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Thursday, November 04, 2004

Wednesday Night at Foxwoods: Ouch
I made it down to Foxwoods last night. I had thought I'd be going alone but at the last minute Mrs. Cheap Thrills decided to come along. We both wanted to give $4/$8 a try -- her for the first time, me for the first time since last November, when I lost $100 in a very bad session.

A couple new things at Foxwoods. First, there's a Hard Rock bar and restaurant near the poker room now. Second, there is a nice bar/lonuge kinda near the poker area. I'd first dicovered this back in August, but B contents it is fairly new and was not there at the beginning of the summer. Either way, it is a much nicer, less crowded and smoky area to grab a beer and relax than the sports bar right next to the poker area.

Most interestingly, the Foxwoods poker room has implemented a new system for waiting lists. There are now two very big projection screens on the wall, which show all the games currently being offered, how many tables of each game are going, and the initials of players currently on the waiting lists. This is a very nice feature since you can now see the waiting lists from almost anywhere in the poker area -- whereas before everyone crowded around the the two desks with the whiteboards to see their status on the waiting list. You also now put your name on the waiting list at a different desk than you go to when your name is called. Actually the desks are right next to each other, but before, they were the exact same desk, and this just added the confusion and traffic in the poker room.

Also, the floor staff are now apparently able to communicate through the computer system, or perhaps they have upgraded their walkie-talkies: Whatever it is, they need to yell across the room less and the poker room is a little less noisy and I was better able to hear when my initials were called.

We didn't have to wait very long. B was seated at a table in the front of the room, I was way in the back.

My first table was awful. One guy was a maniac. To his credit, he was the friendliest maniac I've ever played with, and he wasn't trying to hide, deny, or justify to others the fact that he was on a rush and making crazy plays just for the fun of it. The mood of the table was pretty fun, but he was a maniac nonetheless. He played every hand, raising it preflop 75% of the time, and seeing the river almost every time. He went up $200 in the first half hour I was there. The smart voice inside my head said, "Leave." Then I was on the big blind, the maniac did not raise, and I got to flop two pair for "free" (sevens and fives, but two pair is two pair). I bet the whole way -- the maniac actually folded, but another person stayed in with A2o -- he had deuces on the flop and got his ace on the river. Not really a bad beat, but not a good omen.

I think it must have been tilt that I did not leave then. I was also looking at the big waiting list board, and it was still only showing 2 tables for $4/$8. I didn't want to go to B's table, so I figured the table I was at was my only choice. Not a good reason to stay. Bad JD.

I resolved to play the right way against a loose table, and if I got blinded down or sucked out on, so be it. I folded quite a bit. Tried to limp in with pairs or AXs a couple times and the maniac made me pay another bet each time. Flop kept missing me. Finally I get AQs and raise, maniac calls. I get my queen and bet the flop and turn. By the river there is also a J and a 10 on board. The maniac loves drawing to straights so I check the river, he bets, and he shows AKo. In my mind I'm screaming "F***!!!!!!" I think I made my brain hoarse. That doesn't feel good.

Nothing too special after that. The maniac has been saying he has to leave at 8:45. I had sat down at 7:30. I decide to wait it out, and I don't get any more cards during the wait. But around the time the manic finally left, so did 3 other people. Again I'm still thinking that this is the only other $4/$8 table, so I agree to play short and hope to keep the game alive. Lost more money 4-handed when I flopped top pair and my opponents flopped a set and a straight, respectively. Ouch. Finally our table just breaks up. I am down $140 and feeling like a total moron.

On my walk out of ther poker area I see 2 more $4/$8 games being spread. Turns out that since $4/$8 had gone to open seating, they stopped updating the number of $4/$8 tables on the waiting list board. And when people did ask to sit at $4/$8, they seated them at the front of the poker area, near the main desk, and that's why our game didn't get new players when it was short.

I go to the bar/lounge area to recoup. I had dropped $120 at the Mirage in Vegas and thought nothing of it: At the time I just bought more chips and made back my losses plus a lot more. But I was on vacation then and having a blast. This was a Wednesday night and I had just given $140 away to a bunch of hard-guy no-folding regulars. I was not happy.

I got a beer and reviewed my play. I decided I definitely made some small mistakes, and definitely got shitty cards. But there was no getting around the fact the I *knew* it was not my kind of table and I stayed anyway, trying to justify it by erroneously thinking I had few other options. Big, big mistake.

I shook off the lousy feeling I had and decided to suck it up, get back on the horse, etc. I rebought up to $180 and put my name on the waiting list (open seating had ended while I drank my beer). I'm seated at a table that is almost the exact opposite of my first table. It was still loose as hell preflop, but no one was raising and people were actually folding on the flop and turn. Hands were being taken down without showdowns. I won my first pot of the night with bottom pair from the BB when everyone made it obvious that they had nothing. Only an Ace-high called me down. Then I limped in with 45s -- something I never do online -- and got my straight. I think I won one more pot, then I lost it all and more when I had KJo, flop came AKK, and my opponent slowplayed AA. Doh!

This table was much more my bag of chips, but it was in the back! As players left they were not replaced, and the table broke up after maybe 40 minutes. I ended up down $45 due to screwing around with top pair when it was short-handed. Dumb, dumb. I was relocated to a game in the very front.

This one was an awful table, the kind I had worried I might find at Foxwoods on a weeknight. It was pretty clear that 4 players on on end of the table, all twenty-ish and looking like New York or Boston hard guys, knew each other. On the first hand I was there the flop came K-Q-rag. One of the tough guy types says "That's the sugar," and the NY tough girl next to him says "Yeah that's definitely my sugar." They bet and raise the flop, I think 2 others come with them. They're betting the whole way, at the end she shows Q7o and he shows K3o for the win. Two more hands go by with similar aggression. On the third hand I was there for, one of the hard guys berated the player on my left for "rivering him" with JJ (another J on river) when NY guy had 55 and a set on the flop. On the final hand I was there for (I was UTG), the tough girl was whispering to the guy next to her, in the middle of the hand. It looked like blatant collusion to me. I left without posting a single BB.

B was doing OK at her table, though. At this point it was a little after 10pm, and we had agreed to leave around 11pm. I sat down at $1-$5 Stud. It was the most pleasant table of the evening in terms of the people. And also I won a bit, going up $50 before losing $25 of it on one crazy big pot where I had a draw that pot odds would not let me fold.

B left up $27. Her table had stayed full the whole time because it was in the front, while two of mine had broken up because they were in the back. Let that be a lesson.

She said her table was also mostly no-folders, but no real maniacs and was friendlier than any of mine had been. She said the guy next to her had played at Turning Stone a couple times, and agreed that the games there are much softer. I also believe the tourist-filled $3/$6 tourist games in Vegas are much softer. On a Wednesday night, it seems that Foxwoods is full of regulars, and regulars = bad.

All in all, it was a lousy night for me. Down $160, a full 20 bets at $/$8. I've lost twice now at the Foxwoods $4/$8 game, and so far I am really not liking the feel of those games. I'll be at Foxwoods on November 13th, which is the day the big WPT event there starts. I think I might try $4/$8 one more time since that will be a Saturday; I don't want to play $2/$4 because of the rake; if $4/$8 goes badly again I will just stick to Stud. Irrationally, part of me wants to grow the online bankroll and try the $5/$10 game at Foxwoods. Even if I do try such folly it will be a good ways off.

Trying to find the silver lining here, this was a good lesson in how to deal with a bad session -- I've been doing really well at live games this summer and had starting expecting things to go my way a bit too much. Even with weaker opponents I was not going to win much with the cards I got last night, and sometimes that's just the way it goes.

Poker quasi-celebrity spottings: I saw John D'Agostino (the young guy who took 2nd to Phil Ivey at the Turning Stone American Poker Championship, aired live on Fox Sports Net) and a guy whose name I can't remember -- he was in one of the WSOP final tables, and on ESPN he was wearing a Hawaiian shirt and eating shrimp cocktail at the table, had a Boston accent, I remember he was quite the character. One of the players at B's table said he saw James Woods earlier in the day.

Some Nights that IS the way it goes.. *sigh*. I feel your pain! heh.
Okay, so why didn't you look for me? Hmmm!
We did!
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