A few chips here, a few there…

Saturday I went back to Atlantic City to play poker at the Taj Mahal casino for the first time this year. I sat down at about 10 AM at a cash game and played for an hour, winning $86, largely from one player who I thought was making a lot of loose calls. Every time I bet he raised me, and finally he went all in for $40. I had a pair of sevens, so I called and beat his ace-high hand.

At 11:15 I entered the small morning no-limit hold-em tournament for $65. I did well in the first hour, doubling my chips, then coasted for a while, winning one large pot in the second hour. I had pocket queens, the flop was jack-ten-five, the turn was another jack, giving me two pair. One other player kept raising, and I thought it was likely he had me beat with at least three of a kind, maybe a full house, but his raises were low enough to keep me in the game. Finally the river turned another queen, giving me a full house, queens over jacks. I went all in, and he called with a lower full house, so I doubled up. That kept me going well into the third hour, where I won a few small pots. The field of 50 dwindled, and by the time it was down to 11 players in the fourth hour, my stack was getting short. I managed to stay around into the money, though, going out in seventh place with a win of $109.

So, the cash game win of $86 plus the tournament win of $109 makes $195, minus the $65 entry fee on the tournament is $130. I contributed $5 to the bubble boy loser, finishing just out of the money, as did the other 9 players remaining, and spent $8 on lunch and $5 on parking, so my real win for the day was $112, which is just fine. I enjoyed playing, though my legs do get sore from the cramped position they’re in at the table. I don’t know how older guys can sit at big tournaments for days on end! It was a fun day overall despite that, and I wish I had time to play more often.

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