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Saturday, November 12, 2005

WPT at the Canterbury and NASCAR Tilt at Treasure Island
I am a little late in blogging two live poker sessions from this past weekend.

First, B and I went down to the Canterbury on Saturday. A WPT event was being held -- a charity tournament benefiting the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. B and I had seen flyers for the event back on Labor Day, when we went down to the Canterbury for the last day of racing season. Strangely, however, we didn't see a whole lot of advertising for the event after that, even at the Canterbury.

I guess because it was a charity event, they were actually charging people just to watch -- $75 for a normal ticket, and something like $150 for some kind of "premium" ticket. Of course B and I did not pay these prices, we just we'd play some poker and maybe catch some pros walking around or something.

As it turned out we didn't see too much. We got there at about 5:45 and put our names on the waiting lists. We had time to kill so we headed over to a small area adjoining both the poker room and the bigger racetrack area room where the tourney was being played. Even though the tourney was supposed to start at 5:30, we could overhear Mike Sexton introducing the pro players who had come from the tourney, and B caught a glimpse of Marcel Luske. But we felt silly hovering around the outside of the tourney like that, so we headed off to get dinner.

I ended up having to wait about 45 minutes before I was seated at $3/$6, and B waited another half hour after that for $2/$4. From now on we will get there before 5pm on weekends.

My table was pretty fun. There were 3 18-year-olds at our table, and one kid was the subject of several jokes because he looked like was about 12. All 3 of them went broke, heh heh. Also we were at the #2 table near the entrance to the poker room, and people who busted out of the tourney kept walking in in 2s and 3s, and in every group one guys was explaining to his friends the beat that knocked him out. It was pretty funny after a while. Also one guy came in basically shouting about Men the Master had knocked him out when he (the shouter, not Men) had pocket Kings. The dealer was saying a bunch of Vikings were playing in the tourney. But no celebs strolled in.

I played for about 2.5 hours and left up $6. Woo-hoo. B won $76 so that was pretty nice.

Then on Sunday I met up with 2 friends from work, K and GB, and we headed down to Treasure Island, a casino just outside Red Wing, MN. They opened a poker room on October 12. I read some session reports about it on 2+2, and when I told K about he insisted we check it out. So we met at work at 11am on Sunday and headed down. We took a wrong turn and what should have been a 1-hour drive turned into 2. Also GB was driving and got himself a $142 speeding ticket. Doh! But eventually we got there.

The casino was . . . smoky. Like after being there 5 minutes I knew my clothes would smell all day smoky. Oh well, the poker room was non-smoking at least. Only 4 games were going in the 12-table room, but one of them was $3/$6 and we were all seated quickly. I won a big pot early when my KTs hit the flush on the turn in a 6-way pot. The other highlight hand was when K tried to "make a play" (his phrase) at GB. GB raises preflop, K reraises, one other guy comes along. Flop comes A88 and K and GB cap it. Blanks on the turn and river, with heavy betting. There's even speculation at the table that if one of them has 88 and the other has AA, the hand will qualify to win the $30,000 jackpot and we'll all be happy. But then GB turns over AK and K turns over A7. The other guy had AT. Doh! K, you silly, silly boy.

All the while I am enjoying football on some swanky widescreen flatscreen TVs. The Vikings game was pretty boring and I was looking forward to the 3pm games. And then . . . some boor sits down on my left and requests NASCAR. Evidently he is something of a regular so they hook him right up. Because of where I'm sitting, I have to turn around to see any other TVs. The Steelers game comes on and I'm dying to see how they fare without big Ben. So I'm pretty annoyed at Mr. NASCAR. And I can't stop thinking that there must be at least 100 TVs in the whole casino, and the one in front of me is the only one not showing football. In the race they are on lap 62 or so of 334 or something. I start calculating how long it takes them to do a lap to try and figure out how long the damn race will take. I'm looking at everyone else's chips, hoping someone busts out and gets up so I can get a better seat. And then of course Mr. NASCAR goes on a rush. He's playing any 2 and hitting trips, weird straights, etc. And when he wins he throws his cards down on the table in an obnoxious way. In short I am hating this guy and itching to win a big pot against him.

And it would have been nice to do that. But instead I realized I was on tilt, and got up (cashed out for $78 :-). I headed over to a bar where the smoke was slightly less thick than the rest of the casino, got a Captain and Coke, and enjoyed the game. After about 20 minutes I felt better and put my name back on the $3/$6 list. I watched the game for another half hour in the poker room (I just sat at one of the empty tables), and then K and GB decided it was time to go. This was because GB was up $145 -- just enough to tip the dealer and use the rest to pay his speeding ticket!

So that was my weekend. A few main things: 1) I do go on tilt over some random things, but at least I'm getting better at realizing when I'm on tilt and doing something about it. 2) Screw NASCAR. 3) The Treasure Island poker room was fine, but why would I play there when there is the much nicer Canterbury? (Not to di them, but I am guessing that K and GB were so keen on checking out TI because they've taken significant losses at the Canterbury.) 4) Though I dread jinxing myself by sayings this, so far I have not lost money in a session of live poker in the state of Minnesota. Woo-hoo!

What's surprising is the level play isn't any different at the indian casino when compared to Canterbury's.
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