Ali was up with her parents at the cape for a full week. What to do...What to do...
Oh yeah, there's always that poker thing! :-0
Thursday, my dinner with my brother ended early and I headed over to Matty Ebs game for some 1-2. This is the game that I used to run but handed over to Matty, mostly as a gift for him setting me up with Ali (the two are not equal, but it's all I have). I ran pretty good, peaking at +$200 at one point, but I gave it all back trying to add on to the stack. Nothing particularly noteworthy. It's not like I took any bad beats or anything, just couldn't connect with some good starting cards. Suited connectors weren't working for me at all. I got bluffed out of one pot with JJ at one point. There was a pre-flop raise from Eric to $12 and two callers, including myself. Flop was A37 and Eric, first to act, led out with $35. It folded to me and I was forced to muck. When Eric flashed 99, I was a little miffed, but had to commend him on the guts to lead out with an Ace showing as the first to act. Pretty impressive.
Also, there was a long discussion about a hand I had posted a while back with another player who was there. Evidently, I'd slammed him pretty hard for making a call on me to stack me and we talked about it and did the math and it turns out he had the right odds to make the call. Oops, my bad. Sorry 'bout that. I was just frustrated about getting stacked.
I ended the night with +50 in profit on the strength of one hand. I'm in the BB with 2♣5♣ (the Darko!) and there's a raise to $12 PF by Big Paul. Normally, I don't hold with playing 'lucky hands', but there were 3 other callers so I came along for the ride. Flop is A♥J♣4♣. Uh-oh, I have a flush draw AND a gut shot. Either a good flop for me, or a disastrous one. I check and it gets to Big Paul who makes a bet of $20. Two guys call and I make the call. Turn is a brick and I check again. Paul bets $45 and the other players fold. Now I have to make a decision. I do the math in my head. $45 to win about $175 in the pot is about 4-1 in pot odds. I can make a winning hand (I think) with 12 remaining cards (9 clubs and 3 Three's). That's about a 4-1 draw right there and the implied odds if he pays off a river bet put me firmly in +EV land. I make the call and the turn is the A♣. Ooooh, that hurts. Could be good, could be bad. Paul might have made a boat here, or he might have trip Aces and feel he's good. I lead out for $50 and he insta-mucks what he claims is an Ace. Good fold on his part and he mutters to himself, "Scoopy, Scoopy...." when I flash him the winning hand. I find it a little frustrating sometimes that my friends find me so readable as to lay down trips to me when the pot is laying 5-1 or more, but I guess it's not the worst thing in the world to usually have the best hand at the river. Besides, I've made good money bluffing the river using this very same image. So it works both ways.
Anyhow, this was all just a warmup for the main event anyway. Mohegan Sun for the weekend!
Paulie, Chris, Matt and I all met up at 7PM at Chris' garage on Gold and Spruce downtown. Which was nice because I was able to run home and change before I needed to see them and then I just walked to the garage. We hit the road shortly afterwards and, amazingly, hit little to no traffic on the entire ride. Other than a short mix-up getting to I-95 (Thanks Google Maps for saving my ass, again!), we had smooth sailing the whole way and made it to our hotel, a mile from the casino, in 2.5 hours flat. Pretty damned good timing for a Friday night from Manhattan! After checking in and dropping our stuff off, we were at the poker room an hour later and cards were in the air. Chris had a waiting list for the 2-5 tables, so she sat with me at 1-2 for a while. The table, like all the tables I played that weekend, was tight and passive. I ground out a tidy little profit for a while before scoring my big pot with KK vs. my opponent's JJ. I raised PF and he had called me. When the flop came down 2♠4♥5♥, he quick-shoved and I quick-called. I was surprised he played Jacks so strongly without waiting to see what I would do, but that kind of play was pretty much standard over the whole trip. Yay me! I cashed out at 2:00a at +215 on the session.
We woke up the next day and had a continental breakfast at the hotel. A short drive later, we were in the poker room at 11:00a and there were plenty of tables going. A quick note about the poker room; It is greatly improved. A month ago, the casino installed a large colored glass partition over the previously open entranceway to the room which has blocked 95% of the casino floor sound. As a result, the room, while still boisterous, is much quieter and sounds now like a normal large poker room should. Before, the cacophony was too much to bear. Now, it's juuuust right. The improvement is so great that I am going to be forced to make new changes to my Top Ten poker room list.
I sat down at a 1-2 table that was opening up and killed it. Matt and Paulie were with me at the table. It helped that I got good cards, but I didn't really play many hands. My first double up was when I got KK. A Freddie Deeb lookalike in seat 7 raised to $26 PF in lat position. The raise was on the large size, even after a few limpers, and I was pretty sure he had a big hand because he had made the same play before with KK. So when it got to me in the SB, I popped it to $75. When it got back to him, he smooth called. Absent a re-re-raise from him, I was now a little more certain (but not positive) that he didn't have AA. The flop was all unders, J45, rainbow. I was a little worried he might have JJ, but I shoved anyway. $120 more to him. He called so quickly, I was sure he would flip over AA or JJ, but instead, he showed QQ. I flipped over my KK and he said, "I knew you had Kings. I don't know why I called." I do. You're a donkey with too much testosterone. But thanks for the money, buddy. I'll be eating a nice dinner with it. The board ran out harmlessly and I stacked the sugar.
