Get Your Groove On–Laughlin Poker in 2006

Get Your Groove On

Ah, back in the groove of things again. Nothing feels better than finding a niche, and letting things come together. It’s like a puzzle and you find a piece that makes other pieces stand out, and place easily. Suddenly the momentum gets going and snowballs swiftly and easily downwards. I love that feeling.

Yesterday we decided to try this new NLHE tournament we’d heard of at Ramada. I was so out of the loop in poker until recently that I didn’t even know Ramada had a real poker room. As far as I knew, they still had those two or three lonely tables at the end of the gaming pit, stocked with blackjack dealers.

Now they have many tables, with a view of their little railroad station and the train stopping by every fifteen minutes. It is nice. I love trains and the sound of the rails.

They also have promotions rivaling Riverside, while combining some of the better things that the Belle had to offer. The reason that the promos are set up with those things in mind is because the CRM has worked at both properties.

She seems like a nice woman. I knew her at the Belle as a dealer. She also worked at Riverside in many capacities.

She is the new CRM and is trying to promote the room by offering promos which are pretty great, even for Laughlin. She is paying $1.25 per hour for live play, plus poker merchandise based on hours played. They have a coffee machine in the room, although the coffee is horrible. Ditto water cooler, which is great for me, because I drink so much water, and so often, that it seems only Riverside can keep up with my consumption.

She has one tournament, and it is a biggie. I have heard people talking about how great it is during the past couple weeks at RS. It is a $55 buy-in. Only $5 goes to the house. There is an optional dealers add-on for $5 which increases chip count. No rebuys.

We start with 8k in chips, and only 100/200 levels, which super gradually increase every 20 minutes. There is plenty of play in this event, even after three hours.

It is a bounty tourney, which means whenever players get eliminated, the person who eliminated him gets a bounty. Most bounties are worth $10, but they come in sealed envelopes, and there are bonus bounties worth varying amounts up to $100. That money comes from the BBJ drop (“promotional fund”), not the prize pool.

So this was the first Saturday we’d played at Ramada. We got there early, about 1pm, as I’d heard it sells out just about every week. Sure enough, there were hordes of people from every cardroom around town. The word was out.

Glenn and I rode the train for a diversion and some fun before the event. It must have brought us good luck ;)

We both started the event strong. Glenn eliminated opponent after opponent, as did I. I just happened to always have a big hand when someone else did. But they always had the 2nd biggest hand.

I got many bounties. I got so many at my table that the floorman just kept coming up to me with the envelopes, instead of asking where the bounty went. I knocked out about ten people in the first two hours.

All of my bounties were $10 except one, which was the $60 bonus. Glenn and I kept them together at first, so I don’t know how many I made, but it was close to $170 in bounties alone!

I was the chip lead off and on during the first two hours, steamrolling my table.

And then I started making mistakes.

My first mistake was not demanding to know how the prize pool was calculated. The CRM just kept saying she was “working on it,” and that the “final table gets paid.”

So we had 88 runners altogether, and ten get paid. Sounds logical. On the surface, that is.

What she neglected to say is that she was going to try that old Belle trick of paying 6-10 only $50, instead of real money.

So that was my first mistake. I assumed that 6-10 got some percentage of the prize pool, when instead they got a pittance.

My second mistake was trying to play conservatively with a big stack, instead of continuing to steamroll the table as we got close to the final. I went from about 80k in chips down to 30k by simply sitting on my butt doing nothing. Big mistake. I had many playable hands.

So I live and learn. I truly am not meant for tournament play, and I know this, but there is no way I’ll miss this tourney in the future, so I will study and read Rodman & Harrington until I learn that I cannot make these crucial errors in the future.

Sure enough, by trying NOT to bubble, I managed to bubble.

At blinds of 4/8k I was UTG with AJo and only 30k. I made a steal attempt.

A guy who’d been at my table the entire tourney, who played about 90% of his hands (southern Callie), who had been up to 100k and down to the felt by playing every hand, who made terrible calls, decided that his pocket tens were too strong to lay down (heck, 90% of his hands were “too strong to lay down!”). I got no help, and I was the bubble. Serves me right.

Glenn made the final table with a ton of chips and a few more bounties to add to his huge collection.

