Went to Harrah’s earlier this week. Really wanted to head up to Sands to check it out but had a few errands to run first and got a late start to begin with so decided on Harrah’s as they have more tables so was figuring on a shorter wait time.
Trip down did not bode well. More idiots on the road than usual, so many in fact I swore there was a full moon that night. Subsequent events did nothing to prove me wrong. I also had to make an extra stop as I put the wrong amount in when I hit the ATM before heading down and had shorted myself for what I had hoped to do. There are ATMs at the casino and the Harrah’s in AC don’t charge a fee for theirs but I didn’t actually know about these so I figured I would rather have my full bankroll with me than have to use their ATM and find a ridiculous charge. For those of you going down and need to get money there is a Wawa with free ATM on the same road, think it’s Rte 291, that the casino is on but in the other direction. As you come off the road from 95 and go down to 291 you would turn right to get to Harrah’s but if you go left about a mile down the road, just past the hotels there is a Wawa on the right side. I did check an ATM inside the casino and there was no tag on it saying it charged a fee but given that banking regs went down the tube I don’t know if they are still required to put that info on the machines any more.
So I get to the poker room and, surprise, no wait at all for a 1-2 NL table. Since I wanted to check them out and had brought the bankroll to do it I decided to give it a go and was seated right away. Mix of young and old guys at the table and it was my type of table, mostly reasonable play preflop, mostly a post flop game. I had resolved to wait for my BB and watch the table and then play ABC poker for the first hour or so to get a sense of the table. I was sitting in MP so figured to watch a few hands but found out that while they make you post in limit games there is no initial post in the NL games so I’m dealt cards right away. Great. Even better I’m dealt A-K suited. So much for watching for awhile. Gets to me with a couple limpers and I go 6 just to see what happens to a standard 3xs. I get 4 callers. Hokay. I spike the ace on a non threatening board and after a check to me I bet out 20, get a caller but a blank on the turn and a 50 bet gets me the pot. Another bad sign, I win my first hand. Play goes along with a lot of limping and most preflop raises are in the 5 to 15 range. A 3 to 6 times raise usually got a couple callers. The guy 2 to my left is a biker looking guy with tattoos all over his arms and a pretty good stack in front of him. Find out he owns a tattoo parlor. He’s playing a lot of flops and will usually call a raise if he has already limped. They guy immediately to my left also has a decent stack but is a bit more conservative. They seem to be the two big stacks at the table with maybe about 600. The rest seem to range from around 100 to 300. Only other guy of note is a semi-crazian in the 10. I say semi because he’s not betting massively to start, mainly limping, but a lot of his post flop bets he’s shoving his stack, about 150. He’s also chattering a lot when he’s in the hand. He eventually moves over to the 1 which puts him next to me as I’m in the 2. Game goes on and I win a few small pots. My preflop raises are all over the board, decided I wasn’t going to be consistent and give anyone a line on me. Mostly I’m picking up the pot on the flop with either a c-bet or I actually hit something and most of the chips are courtesy of the guy with the tats as he just can’t seem to give up a hand once he’s put money in the pot preflop.
I went on a mini rush when I decided to get tricky with the T-2 of spades OTB and raised to 8. Got 2 callers including Tats. Flop gives me 2 spades and so I bet out 20 after it gets checked to me. Tats calls. Turn is a blank and we both check. River a spade and I bet out after he checks and he folds saying, “ guess you caught you flush.” I say nothing then. Next hand I get 7-8 suited and again raise from the cutoff. Again I get Tats and a young guy in the 7 calling. Flop gives me two pair on a rainbow board and I bet out after a couple checks. Both call. Turn brings a flush draw out there to add to the straight draw and so again I bet out and get Tats calling and I know he’s chasing. River fills me up but unfortunately doesn’t complete the flush and I bet and Tats folds showing the busted flush and a low pair. He hit the pair on the flop and the nut flush draw on the turn. Next hand I again get a decent hand, 9-9 and again raise and again hit the flop, spiking the set. This time however there are two suited with 2 other players. Tats bowed out of this one as he was button with no chips in and I raised before he could limp. After two checks I bet the pot and both fold. The Crazian next to me makes a remark about the bet as it was kind of big for a flop bet and I tell him that with the flush draw out there I’m not giving anyone an opportunity to suck out on me. If they want to chase they’re going to have to do it at the wrong odds. He looks at me like this is a new concept and as I later found out that pot odds, at least when chasing, didn’t seem to mean a thing to these guys. They were going to do it anyway. Anyway I hit 3 in a row, catching a decent hand on my tricky playing and hitting decent hands and improving them. I was up maybe 120 to 150 as I did drop some here and there, mainly on C-bets that didn’t work or occasionally when someone turned their flush or straight after calling my flop bet. Very few hand went to showdown at least when I was in them. I did felt one guy but he didn’t have a whole lot by then. I had flopped straight and flush draws and bet the semi bluff and he shoved for about 30 more. Pot was decent enough that I called after everyone else folded and I caught my flush to beat his 2 pair. I was doing ok and probably would have stayed there until 2 things happened that changed the dynamic.
