published over 5 years ago
Well its been a while since I played live. At least, a real big live game like artichoke joes 5/5/10 or the vegas uncapped games. Most of my live roll has been depleted since new years for things like rent and food and everything else I buy. Cash rules everything around me, and such. So I wake up early today for no good reason, and after some loafing and gatorade-drinking, I hollered at artichoke joes' poker desk. Turns out the NL game there is doneskis because everybody started playing at lucky chances instead. Oh well, one more stop on the journey to robusto-land. I call lucky chances, just to make sure the game is running there, and it is. Nice.
On with the standard bike ride to the BART station, wait for train, ride train to San Bruno, ride bike to casino a mile or two away routine. It was a pretty awesome day out, too. Sunny and cool, but certainly not cold. Sucks if you're in a snow-death-storm right now, but we're just chillin out here with the standard 50 degree days. In any case, its a great day to spend outdoors. However, I opted for spending my day in the windowless yet brightly lit den of thieves and liars that is live casino poker.
I park my bike in front of AJ's, head inside, clean out my deposit box and turn in the key in exchange for my deposit back. (Ship the bonus benjamin!) After cashing out the remainder, $4k in oversized thousand dollar chips, I load up my crown royal bag with a fresh roll of scrilla and head back to the bart station.
Colma is only a few stops away from San Bruno on the peninsula south of the city, which is convenient. Colma is a peculiar city, as the two major industries of the area are dozens of cemeteries (as well as the correlated industries like flower shops and tombstone carvers) and the Lucky Chances casino. I guess you could say there's plenty of dead money in the game. In any case the ride from the Colma station to Lucky Chances is about as long as that from San Bruno station to AJ's, but this ride is way more uphill and with fewer bike-friendly sidewalks. Oh well. I roll up, park my bike on a lightpost in the grass area in front (obviously not designed for bike use, but again no casino has bikeracks anywhere, because nobody who goes to casinos rides bikes. This discussion would actually arise later during the game, and most of the old dudes playing agreed that I was pretty sweet because not only do I ride my bike to and from the casino, its to play the highest stakes no limit cash games in the area). At first though, I put my name on the list for the big no limit game, and grab a bite to eat in the cafe. Fortunately my name gets called quickly, because i had to read cardplayer magazine until then and it really sucks.
The table looks good to begin with, with most stacks between 2k and 8k or more. Now, the NL game at LC's is 10/10/20 blinds, with a 40 bring-in. Many pots are killed by somebody for 40, and thus the bring-in is doubled to 80. The kill is a peculiar concept that seems to occur exclusively in northern california, but it is a powerful weapon when used appropriately. Most players dont seem to understand how properly to adapt to it, despite playing with it all the time. This is great for me, since it took approximately a session of exposure to the kill back at AJ's to figure out how it works, and how to adjust to it/capitalize on it. The minimum buyin, like at AJ's, is $2000. Uncapped, of course. The stakes at LC's are double those of AJ's though, so it rates to be the biggest no limit game i've played yet (live or online). Fortunately, I'm probably the best player at the table. (Which is presumably what half the dudes here think, and the other half think "i'm a lawyer, i have money, poker is fun! check check call! call! minraise aces preflop!!!")
(note: catalogue of notable AKA boring poker hands begins... now!)
Within the first orbit, I pick up 44 and call a raise on the button (most preflop raises were between $80 and 240, depending greatly on limpers or a kill). Flop comes T94 with a flush draw, the raiser bets strongly out for $300, I make it $800 to go, he thinks for not too long before rather frustratedly shoving the rest of his $2000. Or maybe we got it in on the turn. Whatever, his JJ was no good, thanks for the monies. He got up and left angrily, like so many of my victims. Soon after that, I open 86c from the cutoff and am called by the button, an older, WASPy looking gentleman with a golf hat and shirt on, and the look of a california republican. You know, very conservative and country-club, but with hints of laid-backness as well as intelligence/higher education. The kind of opponent who plays solidly because he's a smart guy and has the money to play with, but also the kind who's a little behind the curve strategy-wise because he's only played against the same 30 guys for years. Should be fairly easy to read, and will behave as desired. The blinds fold, and we take a flop of KK3 rainbow. I check, because I suspect he'll float anything and I have no live draws/outs, and he checks behind. The turn is a 5 which completes the rainbow. I now lead out 200 with the initiative in hand again. He makes a small raise to $500. Could be a king, of course, but also looks a lot like a medium pair testing me, or maybe a bluff with AJ or something. I make it $1000 straight, and he instafolds.
Later I limp 86s from early position, and take a flop with several others for $40 each. J97 with a few clubs. I check-call a hundo from some youngish asian dude. He's got some gamble in him, of course, but i'm not sure how much just yet. I check and call again on the offsuit 4 turn, $220. I figure to be able to valuetown my straights and bluff the flushes, and have decent odds. The river is a sweet 5h. I lead out $500 to represent the missed flush and get some value, but he folds after tanking. Noted.
