Monday, April 04, 2005

GeoPoker in Wenatchee

Geo: Saturday was the Wenatchee Cache Machine geocaching event. We had more than 100 people participate in some way, almost all of whom showed up for dinner on Friday and Saturday night. Wow.

I hit nine caches along US-2 on the way there. I was a bit worried about crossing Stevens Pass, but the snow was light by the time I went through at 2:00, and the road was fine, with just one small quarter mile patch of slush.

During the event, I found 68 caches, including my 1000th cache, which involved transposing numbers off of a historical railroad plaque, then scrounging around the underbelly of a full size caboose.

This doesn't include the two Honey Buckets that I logged into. They've got a logbook page next to the door, don't they? That's not what the sign-in list is in there for? Oh.

I also found a cache that I had unsuccessfully looked for two years ago. Ahh, closure.

From the logs, it looks like everyone had an outstanding time.

Poker: Near our dinner spot is Kegler's Bowling and Casino. Like every card room in existence now, they've got poker tables. Unlike most, they have a $1/$2 table (9 player; kind of strange); its clientele seems to be 18- and 19-year-old rocker wannabe's (one was actually wearing a circa 1984 Def Leppard T-shirt), 17-year-olds with fake ID's, and 21-year-olds who wandered in from the bowling alley and discovered cheap drinks in here.

I'd planned to buy in for $100 in $1 chips, but I was 8th on the waiting list, so played $3 basic strategy blackjack to pass the time. I did absolutely horrid -- 12 hands later, I'm down to $67 (won one hand, lost eleven, including one double down loss). No more of that -- bleaugh.

I hang out for another 15 minutes, and my seat opens up. My strategy at the table is to play tight, quality hands. It's quickly apparent that most other players' strategy is to pay to see the flop, then to figure out what to do from there.

I sit down with three $20 stacks of $1 chips and a $5 chip to cover my cards. A couple hands later, I can tell that the two kids in seats 8 and 9 are friends, and seat 9 asks his buddy -- not quietly enough, because I heard it -- "$60? Why would someone sit down with $60? Look at him."

Mind you, I've been out geocaching for about 14 hours straight, I forgot my hairspray at home so my mop top is a bit wild, I was wearing an old, slightly unraveled sweater over a black T-shirt, and I was staring mainly at my cards and still pondering my bad blackjack luck.

"He's broke," seat 8 kid says. Yeah, guy, that must be it. "I can't think of any other reason," he says. I'm liking this. Go ahead and think that, then give me your money.

The button circles the table a few times, and I'm down about $5; three blinds and two bad flops. I get dealt a Kd Td in late position, and the flop is 5d 3d Jc. A flush draw. I'm in, as is most of the table.

The turn is 3h. A few guys drop out, I stay in, and seat 9 kid in early position raises. I put him on a set of 3's with a good kicker. The pot odds are good for me, so I call.

The river is 8d. I've made my king-high flush. Seat 9 kid bets $2, two other guys stay in with $2, I raise to $4, seat 9 kid raises to $6, two other guys drop out, and I call.

Seat 9 kid shows 8c 3s for a 3's over 8's full house. I'm down about $20. Grrr. 8-3 unsuited? In early position? Yeah, there's some crappy players here.

Like a few hands later, the guy two seats to my left calls a bet on the river with 4-7, with a deuce and four unmatched overcards on the board. WTF?

Or when a late position kid mistakenly turns his hand over after the fourth street betting round to show pocket jacks. The river comes, and the other player still in the pot (with king high), checks. He checks!? Buddy, you know if you've lost or not, you don't need to pay to be the sheriff here, so you fold if you think Mr. Jacks will call your bluff, or you bet the $2 to tell him "I've seen your jacks, and my hand's better."

No problem, though. An hour later, I'm back in the black, then take a monster pot with a set of 3's, taking more than my $20 back from seat 9 kid, who feels real cocky with his two pair aces and tens. Shortly thereafter with noticably smaller stacks, seat 8 and 9 kid head home. Must be curfew.

In the end, too tired to keep playing, I end up leaving the poker table with $153, more than doubling the $67 I sat down with. It's a good feeling to take a few minutes having to get ready to leave the table, stacking my chips neatly in the plexiglass racks. Sure, it's not high society (.wav), but it's nice nonetheless.


Anonymous said...

Robbbbbb sez:

For the love of all that is good and right, where was this? We could quit our jobs and live off people as stupid as this. Holy smokes.

You gotta take me along next time you head out to one of these places. I could use the extra money.

travisl said...

Kegler's is small enough not to have a website. The best I can find is a restaurant review (?!?) in the Wenatchee World.

From what I've heard from others around the poker table, Tower Lanes is just about as easy. Must be something about card rooms in small bowling alleys (check the URL for Tower!).

But yeah, if I hadn't have lost at blackjack, I'd have been up $86 over the course of 2½ hours. $34/hour - yeah, a guy could live on that. I'd expect, though, that the tables are the loosest on Saturday nights, and getting 40 hours of good weak players could be a challenge.

Bill said...

re: URL: Awesome.

Yeah. I need to get out to some of the smaller card rooms and check them out. It's harder the closer you get to MS, though. There's a DL on the server here called MS Poker - it's almost 400 people strong, and most of them are pretty good.