Poker Ramblings of cmitch

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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

I am planning on playing a few of the FTOPS V tourneys. I can't usually play during the days on the weekend, so a few of the events are out.

It looks like the NL Holdem (without rebuys) tourneys bookend the schedule. The middle of the schedule seems like it needs a NL tourney. A few of the rebuy events could get extremely pricey and are definitely out of the limits that I would be willing to play. I think I would need to go into a $300 6 max rebuy with at least 8-10 buyins ($2,400 to $3,000). It will be interesting to see how weak some of the rebuy fields are though. FTP is running satellites to the rebuy events and satellites that get you into all the events. The only problem is, a lot of the players don't have the bankrolls for the rebuys. They are going to be dead money and the good rebuy players will tear them apart.

I will probably try to play the following events:

Event #1 - $216 NL - $500k guarantee
Event #3 - $216 PL - $200k guarantee
Event #7 - $1,060 NL 6 Max - $1M guarantee
Event #12 - $2,620 NL 2 day event - $600k guarantee
Main Event - $535 NL - $2M guarantee

I played a couple of satellites last night. I bubbled the $26 Event #1 satellite for around $80. I did manage to win my way into the 2nd biggest buy-in FTOPS event (Event #7 - $1,060 6 Max) by winning a $26 turbo to a $163 turbo. The $163 turbo gave away 3 seats and I managed to get one of those seats. I may try to win another seat to Event #7 since they give you cash for additional wins.

On big complaint that I have about the FTOPS is that they aren't running very many satellites to their biggest buy-in tourney (Event #12 - $2,620 NL 2 day event - $600k guarantee). The only satellite currently on the schedule is a $216 satellite the night before. The really need to add a few more.

Cash Game Challenge - Where to start

Monday, July 30, 2007

I am planning on starting a new cash game challenge on August 1st. I am not sure if I want to try something like the $50k Challenge that I did in the past with a monetary target or a hands challenge and let the money work itself out. I am currently leaning towards the hand challenge with a something like a 2 or 3 month time frame.

I need to motivate myself to play more cash games. I often find myself sitting on the the recliner with my laptop messing around with some tourneys and watching TV. I need to take the time to play and focus on cash games away from the TV.

I have never played more than 25k cash game hands in a month since I work full time and have two young kids. I think that the challenge is forming in mind, but any suggestions are welcome.

I'll formulate and post the challenge by Wednesday.


UB - Nothing to Something follow up

I had a lot of 2nd best hands in the UB $530 and had to fold in a few spots. I wound up getting the last of my chips all in preflop with AJ vs. AQ and flopped a Jack but my opponents best hand preflop held up when he made Broadway.

All In The Movie - A Comedy?

Friday, July 27, 2007

I was flipping through the Brighthouse On Demand channels the other night and came across the movie "All In" on TMC On Demand. I couldn't find anything better so I clicked the play button for All In. Afer all, it is a poker movie and how bad can a poker movie be. (FWIW - I haven't seen Lucky You yet.)

I didn't have very high expectations since the movie went straight to video even though it had some decent actors in it:

Dominique Swain - the main character
Michael Madsen - her degen father
Louis Gossett, Jr. - her father's war buddy
Bunch of other random people

The movie synopsis from the IMDB:

"As a young girl, Alicia "Ace" Anderson (Swain) had been taught the fine art and the mathematical probabilities of Texas Hold-em poker by the father she adored. But that world came to an end when her father was taken from her in a fatal auto accident. Years later, as she enters medical school, she will need to call upon the skills her father taught her as she struggles with the rigorous medical training, mounting financial pressures and the seamier side of medicine. Her friends and fellow students combine their unique talents and skills to produce a team who may well be the ultimate poker machine. But as the stakes in both the casinos and the operating room continue to rise, Ace comes to understand what her father taught her: in order to really live, you need to go all in."

I don't know where to start; let's just say that the movie had an unintentional "cheese" factor that made it watchable - strictly for how horrible it was. There were several scenes and a lot of dialogue that I found funny. How often do you get to hear lines like the following in a movie:

"Is you in or is you out?"

"Every hands a winner and every hands a loser." - wonder where they got that from

"Aces and Eights - that's a dead man's hand. How fitting." - After a desperate player is all-in for his life and loses.