First, my buddy Tats left. He was headed down to NC to help a sick friend who owned a tattoo parlor also so he headed home for some rest before his trip the next day. The guy in the 3 also left so a good portion of the chips left the table. I hated to see Tats go as he was a nice guy and, more importantly, while he was winning from the rest of the table he was donating to my stack. Not a lot on any one hand but regularly. The second event was what could have been my best hand of the night. Could have. I have T-J suited in the cutoff and raise to 8 and get two callers, the BB and a guy in EP who limped. Not unusual. The flop hits me but is dangerous as hell T-6-J of hearts. Oh damn I hate this shit. BB bets out 20 and EP comes along. I figure one of them hit it but figure I’ll see the 20 for the 4 outer. Turn is a 9. Oh damn, just gets worse. BB bets 25 and I figure on calling if the EP comes along but instead he makes it 50. Fuck. Now I know I’m definitely behind and I’m also in the middle. Even if I call the 50 what’s to keep BB from reraising. I don’t want to go betting my stack on a 4 outer which is the potential situation and no sense wasting the 50 so I give it up and muck. River brings the frigging jack and BB bets out 50 and gets called. Damn. Damn, damn, damn. Being in position I could probably have picked up another 50 from at least 1 of them if I min raised or possibly even tripled up. Oh well, what can one say, woulda, coulda, shoulda? I know the fold was correct given the situation but one can dream. After that it was like the cards decided my lack of trust in them was not worthy of a decent hand and I went to fold city and the few hands I did play never panned out. I didn’t lose anything big but I started bleeding the death of a thousand cuts.
In the meantime a new player arrived in the 3 seat. Well dressed, fairly large, well groomed hair, not young, not old, kind of guy you might see at a country club or an upscale health club. First hand he plays he limps and then calls a raise from the young guy in the 7, think it was about 10 or 12. Flop comes Q and two little ones, rainbow and Country Club Guy (CCG) bets 25 and the 7 min raises to 50. That’s another thing I noticed at the table, the minraise was the standard on any bet 20 or over. Unfortunately except for that one hand mentioned earlier I was never in a situation where raises were involved post flop unless I made them. But back to our story. So CCG calls. Turn is a blank and CCG checks and the 7 bets and CCG calls. River is another Q and CCG bets, guy in 7 shoves and is called by CCG and for some reason seems surprised that his PP aces have been cracked by CCG’s trip queens. Now the trash talk starts. Nothing like a 1-2 NL game to bring out a good case of testosterone poisoning. Seat 7 starts calling CCG an idiot. Didn’t he see he was obviously beat? CCG is replying that he wasn’t beat on the river and that the 7 wasn’t betting enough to chase him off his hand. Obviously they both had points. CCG limped from EP with a Q-J off and then called 8 more in a raise. OTOH he was right, an 8 raise with aces from a later position with some limpers in front and a min raise on the flop were a couple of poor bets to protect those aces. Even the 50 on the turn in to the check was less than half the pot. And of course the shove in to the obvious trip queens was idiocy itself. In subsequent hands CCG did prove to be a very loose player though a very lucky one. Watching his play had me itching for a big hand to part him from some of his increasing stack but it seems he kept sucking out on those players who seemed to be afraid to make the kind of bets they needed to protect their hands. Of course there is nothing to say that he wasn’t going to call them down any way whether the odds were right or not. Saying that they are “priced in” is just some folk’s way of trying to justify donkey calls. Anyhow the two characters are bickering back and forth with CCG seeming to feel he had to be in the macho posturing game. Even the floor came over to keep an eye on things and caught CCG dropping the f-bomb when he told the young guy he was messing with the wrong fucking guy. The floor issued a warning and CCG rounded on him saying he didn’t start it and the floor said he wasn’t worried about who started anything then he just didn’t want to hear the f-bomb and CCG was the guy who dropped it. He wandered away but the battle flags were flying and as CCG kept playing loose and winning the temper at the other end of the table was just getting worse. As I said I was just looking for a big hand hoping to take advantage of either CCG’s play or Mr. Tilt but as I also said my cards had gone farther south than Tierra del Fuego. Finally I got up for a trip to the can and on my way back saw the fireworks still continuing to light up over the table so I decided to put myself on the 3-6 list and while walking back to the table ran in to a floor and asked about a table change. He said sure and moved me to another one right away and I bid adieu to my old table, not taking either side in the dispute.