I overcall 75o when the nitty but seemingly fishy old asian man raises UTG. I want his stack. Flop comes 985, and the four or five of us check it around. The turn is an 8, and the asian man bet 3 hundred. I was the only caller (possibly for value, and i've got some outs probably if i need them.) The river was a 6, and he check-called my $500 value bet with something. I dont know what.
I open 55, and a guy who I think is kind of a value-bettable middle-aged fish floats my c-bet on the QJ6 flop but folds to my bet on the 5 turn. Lame.
In a killed 5-way pot ($80 limps each, heh), I'm in the SB with 22. The flop comes 665, and it occurs to me that I can probably win the pot with a bet. $300 takes it down, to the delight of all my lady fans. (note: there were no actual lady fans. I think its weird as hell when some dude brings his wife/girlfriend to sit behind him at the table and watch him play poker. How do they deal with that boringness?)
I overcall a raise in the BB with 33. The flop is 642, and both I and the preflop raiser check. The caller in position, another middle-aged asian dude, bets $200 and I checkraise to $600. He may have about $3k or so behind. He calls, and we both check the 5 turn (jackpot). I valuebet $900 on the river, an Ace, and he calls with newly-top set AA. Well played, good sir! There is a trend among live players to make plays that dont make any sense to us online folk. Limping and overlimping big pairs preflop, followed by weird postflop play. Usually on the passive side though, so i'm not too concerned.
I limp behind on my button with 76o and flop a joint multiway. Two streets of valuetown against a young asian kid who looked really stressed, made overaggro plays, and took breaks to smoke mad cigarettes all the time. He folds the river angrily, presumably because he missed a draw or something. Chill out, broseph.
I call with JTd on the button in a kill pot, 3 or 4 ways. the 955 flop checks through. On the T turn (bringing a FD), a bad player leads out for $180, the stressed asian kid calls, and I raise $400 more. Both fold frustratedly. Thats right. Tilt. Do it. You know you want to, stupid gambler!
Now this bad player who I just mentioned is the newly arrived whale at the table. Apparently legendary around these parts for losing tons of money in the no limit games, he is welcomed every time he comes but nearly always leaves several thousand poorer. I dont know where he gets the money either, doesnt seem like he's the kind of guy to have that much money to lose. Oh well, I'm here to take his loot. I kill the cutoff and acquire Q9h. The whale raises to $100 and I call in position. I call his flop bet on a Q82 flop, and his larger turn bet on a blank turn. On the J river, he checks after some delay and seems weak, but I don't expect to get value and also may be behind to a better queen or something. I check behind and am good.
I overcall 22 in the big blind, and am first to act on an A54 flop. I donk $300 into 2 others, and the aggressor, a mediocre asian dude with slick hair and stylish looking glasses, raises to $800. His stack isnt really that deep, and even if it was I don't think I like my position too much, so I let it go. He flashes AK.
After limping behind with A7s, I bet the Q72 club draw flop when nobody else wants to bite. Two people OOP call and see another Q on the turn. They both fold to my second barrel.
After overcalling a big raise in the BB with KTcc, I flop the straight QsJs9x. I checkraise the preflop raiser's 400 bet to 1400, he unfortunately folds.
I pick up KK in a killed pot and make it $200 to go. 3 callers and I see a flop of 774. None of them challenge my $600 bet, which is fine with me given the stack sizes.
I call a raise from the whale with 44 in position, and raise his c-bet on a KT4 flop with a flush draw, but somehow he didnt have a big enough piece to call. Lame.
My final shot at the whale tonight happened when I raised 88 to $200 over his kill. He called and called $200 on the 653 flop. We check through A turn and J river (he was in position) and his A8 (no draw) was good. heh. Unfortunately he decided to leave then, after dropping a few buyins and winning some back. Quitters never win, whale. Think about it.
After raising A9 to $120 and getting 3 calls, I see a flop of 943 all clubs. I bet $300 on the flop and am check-called by the SB, another middle-aged asian guy. Not quite degenerate gambler, nor mobster-looking slicked hair type, this guy is one of a common breed of poker players. Generally solid, but definitely with a hint of uncertainty in him because he's got the gambler's blood. And by gambler's blood I mean asian blood. So he's checkcalled my decently sized c-bet out of position on a monotone board. The turn is another 3 and he leads out at me for $500. I have to stop and think because I can't read that too well, but I eventually decide it seems like trouble and I wont know what to do on the river if I get there, so I let it go. Stacks hadn't really come into play, but I didn't want to face a big river bet. I think it was alright.
