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!