The prize pool was extremely top heavy, with first place winning a whopping 45%!!! 2nd through fifth won a much smaller amount.

Glenn was up and down during the final table play, but never in big danger of being eliminated.

He took out a couple more opponents and was the lucky winner of the $85 bonus bounty. That brought our total bounties up to a huge $265!!!

When play got down to four players, there was a big jump in blinds. They were 10/20k and three of the four players left had about 80k, all within 2k of each other. The chip lead, however, had about 550k! He was a nice guy whom I’d talked to for over an hour on my table.

Glenn realized that it had suddenly become a huge crapshoot for everyone except the chip lead, who was playing his big stack correctly.

Glenn proposed to the other three that they split the prize money evenly. They all realized how prudent this was, and the chip lead made the big tip. Everyone seemed happy about it.

I was playing in a dinky NLHE cash game there. 1/2 blinds on a Stud table. $40 min/$100 max buy-in. I made $56 in about 30 minutes, until Glenn’s tournament ended.

We decided to head over to Riverside, which was rocking on a Saturday night, with the holiday weekend.

I started out at 4/8 HE, until I could get an Omaha seat. I was about even when I was called to O8. The players were actually playing pretty close to correctly at O8, and I couldn’t catch a thing, so I was quickly down $60. I put my name back on 4/8.

The players in the 4/8 game were some of the worst I’d seen, even at RS. Lots of weird plays. In fact, the plays were so baffling that even today I’m trying to figure out what they could possibly have been thinking.

In one hand, there were a ton of limpers and I raised with AKo in MP. Many cold calls in LP. The flop came AKx, with two hearts. I bet right out in first position. I only got two callers, but they were the strangest calls I’ve ever seen. The first was this elderly man who bet and called down hands with no possible chance of winning. He also misstated his hands many times. I’m not sure how much of it was an act, and how much was genuine disability. I think it was some of both, but leaning towards just being totally unaware of what was going on. He was also drinking heavily.

As he was trying to call, a lady in LP was raising out of turn. She is the woman I spoke about yesterday who misplayed aces so badly that I quoted the old 2+2 expression “misplayed on every street.”

She can be tricky, but most of her plays are odd just for oddness sake itself, it seems like. She is another soCallie, I believe, from overhearing her talk. She is very obese, old, and wears a wig. I’m sure her real hair cannot be nearly as hideous as the wig, but go figure. It is clear that she tries to take care of her appearance as best as possible for someone so overweight and at her age. So I’m not sure if the wig is due to cancer treatment, or just the type of thinning and balding that elderly women seems to stumble upon as they age. At any rate, she has money, and she has balls. She is trying to take care of herself and is clean and wears expensive clothing and jewelry, so I have nothing but positive to say in that regard (if you saw the people who frequent the RS, you would realize what a huge compliment this is).

She is aggressive and has balls. Only during promo hands does she play passively (like the aces in yesterday’s post).

So she was raising me out of turn, just assuming that the elderly man was sooooooo slowly calling (his M.O.). George tried to halt things, and came back to the elderly man, who declared he would make it three bets, then. The table erupted saying that we can’t play clock-wise, counter clock-wise, then clock-wise again, lol. Although I would like nothing more than to make it four bets myself, even I could not set my ethical standards aside long enough to take advantage of these two bumbling idiots.

I made it three bets, and no one raised again.

On the turn, the flush came right out. I looked at my opponents, but had no idea where they were coming from, given the clueless look on their faces. So I checked and the elderly man bet out. The woman called and I called, but while waiting for the river, the elderly man rechecked his hole cards and suddenly I knew I was still ahead.

I bet the blank river, getting called by both opponents.

The woman mucked instantly, the old man showed pocket queens!!! Yes, one heart. Whew!

Not long after this, we decided to leave for the night. It was past 10pm and we’d been in Laughlin since 1pm. I was beat and Glenn seemed whipped, too.

I had a few more good hands in that session. I played treys after a dozen or more limpers, lol, and flopped a set, which I bet the whole way. I could go on, but they were mostly straight up hands.

I recooped my $60 from Omaha, and made $100 more.

Good times!

Felicia :)

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About Felicia Lee

Poker, Writing
This entry was posted in Poker, Tournament Poker. Bookmark the permalink.

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