I have AJo on the kill in the cutoff, and squeeze over the button's raise and BB call, making it $400 to go. Both call (lame!) button is the laughy asian gambler from previous trip reports, who I also played against in Vegas over new years. He's a pretty good player postflop, but very erratic preflop. Tends to call too much, but usually does it in position and knows how to put on the pressure with floats and raises. BB is the old asian guy who i thought was a fish, but is basically just a nit. He has somehow managed to get half the guys at the table to call off stacks when he has ridiculous obvious nuts and they have like unimproved AA or something, so he's sitting deep. In fact, we're all like 10k deep at this point. So there's 1200 in the pot on the flop of KQx, and amazingly my $600 bet takes it down. Very nice. Although being against a slowplayed KK and hitting a T on the turn would have been better.
Some other younger dude comes to the table, and I immediately seek to take him down because he challenges my title of "badass youngster who's owning the grownups". He buys in for the minimum, and seems like a standard TAGgish player in the short time I see what he's done. When he openraises the button and I find JJ in the BB, I repop him $300 more. He snap calls it, and then minraises my $400 flop bet on a 954 flop with a flush draw. I think for a while, and refuse to let myself act too quickly for fear of doing something stupid. Eventually i give him the benefit of the doubt and lay it down. I don't concern myself much with it after that, as I believe it was a solid laydown. I do hate to fold though...
Soon after, the dude gets up from the table and wanders off with his phone. I speculate that he's off to brag-call a friend to tell him about the bluff he just made. Meh, probably just making excuses to his lady friend about why he's playing poker instead of giving her roses and [censored].
On a related note, it was funny to see how many middle-aged men stayed at the casino playing poker all day and night, while talking about their wives and families and valentines day. It was pretty clear that they preferred the poker.
Many small pots transpire, and I bleed off some chips through resisted c-bets and such. My cards run cold as well though, so I don't get too involved. I am a few thousand down from my high-water mark and displeased with it, but I am aware of the problems with such thoughts, so I focus on making smart plays and putting myself in positions to take a big pot.
In a killed pot, I overcall 80 on the button with Ts8h. Nobody makes the steal raise, so we see a flop 5-handed. Flop is J9x with a spade draw. One of the early position callers, an older man with sunglasses, a serious facial expression, and a nervous bodily demeanor, hurriedly leads out $300. I just call in position, and we see the turn alone. It is a beautiful offsuit queen. He leads out for $500, again looking pretty strong, and I clearly opt to raise. At this point I want to maximize value without risk of losing him, and also take into account that he's got some stack behind. Probably $5k-5500 total. I raise to $1800, and he calls after some deliberation. The river is a brick-ass deuce, and he checks but quickly folds to my $2k bet. Must have missed something. He gets up and moseys off for a while. Its really amazing to me how often the other players at the table become stressed out over hands that happen against them, even stupid things like missing your draw in a big pot. They visibly steam, and generally spew some chips off soon after, and have to go take walks and smoke cigarrettes. What a bunch of losers. I don't think i've gotten up and taken a chill-out walk from a poker table after a hand... ever.
I play a medium pot with JTd after calling a preflop raise from a friendly old horse-owner and gambler then sitting under the gun. He's made some questionable plays, and clearly is enjoying himself more for a fun game of cards than he is trying to win every cent. Basically he's a pretty tight player who makes some ridiculous mistakes and gets lucky. Like calling big bets on the flop and turn with AQ high, OOP, and getting a Q to win it. Anyhow he raised, I called JTd on the button along with some other folks. Flop Q9x with a spade draw. He led out $200, which could mean anything, but especially that my implied odds were good. I raised to $500 to clean up my outs and gain a free card, and got precisely that. Heads up to the turn after he calls, I got to see turn and river free, but neither gave me the straight or even a pair, so I just folded to his river bet. Better that than checking behind and conceding or having to try an ill-advised bluff, thats for sure.
I pull a stackadonk line on my laughing asian cohort who's been hounding me all night with floats and flop raises. Raise 77, bet A87 flop, and checkraise the Q turn. He folded, but was aware of being owned.
Thats about the time I realized that the BART might stop running soon. Well, I also had to get a deposit box started and put my chips in it. Turns out it was too late for the bart, but after a short process getting a deposit box, I was able to put my bike in the trunk of a cab, with the front wheel off and the trunk bungee-corded closed because the bike stuck out.
Got home around 12:30, whooped my roommates ass in some FIFA, ate some pizza bagel bites, drank some orange soda, and have been loafing ever since. Good times.
11 or so hours of play
+ $5800 or so profit straight cash
+ knowing that game is ownable, and now having more roll there to do it (albeit a short roll)
+ Still havent had a losing session in these bay area NL games. 5 sessions/days, about +27k.
Its good to be the boss.