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Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Brief, Painful Friday Morning at Foxwoods
This weekend both my family and B's parents were up visiting for B's graduation ceremonies. Since we'll be moving to Minneapolis in July, this was the last time they'll be visiting New England for a while. So my mom calls me last week and says, "Why don't we meet at Foxwoods Friday afternoon for lunch?" See, my mom and my aunt really like the slots, and my my cousin just turned 21 and had never been to a casino. Plus, two Fridays ago B went down there for a day of low-limit thrills and doubled up. So we happily agreed to blowing off work for the morning and playing poker instead.

B and I arrived at Foxwoods at about a quarter to 11am and were quickly seated at $2/$4. It was pretty quiet for Foxwoods, but what can you expect in the morning. Two guys at my table were drinking beer, which surprised me. Then they mentioned that they'd been there since 7, and I thought, "wow, these guys guys are hard-core arriving that early" until I realized that they meant 7pm and that they had been playing all night.

Everyone was playing any 2. Seven or eight players would see most flops, which is even looser than normal for Foxwoods $2/$4. There were very few preflop raises and the players would make general sounds of disappointment and tsking when anyone (such as me) did raise. This table should have been easy money but I didn't stay long enough to make that happen. Instead I caught 3 beats in a single orbit that convinced me it wasn't my day:

Pocket queens: Cracked by a river flush. No biggie, that's the kind of thing you have to expect at this kind of table.

very next hand . . .

Pocket kings. I go to the river on a raggedy board with one of the up-all-night guys. He bets into me on the river and I call. He's been playing most hands and I'm sure he'll show me a small two pair but instead he shows me pocket aces. Ouch! Beat the whole way. The poker gods are toying with me.

two hands later . . .

ATs. I raise it preflop, in what surely looked like evidence of tilt (and perhaps was since I was under the gun). Flop misses me completely and I fold. Again, no biggie, but at this point I am a little exasperated.

next hand . . .

KJo in the big blind and I see a free flop -- and it's top two pair. "Finally," I think to myself like a fish. Me and the play-every-hand SB cap the betting, and a third player stays with us. The third player has Q4o and makes the K-high straight on the river. The suckout I could handle, but the really painful part is that the SB had KK! So again I had been beat the whole way but never suspected it. Ugh.

Lessons learned:

1) Don't play the lowest limit in the casino unless you're going to have a lot of fun doing it. It's not like Foxwoods $2/$4 is hugely +EV with its awful rake and it's not like playing it is really improving my game, so the main reason to play is fun. On a Friday night that game can be a lot fun (and having a few beers helps shake off the awful suckouts), but sober on a Friday morning, I was just grumpy. Only in Vegas should I play before noon. I am never grumpy there :-)

2) It's hard to play well when you have no respect for your opponents. Sitting there watching everyone play poker slots, I didn't really think about my opponents' actions once I was holding any decent hand -- it was just bet and raise, and don't make the mistake of folding in a big pot. There's much more to base decisions on in poker, even at the low low limits, but I was too frustrated and contemptuous of my table on Friday to do it.

So I got up, cooled down, and played some $1-$5 Stud while B floated around even at her table (her Foxwoods results now blow mine away). I won $5 at Stud. Then we met up with my family for lunch. The rest of the weekend was poker-free but a lot of fun.


We're flying out to the Twin Cities on Saturday to look for an apt. I've also got a job interview there on Monday. We certainly wish we could be in Vegas for the blogger convention, but at least we'll be keeping busy with other important stuff and not just sitting around wishing we were there. Hope everyone has a blast and I look forward to the trip reports!

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