…here being the bottom.
I remember being a diamond Harrah’s card holder. I remember the free meals and the coupon booklets. I remember the doffed caps and the carried bags, uh… okay, I may be confusing being a Harrah’s diamond card holder with the Godfather movies that I’ve been watching nonstop since I bought them for my ipad.
Anyway, all that is in the past. I am diamond no longer. Heck, I’m not even platinum. DOUBLE HECK, I didn’t even have a valid player card for ANY casino… it has been THAT long since I played poker.
But all that changed this weekend. A bunch of us went down to Atlantic City to visit Mary and celebrate Alceste’s birthday. On Saturday afternoon, I made my triumphant return to the Harrah’s poker room. Everything there was as I had remembered it. The table, the carpet, even the staff was unchanged. There was something comforting about that. They started a new table for us, so Mary, Alceste and I were all at the same table. They bought in for the maximum, I bought in for the minimum.
Again, some things never change.
My heart was racing when I got my first hand… the first hand in almost two years! OHMIGOSH OHMIGOSH… Q…6? Balls. Fold.
I folded often for the first hour and then got pocket twos. It checks to me in the big blind, there are seven players in the hand. The flop is 9 4 2 two spades. The small blind, a young kid, who also bought in for the minimum, bets ten dollars. I call. There is one other caller and the turn is a King. SB checks, I bet out $20. Third player folds, small blind insta calls. I have NO idea what he has. NONE. The river is a blank and I bet out $20 again. He thinks for a lllooooonnnnnngggg time and calls. I flip my cards over and tip the dealer in the same motion, not even bothering to look at his calling hand. I’M A ROCKSTAR BABY AND I’M BACK!
About an hour later, I have AQ — an aggro Asian guy has joined the table now. He bought in for the max and has been splashing around doing crap like straddling and blind raising. Mary opens the betting with a $12 raise. He calls. The Flop is A K 4, Mary checks, the guy bets $25, I call. She folds. The turn is a blank, he checks, I check behind. The river is a ten, he thinks and thinks and then bets out $25. I don’t put him on anything good and insta call. He has K T. *sad trombone*
I’m SOOOO mad at myself. I’m back alright. WOMP.
I spent the next three hours folding and berating myself for being a godawful poker player until the Mets game came on. I asked the floor to put it on and I settle in for the hilarity of rooting for the visiting team in Phillies country.
We’re sitting there, the Mets game is on the TV right above our table, Mary is two seats to my left, Alceste is at the far end and I’m watching the game. The Mets are getting DEEEE-SSTRROOYYYED. It’s like 7-1. I sigh.
“Well, if they just score seven more runs, we’re right back in this!”
The WHOLE table, including the dealer, laughs at me.
Tired of folding and watching my team get beat up, I decide to mix it up a bit and I raise to $7 with JsTs, everybody except maybe Mary, calls.
But the flop couldn’t be more perfect Jd 4s 5s. DUUUUDDDDDEEEE. I check, bunch of people check behind me and then that aggro Asian dude bets out $30. I have about $120 and I KNOW I have him beat, so I sit there thinking do I raise all in here…. it’s a check raise, I’m a tight player, he has bullshit, so he’ll fold. Frankly, the pot is already pretty big, just shove and take it down.
BUT NOOOOOOOOO. I had to get grreeeeddddyy. I just call.
The turn is 4c, I check again, he bets out $100, I insta call. He turns over 84 for trip eights. No spade comes and I’m stacked. CRY. RACES. RUDE.
…speaking of which.
“HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ALCESTE”
“Oh, it’s your birthday,” the guy to Alceste’s right, asks.
“No.” he replies.
The Mets end up scoring FIVE runs in that inning and are only down 7-5. I look at my hand: KK (Pocket kings are the second best starting hand in no limit hold ‘em!) Sigh. (That’s called foreshadowing.)
I’m in the cutoff seat and *Alceste* opens the betting by raising to ten dollars, the guy next to him calls (a young kid who had been splashing around his tiny short stack all-in for the last hour with silly Ace highs,) the lady next to me called and I thought about what to do.
I figured Alceste had a really good hand and would call any preflop raise from me, AND I figured the stupid short stack kid would shove all-in if I raised preflop and Alceste called…which if Alceste had pocket aces (the best starting hand in no limit hold ‘em) would mean vaffles for Dawn. And not the delicious kind with artificial syrup.
So… I just call. The flop is TEN high. Alceste IMMEDIATELY bets out $25. I stare at him and worry he had raised preflop to $10 with pocket tens. Before I could even really complete my thought, the young kid SHOVES ALL-IN. I see now that his silly shoving had turned into a decent stack, Alceste’s face contorts with shock!
It folds to me and I think and think and think. I basically put the stupid kid on AT and decide that Alceste’s shocked face means he doesn’t have a set, so my pocket kings are good. I shove all-in too — I actually had more money than I thought I did, but I think I would have still done it. Alceste asks for a count, sighs, says “I know I have him beat, but I don’t know what she has” and then folds. The kid flashes Alceste his cards, and Alceste gives a face like “Ah, you had me.” I panic and now know I need a king. It doesn’t come. The kid turns over AA. I show my KK so everyone can feel sorry for me.
The Mets score a run to get within one.
I feel slightly better, I *GUESS,* but I decide the whole debacle is Alceste’s fault and shake my fist at him. (He would ask later why was it his fault and I said “BECAUSE YOUR FACE!” He accepted that as valid. And then I said Happy Birthday and he said it wasn’t his birthday.)
So, now I have about $60 left and I’m tilting the fuck out. I am calling EVERYTHING preflop, after burning off a third of my stack in this fashion…
The Mets lose when the Phillies hit a walk off homer in the bottom of the ninth.
I’m button now, the dealer is an Asian woman, I look down and see a King of hearts. Then I see people betting. A guy (one of those pretend to be wild and crazy, but if you really pay attention, you see he’s kinda rocky) raises to $10. Fold, fold, call, call, call. It gets to me, but I still only have a King of hearts.
“Uh… do I have two cards?” I say all irritatingly. The dealer apologizes and flicks a second card my way.
Five of hearts.
I pick them both up and look at them at the same time:
I smile. Call.
Come oonnnn, Le Dawn!
Flop is 10h 5d 5c
Someone bets out $10, I call, fold fold fold, then original raiser makes it $20. Call, call.
I only have like $25 left, turn is a 9c. Action checks all around.
River Kd! Woooooooo!
It checks to me, I do THEEEEEE most obvious shoulder shrug, herdy derdy “Well, I guess I’ll just go all in now.” Horrible. I wanted to punch myself. The original raiser immediately calls.
I can’t even make eye contact with him as I turn over my hand.
He makes some comment about how he didn’t think I would play that.
I don’t think we played that much longer after that. I finished the session down, but Alceste says “not as down as me.” So there’s that. KINGS INTO ACES! ARRGGHHH
I played again the next day, but I was fairly card dead and the only hand I can remember was turning a straight on a guy who was slow playing flopped trips.
I felt bad because he bet and I called, so he flips over his cards and says “I have the queen.” And I nodded. Then turned over my KJ. So for a split second he thought he’d won, but really I was nodding cause I knew he had a queen. But whatevs.
I ended up losing a similar hand when a dude totally tricked me into thinking he’d hit a card on a river (I had an overpair to it) but in reality, he had flopped the straight (which I didn’t even see after all the cards were face up, but I trust the dealer) again, whatevs.
So, it was a down trip, but at least I got my feet wet. Hopefully, I’ll be back at the felt soon.