I start off hot at the new table winning the first hand again. Couple hands later I catch A-K in the SB and raise and get two callers. Check dark and wind up smacking the flop. Button puts out a bet and I raise and third player drops out. Button tanks but then folds. Play goes on, again mainly a post flop game but not quite as loose as the first table so the pots are a bit smaller. A much more friendly atmosphere here however. Take a couple small pots, lose a couple of bets on the whole I’m up a few with the feeling I can probably grind out a profit here with a modicum of luck. Doesn’t look like a table where a lot of big pots are going to be played. I do get one decent pot when I felt a guy for about 45-50 bucks. I hit TPTK and bet around 18, somewhere in the neighborhood of 2/3s and he shoves. Everyone else folds and as it isn’t a whole lot more I call. He’s on a draw which doesn’t get there and my hand holds. I’m up maybe about 140 at this point and waiting for the 3-6 seat. I can see the board from where I’m sitting and notice I’ve gone from 3rd to 4th. WTF? I thought I saw something similar happen my first time there but the name disappeared so fast I thought I might have imagined it. Not this time however. Since he’s close I call the floor over and ask him what gives. He explains that 7 Stars members in Total Rewards get top of the list privileges. Ach so. OK, I’m in no hurry, this table is decent enough. For awhile the guy on the end is going crazy. Raises 7-8 times in a row preflop and bets or raises the flop. While it is possible I doubt anyone gets that many good hands in a row but no one is calling so what he actually had is anyone’s guess. He gets a few bucks from me when I play two hands with him. Once my A-Q called his preflop raise but whiffed the flop and the second time I bet my medium pair on a flop with 2 overs and he came over the top with a shove. I was tempted but didn’t feel like playing for over half my stack in that kind of situation so I folded. I dropped a few more bucks on big aces that whiffed pre and C-bets went nowhere. They finally called my name for 3-6 and I said goodbye to the table and moved to limit up maybe about $100.
So I sit down at the 3-6 and again I win my first hand. This table is a couple younger guys and the rest old men. Can’t really call them nitty though. I find 3-6 to be the old fart’s game. Most of them don’t have the patience for 2-4 and they don’t like to play NL. While I expect a lot of grousing at 3-6 tables you usually don’t get the fights that 1-2 produces, guess the testosterone has dried up. The grousing is very rarely about the play of the hands either, mainly because these type of guys are only slightly less donkish than 2-4 players so one guy calling another an idiot goes in to the pot and kettle file. It is usually about a lot of petty frikkin shit that gets on these guys nerves. While the table didn’t break out in to any fights these guys did their share to hold up their end of the spirit of the day. Play started of ok and I added a few bucks to my stack but the table was not really loose and pots weren’t exceptional. The one really good pot I was in I dropped a few chips when my flopped OESD hit the turn but his two pair rivered a boat. Knew I shouldn’t have raised that river. Seeing a lot of boats on the river in my short time playing here. Live poker is so rigged. Anyway I’m sitting there, maybe up a few bucks, when the blood starts rising at the 1-2 table behind me. From what I can hear there is a dispute over whether someone’s cards, apparently the best hand, were mucked or not. I couldn’t get the entire gist of what was going on because everyone and their uncle was talking, in very loud tones, all at once. The floor arrives and says something about going to the cameras and creates another hubbub because she has stopped play until it gets sorted out. Action junkies all it ain’t a popular ruling. Well they quiet down but I guess the disease was contagious because the old geezers at my table decide they need to get in on the action. As I said they don’t stand, yell and posture but they do make their gripes known. It starts out when a younger guy and his girlfriend sit in the first two seats. It’s obvious she has never played before. Think one of the reasons she might be playing is because Harrah’s has some kind of rule that only players can be in the room, no observers, and so no girlfriends sitting around watching. Personally I hate the rule as I like to wander and watch tables before I’m seated to get a feel for them. It’s not strictly enforced in the sense the floor goes looking and chasing but they will chase if it is called to their attention and the front desk does keep making announcements about it. Anyway I’m in the 4 seat when they sit down. After a couple hands the guy in the 2 has folded but the girl, in the 1, is still in. Now the guy starts to explain the betting pattern to her and right away a couple of the old farts start bitching that he isn’t allowed to help her, he knows what he has folded, etc., etc. Now I believe in 1 player to a hand but he isn’t helping her decide how to play her hand, just explaining the game itself to her, what the bet is, how much she can bet or raise, things like that. Even the dealer hasn’t said anything about it but these old fuckers keep busting him about and one particular asshole, more on him in a moment, starts berating the dealer about not doing anything about it. The guy tries to explain what he is doing, it’s fairly obvious by the way, but these coots are having none of it. She has a problem let her ask the dealer. That’s all well and good but it’s obvious this girl hasn’t a clue in hell about what she should even be asking. Finally the guy gives up but now he’s a bit pissed and finding opportunities to bust the stones on these guys whenever he can. He’s not real nasty, just sarcastic as hell and of course these old farts, being old farts, aren’t appreciating it. I’m trying to keep from busting out laughing at his remarks and their self righteousness.
