A Quiet Day in Ventura

Had another session at Player’s Casino in Ventura on Saturday.

It was a rather calm, quiet session, nothing very dramatic.  I was again quite card dead.  I dunno, it seems I’m running above average in card-deadness lately.  Maybe I should start counting how many hands I fold preflop vs hands I play.  Based on the percentages of hands I should be playing based on Ed Miller’s starting hands, it just seems like I’m playing way fewer hands than I should be.  One thing I don’t want to do is starting playing junky hands just to get in on the action.

This was a new table that just opened as I arrived.  No familiar faces this time, though some of the players obviously knew the dealers and the other players somewhat.  I guess their customer base is pretty large.  The table was pretty stable….I played nearly four hours and most of the players did not change during that time.  One exception was when a guy left for a bigger game and was replaced by the player who have dubbed “Director” (see here).  And again, he did not say hi to me (still holding that grudge).  However, there was a guy who I have played with a few times who walked by our table at one point and he did nod hello to me, so there’s that.

As I said, it was a rather tame game, no maniacs present.  It was almost bordering on the “too tight” side, but maybe not quite.  I did consider asking for a table change, but decided against it.  After the run I had in Vegas, I was more interested in a more “normal” game where I could hopefully hone my game at lower risk than a game with high variance.  My goal for these sessions is to improve and get my confidence back, more than it is to make a huge score.  Not that I wouldn’t like to win some money in the process, you understand.

Early on I won my first hand in embarrassing fashion.  I was the small blind with King-9 of diamonds.  I completed for a buck and four of us saw the flop.  It was Jack-10-9, two clubs, no diamonds.  I called $25 on the flop with the bottom pair and the gut-shot. It was heads-up. (Edited to add, this is incorrect, see my response below to Lightning's comment for the correction)  There was no betting the turn or the river, which were both low cards that didn’t help me. Now, I had assumed that a pair of 9’s was no good, and the whole time I was hoping to catch a Queen for a straight.  So when the board was complete, I total forgot about my pair of 9’s and said, “I have King-high,” and showed my cards.  The dealer just repeated what I said, “King-high.”  But before the other guy had flipped his hand, I realized that I had the pair and said, “Oh wait, I have a pair of 9’s.”  The other guy had turned up his hand by now and it was Queen-9.  I won the pot and we were both glad that the other one of us didn’t catch his second pair. 

With a straddle to $6, I had Ace-Queen off and made it $15.  I actually think that’s too little to raise there, but no one called.  Tell me, does it make sense to straddle and then fold for an additional $9?  I mean, I don’t believe it ever makes sense to straddle under-the-gun, but if you’re gonna do it, shouldn’t you be calling a $9 raise with almost anything?

A bit later I got Ace-Queen again and raised to $15. Director and one other player called.  The flop was 10-8-2.  I put out my $25 c-bet and Director checked-raised to $85.  The next player took a long time, but she called.  So I folded.  It turned out that Director had called my raise from the big blind with 10-8.  Hmm….I have to lower my estimation of his game.  The lady just had a 10 (I think it was King-10 off, so not a good play either—she had limped/called my raise).

Very next hand I had Ace-King offsuit and opened to $12.  Four of us saw a flop of Jack-9-6, rainbow.  I didn’t see the point of c-betting a four way pot, so I checked and folded to a bet.

With 9-8 of hearts, I raised to $12 and had two callers.  The flop was 7-6-4, two hearts (the 4 was one of the hearts, I didn’t have an open-ended straight flush draw).  I c-bet $20 and didn’t get a call.  That was one time I bet with nothing that I wouldn’t have minded getting some action as there were so many cards that could have helped me.

I took down another small pot with a raise to $12 with King-Jack of spades.  The flop was Jack-9-6, and a $20 flop bet took it down.

I raised to $15 with Ace-Queen offsuit and had four callers.  The flop was 9-6-2, rainbow.  I’m never c-betting there, not five-handed.  And so I almost checked (I was third to act, I believe).  But then I started thinking about how dry the board was, and that it just might have missed everyone.  And it was a $75 pot pre.  So I thought, why not try for it, and put out $40.  Two people thought about calling, but didn’t.  The others folded instantly.  To show you how this session was, that was my biggest pot of the day.  Also the move I made that I’m most proud of.

I called $15 with pocket 6’s.  The flop came Jack-9-6, two spades.  The preflop raiser checked, so I bet $20.  No call.

I limped in with Ace-8 of diamonds, it was 5-way.  The flop came 9-6-5, rainbow, no diamonds.  No one bet.  A 7 on the turn filled in the gutshot.  I bet $10 and had one caller.  The river paired the 6.  I checked and the other guy bet $25.  I called and he just insta-mucked. 

And that was it.  I took off with a mighty $10 profit.

But again, I was card dead.  Biggest pocket pair was 10's, followed by 7's and 3's.  And the 6's I got a set with.  That was it for pocket pairs in four hours.  I actually discussed every time I had Ace-King or Ace-Queen, and never got Ace-Jack.  The only other suited connectors I got was something like 4-3 once.

It wasn’t exciting session but it was fun, and while I was still not as aggressive as I need to be, I felt a lot better about my play these past two weeks.  And I have much better attitude about poker than when I departed Vegas. I’m enjoying playing poker again. Onward and upward.
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A Quiet Day in Ventura
A Quiet Day in Ventura
Reviewed by just4u
Published :
Rating : 4.5