This past weekend, my wife and I drove up to Norman, OK , to visit our son Ben who is in his freshman year at the University of Oklahoma (OU for short - don't ask me why they reversed the initials for their nickname). We had a lot of fun spending time with Ben and enjoying some of the Campus Activity Council's Family Weekend activities. We also did a few things on our own, chief among them (for the purposes of this blog) Ben's first time playing poker in a casino.
Norman is the home of the Riverwind, a very nice full-fledged casino run by the Chickasaw Nation. They have a large poker room, with 23 tables spreading Hold 'Em and Omaha at various stakes. Since you only have to be 18 to play casino games in Oklahoma, Ben had been interested in trying out the poker room since he moved up there for school. We finally had the chance to do that Saturday evening. Ben had only played No-Limit HE in home games at $0.10/0.20 stakes with his high school friends, and I didn't think it would be good to throw him into a $1/2 NL game for his first cardroom experience. So, I told him that I would buy him into the $4/8 Limit HE game, and I gave him some quick tips on how Limit is different from NL. I then put his and my name on the waiting list for the 4/8 game. Soon enough, a new table was opened and we were seated.
I would like to say that I set a good example for him to follow, but (1) I made a few bad plays, and (2) I got lousy cards most of the time which only gave Ben lessons in how to fold. However, Ben held his own just fine. He played pretty tight, as I recommended, caught a few hands and took down a few decent pots. By the time I busted out, about two hours after we started, Ben was hanging in there and cashed out only $5 down from his buy-in. For someone who had never played limit Hold'Em, I thought he did just fine. Afterwards, he told me he enjoyed it and actually liked some aspects of it better than no-limit, such as having fewer swings in his chip stack and not having to think about how much to bet on each round. I don't expect that he will be down at the Riverwind every weekend now, but he will probably feel more comfortable the next time he does drop in there, now that he has got his feet wet. I'm glad his experience went well for him. I plan to give him my copy of Lee Jones' "Winning Low Limit Hold'Em" so he can get the great advice in that book to use at his next sessions.
In other poker news, I made it about half way through the Bad Beat Challenge tournament. I won the Sunday night PokerWorks HORSE tourney a couple of nights ago on PokerStars (you should all play in that, it's every other Sunday and only a $5.50 buy-in). Tonight, I finished tenth in the local Amateur Poker League monthly venue championship tournament. Up and down, as my poker ride tends to go.
I'm practically counting the days to the WPBT Winter Classic. Now that I have played a little live poker again, the itch is getting stronger and I'm excited about being back in Las Vegas. I'm still planning to visit the Pinball Hall of Fame and Museum, probably some time on Friday. If there will be a group of poker bloggers going there, or if anyone wants to join forces to storm the place, count me in.