Monday, December 19, 2016

Who Am I? And How Did I Get Here?

I second straight weekend of poker at MGM National Harbor is in the books.  Although I won a few hands this time around, the results were just as bad as last weekend.   In total, I've played 15 hours of $1/3, and am down just shy of $900.  My confidence is pretty much shot at the moment.  By the end of my Saturday session, for the first time during this stretch, I actually felt like I was playing bad poker.  I'll get to that in a moment . . . but first . . .
This weekend, I decided to stay at the Westin National Harbor.  It was actually my first time ever visiting National Harbor.  The area is currently about a five-by-five square block "entertainment" district, right on the Potomac River, in an area called Oxon Hill, Maryland.   Oxon Hill is a historically depressed area of Prince George's County, just over the D.C. border.  National Harbor began some years ago with the opening of the Gaylord Hotel and Convention Center.  Shops, restaurants, additional hotels, and condos followed.  Then came new row homes at the back-end of the neighborhood . . . a Tanger Outlet Center and, of course, MGM Casino.  While the development is still relatively small, it's certainly a fun place to spend a weekend.  There are plenty of dining and bar options.  Friday night, I found an Oyster House, and had beers and fresh oysters.  Saturday night, I actually left the MGM to come back to National Harbor for a steak at a joint called Bond 45, and then found cheap beer two blocks away to watch Saturday Night Football on a big screen.  The National Harbor Circulator is a shuttle bus, run by Reston Limo's, which operates between 11:00 am and 4:00 am, making several stops in National Harbor, the Outlets and the MGM.  It's $5 for an all-day pass, and makes it easy and convenient to spend the weekend at one of the numerous NH hotels, with access to both the casino and the numerous entertainment and dining options in the neighborhood.  The entire area feels very connected, making it, perhaps, a more fun option for a gambling weekend than Atlantic City.

As for the poker . . . well, my run-bad continued Friday night.  It was an action table, with one loose cannon who managed to turn a $300 rebuy into a $3,000 stack.  This kid sat down initially in the 8 seat, bought in for $300, and dumped his stack on the first hand played when he hit a pair of 9's on a 68952 board.  He bet flop, got re-raised on the turn, and re-raised all in on the river against an older gentlemen who, SHOCKINGLY, had a 7 in his hand.  The kid took a seat change to the 1 seat, directly to my right, and rebought.  From then on, he could not miss a hand over the course of the next 3 or 4 hours...
As for P3 . . . he won zero hands the first three hours, before scoring some chips off a triple-barrel bluff.  It was my second triple-barrel of the night.  The first was on my first hand played, when I raised 9 T spades to 15, caught nothing on a 7 high flop, and bet three streets, only to be chased down by a guy hold a small ace when an ace hit the river...
Over the course of the session, I was dealt AQ five times, and caught neither an ace nor a queen on any of the occasions.  I had no premium pocket pairs.  I lost AJ to A5 on an A59 flop.  Still, four hours in, I was only down about $200.  Yet, I had that feeling of dread; like, that when I finally got dealt a hand, it would end up crushing me.  And, sure enough, premonition came to life on the final hand of the night...
After two limps, maniac luck box raises to $17 from the button.  He's sitting on ... well . . . he has me covered (prolly $2,800 or so).  I look down at JJ in the small blind.  I debate raising.  But, perhaps given the way I'd been running, I opt to just call.  We go three to the flop.  All undercards - 9 high (9 5 2, I believe).  Maniac leads for like $35.  I flat, figuring I can just let him hand himself.  Turn is a 6. I check, and he checks back.  River is an 8, making the board. 9 5 2 6 8.  I check again, and villain over bets $150.  The kid has made several bluffs like this before.  I snap call.  he tables  7 2 off, and, just like that, I'm down $400+ for the session.  It's past 1:00 am.  I'm done.  I wish everyone good luck and head back to the hotel . . .
I got an early afternoon start on Saturday, taking a $1/3 seat after a short twenty-minute wait.  I actually manage to win a few hands, and am up just under $100 two hours or so in to my session.  Then, this hand happens:
I call $3 with 77 in late position, and we go 4 to the flop:  5 Q 8.  Middle position bets $10, gets a call from seat ten, an older gentlemen who has barely played a hand in 3 hours.  Marginal spot, but I decide to call and see a turn.  Turn is a beautiful 7.  Middle position bets $20, old buy calls, and I raise to $65.  Old guy calls.  River is a 6, making the final board 5 Q 8 7 6.  This time, old guy leads out for $45.  Any 4 . . . any 9 has me beat.  Pre flop, he checked is option, so harder to put him on any sort of range.  It's only $45 . . . but, still.  This is an older, VERY tight player, who called my raise on the turn, and then lead with a "valuey"-type bet on the river.  He's got to be expecting a call from me, right?  Why am I ever raising the turn and folding to a $45 river bet?  Well, I'm convinced this guy hit the straight.  And, rather than waste $45 to see the flip side of his hole cards, I fold . . .  And, when he mucks, I'm pretty sure I see a Queen.  This puts me on insta-tilt.   Did he take that line with top pair?  Did he have Queens-up?  Or did he have Q 9 or Q4?   In the moment, I'm convinced I made an awful fold for $45....
A few hands later, I look down at 99 and open the action to $17.  I get one call -- from the maniac on my left.  This guy is a dream player.  He plays almost every hand, has dumped at least $800 the past two hours, and keeps telling the table he has another $1,500 in his pocket and is not going anywhere until he "gets his money back."  He starts the hand with slightly under $200.  We go heads up to a Queen-high flop.  I lead out for $35.  And, lag-tard jams $150+ on top.  Are you kidding me?!?!  I tank.  I'm tempted to make the call.  This guy has simply spilled money to the entire table the past few hours (of course, I was like the only guy at the table who did NOT "owe" him money).  It's hard to put this particular player on a queen.  And I've seen him stack off several times prior with medium pocket pairs.... There is a good chance my 99 is good.  Yet, for some reason - shattered confidence, perhaps --  I make a fold.  ATM shows a Queen... It's only 6:00 pm.  But I recognize I'm far removed from my A game (which, in reality, may be like a B or C game to begin with . . .).  I call it a night, down a mere $60... Best session yet at MGM.
In sum, it's been a fairly brutal 15 hours of poker the past two weeks.  I've definitely been running bad.  But I'm not sure if poor play is compounding the results.  But, shooters keep on shooting, right?  I'll be up in Atlantic City at the Borgata for four days after Christmas; and then heading back to MGM for NYE weekend.  I feel like I need to reset my game.  Tighten up a bit; get on some sort of a run.  Things can only get better, right?                      


  1. Sorry to hear how you're running. Sounds like a great place to play, however, and thanks for the pics.

  2. Maybe I missed it because I read it too fast. Afterall, I have to start working soon or I will be homeless like Tony. So forgive me if I overlooked it.

    But it seems to me that this is a TBC-inspired post where the title of the post has nothing to do with the actual post. Based on the title, I was expected a short bio of PPP. Who are you and how did you get here?

  3. Why hang at those East-coast shit holes, when you could be in Vegas playing the pokerz and consuming the finest fillet & Cabernet???

  4. the old man had 3 queens and u played the JJ horribly

    1. Thank you, Tony. This is a very helpful comment. I learned a lot.

  5. You need money? Win in the slotspill, and take away your winnings) Enjoy!

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