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High On Poker

Sands in my Eye

August 29th, 2016

I made my return to Sands last weekend. Due to reasons I rather not discuss right now, I may have been gifted a car. I don’t necessarily want it. I live in a place where I can walk to a variety of stores and restaurants, including three supermarkets within a 2 block radius and probably 20 restaurants within a 10 block radius, and I take public transportation to work, so a car was never a necessity. But having a free car, I decided to see what this newfound freedom would feel like, which meant I needed to take a poker day trip. After all, being a resident of New York, I do not have the convenience of nearby or online gaming, like what is offered by Betfair Casino NJ, so at least a car can help me access my favorite pass time.

I got up early, showered until I was actually awake-awake, threw on the clothes I laid out the night before, and headed over to get a bagel for me and Roose. Roose joined me and we hopped in my car, heading to Brooklyn to pick up bro-in-law Marc. Once we were all together, we took the relatively easy drive to the Sands. I didn’t even get pulled over this time.

On the drive, Roose mentioned his desire to play at the same table, so when we arrived, we put in our request. There were three seats open on two tables, but the floor added us to a move list for a new table.

Roose and Marc headed to one table and I headed to another. As I looked around the table, I noticed it looked like a Klan rally. All old, angry-looking white males. I played a few hands, switched seats to get position on one particularly wily octogenarian and immediately was called for a new table.

When I arrived at the table, the 2 seat, 3 seat and 9 seat were open, likely because of the crappy design of the Sands tables, which have huge legs that block the leg room of those seats. I took seat 2. Roose took seat 3. And we were off to the races.

I have to pat myself on the back, because I played excellently all day. I amassed a $350 profit, although I do not remember exactly how. I do, however, remember how I gave most of my profit back.

I had dwindled a little bit when I was dealt TT in the BB. There were around four or five limpers when the action got around to me, so I raised to $12. I got two callers.

The flop was T83, with two clubs. I decided to bet the flop. I do not recall the sum, but it was probably in the $45 range. I got two callers. The turn was an offsuit nine. I looked at the two players’ stacks. One guy had about $160; the other had maybe $130. I decided to just push all-in. I figured someone was flush drawing.

The player with the larger stack, a frumpy, mustachioed man of probably 60 years, called. The other player folded. His stack was counted, I matched his stack, and then I flipped over my cards, knowing that regardless of the outcome, I’d have to show first anyway. He did nothing, so I stood up and thought to myself, “No club. No club. No club.” The river was a 6 of hearts, and I was ecstatic…until he flipped his cards. He had been playing 47, and it wasn’t even suited clubs! Whey he chose to call the flop AND the turn was beyond me. I was dumbfounded.

The player himself looked sheepish and almost apologetic. After the hands were mucked, a player next to him said, “Well, he did have the flush draw,” but both me and my opponent confirmed that my opponent was calling with nothing but an inside straight draw. I did my best to look calm and collected. I wasn’t on tilt. I accepted the fact that even if I were a 90% favorite, he’d still win 10% of the time (no, I did not do the math; its the concept that matters and not the actual figures).

I continued to play and amassed another $300 profit. That one dwindled too, though, and then I gave up my remaining profit by calling a pre-flop $100+ push with AKs. My opponent had AA and had open pushed. At the time, I figured he probably had a vulnerable pocket pair (i.e., 22-QQ) and I was willing to toss a coin, since I had profit to cover the all-in. In hindsight, I should have been more cautious, but I knew what I was doing when I did it.

At the end of the session, I held a $21 profit. Roose had been down a small amount, but won his last pot to leave up $50. Marc had earned $40 at his table. We were all winners, but the profits were less than impressive.

On my way to the cage to cash out, I put my $21 profit on black, hitting it for $42 total profit for the day. Marc let some of his money ride and left up $90.

The drive back was pleasant. Halfway there, Roose wanted to eat. We began to exit the road to hit a nearby Cracker Barrel when he came up with the idea to find a Wegman’s, a NE supermarket chain that has a section with prepared foods, subs, etc. I love Wegman’s from my college years in Buffalo, so I was glad to follow his lead. We found one 25 minutes away, scarfed down some food, and finished our trip home.

If there was a lesson for the trip, it may be to avoid gambling. But I think the real lesson is to accept the bad beats. Its going to happen, so if you cannot handle it, quit playing poker and go play chess, where you have complete information. Lesson or no lesson, though, it was great to play. Hell, it may even be worth keeping the car so I can travel to the casinos.

Until next time, make mine poker!

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