Monday, September 20, 2004
Trip Report: Chumash Casino

I don’t know if it should really be called a trip report, seeing as it’s my local casino, but it certainly felt like a trip, so I’ll go with it. I headed up to =http://www.chumashcasino.comChumash[/url] Friday night. I got there at around 9:30. There were no 3/6 or 4/8 hold ’em seats available, so I decided to try out the omaha game. That was my first mistake. I was up $100 in the first half hour or so, but ended up dropping $230 there. Oops. Honestly, I don’t remember much about what happened in that game, but it reaffirmed my dislike for hi/lo split games. There was one interesting hand that I do remember. On a board of A74J2, someone had AAxx, someone had 77xx, I had 44xx, and someone had JJ22. 5 sets. I think a flush took the high, and the wheel took the low, but I’m not positive anymore. So, the omaha game was a bust. It was a learning experience, I guess, but I don’t know that I’m going to be playing hi/lo games anymore.

After I got sick of omaha, I played 2/4 hold ’em for about an hour while waiting for a 4/8 seat to open up. I was up around $70 when a seat became available, then proceeded to lose it all back in the next three and a half hours at 4/8. Maybe I should have just stayed at the 2/4 table. The 4/8 table broke, so I dropped back down to 2/4. I got sick of that again after 20 minutes, and dropping another $40. I wish I could remember the hands now, but I can’t. I only remember the numbers because of Poker Journal. I didn’t know what to do at this point. I was down around $270, but wanted to keep playing. I didn’t want to play 2/4, but the next game up at this point was 6/12 because it was late, and I didn’t really want to do that either. I finally decided I was going to play the NL game.

This was my first time playing NL in a non-tournament format, and it showed. It’s a $100 max buyin game, and you can rebuy for $100 if you bust out, or $50 if you’re below $50. The blinds are $2 and $3. I was up and down a bit, made some good plays and some awful calls. I decided I was going to play until the tournament in the morning. I dropped another $220 at the NL game, but by the end I was starting to get the hang of it. I had $80 left (hadn’t busted out for the third time, yet) when the table broke for the tournament. Most important, even though I lost as much as I did at omaha, I actually enjoyed the game.

The tournament was $10 plus rebuy limit hold ’em game. It had a very fast blind structure, and you definitely need to catch cards or be prepared to rebuy. There’s no sitting out and waiting for a hand. I got lucky early, when my K7s sucked out on TT and AA with two pair on the turn, taking down a nice pot. After that, my stack was never low enough to rebuy, and I chose not to do the addon. At that point I had 5100 chips for $10, and the addon was another 2000 for $20. It just didn’t seem worth it to me. I suppose I probably should have, because I busted out on the bubble to someone with exactly the same number of chips as me. It folded to me on the button, and I look down at AA. There are 41 players remaining, and 40 pay. I have 9000 in chips, and the blinds are 1000 and 2000. There was no way for me to get away from this. I raise, and the big blind calls. The flop comes Q92. I bet again, and he calls. Turn is a ten, and I throw in my last 3000 in chips to see that he has hit his gutshot straight with KJ. I wait around a minute or two to see if anyone else busted on the same hand, as we were playing hand by hand. No one did, and I bust out on the bubble with aces. 40th place paid $50, but had I won the hand, I would have been in pretty good shape. The last time I played in the tournament, I got the last of my chips in with AA vs KQ on a king high flop only to lose to a king on the river. I was already in the money at that point, but had I won that hand, I would have not played another hand and made the final table. I guess aces are just no good in that tourney.

I briefly considered leaving at this point, but couldn’t get myself to do it. I sat back down at 4/8, and got some decent cards. After about an hour and a half, I was up around $100. Someone who had been playing the NL game comes over and asks if I wanted to play, so they could get the game going again. They usually don’t start it up again until the evening, but it seems there were enough people to do it if I was in. I agree, and they get the game going. Turns out they didn’t need me, and I become the first name on the list. Then I look down at QQ. I have one limper in front of me, and I raise. It folds around to the limper, who calls. Flop is 8T2, two clubs. I bet, he calls. Turn is a blank. I bet, he calls. River is the 7. He bets, I call. He flips over his J9s for the straight flush. I get called for no limit, and head over.

