I haven’t played poker at the Borgata Casino in Atlantic City in a while, but decided to go there today. I knew I’d be playing in cash games, not a tournament, as they’re running more expensive-to-enter tournaments on most weekends now, with entry fees too high for me.
I enjoy playing at the Borgata, their poker room is large and comfortable, but I was a little hesitant about playing in cash games there. Minimum buy-in for the $1-$2 no-limit holdem games is $60, but most players start with $200. I usually start with $100, but the last two times I tried that I lost about half my chip stack early, and then spent the rest of the time trying to get back up the hill and not succeeding, so this time I also bought in with $200 in chips. That way I had a bigger starting stack and other players were less likely to try to push me off hands with big raises.
The first hand I played was a pair of pocket fours, and the flop did me no good, so I folded. The next hand I played pocket sixes, and the flop was 6-8-Jack. Very good for me, I’d flopped a set of three sixes. The player to my right, on the big blind, bet out $20. I called, everyone else folded. The turn card was a nine. Now there was a possible straight, but no flush draw, so my sixes looked pretty good. Player to my right bet another $20 and I called again. The river card was another Jack. This gave me a full house, sixes over Jacks, which was terrific, and meant I probably had him beat, but there was a small chance he now had a better full house than me if he started with two pair, one of them a Jack. He bet $50 and, while I was tempted to raise, I just called. He showed a straight, and I won the pot, about $120. A great start, and after that I continued to play my conservative game, building my stack slowly. By lunchtime I was ahead $270, and I cashed out and had something to eat.
After lunch I sat down at another table with $200 in chips again. This time things went more typically for me. I gradually lost about $70, then won it all back with a straight. Went down $40, and won it back with a small blind special, a 2-3 that cost me only $1 to play, and a flop of 2-3-6, giving me two pair, then another 3 giving me a winning full house. Didn’t get much betting on that one, though. When it was time to leave, I was down $55, so went home ahead for the day $215. Very satisfactory. Wish it always went that well!