Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Live poker.... Tuesday?

The wife informed me that she was taking the girls to hair appointments at the salon after school today (I wonder what that ended up costing, afraid to look), and that I would be on my own for the evening. I decided it was high time I finally check out the Nautica Charity poker room in Cleveland.

Some history - I had previously stayed away from this room, the only legal public room in the city, because their form a rake was a $15/hour seat fee. This was simply too expensive, especially for a tighter player like I am. I couldn't beat that type of rake at a $1/$2 table. Sure, I could play for fun and not worry about the rake, but I could also do this in my basement on Thursday evenings for much cheaper.

But then earlier this year, a lovely thing happened - a poker room that is successful in Columbus opened up a branch here in Cleveland (actually a suburb), and gave the charity poker room a run for their money. They offered $1/$2 with a normal rake for a couple months, until the city shut them down (I actually showed up to try this room for the first time about 3 days after they shut down, and blogged about it here. They never reopened).

The few months that this Gemini Club was open, the regulars flocked to this room because of the lower rake, and the Nautica was forced to change to a normal rake system as well. They have thankfully kept the rake that way even though they are once again the only game in town.

I am aware that live casino poker can be a pretty wild affair, and I was ready to mix it up as necessary. I was quickly reminded when I saw a hand that went raise (6x to $12), call, call, call, all-in for $60-something more, call (then folds around). The caller flipped over queen-three suited. The all in guy never showed, but the board came with an ace and a jack and he threw his hand into the muck, with queen-high taking it down. I also saw three-six suited crack pocket aces. There were gamblers aplenty at the table, and you should be able to win some money if you can dodge the hidden monster hands.

I sat in with my 70 big blinds and folded my way around the first few orbits. I pegged the calling stations at the table right away, as well as the two aggro guys who didn't like limped pots, especially on their button. I already knew I was limp-shoving on one of them if I could get dealt aces at the right time.

My first played hand, after two orbits of folding, was king-queen suited (spades). I raised two limpers to $15 (including one of the aggro guys), and then someone mucked and revealed the nine of spades, a card I would have liked to still have been in the deck. I whiffed the flop and the aggro fired. I had a calling station behind me and just gave up. The aggro guy won with three-seven, hitting his three.

I found king-queen again an orbit later and open-raised to $12. This time everyone folded except one calling station and one aggro. I hit the queen with a queen-jack-seven rainbow board and bet $20. Calling station called. The turn brought another seven - easily a card this guy could hold, but mathematically not likely. I bet $25 and he called again. The river bricked and I bet $25 more. He thought a bit and folded - I'm guessing a jack-ten or jack-nine type of hand.

That was the last hand worth playing for 2 hours. A couple of borderline hands were considered but folded. No suited connectors or small pairs to take a shot on this night.

After a mere three hours, I felt tired and hungry and not 100% in the mood to play. I called it an early night, up $60 from my king-queen. Nautica will be a fine place to play if the Thursday night game falls apart, or on the odd Friday when nothing else is going on.

No comments: