Last night was my 5th day at the casino. I’ve still been keeping my promise to myself of working 6-hours before heading out. This has resulted with PokerForum.org (PFO) getting a lot of improvements and work done from me. I feel good about all the work and time I’ve been putting into the site since I’ve neglected it for far too long.
I left for the casino a bit earlier than usual yesterday as it was Friday which is always a very popular night for gamblers. I believe I got there around 7 or so, and saw 5-6 players there already. A couple of them were regulars, but I’ve now put the regulars into two groups: the good and the bad. There are only 4-5 good regulars, but about 15-20 bad regulars… I just thought I’d mention that so it’d be understood that when I say “regular” from now on it does’t necessarily mean a good player.
Anyhow, one of the good players, Dennis, was there, and so I quickly took the chair to his left. Dennis, who I may start calling Muscles, is a talkative, energetic guy with a type of short mohawk (think Chuck Lidell), muscles, and plenty of tattoos which are easily seen with the wifebeaters he wears. I think Muscles liked my company because he sure had a good time talking to me. I was surprised, he must be around 50 or so because he was telling me how he went to two Led Zepplin concerts in ’72, and had two kids, one who is 33. It’s crazy because this guy could pass for 35! He had his headphones on most of the night and would ‘sing’ most of the night and tap the table as he got into his musc.
Anyhow, Muscles is a good player. He made a number of bluffs, which worked almost everytime (he showed) but from what I’ve seen so far is a pretty solid player. He’s a bit too loose, but still good. He made his way up past $500 today, and the first day I went to the casino I think he had $650 or so. So, my decision of having him on my right was great since while he could play loose post-flop sometimes, he was pretty conversative agaist me since he respects me.
Another difference I’ve noticed between live and online play is that postion seems to matter so much more in person. Now, this shouldn’t be the case at all.. because position is position… but I smply find it making such a bigger deal live. I think one of the reasons why is becuase, especally in an environment like the one I’m in where there are only two poker tables, is that there are so many regulars. Online you’ll see regulars too, but 90% of the players are one-timers who you don’t know how they play. When I’m playing at the casino, I know exactly how each regular plays, which makes me feel so much more confident, and makes postion matter more. As long as I have the good regulars on my right (or bad regulars who are rocks), I have all the advantage in the world.
Now let me share a couple “poker stories” that are particularly interesting. The first is from two days ago. A new player sat down at the table, he looked Vietnamese to me, and had absolutely no idea how to play. Now, I don’t just mean he was bad or crazy, but he literally had no idea how to play. What’s stranger, is that he didn’t appear to care.
He lost his first $200 in probably 15-minutes, went to reload his card, and came back to the table. He’d call on the river in a $160 post with ten high, and whenever he lost, he was always polite and said “Good… good” in his very heavy accent. He wasn’t angry or anything, in fact he seemed happy-go-lucky. Yet, at the same time it didn’t seem like he was celebrating an event and just gambling off money or anything.. he seemed like he just… wanted to play.
He would be in a hand, have a straight or trips, and bet $2! Just because he didn’t know how to use the calculator yet (When you want to enter a bet bigger than min or double, you just manually enter it then hit the bet/raise button) or didn’t know how to play. He’d have a full house and bet $2!
Every 30-40 minutes he would lose all his cash, reload his card, and come back and reload. I started to feel really sorry for the guy because he just had no clue what he was doing. But there wasn’t really anything I could do to help him. I just hope that he’s some rich guy who owns a big company, because when the night was done he had lost around $800. Keep in mind that this is only a $1/2 table!
I should sell lessons at the casino. I’d charge $200 per hour of teaching. It’d definitely be worth it. In 1-hour I could teach anyone enough priceless information that makes $200 a bargain. I dunno.. I just wish I could have helped that Asian guy.. he was nice and I just wish he could have got more fun out of his $800.
My other story happened last night and I still feel bad about it. I was on a little run and played KTo with about 5 people in the hand. The flop went 2, T, 7 with two diamonds and so I led out to bet around the pot which was $11. However, I accidentally hit $111 which then immediately made the chip splash sound on the table, to which I immedately sceamed “Shit!”. This is one of the downsides to digital tables… you’d never have this problem live.
Now, things could have been worse, I mean, I did have top pair wth a decent kicker, and $111 is a lot for somebody to call so they would have to have something big. However, I did yell “Shit!” which made my mistake obvious. The first player folded. Good. The second player folded. Great. The third player thought for a few seconds, but then folded. Whew. The fourth player folded. Nice. Then it was on Tammy. She gave me the strangest look, like I was caught stealing cookies or begging on the street. It was a look of pity and anger.
She said “I have something. Do you have a hand?” to which I replied “I have something but nothing warranting a $111 bet on the flop”.
She thought about it for a little bit and we exchanged a few more words which I can’t recall word-for-word. She said she had a set, 777 and asked what I had. I told her KT and she folded telling another player at the table “I’ve played with him enough to know that he didn’t mean to do that.” I mean, I obviously didn’t mean to bet $111, that was very clear, but SHE FOLDED A SET! I can not believe she did that. I immediately showed her my cards out of respect and told her I owed her one, but I mean damn. Think about it. She flopped a set on a board of 2 T 7, with a pot of around $125 and ‘mistake bet’ of $111, just because she knew it was an accident. Not only did she spare me of losing my $111, but she gave up the pot that she would have inevitably won from me.
I felt really bad after that hand, and still do, because I don’t know… that is just a very…. difficult thing to do. I don’t know what I’d do if I was in her situation. If it was a good regular I’d probably ask if it was indeed an accident and might fold, but only after showing them my cards. But to be honest I really don’t know what I’d have done. If it was against anyone else I’d call, but not against a good regular out of respect. But one thing is for sure – I definitely owe Tammy one.
It’s a fine line though, because otherwise it’s a form of collusion or soft-playing, so it’s hard to offer or ask for $20 for example.
I stayed until closing time last night (2 am) and at one point had close to a $400 stack, but had to forfeit it when I left the table to grab some grub at the casino restaurant. I actually sat out and would run back to the table every 15-minutes to sit back in and then back out to get another 20-minutes of sit-out time, but I must have timed it wrong because when I returned one trip, my seat was taken I ended up having to wait an hour for a seat to come free, which really sucked (I played on my Blackberry Pearl while waiting though) and had to buy back in again at $200, so I lost my advantage of having a large stack.
Anyhow, that’s the update. I’ll be back there tonight, can’t wait