"He has a tell. He takes exactly 4 seconds every time he has a hand and takes exactly 8 seconds every time he is bluffing."

Several hands later - "He knows that she has figured out his tell. He just took 6 seconds." This is funny on so many levels.

"How could you go against God like that. If you walk out that door, you can't ever come back." This line isn't about poker, it is when Ace Anderson (Swain's characters name) is leaving to go to medical school on full ride scholarship. Her mom believes medicine goes against God. This definitely needed to be part of the movie - :).

If this movie had ever gotten popular then 36 would have become the new hammer.

Everything about this movie is hilarious (again it isn't supposed to be a comedy). If you have a couple of hours to kill and can watch the movie for free, then go for it. Just know what you are getting into and have a few beers ahead of time.

I would go into more detail, but I think the IMDB user reviews tell the best story (whether you have seen the movie or not):

Oh for God's sake. How could anyone seriously give this piece of trash anything higher than a 1? Someone is seriously messing with us on these rave reviews...... This may be the very worst movie I have ever seen in my life. - Obviously this guy wasn't looking at the comedic aspects of the movie. :)

I recommend this movie to anyone that enjoyed the movie of the week about the alcoholic mother or the secretly bulimic high school girl. I kept looking for the Lifetime logo on the bottom corner of the screen.

So bad, I was shouting derisions at the TV screen. The acting was from HELL, the writing was moronic, but more disturbing is the obviously planted "rave" reviews in this IMDb comment page. Who do you think you're fooling? Do you think if you manufactured praise that it makes it true or valid?

Anyone who loved movies like Scorsese's CASINO should enjoy this genre, even though this film deals more with a father/daughter relationship and being there for a loved one rather than the typical mob Vegas..Madson's emotional performance with his kid almost had me in tears in the end....I give it a full boat or at least 3 aces. - Smoke much crack lately there. LOLOLOOOOOOOOL. Baaaaaahaaaaaahaaaaa

This is truly a story about heart. - heehee

If there's nothing else on cable, and you don't mind throwing away about an hour and a half of your life (it seems much longer), you might take a look at it. If you're expecting a good poker movie, like the Rounders, or something, don't bother, though.

Makes me wonder what kind of donkeys are writing these reviews, how any person w/ half a brain could enjoy this movie or the performances is completely beyond me, and leads me to believe that these are the PR people for the actors and the studio that made this movie. If you liked this film you have no right to an opinion because you are an idiot spreading bad information like a plague..... Every single person involved w/ this movie or reviewed it as good should be put to death, there I said it.

All In had everything I look for in a great movie. The story flies right by and when it's over, you feel fulfilled and still want more.

I could read the reviews for hours. I think they are even funnier than the movie.

UB - Nothing into Something?

Thursday, July 26, 2007

I am trying to see if I can turn nothing into something on UB.

When I first started playing online poker a few years ago (early 2003), I played at the original World Sports Exchange Poker, then migrated over to Pokerstars and eventually Ultimate Bet. After winning my way to Aruba in 2003, I started playing a lot more on UB. It had a great community that some people described as a "home game" feel. The player base wasn't huge and you really got to know a lot of the other players since you played with them daily. I had even met quite of few of them in Aruba - some are still good friends. I played a lot of tourneys and SNGs on UB in 2003 and 2004, but then things at UB started to go south. The customer service went downhill. They completely changed their tourney schedule that wiped out a lot of the tourneys that fell within the stakes that I was playing and the times that I could play. The site started crashing a lot. When I say a lot, I mean several times a week. All this led, to me playing more on Party Poker and Pokerstars. I eventually landed on FTP and play 95% of my poker there now.

I just checked the pokerdb and I have played a grand total of 6 tourneys at UB this year. I had only played 3 this year until June 30th. About a month ago, I received a "special offer" from UB. It was different than a lot of the other "special offers" that they send out. This one offered a free entry into their Sunday $200 buy-in $200k guarantee. I emailed them back asking for the free entry even though I probably wasn't going to be able to play in the tourney. They registered me for it and I promptly attempted to unregister. It worked. My account was credited with $200 tourney dollars.

