Sunday, June 24, 2007

Back in black

I keep a fairly detailed history of my gambling wins and losses, mostly so I don't lie to myself and think I'm a better poker player than I am, but also for tax purposes. For 2007, my total wins have been in the red after losing $52.80 on PokerStars on February 16.

Until last night.

I swung by Happy Days to use my match plays at about 10:15 p.m., winning both hands of blackjack (+$40). I then went to Palace and played poker for about three hours. It was a quiet table -- which usually means a tight table -- and with a husband/wife pair in seats 1 and 5, I figured there might be some unintentional soft play between them. She won a straight flush jackpot and a quad kings jackpot, which was great, because she saw almost every flop and then folded the majority of the turns. He earned the nickname "The Fisherman" for his ability to fish for a card on the river and catch it (busted my jacks with a rivered 9 for a set; rivered a flush on me twice; did it a lot more with several other people).

I got to the point that whenever he was in going to the river with two of a suit showing, we'd all ask The Fisherman what bait he was using, whether he was going to catch anything, and so on. "A real big lure!" he beamed, and the majority of the time, he'd hit a card that helped.

Contrary to how I might have felt in the past, I really like players who draw to the river to try and beat me. He had a 1-in-22 chance to get his nine (1-in-45 really, since his wife mucked the last nine), and the pot wasn't $132 going to the river. Late in the session, a pair of ladies moved over from another table, one with a poker t-shirt "I can't believe you played that crap" and one with a denim jacket from The Riviera hotel in Vegas. They played tight, but I took my final monster pot from Riv holding KJo on the button, with a board of T3J/K/J, when she held JT.

Raising drawing hands in late position: that's where the hole in my game was. I wasn't doing it nearly enough. I've been doing it for more than a month now, and the change is dramatic. +$200 at Palace last night.

Then, at 1:30 a.m., I returned to Happy Days to use the match plays. Blackjack was full, so I played Pai Gow, winning one and losing one (+$10). I'm +$165 in match play, 22-28. I grabbed another four Gambling Journals from Palace, and was going to grab the last two from Happy Days, but the guy to my right at the Pai Gow table asked about the coupons, so I showed him where to get them.

For the night, +$250. This brings my 2007 gambling winnings back above zero, to $74.32. Excluding bonuses and other games, my poker winnings for 2007 are just below zero, at -$5.47. I'm a happy person.

No comments: