Friday, February 26, 2010

Overdoing it in AC

I spent this past weekend in AC for the first time in quite a few months. I've been insanely busy on weekends with family events following my mother's passing and between that and wedding planning, I haven't really had time for gambling jaunts. Fortunately, Ali went dress shopping with her mother and sister in Connecticut and I most certainly wasn't invited!

I booked a room at The Chelsea hotel, which is a new hotel that opened up a few months ago next to the Trop, right on the boardwalk. I was going to take a bus down, but Christine and a few of her friends were driving down so I hitched a ride with them. They were gracious enough to drop me off on the strip before headed to their own fabulous black-card obtained rooms at the Borgata {Sigh}. We had left New York a little late and made a few stops along the way, so by the time I got to the hotel, it was nearly 11P. I checked in and was told that since they were out of the room type I had booked, I'd be upgraded for no extra charge to the Oceanview room! Score. My throat wasn't feeling great either. Ali and I went skiing the weekend before and she had gotten a cold from being out on the slopes for so long. All week I tried to stay away from her, knowing that a cold would probably kill my AC trip, but I guess sleeping in the same bed as a sick person isn't the best way to avoid sickness!

So with a late night arrival at the hotel, and a cold coming on, I did the only thing I could do: I played poker!


In fairness, I knew that playing No Limit would be a disaster with the way I felt. So I walked over to the Trop with the intention of playing a low limit game, just to get the feel of cards in my fingers for a few hours. Unfortunately, the Trop is now almost exclusively a No Limit room, with only a few 2-4 LHE games running. I sat down for a hundo and messed around for a bit. Low limit is a bingo game, but there *is* a strategy to it. In my opinion, suited connectors and position (for the purposes of choosing starting hands) are more important than premium card holdings. You have to assume in a game like that that you're going to be up against 7-8 random hands at any flop. So I played hands I knew would stand up if they won. High suited cards, suited connectors and premium starting hands. Of course, the rake is nearly impossible to beat in that game, and I was perfectly content to leave when, two hours later, I was exactly even with my starting stack.

During the limit game, there was a guy in the center seat who looked vaguely familiar, but I couldn't place him. He looked a lot like actor Christopher Meloni and I thought I knew him from somewhere but couldn't tell. During the game, the table was chatting up where they'd played poker and the familiar guy mentioned he had played in underground and home games in Manhattan before. I started to follow up with that and before I could get a word out he said, "Are you Wall Street Poker?". I was floored. Turns out, the guy is Andrew B. who had played in my home game a few times years ago but hadn't been back after we raised the stakes above his comfort level. The name struck a bell with me because I had kept him on my Evite list even though he never came again. We had a good time catching up and it was nice to be remembered. It made me feel a bit like a celebrity!

I went to sleep in my nice and soft King bed overlooking the ocean.

The next day, I got up at around 10:30a and started my morning routine. Chris had texted me to say that they were going to eat breakfast at around noon at the Borgata. It didn't seem like I would have a problem getting there until I went to go take a shower and no hot water came out. The shower was strange. It was a very nice stall shower but the plate behind the shower faucet had HOT and COLD written on it, but the faucet was circular with no arrow indicator! In short, you didn't know how you had to turn it to get hot water; does halfway mean lukewarm, or is that hot and if I go too far I'll go back into cold territory. I ended up trying every combination and still no hot water! I decided that my late shower was coming at a time when all the guests had used up the hot water in the hotel. I called maintenance (who never came) and napped for another hour before trying again. This time, the water was lukewarm which was unsatisfying but good enough for a quick shower. It was 12:30p by the time I got out of the shower and my breakfast plans were ruined. I texted Chris about my rotten luck and she told me to "W" the room. This goes back to the time that W, Darko and I all shared a room at the Trop and we got it for free because W used her awesome powers of bargaining to get the charges nullified because the water in the shower was merely hot and not SUPER hot (true story). However, I don't possess those powers and I didn't ask for anything. The hotel will simply lose my future business for their lack of hot water. #JewPowersActivate #FormUpAHaggler

I ended up having breakfast at Country Kitchen on the boardwalk next to the Trop, which I had wanted to try for years anyway. It was excellent, actually. Just like a Denny's, which totally hit the spot. I cabbed it over to the Borgata and got into a 1-2 NLHE game in short order. The game I was in was fairly aggressive and I couldn't find any traction at all, which sucked big time. The hands I did mix it up in didn't work out for me. For the entire day, I received exactly 5 premium hands. AA twice, JJ, AKs and AQs. The Aces were the only hand that won and they didn't win big pots. I won only with the bullets; pre-flop once and then on the turn after I checked top set and everyone folded on my turn bet. Weak. That's not to say I didn't win a few big pots. I dragged a three way all in pot after my set of Ten's held up against an OESD and a flush draw (I boated up on the river to win). I also got very lucky in another three way pot when I flopped bottom straight with 68 on a three flush board. The board was 79T. One villian bet $30 on the flop and a second guy called. I called as well. Turn was 3. Villian 1 bets $55, Villian 2 goes all in for $100 more and I also shove for another $120. I should have folded at this point, even with my open ended straight flush draw, because the action was telling me someone had a made flush. But I was so frustrated from having lost so many pots at this point that I did a dumb thing and shoved for $125 total. Villian 1 called and we went three way to the river. The river was the 2. With 4 hearts out I figured I was dead, but Villian 1 showed TT for top set and Villain 2 showed 97 for two pair. No one had a heart but me! Weeeee.

As big as these pots were, though, they were only getting me back to even. I lost steadily on the only other playable cards I had going, mostly suited and unsuited connectors and gappers. Ever have one of those sessions where you play for 12 hours and it just seems like the board is always opposite from what you have? You know, you have 89 and the board is AKQ. Or you have QJ and the board is 256 rainbow with a bet and a call. There just wasn't much I could do. I played until about 6p, ending down about $100 or so. I went down to Fatburger for dinner with the crew and had a nice meal with great company. Afterwards, we played an hour of Pai-Gow which was a good session for me, netting me $110. I was now even again on the trip, but down $100 in poker winnings.

After dinner and Pai-gow, the girls went to nap and get ready for their night out clubbing. I hit the poker tables again, this time getting what I thought was a better table of less aggressive donks. Again, my hands weren't connecting. If I flopped a flush I didn't get paid and I ran into two coolers which felted my first buyin. The coolers were both flopped two pairs on uncoordinated boards against flopped sets. I got walloped. But I fought back and doubled my second buyin through patient play before finally dropping back to -$45 on the session. Considering the session ended at 7am (!), I'd say that wasn't too bad. If there was anything I could take away from playing that long and losing it was that I didn't get steamed and chase crap. I was proud of myself for that. A less patient person would have been down 3 or 4 buyins with the cards I was getting, but I persevered and played my game and lost the minimum wherever I could.

After breaking myself away from the table, I cabbed it back to the Chelsea and got a few hours of sleep. I woke up at 11a, showered and made it back to the Borgata for a quick lunch and more poker. This time, I felt the lure of the $10-$20 two way game (OE). Sitting down with $300, I oscillated up or down $100 for a few hours until 5pm when Chris texted me to tell me that they were leaving their room to pick up the car and go home. This would be my last hand. I was *EXACTLY* even for the session at this point, with $300 in front of me and I was dealt my last hand of Omaha Hi-Lo. I prayed it wasn't a playable hand so I wouldn't be forced to lose a big pot and then do the walk of shame and feel crappy on my trip home. But it was imminently playable. A347. Damn. I call for $15 in MP and it limps around with a few players. The flop is pretty nice, 268. I flopped the unbreakable low, and a bottom straight draw. This is almost a bettable hand here, but I'd rather have a high hand to go with it because I learned long ago not to bet only the low because getting quartered sucks! A guy bets out with what I assume is only the low (because a lot of $10-$20 players are idiots) and I call. A woman in the SB, who I've played with before and whom I know is a straight up moron, also calls. The turn is the J. Now I have scooping possibilities, but again I don't want to pump the pot without a made high because it's my last hand and I'm only looking at 7 clubs here that make me comfortable since two clubs will pair the board and my high might not be good. The moron woman bets out on the J and I can't see how her hand improved with that card, unless she had JJ underneath. The other guy raises! Oh jeez, now it's $40 to me and I might be looking at a straight up quartering of the low, which would leave me with a net loss on the hand. If the woman raises again and he caps, I'm looking at a decent sized loss. Fortunately, moron woman calls and the river is a blank which doesn't make me a flush or a straight. The woman checks, the guy bets and me and moron woman call. The woman has A3XX, nothing but a low and no draws to a high (AARGH!!!). The guy has A3QQ. I turn my hand over and get *sixthed*. I lost about $35 in the hand and gave the moronic woman some choice words about her play before racking up and grumbling all the way to the cage.

All in all, I lost about $80 at the tables, but lost $170 playing poker. It wasn't a particularly good weekend for me, even though I had as much fun as possible given that I was sick most of the time. Chris and her friends were a lot of fun to be with and the ride back was traffic free, which is a nice bonus. My next trip is March 19-21, and I'm staying at the Showboat. Anyone want to come down while I rip this shit up?


edgie212 said...

Hey J,

I know Jordan is going down that weekend, I think. Hit him up.

Jamie said...

Thanks J. Got in touch with him.

HighOnPoker said...

The Jew Powers Activate: Form of a Haggler is great. To which I will add,