Last night, the $1/3 with Mississippi Straddle was a whole different world. The game was crazier than the old Charles Town at its finest. By the time I got seated at around 10:00 pm, many at the table had already built huge stacks. And, possibly as a result, $15 straddles were common. No. Strike that. They were nearly mandatory. And, when a hand went unstraddled, there was a $15 to $18 opening raise. And there were callers. Lots. Like 4 to 5 every hand. $200-plus pre flop pots half the orbit. Frankly, I was lost.
I tightened up my range, looking for a spot to exploit. It never came. I had crap all night. I played 3 hours, and won zero hands.
Early on, I had AQ in early position and opened to $15. I got 5 callers. The flop was 7 J T. I needed a K. I chose not to continue given my position in the hand and my perception of the field. Of course, someone wasted no time in betting out $50 or so and got two calls. I was done.
Two hours in, I got on a run of A-rag. Seven hands in a row. Seriously. Seven in a row. I played none of them. It seemed to me to be bad poker to get involved in a hand for the going rate with A-rag. Of course, in hindsight, I would have won a few of those hands. Big pots, where people bet into A-high boards with hands like 99 . . . or flopped middle pair. The most painful - I folded A4 diamonds in early position, and saw the third diamond hit the turn. Some kid ultimately dragged a $200-plus pot with K 2 diamonds. Pretty painful to watch. But, of course, for me to have gotten to the turn, I would have had to play for $23 pre flop, and then called $70 or so on the flop with my draw.
After several hours of folding hands and watching in horror as people won monster pots with often-times mediocre holdings, I looked down at TT . . . in the big blind. Of course. 4 people limp for $3 and the small blind (a fairly tight player) raises to $12. I three-bet to $35. Small blind calls. Flop is A Q 4. Perfect. He shoves his last $125 or so. Another $35 in the hole.
A little while later, I look down at 44 in position. After a $17 raise and 5 callers, I join the party. Of course, no 4 on the flop. Instead, the guy next to me wins $300 or so with . . . . his set of 3's. FML.
At that point, I was done. I was down $95, and I could feel myself about to start pushing things. I didn't want to leave busto. So I walked.
I'm not sure I'm ready to handle this type of game. What's the strategy? Was I playing the table correctly? Did I just have a bad run of cards? The guy next to me hit 3 or 4 sets while I sat there, and built his $300 to $1,100 or so. Old guy on the other side of me built a $1,500 stack. I won no hands. Frustrating weekend of poker.
Aside: Earlier in the day, I was enjoying a frosty beer and mashing a Sex in the City Machine (SHUT UP!!!!). Some dude in a suit walks up behind me and I hear: "Mr. Peters?" Um. Crap. What the hell did I do? Turns out, he introduces himself as Richard, a VIP host, and he wants to know if I need anything. Nice. But also a little freaky. Goes to show you that Big Brother (ehhm . . . Gary Loveman) is always watching you in his casino. This host obviously found me based on my players card being active in the machine. While it's nice to now have a host, I hate knowing my play is always being so closely followed.