Monday, August 10, 2009

Chasing Foxwoods Around the Cape

I spent the weekend in Cape Cod (Falmouth, MA to be precise) with Ali and her family. It was pretty close to idyllic. Ali's family has rented the same house 200 feet from the beach for the past 20 years. The beaches on the Cape are not like the beaches of South Florida or even Long Island that I'm used to. They're much narrower (maybe 40 feet wide) with perhaps half of that as real sand and the other half of pebbles and rocks. But this actually has the effect of limiting the number of people who can come onto the beach, which makes for more space available for you and a quieter experience. The weather was cool and comfortable, perfect for New England, and bay across from Martha's Vineyard was buzzing with nautical activity.

I spent the first day lounging on the beach watching the sailboats pass and the ferry's shuttling people to and fro. We had dinner at the Marina that night as Ali's family took me out for my birthday (this coming Wed., August 12th, if you didn't know. Buy me presents using my Amazon wishlist! Pleeaaassseee!!!). When we got back, they surprised me with a collassal MOUND of presents. This family does birthdays the right way. Not like my own family whose idea of birthdays comes from the Quakers (read: a pat on the head). My favorite gifts (pictures coming at a later date) were a silver Tiffany's Megan David (That's a Star of David for you heathens), and a ceramic jar with "Atlantic City Money" painted on the side. Perfect day.

The next day, Ali and I rented bikes and went for 7 mile ride along the ocean, ending at Wood's Hole. It's a very pretty little town, reminiscent of Holland with it's small canals, and we stopped in a bar for the best glass of iced tea I've ever tasted. We biked back along a wooded bike path, to the Falmouth town center. After walking around another insanely picturesque little New England town (I could have died from the 'cute' factor), we stumbled upon a real find. CupCapes of Falmouth. A new artisinal cupcake shop had opened up and Ali and I had the Very Vanilla cupcake as well as the Red Velvet cupcake. BEST. CUPCAKES. EVER.

Better than Buttercup, Crumbs, Magnolia and any others you can think of. Small batches make for better quality, but if this woman could find a way to quintuple her production (she makes 100 dozen a day) and keep the same taste, she'd put those other bakeries out of business in New York. It was that good.

Dinner that night was a plate of delicious fried clams and oysters for me, on a rooftop little eatery overlooking the harbor entrance. Very cozy. Later that night, after a trying experience at the AT&T store trying to transfer Ali's cell number onto my account, we saw the movie Julie and Julia. Meh. See it for Meryl Streep's crazy good performace as Julia Child.

Which brings me to the poker part of this story. I woke up at 6AM on our very uncomfortable twin bed, and decided that I was going to leave early. Ali was staying behind with her family for the week and I had to get back to New York for work on Monday. Falmouth was having it's annual road race that Sunday, which meant the roads were going to be closed at 9AM and reopened at 1PM. But the clouds were rolling in and I didn't feel like sitting in the house until I could leave. Not to mention the large traffic jams that awaited me if all the road racers left at the same time. So I had a nice early morning walk on the beach with Ali and then packed my things and left.

Two hours later, I made it to Foxwoods. You knew I was going there, right? I mean, I haven't made an official visit for my quest yet and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. So I parked at the first available entrance, which was the new MGM Grand casino. Big mistake. The poker room is at the Rainmaker Casino, a full 17 minute walk away. Meh. Note to all my readers: Park at the Rainmaker entrance if you're there to play poker. I walked through the MAMMOTH casino (biggest in the world) and make it to the large poker room.

A lot of people have issues with this poker room and the biggest complaint I hear from them is that it's dark. I can see why they say that, but it's not as bad as I thought it would be. My personal biggest complaint is that the room is laid out poorly. And that could be because the space is clearly not designed as a poker room. It sits underneath the casino floor on the ground level and was just a large empty space they could fit poker tables into. It's more like the space was 'designated' a room, rather than a room being built. It's functional, but not particularly conducive to good poker. On the plus side, it's big and there are lots of people. The brush desk needs a little work and the staff isn't really competent, but it's not that bad of a room overall.

I wanted to play 1-2 NLHE, but when I saw a list of interest for 4-8 Omaha Hi/Lo, I couldn't help myself. The list filled quickly and they eventually got the main game going at 11:15a. At it's peak, they had TWO must-move tables into the main game. The game played very passively, believe it or not, and I was surprised to see a lot of familiar faces from the 5-10 TAJ game in Atlantic City! Why are these people traveling this far? Usually, people either go to Foxwoods or go to Atlantic City, not both. Anyhow, the play was awful and predictable. There were maybe two good players at the table and the dead stacks lost their money at a comfortable rate. I would have made a nice profit on the session were it not for one hand in particular.

I have 4-4-2-5 on the button. A middling hand, but the wheel possibilities and the position allow me to come into the hand. It limps around with about 7 callers and then then BB, an older gentlemen who talks non-stop and clearly wants to be table captain, throws in a raise. He's an aggressive player, but one of the few who know what they're doing, so I immediately assume AA2X suited. Everyone calls and I call as well. I have an awful hand if I'm facing AA2, but I'm getting something like 15-1 to make the call, so I do. Flop is 4-4-3. Gin! I flop quads in position. The BB leads out by throwing up his bet in an arc until it lands on the table. His demeanor is still showing AA2 to me. Maybe even AA25. I'd be pretty happy with my hand too if I had AA25 in this spot! He gets a couple of callers. I decide to sit on my quads for a while and call. In my head, I say to myself (I really said this), "Please don't put the 2 on board". Turn card: 2. NOOOOOOO! The board is showing an Open Ended Straight Flush. I'm beaten by A-5 or 5-6. When BB bets out again, I just call. There are two other players in, but they're insignificant except for the money they're contributing. The river is a brick, maybe a low card. BB bets out again, gets one caller and it comes to me. At this point, I decide that BB might just have nut low and nut flush or even just nut low. There are enough possibilities that I might be ahead on the high that I put a raise in for value. He re-raises. Shit balls. The other guy calls and I call and audibly sigh.

"Ok," I say, "I call. You win."
"Can you see through my cards?," he asks, showing me just the 5.
"Yes," I say, "you have the Ace of clubs underneath".

He opens his hand to show the A and officially scoops the pot (other player was in with 6-4 low! Lol!). So, if you're keeping track at home, he hit a one outer to scoop me. Grrrr...

Incidentally, I played about 6 hours of Omaha during this session during which I won and lost but didn't see a single instance of either quads OR a straight flush the entire session. The only single instance of quads and a straight flush were in the same hand. Sick, sick, sick.

Not much else to report on the game. Lots of donkey calls. Lots of value betting on my part. I even value bet with nothing more than a pair of Kings, because I knew the guy was going low the whole time. He missed, I scooped. I was about even on the session, down a touch because of the quads hands, but had a good time booking the visit on my list. Next Weekend, Mohegan Sun with PP and Christine.


Memphis MOJO said...

Sounds like you were on the top of your game. Good reads, etc.

Jamie said...

Yeah, I was definitely saving bets when I needed to. I was peeved at myself for not betting out in a situation where I was ahead though. I need to stop being too nice of a guy.

If I had laid down the quad 4's to his re-raise, would that officially make me the best player in the world? Or the worst? I can't tell.

Memphis MOJO said...

The day you know to lay down quads, remind me not to play in the same game as you.

Flores Hayes said...

a great find for panda fanatic!
my roomate won't put it down!!!