Saturday, May 31, 2008

Live 1/2NL Casino Niagara Poker - Friday May 30th, 2008

The Casino Niagara poker room will never be on anyone's must-play list. The casino is 'fun' and low-end, the people rejoice over the (at times) $5 minimum table games and the cheap ringing slots that seem mesmerizing. It's what I imagine a downtown vegas casino would be like, the cheaper ones -- note, i've still never been to Vegas so can't say.

For some reason, once in a while I get the craving to play live poker. No it's not +EV to play B&M at low limits but neither is poker in general for me these days. I make more money working on my business than I do playing cards and that's a positive thing. However, once in a while I need to de-stress and that's where raping and pillaging at the tables come into play.

Friday morning I decided I was going to go play some live poker. I just felt like it, and the girlfriend was playing soccer so I had nothing to do anyways. Hit the bank machine for $300 in ammo, called for the list 90 mins ahead of time, and I'm in.

Casino Niagara, being the bastard red-headed stepchild to the sparkly new Fallsview Casino is where the low limit players go to fool around. At the time I arrived, there were 6 tables of 1/2 No-Limit Hold'em 100-max buyin playing. They were putting together a list for 2/5NLHE with $100 min $200 max (lol) and supposedly were going to open a $1/2 with $200 max which is actually reasonable but I never heard a thing about it. Anyways, got my ass in a $100 max seat upon arrival (calling 90 mins ahead is good) and off we go.

My table was, to put it mildly, awful. Let's put some names and descriptions to the people I recollect as being noteworthy.

On my left is Ponytail Korean Ultradonk (PKU). He is the worlds biggest calling station, playing no less than 80% of his hands and nearly always for a call. He dropped 6 buyins over the course of 2 hours and kept getting his random hands rivered. Sounds like he's a regular.

Then there is an ultratight nit (Nit). Old guy, maybe 50 with a mostly grey rough beard and missing teeth, speaks with a light russian accent. Clearly he comes here just to milk the cow that is awful other players, as you never ever saw him put money in bad and thus hardly ever put money in the pot at all.

To his left is Sunglasses TAG. Now, theres something about people who wear sunglasses and a hoodie at 1/2NL. Maybe it's just me, just strikes me as ridiculous. One dealer (nice guy, pitches well) mentioned theres a guy at another table with sunglasses with the 4 suits across them... I didn't get to see those but rest assured if I had I'd have put a pic up here ultraquick.

Jacques the French Semi-Bluffer (Frenchie) is clearly dropped upon us from the great (canada owned) province of Quebec. He had this slight tell where he'd just randomly go all in with draws to push people off of pots (including gutshots). Not surprisingly, the other players didn't catch onto this... duh. 1/2NL at Casino Niagara, 'nuff said. Jacques sort of looked like that tall guy from Something About Raymond who plays poker, and has sunglasses to hide his bluffing eyes from the rest of the table.

Asian Lady - top pair arr-in on frop! Yep, every time.

Dirty High Degenerate Guy (DHDG). This guy was on something - as high as a kite and kept spacing out at the table. He sort of smelled, took far too long to act or even realize what was going on, but had a stack of $600 in front of him. Wasn't a BAD player just very loose and people kept giving him money.

Good times.

Notable hands for the Toast-man include:

A9s in the SB, limp into a 7 way pot. Flop is AAQ. I check and it checks around. Turn is an K, I bet $5 into the $14 pot hoping to get raised by a K trying to pick it up (Sunglasses TAG is a likely culprit). All fold to the shortstack on my right who calls. River is an A. I take my time, check my cards and push all my chips into a $24 pot (over $80), unfortunately he only has $45 and calls with a K and loses to my Quads. No, I didn't slowroll him, he left the table right after.

I raise JJ in position to $10, PKU calls, DHDG calls. Flop is A-6-5, check to me I bet $20 into the $30 pot, PKU calls and DHDG checkraises to $40. I instamuck and of course PKU gets all in and loses to flopped aces up.

I limp 6h 8h into a multiway pot in middle position (it was that sort of table). Flop is Th-7h-4s so I have a monster draw at the gutshot heart straight flush draw, double belly buster and hearts. Fortunately the BB leads for $10, DHDG calls, I make it $35, Asian Lady flat-calls in SB, BB calls and DHDG folds. Pot is $137 and I have $80ish behind. Turn is 7d pairing the board. Asian lady PUSHES for $48, BB folds and I spend some time wonder wtf she has. If she has a full house, I'm completely dead to one card, but why push with a boat? The nut flush draw worries me as well but in the end I think they would choose to draw freely (if this were Frenchie i'd fold right here, he's master of draw pushes). Anyways, I figure out my pot odds are too huge to fold (190:50 basically) with this many potential outs and unlikelihood of her boat and I call. I make my flush on the river and she flops Ace-Ten with no hearts. Yay.

I raise A-Qo in middle position to $10, flop is 3 ways with Asian lady and DHDG. Flop is A-T-x, checked to me I bet $15, Asian Lady calls on the button and DHDG calls. Turn is a K, DHDG checks, I check because I don't want this pot to be HUGE and Asian Lady pushes. DHDG folds and I tank for 2 mins to count. Pot is $75 and shes betting $63 so I'm getting 2:1. This was actually a very tough call as I thought she would do this with AK-A8 where I get a tie with AQ and beat AJ,A9,A8. Anyways, I thought the call was marginal or even mildly bad getting 2:1 and she flips AQ - split pot.

That's it for big pots. PKU headed over to the 2/5 near the end of my (short) session but I didn't feel like staying for 4+ more hours... this is just for fun after all.

And that's it. Finished up $134.

Maybe i'll do this again sometime as it looks like my Fridays are going to be boring from here on out this summer. I missed golf this morning as my alarm went off while it was raining so I tuned it out due to my being super tired from this week. Turns out they had a decent day to play, I sorta feel bad for missing the game now but meh, hopefully tomorrow's weather is decent.

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