A Little Fun at the Casino

published on 02/23/06 at 2:19 pm

I’ve been playing hold’em now for about a year and a half. I started off playing a lot. That dwindled down to weekly. Lately though, I just haven’t found the time to go play. Most of my play is in the local Amateur Poker League. It is all free and strictly for fun. You have the downsides of it being not real money, but the upside is you meet people and play a great game. Many players will indeed give you their best. I recommend it to anyone that wants to go out and play without the stress of losing money.

That said, I’ve played a bit online and a tiny bit at casinos. I’ve had the chance to play a little at a couple casinos. I thought I’d share an experience I had.

First, I play for fun. No-Limit is my preference. I’ll go in on a 1-2 no-limit or a 2-5 no-limit table. The max buy in is usually $100. Rule #1 for me, is I’m ready to lose that $100. I can only hope I can play at least 2 hours and get my money’s worth of entertainment. The few chances I’ve had to play I was pretty much pressed on not being able to sit around and await golden hands. I usually get 2-3 hours before I need to be elsewhere due to business or family arrangements on my trips.

So last trip out I sit down with $100 in chips at the 2-5 no limit table. First thing I look for is chip stacks. (Perhaps the more experienced of you can tell me just how long it takes to acquire the 5-6 stacks of $100 when the max buy-in only gets you one stack. Is it fabulous play? Is it because they’ve been there for 2 days? Seriously, in the 20 or so hours I’ve spent playing at a casino, I’ve never once seen someone win more than $150 in one hand. Nor have I seen anyone go on sick ass runs.) Anyway, I see a few hands. Pretty quickly I can tell peoples behaviors. I quickly get an idea of who is a calling station and who to watch out for. I’m about one hour in. I’ve won a couple hands and I’ve folded plenty. It’s been fun. I’ve chatted up the other players and watched some good poker.

I finally look down at my hand to see one of the better starting hands I get. AQ off-suit. I make the standard table raise to $15 to see the flop. 2 callers. Good situation I feel. I’ll have no problem folding. Out comes the flop. Q93 rainbow flop. Beautiful. Both guys check, pots around $50 so I bet $50. I’m pretty much sure I’ve got it and from the way the table had been playing, it should be enough to win the hand without any more cards. One folds the other thinks a few moments and then calls. I know I’m in the lead. I had watched him for an hour and knew how he was working. Out comes the turn. It’s a J. Well, shit. I’ve only got $20 left. He quickly puts in enough for me to go all in and I throw my remaining $20 in. Pot committed right? I knew I just got outdrawn. I put him on at least 2 pair, probably QJ. The pre-flop raise to $15 had proved time and again at the table to be a relatively nice raise and would usually clear the garbage. No one was slow playing big hands and I had position, he was limping in the hand pre-flop but called my raise. So I toss out big pocket pair. I figure I at least have a fair chance to improve my hand or perhaps catch my inside straight draw. I’m a little suprised when he turns over K10. He paid $50 to catch an inside straight. It was the first time I saw him make that kind of move at the table. Ace on the river, no help to me though it made my losing hand look nicer.

So I get pretty steamed about it later that night. I shrugged it off at the casino. I’ve played a lot of poker and know those hands come and go. I wouldn’t even really call it a bad beat in my experience. But what’s playing poker without analyzing your play even when you feel you didn’t do much wrong. I relay the experience to my brother and he pretty much agrees. Aside from going all in post flop, what’s a guy to do. The all-in probably wouldn’t have mattered anyway. I’m happy I didn’t let him see it cheaply but I’m steamed he paid to see it.

This was several months ago so my reflection now might be vague. I thought about sharing my experience here at pokerplasm.com for a while. Just now getting around to it. I hope it gives someone some idea of
what kind of things to expect. On a better day I win that hand and double my stack to $180.

The important thing though is this:

  • Go in with a game plan.
  • Don’t leave an open budget on your ATM card. Be prepared to lose that $100 or $200. Make sure you won’t miss that money either.
  • Luck swings every direction in poker.
  • Don’t be afraid to walk away.
  • What is more, I was having a great time. It would have been very easy to go get another $100. But I stuck to my plan and walked away. Be careful not to think that was just bad luck and it won’t happen again.

    Panache Josh is low limit hold’em player and enjoys sharing his experiences with other poker enthusiasts.

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    One Response to “A Little Fun at the Casino”

    1. RocketManAA

      Feb 23rd, 2006

      Great storie. Very informitive.

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