I'm back from Atlantic City. And I'm exhausted. I played more poker this trip than in any other three day stretch. Ever. Sunday, I put in a 7.5 hour session, beginning early evening. Monday I spent 11 hours playing the Borgata Deepstack. And, yesterday, I played a solid 11 hours of cash at Harrah's, divided into a five hour afternoon session, and a six hours post dinner. The results were less than stellar; but I found the grind more enjoyable than ever.
The midweek cash scene at Harrah's was interesting. Harrah's is currently running a $250 an hour high hand promo. They are also giving a $15 food voucher for 5 hours of play. This led to some fairly crappy games during the day. Yesterday afternoon, at one point, there were six $2/4 limit tables running, and two short-handed $1/2 games. The focus was clearly on flopping quads. I was shocked by the amount of times people asked to be "swipped" in and out of Bravo to see where their hours stood, and how focused people were on getting a free $15 food voucher. In any event, until late afternoon, the games were barely worth playing. I sat down at 2:00 yesterday, and the table felt like a scene from Cocoon. I was the only person under 60; and the only person who did not play at that table every day. The prevailing discussion focused heavily on food; and, more particularly, what the Diamond Lounge was serving that day, and who they ate with. And what the Diamond Lounge served the day before; and who they ate with the day before. And so on and so forth.
The evening games were a bit better; but still full of regular grinders. Just younger. That said, the tables were actually fairly fun.
I started Sunday's session out fairly card dead for 4 hours or so. But I found myself down less that $100. Then I caught some cards. And got pounded. AJ flopped top pair and had to fold to a turned straight; Then AA lost to Q6 on a turned two-pair (yes, he called $12 with Q6); KK to flopped set of 4's (saved some money as an A hit the flop, and my flop bet got raised); JJ to a flopped Q. Ultimately lost $335.
Monday I walked over to Borgata for the 11:00 am Deepstack. $120 buy-in, 25,000 chips; 25 minute levels. I spent an hour between noon and 1:00 outside on work calls, but based on the structure, not much damage was done. I never seemed to get much going and was short-stacked most of the day. About 6 hours in, I shoved JJ against KK and rivered a J to stay alive. After that, I did just enough to get by. Like a cockroach, they could not get rid of me. Long story short, I lasted 11.5 hours until level 21 at 10,000/20,000/4,000 when I was forced to shove my A 5 and hit AT. Out 12th out of 220. Fairly unsatisfying score. Tournament poker seems largely to depend on not doing anything dumb; looking for good spots; and getting lucky. It's largely 9 hours of boredom followed by an hour or two of excitement. As one guy commented when we were down to the final two tables: "come on, guys; this is the fun part. We've spent 10 hours listening to people's dumb stories. Now let's play some poker..." He seemed spot on to me. I left Borgata at nearly midnight convinced it will be some time before I play another tournament.
Yesterday it was back to cash at Harrah's. I dug myself a hole in the first session before digging myself out and pulling a small $15 profit. During the evening session, I dug a $200 hole. The guy to my immediate right snapped off two of my premium hands, both times with Q2. Yes, Sunday it was Q6 that cracked my AA. Last night, Q2. The first time he cracked my KK with Q2 on a Q29 flop. Fortunately, I checked the turn and saved a bit of cash. A short while later, he snapped off my JJ with Q2 when a queen hit the flop. I lost the minimum there, obviously, given the circumstances. But the fact that he was openly reveling in how he was dominating me with the hand made me want to punch him in the throat. Ultimately, however, I dug out of the hole and booked a $200 win.
I had one interesting hand during the evening:
I had one interesting hand during the evening:
I'm 6 hours in, and sitting on about $400. Crazy table next to us breaks, and we get one of their players. twenty-ish black kid; sunglasses. Tatted up. He had been loud and animated at the other table. So much so he caught my attention numerous times throughout the night. He's sitting on about $500 when he comes over. Kid raises to $15 about 4 hands in at the table. Action comes to me after one caller. I look down at A(d) K(d). Having finally gotten my stack back to even (I was in for $400), and the hour getting late, I opt to flat and see a fairly cheap flop. We get two other callers.
Flop comes out A(h) 7(d) 3(d). Bingo. Kid bets about $50 (things were starting to get hazy at this point in the night, due to it being past 3:00 am and my Corona count running high). After a fold, I raise to $180. Folds back to kid who starts flipping out, but eventually calls. Turn blanks; he checks to me, and I shove $200 more. Now, he's REALLY flipping out. Stands up; starts yelling about what type of game I'm playing; whether I'm on the draw; why I'm playing so crazy, etc. My thoughts on the hand where that (a) I was most likely ahead with my Ace given his pre flop raise and the flop; and the redraw to the nutz is always nice; and this kid seemed kind of nuts, so I thought I could induce him to play back at me. Not really my style to play so aggro and get a $400 stack in the middle with top pair (especially risking 6 hours of work to get my stack back to even); but this seemed to me to be the spot to stick it in. Ultimately, the kid actually called the $200 on the turn; the river was a 4 of hearts, so my draw misses; kid tables AK for a chop. Wow. Pretty gutsy call. Doubt I could have made it if the roles were reversed and I was getting pressured.
Anyway, I quit the game at 4:30 am, had trouble sleeping knowing I had to be up relatively early to drive back to DC, and know I'm exhausted and trying to prepare for tonight's fantasy football draft. It was a short, but fun, few days from the office. And I'm already thinking about playing again this weekend.