As this goes on the guy in the 2 is practically in his girlfriends lap and again some of the farts start complaining that he’s so close to try and help her. The guy fires back that he squashed in there and someone has to move to give him room. As I said before, no cup holders on the table rim for folks to align themselves so people sit anywhere. Well one of the bitching old guys is taking up way too much space and the dealer asks him to move. He does some but is still way off his mark and the dealer tries to explain where he should be sitting. It seems the guys in the 5 and 6 seats should be aligning themselves on the dealers shoulders and this guy, in the 6, is right on her head and doesn’t want to move over any further which is squeezing in the seats on the low side of the table. Well she’s trying to get him to move and now the really obnoxious asshole starts on her. Let’s get going, it’s holding up the game, do it after you’re finished dealing and so on and so forth. He’s been bitching about the dealers not keeping the game moving almost the whole time I’ve been there but they’ve been doing a pretty decent job. Besides he was one of the loudest earlier telling a dealer to do their job in the “helping” incident. This dealer is only trying to do her job and get the players lined up right. Finally the floor comes over, gets the stubborn old coot to move and the game goes on though the grumbling is still going on and Mr. Big Shit is still giving the dealers all kinds of hell. I’m basically holding my own, maybe up a few more bucks but nothing spectacular. In the meantime one of the old farts leaves and is replaced by an older woman and thus begins my downfall. The woman was a calling station and a very lucky one and had my number. No matter what I had she found a way to river better and as, unlike a number of folks at limit, I bet my hands I’m starting to bleed. She will not fold an ace, bottom pair, nothing. I can’t beat her and it doesn’t seem I’m getting hands against others to collect any chips to replace what I’m sending her. I’m not bleeding here, I’m gushing. I’m saved, sort of, by the worst testosterone wave of the night. Major issue broke out at one of the tables in the front of the room. I’m at one of the back tables so can’t really get what is going on but I do hear someone say, “you can’t call me a cheater” which makes me turn to see what is going on and everyone at the table is standing, there are a number of spectators hanging around and 2 floor persons are trying to restore order. Have no idea what happened but they wound up milling around for about 10 minutes and the floor broke the table. Whether people were booted or just moved to other tables or a little of both the table was empty a short while later with a floor and 2 dealers going over the chip rack. In the meantime the ruckus seems to have scared off half our table as I turn around and find that 5 of the players have gone, mostly the farts. The floor comes around and someone asks about half rake and I ask about other games. I hate playing limit short handed as the pots never get big enough to make up for the small amounts you keep losing so I’m willing to cut for seats to another table. The floor says he’ll check and disappears and never comes back. I decide that I’m not playing short so get up and go look at the lists and there are 2 people on the wait for 2-4 so I put my name on it. It’s about 11 and I’m not ready to go home yet. Should have as 2-4 became a disaster and instead of going home about $50-60 winners I wound up losing about $40-50.
I’m sitting, waiting for my name to be announced for 2-4, seems there is only 1 table running, and I hear the dealer call an open seat. Now supposedly the Bravos show open seats on a screen at the desk and now the dealer has even called a seat so I’m watching the list. After about 5 min I still haven’t heard a name called and I’m still 3rd on the list so I wander over to the table. There I see an empty seat with a bunch of junk piled on top, which would seem to indicate it’s been empty a bit. There is also an empty spot with a comp card sitting in front of it and another guy getting up to leave. Figure someone has locked up the seat with the card but still haven’t heard a name called but that means still two open seats and dealer calls it out and updates his Bravo. I mosey on up to the desk and inform the young woman that she has two opens on the 2-4 table. By this time the list is at 5 or 6 people.. She says OK and goes back to fiddle farting around with whatever she seems to think is important rather than calling the list and I go sit. After about 10 min or so I see a floor over by the table and head over. He’s in the process of clearing chip racks off the empty chair and picking up the comp card and I ask what does it take to get a seat at the table. He apologizes and tells me to take a seat and states that the table was filled until 5 min ago. I don’t get belligerent about it but basically I tell him he is full of shit since it’s been about 10-15 min since I informed the desk there were open seats and still no one has called the list. Hello, wake up will you. If anyone does head to Harrah’s be proactive. While the dealers aren’t bad and getting better the damned desk personnel suck. Why they wasted the money on the Bravos I have no idea if they aren’t going to pay attention to them. If waiting wander the tables and look for empty seats because you might grow old and grey waiting for some of the desk help to call your name.