Fast forward to three hours later, and I’m in for $250 at the NL game. I haven’t been picking up much of anything. A hand I’m not involved in gets two preflop all-ins. Of course, they flip over AA and KK. The flop comes down KQJ. Turn is a T. River is a Q. It was a lot of fun to watch, and I’m glad I wasn’t in there with the AA. I comment that I’d love to get a hand as good as KK, even if I’m up against AA. I’d just like to see some good starting cards. Two hands later, I do. KK. I raise it up to $15 (standard raise for the table), and get no callers. I flip them up and say “finally!” Three hands later, I’ve got them again. I raise to $15 again, one call. No ace on the flop, and I bet out, and don’t get called. I think I flipped them up again. The next hand I get K9s, and raise again. No one calls, I flash the king, and muck. About an hour later, I’ve got my stack back up to around $150 (still down $100). I get 77 in the cutoff and limp. Flop comes Q72. I bet $20, and the button raises. I think for a while, and push in. After a while, he calls me with KQ and I double up. The turn is a blank, and the river is my fourth 7. Five hands later, I look down at TT. I raise it to $15, and get two callers. Flop comes T high, with no draws. Check, check, check. Turn is a T. I check, another check, and the button bets $15. We both call. River pairs the 6 on the board and I bet out $20. I get one call, and the button folds saying, “I think that 6 on the end killed my hand.” I reply, “Nah, I don’t think it did,” and flip up my second quads in one orbit. At this point I’m now the second or third stack at the table.

Thinking back on this, I’m not sure the order some of this happened. I sort of remember not having any sort of significant stack before this, but I also remember the following hand as taking place before it (because I was in seat 9, which I later moved out of, because I always bang my knee on the drop box). Anyway, at some point I had a stack of around $500, just trying to get it up to $700 so I could leave the casino even for the weekend. I get dealt JJ in middle position. It’s raised to $15 from early position, I call, as do two others. Flop comes ten high. Raiser checks, I bet $30. Late caller raises me to $60, and the other two fold. This guy was bad. Really bad. I’d seen him make terrible river calls, and re-raise big bets with A8o preflop. He had about another $100, so I put him all-in, and he instantly calls. I figured he probably had AT. He flips over TT. Turn and river are no help, and a big chunk came out of my stack. After he left, I was talking with some other people at the table and the conclusion we came to was that against a decent player, I possibly could have gotten away from it, but against him there was no way I could lay that down. Anyway, I build it back up to around $500 again, and find AQs in middle position. I raise to $15, and get a caller. I could see something about the way he called that made me think I was beat. He looked surprised, and like he was going to raise before I did, but then just called my raise. He had four chips in his hand, like he was going to raise to $20. Anyway, flop comes Axx, and I bet out $25. He pushes all in for another $75. I talk to myself for a while, and finally say, “I’m going to pay off your AK,” and call. I have to learn to trust my reads, because that’s exactly what he had. No queen falls, and I’m back down to $340 or so. A few hands later, I limp with Q8. Flop comes down 235, two clubs, and I overbet the pot, betting $30. Late position guy (weak player, too, this was a great game) raises the minimum, to $60, and I call. I put him on a straight. I’ve seen him play worse cards than 64. Turn is the J. Check, check. The river is a blank, and I bet $50. He raises to $100, and I push all in. He quickly calls, figuring I didn’t have the flush when I checked the turn. I turns over 33 for a set, and I double up. I finish out the orbit, and leave the table with $675. It’s the first time I’ve ever left any table with more than a rack of reds. It felt good, even though I wasn’t really up any money.

So, to recap: 30 hours of poker, finished +$1. But it was fun, and I learned two important things: 1) I’m not going to play omaha hi/lo again for a long time, and 2) the NL game is very good, and I think that’s what I’m going to play from now on when I go.

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