Sunday, August 5, 2007

Weekly Pilgrimage to Foxwoods

One of my buddies from Iraq lives in CT, he and I have been making a weekly pilgrimage to Foxwoods for a while now. First of all, it is nice to be able to keep in touch with a friend from over there. After an 18 month call up with 12 months deployed to a combat zone you get to know people better than friends you have had for years. It was surprisingly difficult to get a game going over there, General Order #1 prohibits gambling of any sort and although poker games did happen, they were almost always small 4-6 player tournaments with a very low buy in. Early in the deployment we did manage to get into a game with the unit from the 82nd that lived next to us. All of their money ended up in either my pocket or my buddy's pocket and they never let us play with them again. What were you doing with $1000 in the desert anyway? The MWR (Morale, Welfare, Recreation) tent sponsored a tournament once a month, "for fun" with $50 phone card or PX gift certificate prizes. Unfortunately, I never had the time to make it to one of the legal games.

I arrived at the reservation about 930am, and was 10th on the list for the 1-2 NL tables. My buddy had been there for about 30 minutes, and was quickly up about $200 after some aggressive play. I was called for a brand new table, locked up seat 8 and proceeded to the cage to get my chips. On the way back a seat opened at my buddy's table, and the nice floor lady let me move to sit with my friend.

The play was typical for the 1-2 NL tables at Foxwoods; everyone was limping into as many pots as possible, pre flop raises from $7-15 only juiced up the pot, and only large ($25-35) re-raises would take it down pre-flop. I limped with KK UTG, everyone limps around to the button who makes it $10 to go. The blinds fold and I re-raised to $35, big stack from MP calls and the button calls. The flop is K93, I have top set and bet out $40 expecting at least one caller. Both muck claiming small pairs, I show my Kings and my table image earns some credit.

I take down a few pots pre-flop with decent pairs and re-raises from the BB, I build my stack rarely going to show down. After 5 hours I am up $900 and in need of a break. My buddy has lost some ground, a flopped Aces full to a rivered AK bigger boat, and some questionable calls with second pair. He is sitting on about $400 after re-loading a hundo and breaking even. I decide that I am going to take my chips off the table and rat-hole my profits. There is a long list for 1-2 NL, I put my name in before heading to eat. Lunch at the 5th Street Cafe is on me, I have enough player points to cover both of us.

It is about 3pm, my buddy heads back to his table, and I check the list. My name must have been called while we were eating, I have to get back in line. No worries, 1-2 NL is so popular, they seem to have 25-30 tables running and still opening new tables. I get called for a new table, and once again on my way back from the cage I notice an empty seat at my friends table. The floor lets me move and I am back in the same seat. Evidently my replacement had bought in for the minimum twice and spread his chips around the table. Strangely, everyone was glad to see me back.

In retrospect, I should have just left my money on the table and taken my break. I had been successful at the table, had built a good stack and earned a good image. My post break game was not nearly as successful as my morning session. Most of the table has been here all day, with stacks built from the never ending stream of tourists buying in for the minimum 2-3 times, busting out and leaving. I no longer have the stack to move people off of hands. I am card dead for an eternity, re-loading 3 hundos each time I dropped below $200 and considering leaving. At about 8pm I say to my friend that I need to double up soon or I am going home. I have a little more than $300 in front of me, and the very next hand I have AKs in the BB.

Limpity, limp, limp around the table to the button who is sitting on about $1500 raises to $15. The small blind calls $15, and I bump it up to $30 hoping to drive out the rest of the field. It works and we go 3 way to the flop with about $100 in the pot. The flop is an absolute dream for me. K73 with 2 spades. TPTK with nut flush re-draw. The SB checks, I bet out $60 and the button raises to $120. The SB folds and I think about it for a minute. I know the huge stack has a very wide range of hands after 10 hours at the table. I have seen him make this move with KQ before. He knows that I don't have my big stack from the morning session. If I jam, I expect he will call as he has been running very well, he can afford it, and I am short enough to price him in if he has a decent hand. If he had AA or KK, he would have come over the top of my pre-flop bump. I am more afraid of him having 73 than 77 or 33 based on his previous holdings. I push, putting $170 on top of his raise and he calls, showing AKo. Nice! At worst we are chopping and I have the only re-draw. The dealer wastes no time in putting another spade on the board, and after the dust settles I am blessed with nearly $700 in chips, back on top by $100 after my 3 hundo reloads. After the hand he said he thought I might be on a set of 7s, but he couldn't get away from TPTK.

Final tally, 12 hours for $1000 profit. Plus free lunch.

No comments: