I made the trip to Delaware Park this past weekend to log some hours at the table. My previous sessions at Del Park were . . . less than profitable. In fact, I had never had a winning session. Some people might avoid a place with such history; but in my mind, there was no where to go but up. Apparently, digging a deeper hole was an alternative possibility.
Del Park (for those who have never had the pleasure) reminds me of those Freemont Street Casinos not named "The Golden Nugget." It's old, depressingly decorated, and filled with people who should, in all fairness, likely be engaging in a different hobby. It offers no nice restaurants or decent bars to hangout at or watch a game. And, as an added bonus, you might get hit over the head walking back to your car late at night. Del Park does have one redeeming value -- the nicest poker room in the mid-Atlantic, aside from the Borgata.
I sat down at a $1/2 NL table at exactly 5:00, with a full $300 buy-in behind. Over the first hour I grinded up about $100 on a series of unremarkable hands. Then, ran into the first cooler of the day:
Middle position raises to $10 and the Hi-Jack calls . . . It gets to me on the button, and I look down at QQ, and three bet to $45. Two callers.
Flop comes Jc 3c Jd. The original raiser shoves for about $250. HJ folds. I Call. Villain flips Ac Kc and needs help . . . which he gets with the 9 c on the river . . . And just like that, I'm down for the session.
Undeterred, I chip back up to even over the next hour or so. Then, cooler number two -- dealt 89 off suit in the big blind. After two limpers, cut-off makes it $8. I call . . . two limpers hop on board. Flop comes 2 9 9 rainbow. Um. OK. Check, check, check and original raiser bets $20. I call and the two limpers muck. Turn is a 5. I again check to villain who bets $35. Call. River is an A. I check a third time and Villain bets $75. I call. Villain flips Rockets for the rivered boat -- a two-outer and I'm again in the hole.
Five hours into the session and I'm down $70, due solely to the two hands above. A few minutes later this hand plays out:
Sitting on QT off and playing out of position. I raise $8 and get two callers. Spike a T on the flop (top pair), bet $17 and get two callers. Turn is Q, giving me top two but putting a spade draw on the board. I check, villain 1 bets $25, villain 2 calls $25 . . . I repop to $130. V-1 folds and V-2 calls. River is a spade. I see V-2 already reaching for chips . . . Thought about throwing out a blocking bet, but decide to check. Villain tosses in $150 . . . really feels like the spade hit his hand. Tank. Fold. Villain 2 mucks . . . Villain 1 claims he folded the K-high flush to my check raise. Villain 2 claims he hit a flush. Bottom line, time to reload.
Six-plus hours into the session, I'm in for $500, and sitting on $375 or so, when I'm dealt AK. I lead out for $10, get one taker, and see a flop of K 2 8 rainbow. I'm already counting the chips I'm about to win. The name of the game is value bet, value bet, value bet. Following the blueprint, I lead out 3 streets and at the end of the hand, I'm $120 poorer. Turns out, K 2 8 rainbow is a good flop unless you run your Big Slick into K 8 . . .
Tilting for the first time all night, I donk off a few more chips before calling it a night at 11:30, down $335.
To be continued . . .