Saturday, July 28, 2007

~Poker Karmic Bliss~

When I got off work today, I played with the idea of heading into town and playing poker at the casinos one last time before I move up to Seattle. I was out on the porch, nursing a drink, and planning out my last weekend alone in Tahoe. Next weekend, I'll be having some company to have a little "last-chance to see Chris in Tahoe" party--so I'll most likely be in entertain-mode instead of do-stuff mode.

The list weekend list includes changing the oil in both vehicles, cleaning up my room, doing a trial run of packing up the Explorer (to make sure everything still fits!), and getting in a practice hike on Sunday if I get all the other things are finished. After I finished the list, it was just before 6pm PST, and I decided that going inside and playing in Kat's donkament at Full Tilt would be more fun than going to the casinos so early. I headed inside, but for some reason couldn't log on to the Full Tilt server. I started dinner, and by the time I was finished, I was able to log on--but Kat's tourney had already begun. Bummer. I railed for a few minutes, ate dinner, then hopped on WoW for about 30 minutes before riding my bike to the casinos.

I, of course, forgot that tonight is none-other than Fergy-Fergalicious's night in Tahoe. A HUGE concert in the parking lot of Harvey's, which hampered my sneaky back-entry into the poker casino of choice in South Lake Tahoe. It took me 20 minutes to get around the traffic and get into the parking garage. Luckily I was able to park with the other motorcycles, because I don't think there were any car spots left in the entire garage.

Made my way to the poker room, and decided to just get cash at the casino. The $4.50 surcharge is pretty rough, but I'll need money for next weekend to gamble, and I didn't really want to buy two different sticks of gum at Safeway separately and get $50 cash-back both times. And besides, the last time I got cash at the casino, I hit a Royal Flush ;)

I asked to be seated at a 3/6 table, then I saw what looked to be an interest list for 4/8 half-kill Omaha Eight or Better--so I put my name on for that too. It turned out the Omaha game was in full swing already, and I was about 7th on the wait-list, so I got a chance to play some 3/6 limit.

I started at a fresh table, with brand-new poker chips. I don't think I've ever played with brand-new poker chips at a casino before. They actually felt quite weird. They felt more like plasticy home-game chips because the edges were all hard and sharp, and hadn't been broken in like the smooth $5 chips still in play. I won the button, and decided to keep track of how many orbits I played. When the button came back to me I started making a little stack of chips representing the number of orbits. It was also a good way to check cocktail waitress speed--which was more than fast enough for me tonight. It was actually quite close to once an orbit.

I ended up playing 5 complete orbits, and I didn't get to tip the dealer a single time. I didn't win a hand, and I think I only got to see a river once, which didn't complete my flush, and I folded. It was brutal. I folded 50 straight hands. I folded the winner once (a pair of 10's on an ace-high board to a preflop raiser's c-bet, who ended up showing 8's). I think the hand that occurred the most for me was Jack-two off-suit, again, a brutal string of cards, yet very easy decisions to make.

After whittling my $100 stack to about $20, I finally won a hand when the table got short-handed and I flopped top pair-second kicker with KQo. That hand more than doubled me up, with two ladies chasing their draws to the river and folding. A few hands after my big one win in over 50 hands, I got called for the O-8 game, and decided I had better change games for my sanity. At one point in the 3/6 game I told the guy to my left that I was going to play every hand until I got to tip the dealer. I played four to the flop or turn, and folded my diddly-squat to calling stations that weren't going to fold their hands if God himself promised he had the nuts.

The excruciating two hours left me with I think $37 when I sat down at the 4/8 game, so I stuck a Benji underneath my chips, and played tight. I brought the median age down from about 75 to about 70. The table was filled with old, retired men and women. I was more scared of the super-tight women than I was of the men. And of course, there was a token 'pretend-to-be-loose' old Asian guy directly to my right, pretty much stacking chips from the entire table who would fold anything but the nut low or high by the turn to this guy's aggression.

My luck was much better at the O-8 table. I scooped one big pot, then got halves of a couple large semi-kill pots, to get me back to even--and then some. I was dodging outs like crazy, flopping the nut straight and having it hold up with two flush-draws on the turn and low draws to boot. I started slowing down my steam-rolling of the table, and decided it was time to head home about an hour into my O-8 session--around 1am. I knew I had a lot to do tomorrow, so I called it quits, and was shocked to cash out up $60--from being down to only $20 at one point. That is a $140 swing, almost all from an hour of Omaha 8 or Better!

It sure does feel better to lose money, then win it back (and then some!). As opposed to winning money, then losing it back!

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