Monday, September 10, 2007

Cruising, Vegas, and other poker adventures

I have played some poker since my last entry over a month ago, with varying results. Not that I am results-focused, mind you, but I do keep track and these past few weeks have been up and down, on the win/loss side as well as the did-I-play-that-right side. It has also been a period of playing in a variety of settings, which has made it a bit more interesting for me.

My first report is actually from before Okie-Vegas. My wife and son and I went on a cruise to Alaska at the end of June and beginning of July. The ship had a casino, and a poker table where they dealt $3/6 limit Hold 'Em and held a couple of one-table tournaments. I played a few times during the course of the 7-day cruise, and although I didn't come out ahead, I played reasonably well. The tournaments were oddly structured: only eight players could register, and it was winner take all, i.e. no payout for any place other than first. I played anyway, since the buy-in was only $30+3 and I thought I could use the experience. I finished fourth in both tourneys. I should have played more aggressively, knowing that I would have to get lucky to have a shot at the prize.

After returning from Okie-Vegas, I have played in some cash games and SNGs on line. I cashed in one 45-player $1.25 SNG, finishing third; the others didn't turn out so well. I have more or less broken even in the cash games. Nothing very exciting to speak of in my on-line play lately.

I also paid a visit to the real Las Vegas in early August. The main point of the trip was to attend the huge Star Trek convention at the LV Hilton, but an important part of the plan was to play poker with Wil Wheaton, who was one of the guests at the convention. Wil had posted on his blog that he intended to organize a semi-private game at the Hilton poker room, and I told him that I would be there for it. The game was held on the Friday night of the convention weekend, and we had a full table for our mixed limit game. We alternated between Hold 'Em and a few other games including Omaha 8, an orbit of Razz, and even some Crazy Pineapple. Some other friends of Wil's were there, and some fans from the convention, and everyone had a fun time. I scored the best hand of my poker career so far during a hand of Omaha 8. I was dealt As Ks Qc Jc. Normally I would throw that away in high-low split since it can only go one way, but I hadn't played many hands and I wanted to get in on some action, so I limped in. The flop was Ac-Kc-blank (maybe a 9, not a club). With top two pair and a straight flush draw, I bet or called, don't remember which now, and got heads up with Sharon, one of Wil's friends from PokerStars. The turn was another blank, I bet, Sharon called. The river was the Tc. I bet, Sharon said, "OK, I'll pay you off," and I turned up my cards and said, "I have a Royal Flush." Everyone was quite surprised, except maybe the dealer, who didn't seem to be fazed by it. Maybe he sees those once a month or so. The unfortunate thing was, if we had been playing Hold 'Em when I got the Royal, I would have won a nice jackpot of a few hundred dollars. The jackpot did not apply while we played Omaha, so I wasn't eligible. Still, it was quite a thrill and I won't soon forget that moment when the ten came up on the river.

I finished the Hilton game down about 1/4 of my buy-in, but the entertainment of sitting at the table with that group of people was well worth the cost.

The other big game I played in recently was the Amateur Poker League Semi-Annual Regional Championship, which I had qualified for earlier this year by winning one of the monthly venue championships. I lasted past the first break, but the cards didn't come my way and the hands I got didn't hold up. I thought I made good decisions pretty much the whole time, so I don't feel bad about not making it deeper into the tourney.

No big plans for me concerning poker in the coming weeks. I'm not playing regularly in the APL tourneys at the nearby venue because of the cigarette smoke problem. I haven't been playing on line much, although I just busted out of a 20-table $4.40 SNG as I type this (QQ ran into flopped set of tens). I won't be going to the WPBT Winter Classic, for financial and scheduling reasons, but I hope to be there next summer. I will be playing here and there, so don't be surprised if you see me in the next seat at some PokerStars or Full Tilt table, as long as you are playing the micro-stakes.

1 comment:

BrainMc said...

NH sir. Sounds like you've had a great summer.