I took down my other nice pot with A♥Q♥. I was in early position and I raised PF to $12, getting two callers. Flop was 9♥6♣3♠. Trash, but I decided to C-bet to represent an overpair. I bet out $20 and got calls from the same two players. I put one on an overpair and the other on top pair. The turn was a tricky A♠. I ran into top pair, but I could be against two pair here. The Freddie Deeb guy was one of the callers, so I was pretty sure he was drawing thin, maybe an up and down straight draw. The other guy was pretty solid though. I bet out $50 and both guys called. The turn was a brick, maybe a red 2, and I slowed down by checking. Fortunately, it checked around and I took it down with a pair of Aces. The solid guy showed JJ and Freddie Deeb mucked without showing. I got away with one there. I finished the session at 6:45p, +301, just in time for lunch.
Paulie and I ate lunch at 2pm at SolToro, the Mexican restaurant affiliated with the Michael Jordan Steakhouse franchise. It's an excellent meal, but the portions are HUGE. I wanted just to get a few appetizers to tide us over until dinner, but when I ordered the Tamales (normally small thin strips of corn meal stuffed with pork, they brought out two potato sized corn husks stuffed with the goodies. Everything was so delicious that I ate it all anyway, pig that I am. The diet starts Monday, I swear!
After lunch, I was sated and happy and sat with Matt at a 1-2 table for a while, grinding out a little $75 profit before I couldn't take any more. I walked around the casino a bit, trying to work off lunch in time for dinner and managed to work up a small appetite by the time dinner rolled around.
We ate at Summer Shack, where I treated myself by ordering the 3 lb. Steamed lobster (yum!). Chris had steamers and bouillabaisse, Paulie had the lobster roll and Matt had...I forget. But it was all delicious. Man, that lobster was good!
I'd never had more than a two pounder in my whole life, but I was flush and sometimes you need to say, "I deserve this". I did. Meanwhile, Paulie, Chris and Matt didn't even let me pay for it (yay birthdays!) but my Jewish guilt wouldn't let them pick up the whole tab so I left the tip. It was a fantastic meal. Even the enormous Mexican lunch didn't stop me from killing that lobster cold.
The after dinner session was also profitable, and I left the table at +$200 exactly. After taking down a few small pots here and there, I ran into my big hand of the day, and the source of some debate for myself. I had JJ in the cutoff and it limped to the Hijack seat who raised to $15, a standard raise. I called and the button popped to $45, decidedly not standard for this table. I read the button for a high pocket pair (QQ, KK, AA) but I had no idea what the Hijack had, especially when he called. It was about $30 to me with about $110 in the pot and I decided the implied odd would justify my call if I hit a set. I called. Flop was perfection personified. J♦3♣3♦. I flopped a boat with a diamond draw on board. I could only hope one of them, hopefully the Hijack, had a diamond draw. Hijack checks, I check and button bets $60. Hijack calls! Wow. Okay, I have to put Hijack on the diamond draw, right? Maybe A♦K♦? I call. Turn is 8♦. Hijack checks. Now, I have a decision to make. If I'm Hijack with A♦K♦, I might check here too, hoping someone else would shove with a worse flush, or an overpair. How to extract the most money here? I decide to go with my read and I go all in for about $140. Button, predictably, mucks what he says later is QQ. I was hoping he'd have a big pair with a diamond to go with it, maybe he'd call with another diamond as an 'out'. But no, he didn't have a diamond. It gets back to the Hijack, who just has me covered and he mucks!!!! What the hell? Why did he call the $60 flop bet?!? He tells me he folded A♠K♠, which sucks because if he had folded the flop bet, I would have checked the turn and the button said he would have shoved the turn in that case. Damn. In hindsight, I should have checked the turn, hoping the button would commit, but I would have been horrified to see the Q fall on the river. So I didn't win as much as I could have, but it was still a healthy pot for a table that tight.
I left the table shortly afterwards because the big stack ($1500 in front of him! But tight as a clam) left and the other donkeys got up and left. After racking up for the night, I was +$790 for the weekend so far and it was 11p. Rather than start a new session, I polled the other guys to see if they wanted to go. No one was quite ready yet, so I killed some time playing 1-5 Stud, cashing out two hours later at +$4.50 (what a nit game, but good for killing time) and we headed back for some sleep.
I've now played about 6 different cash sessions and 1 tournament at Mohegan Sun and I have not had a losing session yet. I'm starting to like this poker room, a lot.
Sunday morning, we woke up and went back to the casino strictly for breakfast, which consisted of a White Clam pizza and a Standard cheese pizza at Frank Pepe's. It was heavenly. Way better than most of the normal fare you'd get in a casino. The trick is they use of a coal oven, rather than a standard brick oven, which imparts a charcoal taste to the baked dough. Really delicious. Traffic back to NY was pretty bad and the afternoon sun was beating down like a MOFO, with the car's AC hardly able to keep up. I called Ali, who was at her parent's house in Trumbull, CT and had her meet me at the Fairfield train station just in time for the 2:23p train to Grand Central. Incredibly, Google Maps made an epic fail by pointing us to the wrong exit, but a quick stop at a gas station to ask directions got us back on track and we made the train with minutes to spare.
A huge thanks go out to Paulie, Chris and Matt who made it one of the best weekends on record.