mix and why Tiger Woods wasn’t wearing a tie to his famous apology. Then I lost a big multiway pot. It was never mine really, but it still burned me up. I semi-bluffed a flush on 5th and it never came to fruition. On 7th I ended up with trip kings, but I knew I couldn’t shake the other players so I checked in last position. Seat 5 shows trip 7’s (yay!), seat 1 shows a small flush (boo). I think he had it on 6th, but he thought I had him beat. I still don’t think he would have folded 7th even with capped betting, so bleh. “Nice, hand, yadda yadda yadda.” By now my face is 5th degree red.

This is the spot where I always mess my live game up. I lose a big one, not through any huge error, I just lose, and I get all burned up and back off. Sometimes I’ll stop for the whole day. Hmm stopping short. Not much of a plan. So I did the Junior’s Cheesecake walk. It’s a long walk. Past the Rolex store. Past the people mover. Past the Gelato place (which sells cannoli). If ever searched and did not find it, you probably just didn’t walk far enough. And when you ask the guards how to get there, you’ll get an answer as clear as Brad’s.

So I get my cheesecake, drop $5 into a slot machine, and head back. This adventure turns into about a 40 minute trip away from the table. And after, amazingly, I felt better. My face wasn’t red with anger anymore, and I knew I could win my money back with a little patience.

So, with my first hand upon my return, I have to junk my kings on 5th of course. Player to my left had pocket aces, and then trips on 4th. He was nice enough to show me at least. But, I might have been stubborn about the kings if I had just stewed from the earlier loss. Yes, this is why we buy in with some extra padding when we play stud.

Life did get better. I got some flushes, and I kept my eye out for aces and suits and who might be going for what flush minus-whatever ace they need. Also caught a full house. It could have been ugly. I had QJQ. Queens and Jacks are kind of meh in the 1-5 game. Good enough to play certainly, also good enough to lose a lot with. At the higher stakes you could wrap it all up by 5th, but not at 1-5. I decided to call a $3 bet, and then player to my left does as well. Hmm. He’s a decent regular, and he’s showing a 5. What’s going on here? Yuck. The player to his left is leaving, my left shows him his hole cards. “Oh lucky you!” Great. No aces are out right now. No kings either.

So then it gets better. Or worse? I catch another jack. So how many times have we seen pots lost with queens and jacks on 7th? Is this going to be me? Bah. I lead with one $5 bet to see who we can get rid of. Lefty calls. Blech. A fold, 2 more calls by lackluster players. Still no aces out. An ace comes out on 5th, not to lefty
though. OK I feel a bit better. Check, check. check, lefty bets. The new ace folds. So it’s 3. Still no jacks or queens are out, so maybe this will be good, but I’m still hating it. Well I blank 6th but catch a jack on 7th whheeee! Two callers. Lady makes her straight and fellow to my left has aces and another pair. At this point I’m just raking up my chips so I didn’t notice what the second pair was.

So what do I learn from this? Well, sometimes you can limp along with pocket aces, but you shouldn’t. And you should watch to see how many aces are out, even if you don’t have any. And you should listen in on hand-related conversations. And you should watch suits. And you should make sure you’re not card dead. And you should take a cheesecake walk if you get steamed. You should have 8 pairs of eyes and a photographic memory too. But no one plays right all the time anyway. I can’t really say if I played this correctly, but I won, and I left with a small profit, so it was a good day.

Next episode, I’m going to Mohegan Sun to play the el-cheapo Monday tournament. I know I have to work on not running my mouth after I win a hand, being more aggressive, and remembering to not tip the dealer! I want to make the money, but I have no idea how many players there will be or how many places will pay. Online, I have a history of being just short of the money, or in the short-short money. Chris thinks that being a solid bubble-maker isn’t an accomplishment, but I do. I hate messing up and being busted in the top 50%. What can I say, I’m not Neil Young. I’d rather fade away than burn out. Good luck to me!

