Friday Night Poker
If you've known me for any length of time or seen my show you know I spend time in casinos. I love, love poker. An area to simultaneously test my skills, make some spending cash, and try out some new premises on a crowd.
Now I'll visit this specific topic in a later blog, but for the sake of today's entry all you need to know is my local casino is it is hands down the absolute worst I've ever been in. The most customer-adverse atmosphere you could imagine. Rampant examples some time in the future.
One of the casino's delightful features is the inability to call and ask them if they have a poker game going. So you have to drive 30km out of town to even find out if there is a game (or 2, or 3, they got rid of the 4th table last year) and then put your name on the list hoping for a seat before they shut down for the night.
I manage to sit for almost 2 hours waiting for a seat. (Gave me a chance to bang out blog #1) Sitting and waiting in a casino is not an easy thing to do, but I make it.
So now it's 11:00 and I'll live (to me at least) blog as I go.
11:15 - Too much action too fast. Manage to hop up $50 and back to even in less than 10 hands. I have a lot of inexperienced kids at my table that are easy to read. I have too much gamble in my system and I've been waiting too long. Deep breath and some water.
11:30 - I got a coffee, which is actually quite the accomplishment in this place. The casino at one point realized they couldn't manage to competently hand out free coffee, so they brought in Tim Hortons. The little old ladies playing the slots were NOT impressed.
Now to make it interesting, the waitresses aren't allowed to get you a coffee from Tim's, even if you pre-pay them. So you have to leave the poker table to walk to the Tim's to get your beverage.
Now it's Friday night at 11:00 in a casino, why would they have more than one employee in the Tim's? So the line is long and slow.
But I've got the coffee. A new shark (and a real @$$hole) has joined the table, and the kids are getting antsy, thinking about running away with their small wins.
12:00 - I move from the 3rd game to the 2nd. A very significant skill jump in my opponents and more risk with bigger stacks, but in a backwards way it feels safer. With lots of crazy kids hands can be very unpredictable, this table will be playing "normal".
12:30 - What's a win? I always struggle with this. I'm up a very small amount. Like enough to cover the 60 km in gas it costs to come out here. How is that a "win"? One of the things that keeps casinos profitable is the idea of turning $10 into $10,000. That pipe dream keeps people at the tables long enough to run themselves broke. But $20 into $50? That's actually 150% profit. Could you imagine your stock portfolio going up 150% in a year (much less a night?)
12:55 - A lack of premium. While any two cards can win in hold'em, usually you want to start with a solid holding. This blog is actually keeping me very self aware. So far tonight I've had ZERO premium hands (AA, KK, QQ, AK, JJ, even 1010). It's true with hands like that you usually win a small pot or lose a big one, but this is starting to feel like work, and you get envious of guys who have had at least 3 of a kind 5 times already.
1:10 - I finally put a small beat on the @$$hole. I've been watching the Pokerstars live coverage on Twitch the last two weeks, and I've picked up some new ideas and concepts. I called off his big bet with a small pair based off what he 'should' have, and won. He looked at me like I was completely incapable of that call, and I can tell his opinion of my play has changed instantly. How many times that worked on me in the past is the past, this time I'm better, I'm smarter, and I caught him. He's taking a lap to cool off.
2:10 - Time to go. The poker shuts down at 2:30, and the last dozen hands are always a gong show. Everyone that's stuck (down) push hard trying for a miracle recovery. I was never really up or down tonight, walking out with an extra $20 in my pocket and thankful, reminding myself most often people walk out of this place with much less than they walked in with.