My plan was to try to turn the T$200 into some real money. Shortly before heading to the WSOP, I played one of the nightly $129 bounties tourneys and donked out early. I had almost completely forgotten about the remaining T$ until the other night when I opened UB and jumped into the next tourney that was starting. It was a $20 6 max. I busted out with AK vs KQ.

This left me with T$62. It didn't look like I was going to be to successful with turning $0 in my UB account into something. I logged on last night and saw a $20 rebuy satellite to their Sunday Night(8:30 PM) $530 $75k guarantee mtt. I decided that I would spend my last T$62 on that tourney even though 3 total buy-ins is a horrible way to go into a rebuy tourney. I used all of my buy-ins up a few hands into the satellite and was sitting on about 2,400 chips with no money to add on at the end of the rebuy period. I somehow managed to have a huge chip lead by the break and wound up 3rd in chips after everyone but me added on.

I was the chip leader after knocking one player out at the final table. Then the perfect situation came up. I was dealt Aces on the button. A player in mid-position made a large raise. I raised enough to almost put him all in. To my surprise the SB (who I barely had covered) re-raised all-in. Mid-position folded. I called and my Aces held up against SB's Kings. I was now chip leader by more than double the 2nd spot with 6 or 7 players left and 2 seats being awarded. I managed to hold on to win my entry to the $530.

So, on Sunday night I will see if I can turn nothing into something. Hopefully, there will be more to this story.

Direction and Motivation

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

What to do? What to do?

After getting back from the Bahamas in January, everything (poker wise) this year seemed to build to up to the WSOP. I was really focusing on winning my way into the WSOP Main Event. I planned the trip - hotel, airfare, etc. The only thing missing was a seat to the WSOP. I was a little bummed with not winning my seat online or live. I had almost taken it for granted that I would win my seat. I think that I was jaded by winning two seats last year and winning a seat to the Pokerstars PCA in the last chance sattelite. I thought I would win my way into the WSOP Main Event and wasn't sweating much as the date got closer and closer. I had forgotten how hard of a task winning a seat is.

The trip wasn't all bad though. It made me realize where my bread and butter is - cash games. At times tourneys feel like a complete waste of time. Sure there is the occasional large score and I've been on the good end of some very nice scores in the past. The times in between can be frustrating.

I am guessing that I would have had an extremely profitable trip to LV if I had just stuck with the cash games. I made $6,100 in the cash games in less than 30 hrs of cash games play over 8 days. In contrast, I lost $5,100 between Super Sats and Tourneys in probably about 25-30 hrs of play. Instead of a nice profit on the trip I managed to squeak out a small profit (before hotel, food, airfare, etc) on the trip.

So, what to do now? Where should I focus my playing time? I think the answer is easy - cash games. I really enjoy playing tourneys (most of the time) and will continue to play them, but will devote a lot more of my playing time to cash games.

I am going to come up with a new cash game challenge to motivate myself and will start August 1st. In the meantime, I will probably mess around with a few tourneys here and there to get it out of my system.

I mentioned in my last post how weak some of the players were at the cash games. I thought I would share some of the hands that occurred at the tables during my week in Las Vegas. (Some hands I was involved in; some I wasn't.)

Worst bluff ever (and he got rewarded)

5/10 NL Cash Game
Seat 2 - Me
Seat 4 - Playing about $1,800. Girl that had been playing fairly straight forward solid poker. She always bet her hands and it was usually very obvious when she had a monster. I hadn't seen her put of the brakes too much once she started betting.
Seat 6 - Playing about $1,700. Guy that thought he was the best player at the table and was quick to let everyone know it. (We have all played with a lot of people like this.)

I am on the button. Seat 4 is BB. Seat 6 is UTG+1.

Everyone limps to me. I limp along on the button with a weak hand since I am pretty sure the SB and BB won't raise. SB limps; BB checks.

Flop is 10,7,5 rainbow.

SB checks. Seat 4 (BB) leads out for $40. Seat 6 raises to $100. Everyone else folds. Seat 4 raises to $300. UTG+1 re-raises all-in for about $1,300 more. The girl in Seat 4 thinks for a minute and then says she has to call. UTG+1 says, "Good call. You got me. I was bluffing." BTW, he was bluffing with almost no outs.

Seat 4 - 10,7 (top two pair)
Seat 6 - KQo (two overcards)

Turn is a 5. River is a K.

The guy in Seat 6 gets rewarded for one of the worst bluffs ever. It may be debatable on whether Seat 4 should have called the additional $1,300, but she definitely made the right call in this situation. Seat 6 should have picked up on the fact that Seat 4 wouldn't lay down her hand there.

Horrible bluff and gets rewarded with runner runner suckout.

Giving up on a monster draw (no money invested in pot)
(Warning - you may consider this a weak, nitty play by me)

5/10 NL Cash Game
Seat 2 - Me ($1,200)
Seat 5 - Over aggressive player. Makes a lot of overbets when he has a hand. ($850)

My hand - Jh9h in the cutoff

Several limps to me. I limp along. Seat 5 in the BB makes it $40. Two players call. I call to close the action.

Flop - 10h7h6s (giving the gutshot straight flush draw)
BB bets $400 into a $160 pot - WTF?

Seat 7 thinks for about 3-4 minutes before folding. It folds to me. I am pretty sure that I am up against AA or KK. It is a shove or fold situation. I decide to fold figuring that I only have $40 invested in the pot and I would have to gamble on a coinflip (about 48% to win) or worse since Seat 7 probably had some of my outs for $810 more. I folded the hand face up to use it to my advantage later.

I didn't mind the fold because I felt like the table was weak enough where I could get all my money in as a much bigger favorite later. I know a lot of people would say it was a nitty fold, but again the table was very weak.

BB Special/ I am the worst player ever

5/10 NL Cash Game (same table as above)
Seat 1 - Weak tight player that has been getting frustrated. He just laid down the nut flush draw to me when I put him all in. ($600)
Seat 2 - Me ($1,400)

Limps (about 5 players) to me in the BB. My hand 3s7s. I check.

Flop comes 4s5sKh. I lead out for $50 with my gutshot straight flush draw. It folds to the SB who makes is $150. I call the additional $100.

Turn is the Js. SB insta-shoves all-in. I call figuring I pay him off if he happens to have had a flush draw also. (I really doubted that he had a flush draw.)

He flips up KQo - drawing dead and proceeds to tell me that I am the worst player ever. I am sure it had something to do with that being the last of his money - he left the table and watched one of his friends play for a while.

Calling a Fishy Size Bet Pays off

2/5 NL Cash Game - 6 or 7 handed
Seat 7 - Me on the Button ($1,500)
Seat 6 - Solid guy that was friendly to me at first but basically quit talking at all to me after I won a big pot off of him. ($700)

I Mississippi straddle on the button. A couple of limpers to Seat 6 who makes it $50 to go. I look down at KK and decide to wait until the flop to raise what looks like an obvious steal attempt. Everyone else folds.

Pot - $140
Flop comes AA5

Seat 6 bets $80. I am not putting him on an Ace. I think that this is the type of player that would check an Ace on that flop. I flat call.

Turn is a blank and he looks at me and says, "What could you have?" and checks. I check behind.

River is a blank.
Pot is $290.

Seat 6 overbets the pot - $350.

I think for a few seconds and his bet makes absolutely no sense to me. It screams of weakness - something like an underpair or a total bluff. He is betting a much smaller amount if he is betting for value.

I call and he shows 64s. My KK wins.

I think this is the perfect example of making a call based on the way the player has played in the past and the dynamics at the hand. He had never overbet so much when he had a monster in the past and it was completely out of character for him to overbet here with an ace.

There are some other interesting hands that came up. I'll post more in a few days.

It will be interesting

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

I watched most of the final table last night. I found myself rooting for RainKhan and Ivan Drago (not really Ivan, but the Russian guy). I didn't really want Yang to win and I am not sure why. It might have had something to do with Phil and Ali ripping on him left and right or maybe it was the fact that he had a huge chip lead and I like to root for the underdog. The simple fact is the guy ran over the table and put a tremendous amount of pressure on the other players. I am guessing that he also had a lot of big hands early. Other than the J8, he had a hand almost every time he went to showdown. He got sucked out on a few times when they were 4 handed and it never phased him. He maintained his cool in the face of a lot of pressure.

He will be good for poker. A nice change from Jamie Gold. (I'm really going out on a limb there.)

It will be interesting to see how the non-poker (and poker) world react to him over the next year. He mentions his religion and his family every chance that he gets. He is donating 10% of sizable winnings to several charities. He has stated that he will help in the fight for poker rights however he can.

He seems like a sincere quiet guy that a lot of America can relate to. Like him or not, he should be a great ambassador for poker over the next year.

I know that I said this before but I had a great time in Las Vegas. For a poker player, there is nothing like being in Las Vegas during the WSOP.

I planned on posting more while I was out there, but I kept pretty busy and didn't feel too motivated to post after not qualifying for the Main Event.

My wife, her friend and I arrived mid-day Thursday. My wife headed to the spa and I went down to the Amazon Room to register for the $1k Super Sat. The place was pretty crazy because a lot of the tourneys and satellites had been moved to later start times because of the Ante Up for Africa charity tourney.

P5s Party
That night I wound up at the party at the Hooters Casino and after busting out of the Super Sat. headed up to the Voodoo Lounge for the P5s OT Party. I met a ton of awesome people at the P5s party and the OT party and had a great time. I would go into more details, but the night is kind of fuzzy. Let's just say that I drank my sorrows away that night.

Cash Games>Super Sats
The next day, my wife and her friend were going to see Blue Man Group. I decided to play some 5/10nl instead of joining them. I had a decent session and decided that I would buy into yet another Super Sat. This was pretty much a recurring theme for the next two days. Win $$ at cash games, buy into Super Sat, bust out of Super Sat (sometimes close to the seats; sometimes not), rinse, repeat. In case, I haven't mentioned this before - tourneys suck, cash games rule. Looking back, I wish that I had just stuck with the cash games. I can't believe how poor the play is in live cash games - especially, if you found the right game. I sat at one 5/10nl table where the average player was worse than the average online $0.25/$0.50NL player.

Drunken Low Limit NL/MGM Sucks
I was a little down on Monday after failing to qualify in the last Super Sat on Sunday night. My wife and her friend left that morning also.

I played a few table games and met Fuel, CC, and a couple of Fuel's Canadian friends for dinner. Fuel had just busted out of the Main Event and was understandably feeling a little bummed out. (I've been there and know how much it sucks when you bust out - no matter how or when.) Craig is a great guy and has had some kick ass coverage of the WSOP. I can't imagine being away from my wife and kids for so long - I know he is looking forward to being home soon.

After dinner, I met up with rubbarose. He had just busted out of the Main Event. His text message (probably a common one that day) told the ugly story, "Out. Set over Set." We planned to do some serious drinking and some not so serious gambling.

After losing some cash at the table games, we jumped in a limo and headed over to the MGM for some drunken low limit nl cash games. We eventually made our way over to the same 1/2nl $200 max buy-in and immediately changed the table dynamics. I would raise to like $20 on the button after several people limped and everyone would then fold. I did this almost every time that the table limped to my button and there were people that never caught on and continued to limp-fold.

I was drunk and gambling it up, but still making correct decisions. The funny thing was that no one ever believed that I had a hand. I think I took down a $600+ pot with AK vs. AQ and JJ on an Ace high flop. I had $1,400 in front of me at one point and cashed out around $1,200 at the end of the night.

We had a great time playing and the table was having a lot of fun. Everything was great until the grumpiest dealer in LV sat down. He immediately started to correct everyone and quickly told players that the action was on them if they didn't act in 2 seconds. He obviously wanted to be anywhere other than behind that table.

At the end of the night, rubbarose in Seat 2 got involved in a pot with Seat 3. He checked on the turn and while Seat 3 was deciding how much to bet, rubbarose said something like, "I'm gonna call whatever you bet." Keep in mind he said this before the player had acted and before the action was on him. Seat 3 said he was all-in and the Dealer immediately told rubbarose that he had to call the addtional $200+. He didn't agree and Seat 3 didn't agree.

The floor was called over and she just heard the dealer's version and said that the dealer was correct - basically just backed the dealer up. The head floor was then called over and basically backed up the dealer and floor - IMO mainly because we were drunk and it was low stakes. Again, Seat 3 (the other player in the hand) didn't have a problem and didn't think rubbarose should be committed to calling. We were drunk but never rude or loud. We were both tipping extremely well and the entire table was having a lot of fun.

IMO, he shouldn't have to call the bet because it was table talk and the action was not on him - mainly because the action was not on him.

