Last weekend I took a trip up to Windsor, Canada, right across the border from Detroit, to play some poker and have a good time. We got there around 11pm the first night and played poker until we were pretty delerious at 6am. My first table was perfect, very beatable and fun. I met two kids my age that drove up there from Washington DC just to play some poker and have some fun, and then drive back the same night!
The thing about live ring games, especially in casinos, is how loose everyone plays. On average I’d say the $3/$6 game reminded me of a $.05/$1 limit game in how loose the players were preflop and after. Flopping top pair was not comforting knowing that the other 4 players probably had half the deck to hit to hit two pair, straights, flushes, everything imaginable, and this fact made me play a little too passively I think.
I would flop top pair and check-call down, just not wanting to put my money in the pot, especially on the flop, because no one folds the flop. I usually waited till the turn to show any strength when the big bet came around and could, presumably, force some draws out. More often than not the guy in a multiway pot that started ahead ended up losing, and I experienced this many times to my dismay. My roommates that made profit there had the opportunity to hit big draws in big pots and scoop the whole pot. Most of my hands were on the other side of the equation, having a big made hand in a big pot and losing to a flush or straight. I didn’t complain at the tables because the nature of the game was ‘no foldem, holdem’, and I knew if the hand did hold up I’d be raking in a lot of chips, but it certainly was frustrating.
I can remember three times I saw the flop with 54 suited and flopped the nut straight 3 6 7. The first time I was heads up by the turn, which was a 6. The other guy check raised, I reraised, and he capped at 4 bets. The river was the worst card I could imagine, a second 7, making the board read 3 6 7 6 7. I called his bet and he showed Q6… 18% to catch a boat or else I was going to take down a big pot… hard to take a runner runner like that lightly.
The other two times I flopped the straight I chopped, once with 56 when the 4 counterfeited me on the river, and another time with A4 when the 5 counterfeited on the river, my hands just iddn’t seem to want to win the whole pot, haha!
My best hand was probably QQ, when I limped from mid position. Four players saw the flop, and one was really drunk, another really aggressive, and a third was somewhat weak tight. The flop was 10 high and the aggressive guy bet out, the tight guy folded. On the turn he bet out again, I raised, and the drunk guy loosely threw in two more chips. I got another big bet from both on the turn and showed QQ as the best hand.
One other time I had AA in a three way pot and it held up, but those were the extent of big hands that I won with. The biggest hands came when I would limp with hands like 64s and 35s and catch a good flop with lots of draws. Next time I go perhaps I’ll loosen up and play more hands like that, we’ll see.
All in all it was a very unprofitable experience, but we had fun at least, and I didn’t let the loses get to me, at least while at the tables. I think I’ll be taking a break from casino poker until I muster up some more confidence, I’ve been running pretty bad for the past month and a half and need to get my game back in shape. Good luck out there!