Sunday, May 1, 2011

Trip Report - Rivers Casino, Pittsburgh

Tony and I spent Saturday and Sunday at the Rivers casino in Pittsburgh, PA this weekend.

I like the casino and poker room in general. It seems well-run. Food was good. My tables were friendly.

My poker experience was nothing to write home about. My table for most of Saturday night was too talented overall to win any money. A few bad players hopped in and out for a couple hours and left. My biggest mistake of the trip was not leaving this table - Tony was sitting elsewhere with drunks and calling stations and having a grand old time. My night was a marathon grind that left my head pounding and my mental faculties drained.

And I ended up with very few hands. I had pocket aces 4 times on the trip - only one time did I get a call preflop, and that player folded on a uber-dry ten-high flop. I made a nice squeeze with pocket kings to take down $50 preflop. I flopped zero sets. Pocket kings get two callers and they both outflop me (AT and 22, 22 hits a set, AT hits an ace). I am disciplined enough to keep folding, folding, folding - I lose the minimum on these hands, but didn't have too many chances to win it back.

My biggest hand of the trip was a little four-five suited that hit two pair on the flop, a flush draw on the turn, and a baby-boat on the river. Even then, an aggressive player bombed the river and put me all in - I thought for sure I was going to see a bigger full house, but I think my opponent just decided to represent the hand I was holding. A lucky double-up kept me close to even.

Because I was up against a better overall class of players, I felt like I had to make some moves, and almost none of these worked out for me. I knew I was in trouble when I stabbed and an innocuous-looking 8-2-2 flop with ace-high, and got raised and then reraised. One player had pocket eights, then other had king-deuce. So much for innocuous! I raised one button against limpers with a weak hand - 86s, then had to show it down to a player who called anyway with king-six and flopped two pair. After showing that hand down, nobody believed a thing I did anymore, and I never hit the real hand to make them pay.

My stacked bobbed between down $150 and up $25, and we called it a night after 11 hours of poker with me up a stunning ten dollars. With my cards, I was ecstatic to be in the green by even 1 big blind.

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