Poker Ramblings of cmitch

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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.

5 responses to "Real Poker in Florida - Trip Report of 1st Day of Action"

  1. I'm just as excited as you are for these new limits. I've been suffering over in Melbourne at the track. Going up there today to scout things out. Do you ever come east?


  2. Kim,

    I haven't made it over to the track in Melbourne because I think I would lose my mind if I tried to play $2 max bet. Even with the new limits, I still probably won't head over there because the dog tracks are going to have $100 max buy-in. The Seminoles have more flexibility when it comes to bending the law.

    Good Luck.


  3. That's exciting cmitch.

    NC needs to get their shit together. We were close to poker at the cherokee casinos, but it fell through. They were working on some strange work around (sort of like the $100 buy-in gig in FL) that basically stated if the dealers were standing up while dealing it would be legal. So basically they were working on the "bar" type tables that were hight with bar stools. They had even started renovations for the poker room.

    Not sure why, but it was halted rather abruptly...


  4. so that's "real poker in FL" huh...sounds like vegas strip casino poker. you def have to catch cards to win.


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