So I sit at the 2-4 table and basically the cards are cold. Well I’m only looking to donk around for another hour or so any way so I start playing like an idiot, blind raises, dark checks, you name it. It’s getting late and I’m entering the silly season. All this bullshit has me about even. One dealer sits down and starts talking about how screwed up the night was. Seems he was the dealer at the time the argument broke out over the mucked or not mucked situation. Seems that there were 3 players to the river and one guy turned over a flush and another said something about checking to see if he had a straight flush. 3rd guy laid down his hand face down and started to push them in when his girl friend behind him said something about him having a boat. It seems he then reached out and turned his cards over creating the controversy. Floor eventually ruled in his favor saying he had not actually mucked his hand and awarded him the pot. Oh yea, the other guy just had another flush, not a straight one. While we’re discussing it and it seems to me that all these characters that get bent out of shape don’t even know the rules of the game. While they are arguing over mucked or not it seems none of them brought up the one hand, one player issue. If it was me I would have asked the hand be declared dead because it was his girlfriend who informed him of the boat. Seems a pretty obvious violation of the one player rule to me. In fact I got a ruling like that last summer at Bally’s when I tabled a set of kings and a woman tossed her cards in face down and her brother told her she had a flush. The dealer hadn’t picked up the cards and they hadn’t hit the muck and so she tried to claim the pot and a dispute broke out as to whether it was a muck or not and the floor was called. He’s asking questions about how the cards landed and where and such when I interrupted him. Said it didn’t matter about her cards, her brother called her hand for her before she reached out and turned them over and asked that her hand be declared mucked for the one player violation. He agreed and I took the pot. Pissed her brother off to no end. The dealer said that was one of the reasons for no non players in the room. Seem to remember them making one of their announcements about that right after that little ruckus was settled.
Fortunately this table, and the rest of the room remained calm for my remaining time there. Unfortunately I can’t say it wasn’t frustrating. Now it is 2-4, no foldem holdem, and I am used to being sucked out on more than a little bit. However it is usually because you have 7 players in the pot and 5 of them are chasing something so someone is usually bound to hit. This night one old guy went on one of the most god damned heaters I have ever seen. It was suckout city alright but it was all being done by one old guy. I was sitting about even for the table with $100 in front of me when he sat down with about $60. 90 min later I finally left with my chips gone and he had somewhere about 350 in front of him. He played about 98% of the hands, called to the river on about 90% of those and probably won at least 80% of them. It was ridiculous. He was playing such garbage that those few times he folded preflop there was speculation on what he could have had as what he was tabling at showdown I wouldn’t think even a neophyte would play. Yet he kept hitting. One hand I particularly remember was one where I raise with the Hammer and he called along with a few others. Flop hits 7-3-2. Glorioski Sandy, top and bottom. Someone bets, I raise and only two, including this guy call. Turn is a blank and they check to me, I bet, he calls, other guy drops. River a 9 and he bets. Huh? WTF, no draws, what’s he got? I raise, he calls. He tables 9-3 off for a bigger 2 pair. 9-3 off and he called a 2 bet? Now I know it’s NFH but 9-3 off and a chase to the river. Thing is he wasn’t just throwing in extra bets when he had money in the pot. He was cold calling 2, 3 and even the occasional 4 bet with absolute trash. He couldn’t be stopped. It wasn’t just me either, he was smoking everyone at the table. When he finally felted me after my J-9 suited flopped top 2 and his 10-4 suited rivered a flush I had had enough. I had thought that somewhere along the line he was going to finally start paying me, or someone, off with his play but after 90 min I wasn’t digging back in to the wallet to find out. Wound up down around $50 as I said. Should have left when the 3-6 broke up.
Well I was planning on a trip out today but didn’t get a good night’s sleep so decided to just hang around and finish up this tale. Maybe a trip tomorrow. If I sack early I may had towards Sands if I wake early enough to beat the traffic. Let you know how it goes. Thanks for the listen.