Friday, June 08, 2007

Bonus hunting, fish in the Palace, and a B&M SNG

On Tuesday, I blogged about Happy Days' match play coupons. I only had one to use on Tuesday night, but then used two each on Wednesday, Thursday, and at lunch today. The results so far are as expected:

Seven games. Four losses (-$40). Three wins (+$60). Net +$20.

That's the beauty of the match play bonus. More losses than wins, and I'm still ahead. The only somewhat-tough part is tracking down the coupons. Palace has plenty, but I don't think I'll get away with taking 40 copies of the Western Gambling Journal at once. I grabbed five from there on my way home Wednesday, and six more last night. I also took all five that Bowlero had next to their pull tab machines yesterday.

Yes, Bowlero has a poker room. It's a ratty, cramped room, with nobody playing in it. There was one Omaha game on when I showed up last night for the 8:00 tournament ($25 buy-in, $100 added to the prize pool by the casino). Eleven players total, top two positions pay ($210 and $100, I think). Online, that's called a "Sit-n-go" (SNG) tournament, because it starts any time a table full of people is available. In brick-and-mortar casinos, SNG's almost never happen except in Vegas, because you'll never get 10 people spontaneously wanting to start a tourney. But that's essentially what it was last night. The blinds jumped up incredibly fast: blinds double every 12 minutes, starting at 25/50, so 48 minutes in, the blinds are at $400/$800. That's insane if you're a tight player (like me) who still has somewhere around the starting stack of $2500. I blinded out and placed 4th; the top three players chopped the prize pool equally three ways.

I was unimpressed; I don't think I'll be back there. The best feature that the place has going for it is an Addams Family pinball machine in the bowling alley arcade, and even that has a busted "Thing Flips" flipper. Yes, Don: I was devastated. Thing will flip ("Well played, Thing" You suck, Thing), but you can't flip it yourself, which is key to keeping the ball from falling down the left outhole most of the time. The table was also off level, tilted to the right, but I didn't figure that out until my third game.

I left and went to Palace and played $3/$6 for a few hours. The symbolism was unintentional, but I ordered fish and chips with my meal comp. I feasted on the fish, and ended up with plenty of chips left over.

I now love playing at tables with guys who play any two cards. Sure, they'll suck out (e.g., his two pair against my AK, with a board of QA3/K/7), but more often then not, they'll go to the river with bottom pair -- or worse.

Last night, one of the worst players I've ever had the pleasure of encountering sat down two seats to my right. In his two hours, he was never sure how much he could bet ($3? $6? Can I raise to $8?), and I think he folded after the flop twice; otherwise he saw the river every time. The other players at the table did their part, too, telling him what a good play it was when he runner-runnered two pair with his 74o against another player's top-pair-top-kicker, and sympathizing with him when, on the button, he lost to 98s with his 54o, with a board of something like 9K6/T/6.

Read that closely again. He called a $6 bet on the button with two cards lower than the board. Heck, he called a $6 bet on the turn with no draws and four overcards on the board. "Money doesn't matter to me," he said. That's great news for us, because we're certainly happy to take yours. Munch munch munch. That's good fish. He won enough bizarre hands (like the aforementioned runner-runner 74o) that he had chips for about 75 minutes before he ran dry.

The guy directly to my right (who called me his "nemesis" for my propensity to raise his calls) had great difficulty containing his squeals of glee when the fish bought in for another $100 after his smoke break. Really. It was like sitting next to a little kid on Christmas morning. Fortunately, money flows clockwise: +$128 for the night ($+103 if you take out the $25 Bowlero buy-in; I do.)

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