Well, the planned New Year’s Eve poker game (with its $20.07 buy-in) didn’t go off as well as planned. Everybody had other things to do, or other people to be with, so Allen and I decided to head down to the casino to play for a bit, then go back to his place and ring in the new years with $5 heads-up games.
We figured that the casino would either be packed or nearly dead seeing as it was New Year’s Eve. I mean, who wants to spend that night in a casino gambling? Seems like a fair amount of us. 🙂 The main parking lot was full, so we parked in the brand spanking new parking garage. We headed straight for the poker room, where I wrestled with the idea of actually sitting down at a table for the first time. I finally made up my mind (with Allen’s coaxing) and took a seat at the $1/$2 no limit table. Allen decided to hit up the slot machines instead. His mom had quite a bit of luck when she was down for Christmas and I think he was trying to get lightning to strike again. Minimum buy-in at the table was $40, so I passed over my 40 and was handed this stack of eight $5 chips. Heh. Calling it a "stack" is like calling me "fit". When I was handed my chips and put them on the table, I glanced around at the other players and saw their towering stacks of chips. A guy a few chairs on my left had probably close to a thousand bucks in $5 chips (which he used to bully people out of hands – good play). When these guys busted out, they were throwing hundred dollar bills at the dealer for chips. I felt like I was playing out of my weight class. I might have been, but only in the wallet department. I’ve been so scared of sitting down at a real poker table because I’ve always thought that I’d get my ass handed to me in short order. I didn’t play the other players at the table, I only played my cards. I was tighter than a drunk on a bender. The kid with the huge stack to my left was really on his game and seemed to be able to read other players and what they had pretty well. Either that, or he was extremely lucky. That kept me out of a lot of hands that I would have played at our home game. I finally look down at a pocket pair of fives and throw $15 into the pot when it comes to my turn. I get a few callers and no one raises. The flop comes and I hit a set of fives. Big Stack Buddy, decides to lead out with a big bet which forces me all in and everyone else out of the hand. The cards are flipped and all he had was an A-J unsuited. With the turn and the river, I finish with a full house (5’s full of 7’s) and take the pot, pretty much tripling up. Now my small stack of chips isn’t as pathetic as it was when I started. I continued with my ultra-tight playing style for the rest of my time at the table. A couple of hands in a row I was dealt J-4, and both times if I had played them, I would have won, but why would I throw money at a hand like that? When the dealers changed out, my cards turned cold, and it was about 12 hands before I got anything better than an 8 high. When I finally did get a hand, pocket Ks, no one played me and I pretty much only picked up the blinds. One of my last hands that I played, I was dealt a 9-10 of hearts and decided to call the blind as no one had raised it before me and I was on the button. Sure enough, when it swung over to the old man that was in the big blind, he pushed all in for $28. With a raise like that, I decided to fold my cards, even though a couple other people called him. I *reaaaaaallly* should have stayed in. I would have flopped 4 to an open-ended straight and no one bet. The turn made my straight and no one bet. The board paired 8s on the river and the lady across the table from me drops $100 in chips as a bet. that forced the other player out of the hand and I totally would have called. The old man only had A-Q and didn’t hit anything and the lady only had trip 8s. I would have taken down a pot of close to $300. Operative word: Would. I guess I’m still too chicken to play at the big boys’ table for real. I packed it in at that point and walked away from the table with $120 after tipping the dealer. I had successfully walked away ahead $80 for the night, even though I had at one point had about $150 in chips. It was a good experience. I had a lot of fun, but wish that Allen would have sat at the table with me. That might have made the whole thing a bit less scary. Scary… I’m such a pussy.
When we left the casino, we both had the munchies. Me because I hadn’t eaten since the morning and Allen because he bumped into a friend at the casino and they went out to his friend’s car and ummm… medicated themselves with ancient herbal remedies. We hit up 7-11 (yay! chili dogs!), then went to his place for some $5 heads-up poker. During the first game he also put on a DVD of JAWS. Such a good movie. I don’t think I’ve ever been able to catch it in its entirety before. The first game saw me getting my fifth Winner card and Allen his sixth Sandwich Bitch card. With this win, I’m now able to get a free buy in to a $20 game. Allen still hasn’t cashed in his Sandwich Bitch set for his sub. I think he’s waiting for a good turn out at the table so that everyone can appreciate when he wears the Sandwich Bitch Tiara. Heheh… When I cash in my Winner cards, I get to wear a Viking helmet. Heh. Should be fun. I really need to remember to bring my camera to the games again. We haven’t had any new pictures in awhile. Besides, I’m only one card away from getting my Sandwich Bitch set too… Maybe one week where I buy in for free and the next with a tasty 12" of my choice. I don’t know how it worked out that Allen and I are the top two card winners (he’s only one card away from his Winner set). All of the other regulars don’t have as many as we do. I guess that it’s just that we either suck it hard during the game or have more drive to win. That’s the funny thing too, I’m not going in there to win. I’m going in to come in second. I want to be able to play for free for the night. 🙂 Don’t get me wrong though, winning is nice too. It helps to fund my poker playing. All the money I win at poker goes into my Superman lunch kit and I only use it for poker (or when I go on vacation). I could have no food in the house and the poker money doesn’t get touched. Heh. Between us though, Allen and I have either been the first loser (Sandwich Bitch) or the winner or the first game a total of 19 times. Scary. Look at it this way… sure we may get a "free" sub, but in order to get those 5 cards, it cost at least $45 (that’s if 4 $10 games were played and the only $5 one), but more likely close to $100. In my case, one of my Sandwich Bitch cards cost me $50 (the last tournament buy-in). This is a "free" offer with strings. Like that "free cover" to see the Girls of Glitter Gulch in Vegas. Oh yeah, free to get in, but a two drink minimum to sit down (still the most expensive cranberry juice I’ve ever had).
All in all though, I’ve had a pretty great Holiday Season. I worked a lot, but I also got to hang out with some good friends and play a lot of poker. Who could ask for anything better?