Sunday, December 20, 2009

Saturday night poker

So I'm in Las Vegas right now with the family for two days, but I actually got here on Saturday because I changed my flight so that I could avoid airport hassle and drama due to the East Coast snow storm.

And since I got a nice cash bonus from work, I decided to take $200 of it to the Mandalay Bay poker room to see how long my single buy-in would last.

My only real cash table experience has been at our monthly home games in Harlem where I've slowly been getting better at getting a feel of when to play and when not to play. The buy in is at $20 and the blinds are at 5 cents and 10 cents, so spending $200 at a $1/$2 table is a big leap upwards.

The poker gods were kind to me and gave me some good hands that I played decently. The table was fun, too, with not just a Crazy Asian Man at the far end of the table who played super-aggressively, but a Crazy Asian Couple who sadly had to leave because they wanted more action at the Venetian.

The guy to my left was this real nice guy named Doug who refused to tell me what he did for a living because, as he claimed, I would never believe him. Unfortunately, I never got to find out what it was he did, but the way he was acting and dressed, I either put him as a high-powered exec who was slumming or someone else who was famous. After half a tiny bottle of water, I started almost matching him beer for beer and that may have lead to my ultimate downfall.

After straddling the table twice and being paid off well, I thought I had the best hand and the board beat (but I forget what I had, maybe two pair). The guy to my right who looked like someone I knew from NYC but wasn't and I were heads-up, in for a lot, and pot-committed. He had a flush draw, I improved on the turn, and then he totally sucked out on the river when the last heart came. There went a lot of my stack.

I ended up spewing the rest of my chips to Doug in the very next hand when I thought I had top pair but he beat me with something else. He was a real gentleman and said that he really didn't want to take my money, but I was a lady and said, "Hey, it's just poker, and it's okay." Yeah, I was on tilt, but I put on a smile, waved everyone farewell, and then donked off $5 at the penny slots just to even out a bit before catching a cab back to my hotel.

However, in total, I played for 4 hours on $200, made great calls, joked around with people at the table, saw great hands come my way (boats and one non-flushed straight that was on a straddle, I believe), and feel much better about myself as a player.

Now, if I can only learn how to play "Race for the Galaxy"...

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