I will get back to comic book topics on this blog soon, I promise. Today’s post is about poker, though. Ellen attended a Mary Kay conference at the Atlantic City Convention Center today, and asked me to drop her off there and pick her up when it was over, as we did last year. I was happy to do that, as it gave me a good excuse to play some poker.
Since my win in a small tournament at The Borgata in December (check earlier posts in the Poker category for the story), I’ve been in three small tournaments and didn’t get close to the money, but today I planned on playing in cash games instead. That way I could leave any time Ellen was ready to go home. I decided to play at The Borgata, and after dropping Ellen off, got there and seated at a 1-2 No Limit game around 9 AM. The game is Texas Hold-em, the blinds or forced bets are $1 and $2, traveling around the table in progression, and you can bet any amount, that’s the no-limit part.
Sometimes you just get a feeling right away of how things will go, and this morning it was like that. I had just sat down, was still putting my 100 white $1 chips in front of me, and picked up my first hand. I was already in for $2. My two hole cards were Queen-Nine. Not a great hand, but a little better than average. Several guys called but there were no raises, so the flop (three communal cards) came up: Queen-Nine-Three. I now had top two pair, a pretty good hand. Someone to my right bet $10, and I called along with a few others. The turn card (a fourth communal card) came up Seven. Everyone checked to the first better, who now put in $30. I put him on a high pair, probably Aces. If he had two Queens in his hand, I was beat, but otherwise I probably still had the best hand with two pair. I called, everyone else went out. The last communal card came up another Queen. I now had a full house, Queens over Nines, a terrific hand. There were no flush or straight possibilities on the board. I checked. The better put in $60, which was exactly what I had left in front of me. Feigning great worry, I reluctantly called him all in. He turned over his pair of aces, and was greatly annoyed when I showed my full house. I doubled my money on the first hand I played.
The morning went on like that. One of those rare times when you’re in a groove, and the cards just keep coming up right. By noon I left the game with $525. When you buy chips they give them to you in a plastic rack that holds 500 chips. It was oddly satisfying to refill my rack with 500 red $5 chips where I had begun with all white $1 ones.
I had some lunch in the cafeteria downstairs, and called Ellen to see how things were going, but she didn’t answer, so after walking around the casino a little I decided I’d play again, starting once more with $100, and would spend not a dollar more. The afternoon session, same game, different table, went more like a typical session for me. My stack went up and down, but I never got ahead. The cards weren’t coming my way this time. At one point I was all in with about $40 left, and I won that hand, but most of the time I was just throwing in cards I didn’t think worth playing. After about 3 hours of that I was down to $27, and I knew Ellen would be calling soon, so I went all in with a pair of Sevens, and got beat by a pair of Nines.
Still finished the day ahead $325, though, which is perfectly fine. My back and butt are sore, but I don’t care, it was fun. It’s always fun, but moreso when you come out a winner.