Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Poker at the Tampa Hard Rock

I think I like live action poker a lot more than online. If poker really is a game of people, played with cards, you lose a lot of that online. Case in point.

Yesterday, I drove an hour from my conference in Orlando to the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel/Casino in Tampa. I'd originally planned to drive an hour the other direction, to a dog track in Daytona (apparently, Florida law allows poker at dog tracks, but that's it). But my weakness for roulette got the better of me, and I headed to the west coast instead of east.

When I arrived, I was disappointed to see that there's no table games at the Seminole Hard Rock. No roulette, no blackjack, no craps. Just rows and rows and rows and rows of slots. Curse this limited net access!

But... there's a poker room. 48 tables. When I arrived at 6:00 on a Monday night, the place was -- well, I was gonna say dead, but there was still more poker going on there than anywhere else I've seen. They probably had four $1/$2 tables, four $2/$2 tables, and a few Omaha tables playing. I got in as the 9th player, bought in for $90, and as is my style, only went in on premium hands. At my lowest point over the next three hours, I was only down to $82, and I left at the top of my game, up to $146 (+$56) when it got too late to continue.

When you're sitting with someone, it's a lot easier to tell how clueless they are, or whether their call on the turn is because they've got a good hand or if they're playing sherriff. It's a lot easier to know who's betting on the theory that any two cards can win, because they'll tell you. It's lot easier to tell how on-tilt the player across the table from you is after losing their ace-high straight to quad queens.

My big money hand for the night was a very marginal Kh 9s that I got into in middle position. The flop came 4h 9h 7s, giving me top pair with K kicker (and a very slim chance at a runner runner flush). Checked to me, I tossed in $1, and the other players called. Turn is 9d, giving me top set. There's four of us still in, and quiet girl checks, loud guy tosses in $2, I raise to $4, and the other three players call. Loud guy correctly announces that he's put me on a set of nines (grr..). The river is 9c, giving me quads. It checks to me, I bet $2, the guy to my left folds, quiet girl and loud guy call, and my quad beats their tied nines-over-fours boats. Nice.

By the way, Happy Days in Lakewood looks like they reopened last Friday after their remodel.

My big money hand for the night was a very marginal Kh 9s that I got into in middle position. The flop came 4h 9h 7s, giving me top pair with K kicker (and a very slim chance at a runner runner flush). Checked to me, I tossed in $1, and the other players called.

2 comments:

Robbbbbb said...

"Yeah, I've got you on a set of nines, but I'm going to call with my two pair."

Not very bright.

travisl said...

Assuming a $24+ pot and a $2 bet, he's got to have about an 8% chance of winning to make the bet, if he KNOWS I've got a set of nines.

I don't remember what his kicker was, so I'll assume it was a card higher than 9. Call it a Q.

Holding Q4 facing a 9974 board, he's got two outs (the last two queens for a set) to beat a set of nines. That's 4% right there. There was easily a 5% chance that I was semi-bluffing with high card Ace, paricularly since I'd won a few hands by chasing my opponents out on the river, and mucking my hand instead of showboating it. Sure, they were good hands, but the other players didn't know that for sure.

It's a tough call. A bright player probably would fold, true, but many half-decent players would pay to see the river for $2.