MGM handled it horribly and basically talked down to us and treated us like crap. They were extremely rude and never once looked at the situation with an open mind. The grumpy dealer was right no matter what. The customer isn't always right, but they should always be treated fairly and we weren't. We packed up along with several other players at the table and left. I won't be returning there, which is unfortunate because I liked the poker room.

Back from Vegas - Tourneys Suck

Saturday, July 14, 2007

I got back last night. I was definitely ready to be back home after a long trip. I had a great time in LV despite not qualifying for the main event. I'll post some of the stories and people that I met over the next few days.

Final Talley

Satellites = (-$4,300)
Tourneys = (-$880)
Cash Games = +$6,100

Total Profit = +800

I guess I should just stick to cash games....more (lots of details) to follow over next few days.

WSOP Trip - Update 2

Monday, July 09, 2007

I didn't get into the Main Event. :(

I had horrible luck in one of the Satellites that I played.

1st Level. 25/50 blinds.
Starting Chips - 5k
I'm dealt QQ and raise to 150 utg.
Button re-raises to 400.
SB smooth calls.

Flop QJ5 rainbow.
SB checks.
I check.
Button makes it 1,200
SB makes it 3,000
I call.
Button goes all in.
SB goes all in.

Um....I call with the nuts

SB has AA (overpair)
Button has 55 (bottom set)
I have QQ (top set)

Turn is a 10, River is a K - For runner runner straight for SB's AA.

I win that pot and I have 16k chips in the 1st level. Oh well.

I'm doing pretty good in the cash games, but horrible in the sats - maybe I should have just stuck to cash games the whole time.

Trip to date
Satellites = (-$4,300)
Cash Games = +$3,100

WSOP Trip - Update 1

Saturday, July 07, 2007

I'm going to make this short and post more details later.

I played two super sats to the Main Event and didn't win a seat in either. I ran KK into AA in the first one and was out shortly after that.

I played the 2nd one yesterday and flopped a set vs an overpair early, only to have the overpair catch runner runner flush. I then nursed a short stack for what seemed like forever. There were 230 +/- entries and 22 seats awarded. I managed to bust in freaking 36th place. Way too close.

I played a little 5/10nl after that and finished up $1,300 - more details to follow.

Today is basically my last chance to get into the WSOP. I'm playing the $1k Super Sat at 1 pm. If I don't win my seat, I'll probably play cash the rest of the trip.

Trip to date
Satellites - ($2,120)
Cash Games - +$1,300

Viva Las Vegas!!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

We leave tomorrow morning and arrive in the promised land mid-day LV time. As of now, my only immediate plans are to check-in to the Rio, head over to the Amazon Room and register for the 9 PM $1k Super Sat.

I will probably make it to the beginning of the P5s party before heading back for the Satellite. If I bust out early (not going to happen) then I'll go up and drown my sorrows at the P5s Off Topic Party at the Voodoo Lounge.

I am not entirely sure of my plans, but want to try to meet a few of the other bloggers in town. Leave a comment or shoot me an email if you want to try to meet up.

I plan on posting as often as possible and putting up a few pics.

Good Luck to all those in Las Vegas!!!

When I woke up yesterday morning, I was excited about the idea of being able to play real poker in Florida. July 1st was the first day of the new poker law in Florida. Before July 1st the maximum bet allowed in a cash game in Florida was $2. The Seminole Hard Rock in Tampa had found an interesting way to get around the wording of the new law "....without a betting limit if the required player buy-in is no more than $100." The way that they interpreted it was that you bought in for $100 at the cashier, sat down at the table, and then re-bought for the appropriate stakes.

I left Orlando around 3:30 with visions of sugar plums dancing in my head. I was imagining the craziness of the Hard Rock as I made the 1 hour 15 minute trek along I-4. I wasn't disappointed when I arrived around 4:45. I made my way into the casino (which is currently under a $120 Million renovation), worked my way over to the now much too small poker room, and got in line for the waiting list. The had a ton of $1/$2 ($100 min/$300max), 6-8 $2/$5 ($100 min/$500 max), and $10/$25 ($500 min, no max) games going. I would have preferred to play a $5/$10 game but unfortunately they didn't have any running, so I put my name on the $2/$5 waiting list.