I’ve played 6 Full Tilt stud hi tournaments in 3 days and haven’t made the money in any of them, so I’m going to do something else for the rest of the week, before my account is “below zero” as well. Gonna read this friendly book and play pai gow unti friday night.

At long last I made it down to Mohegan Sun.  I’ve been trying to get there for months, but unlike Foxwoods, a bus doesn’t roll right into my ‘hood for direct service.  So I had to put some effort into it.  As in, 6am effort.  Saw the Saturday night Foxwoods bus returning as I waited in the dark for the #32 to Forest Hills.  But, I found a $50 comp offer for new players in one of the righty-yellow online rags, so I had to give it a shot.  They may still be running the ad,  FYI.

Mohegan is about 30 minutes further than Foxwoods.  I found the orange-y interior to be far more pleasing than the pukey blue-based colors of the Woods.  The earthy theme is consistent throughout, so if these colors put you on insta-tilt, be prepared.  The casino also feels newer, neater, and more loved by its staff than Foxwoods.  There aren’t a zillion dirty ashtrays laying around at Mohegan, and I did not see one passed out hobo or crying gambler.

Mohegan Sun bus lobby, now with 50% fewer dirty ashtrays

And so the poker room.  First of all, it’s not as far as people had me believing.  I was expecting it to take me 30 minutes to get to the room, but it really only takes about 10-15 minutes tops.  If you can navigate a mall, you can find the poker room, assuming you don’t start playing table games, which I couldn’t because the customer service lady didn’t offer me my 2, $25  table bet and instead just loaded me up with the slot comp.  Boo.  BTW the 50 line tiki torch slot cannot be opened up – I proved this.

As usual I played some 7CS.  None of the players fell asleep at the table, so that alone places them as more advanced than FW players.  Everyone was pretty decent and amicable, and had the usual weaknesses of playing too many hands, being stubborn, and drinking 5 cuttysark & cokes in less than an hour.  The lighting in the room is really good, I guess, and they have the mondo big cards, which I like because I’m nearly blind, but some ppl hate those.  I have to say there is something strange about that room too.  Its oval-shaped, its yellow, it has a really high ceiling lined with a bunch of cameras and black junk, and the tournament area is on a stage.  The whole thing reminded me of  a “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me” dream sequence.  I even saw a little person.  It’s not that it’s a bad space, but its weird, and I anticipate having nightmares about it.

What is this?

My stack was cut in half in the first 2 hours because I kept getting junkity junk.  But then I got some full houses and flushes, got ahead, then overbet a flush (K-9 hi) that got beat (K-10 hi) and that kind of queered me, but the day was nearly over anyway.  Meh.   This kicked out flush thing is becoming a problem.  I wish I hadn’t gone native and lost my winnings.  I think it must be the nature of limit games – you’re only going to be able to win so much in a certain amount of time.  When I hit rolled 7’s I probably should have stood up.  Oh well -I’ll get the cadence of it someday.

I had originally planned to eat at the Margaritaville, which is right next to the poker room, but it was pretty crowded and frankly, the crowd looked like a bunch of sad sacks.  So I wandered to the next tequila bar, which was hosting some sort of tasting event.  Moving on, I ended up in some joint near the buffet that was 2 restaurants squished together, an asian noodle place (that has don don noodles for $8 FYI) and an italian seafood place.  I got a decent mussel dish, and an absolutely bizarre mai tai served in a pint glass.  I think the description read “Gosling and gold rums, pineapple and orange juice (!?!), grenadine and a Myers float.”  Ok.  So, a Hurricane pretty much?  Anyway, it was giant, but no crushed ice, no lime, not a mai tai. It had Myers in it at least.

So overall I was pleased with myself for finally getting this damned card and getting up at 5:30 am to hit it.  Now I can play the Monday stud tournaments and see if I can keep up in a live tourney.  Foxwoods will always be the Ellis Island of East Coast degenerates to me, but its nice to have another option.  And another place to collect swizzle sticks from.

Obligitory youtube insert here – “How else could you capture the world, if you don’t attack from the back?”