I grabbed a slice of pizza and waited to be called. I took it as a good sign when they called my name (around 5:30) and told me that I would be seated at the Hammer Table (Table 2-7). How perfect is that? I made my way to the cashier to get my $100 in chips then headed over to the Hammer Table where I took out an additional $400 in cash.

The chip situation was absolutely hilarious - not so much in the smaller games, but in the $10/$25 game. The Hard Rock has never been able to have games bigger than $2 max bet and were not equipped (chip-wise) for No Limit games. The largest chips that they currently have are $5 chips and they are in relatively short supply. (The runners came by several times and bought $500 worth of chips.) Hundred Dollar Bills played at the table. I was told that they should be receiving the new chips within 10 days. It was interesting to watch the $10/$25 players sitting with a ton of red chips - pretty ridiculous really. The good news is that the may start spreading $5/$10 when the new chips arrive.

I witnessed the worst call that I have seen in a cash game in a while. The guy to my immediate left (seat 6) had been playing a ton of pots, but only betting post-flop when he hit. I had seen him overbet all-in after a raise only once when he flopped a set on a board with no draws. He was called by an overpair on that hand. He was sitting with about $1,600 at the beginning of the following hand. Seat 8 had about $2,000 when I first sat down at the table and had been up and down since I sat down. He played a ton of draws and hit a few and missed a few. He would also make ridiculous all-in overbets. He definitely had the turbo SNG mentality when it came to playing and obviously hadn't played much (if any) NL cash.

Seat 6 - $1,600 +/- (in the BB)
Seat 8 - $2,100 +/- (UTG +1)
Seat 9 - $700 +/-

Limp Parade - 6 to the flop
Flop is 10, 8, 6 rainbow

Seat 6 bets $20, Seat 8 raises to $60, Seat 9 calls
Seat 6 re-raises to $100, Seat 8 re-raises another $100, Seat 9 folds
Seat 6 shoves for around $1,400

I think Seat 6's hand was pretty obvious to everyone at the table. Seat 8 thought and thought and asked the guy if he would show. Seat 6 said, "Maybe" and then finally said, "I'll show." When he said, "I'll show" Seat 8 said, "OK, I call."

Seat 6 had 9,7 for the nuts (obviously)
Seat 8 had (drum roll) 10,6 (top and bottom pair) I really don't know WTF he was thinking. I mean best case scenario was that Seat 6 was shoving with a set; worst case and most likely was the straight. I guess the guy had been catching so many cards that he thought he couldn't miss.

No improvement for Seat 8 and Seat 6 took down the pot of the night ($3,500 +/-).

I saw a lot of other horrible plays, but none as horrible as the one above. The main theme was limp pre-flop or call a pre-flop raise and fold if missed for the majority of the players. Loose-passive pre-flop and weak-tight post-flop.

Queens are my friend

A few hands after the hand above, I was dealt QQ in early position and raised to $20. Seat 6 (now sitting on $3,500) makes it $70, and the clearly steaming Seat 8 goes all-in for $260. I started the hand with about $750. I had a decision to make. Based on his previous preflop play, I put Seat 6 on 77-AA, AK-A10. He definitely over valued big Aces and mid pairs. I thought for a while and figured that I basically had two options - flat call and shove the flop without an Ace or King or all-in preflop. If I flat call and he shoves, I have a big decision. I finally came to the conclusion that more often than not I was ahead of Seat 6 based on his range and he wasn't giving me that "I have Aces" vibe. I also wanted to get him to fold AK if that was what he was holding. IMO, He was capable of folding AK preflop in this spot. I decided to shove instead of playing the rest of the hand out of position against a guy that had me covered.

Seat 6 thought for a long time and finally folded AK. Seat 8 had J9 and didn't improve. The all-in play was the right play because an Ace came on the river and I'm confident that Seat 6 would have re-raised me all-in preflop if I had flat called. Whew - dodged a bullet there.

I won another medium size pot against Seat 6 after flopping a set with pocket Queens against his 1010. I also lost about $150 on another hand after getting all-in against two short stacks with AK vs KQ and KQ. A Queen hit the flop.

I didn't want to leave but had to be at work at 7:30 this morning, so I packed up my chips and left around 11:30.

I finished up $700 on the night. The game is definitely a gold mine and you can clean up if you are catching cards.