Wednesday, January 11, 2006

More Tunica

I’ve returned to Tuscaloosa for a few days for a break, but I am heading back to good ol’ Tunica tomorrow. Let’s recap the events since my last post. (Unfortunately like some of my other stops, Internet access isn’t readily available to me so posts will be more infrequent.

After busting out of the tournament on Thursday I went over to the Horseshoe to play some $10-$20 limit when I spotted Dutch Boyd playing the same game at another table. I tried to get a table change to head over there, but he left before a seat became available.

On Friday night I watched Ted play in the $500 mega satellite at the Grand (1 in 20 wins a $10,000 buy in seat.) Ted seems to do well in these type tournaments as he won a seat in the WSOP main event this summer through one and had a good chance in this one. Five seats were available and Ted made the final table. Chris Grigorian, the Armenian Express (it says so on his cap), was there goading his competition.

“Y’all don’t forget to get grits for breakfast.”

“Y’all going to raise now y’all?”

“Y’all can’t call my bet y’all.”

The short-stacked Ted busted out 8th, squarely on the cash bubble (two guys received cash in addition to the five seats given away), but worked out a deal where the other seven gave him $100 each. Grigorian even gave him a hug.

“I like this guy,” he said.

I spent much of Saturday night playing this new table game Ultimate Texas Hold’em. Its rules are fairly complicated to try to explain to you here, but it seems like a game with reasonable odds if you know what you’re doing. The key in the game is to figure out which hands are better than 50 percent to win against a random hand and bet the max before the flop. There’s really not much strategy otherwise. I won $300 the first time I played it, but lost $200 the next after getting up $200. I’m sure it’s not beatable in the long run, but it is a lot of fun to play.

The other half of Saturday was spent in another $10-$20 game at the Grand. I fared much better in this one, winning $555. To my right for much of my duration of the table was a nice older lady named Diane. Her husband Walt was deep in that day’s pot limit Omaha event. Diane isn’t a very good player, but her husband apparently is. Clad in his ubiquitous Augusta National visor, I’ve seen him at several poker venues. The two, who are from Augusta, Ga., travel to many of the major tournaments.

Diane eventually left the game to go watch her husband. I saw the two later walk by while the tournament was still ongoing. Walt apparently finished on the bubble.

I played the Sunday LHE and there wasn’t excitement for me. I got AK thrice and never made a pair and busted out two hours into the event with QQ when a king flopped and I was too short stacked to go away.

The excitement at the event occurred two hours into the affair when an older gentleman suffered a heart attack. Players were told to leave their seats and vacate the tournament area while the man was attended to. You may recall that there was a heart attack victim at Foxwoods in what I recall was also the $500 LHE event. Dr. Will, the doctor I had met in Atlantic City, helped care for that fellow. There was no Dr. Will in Tunica, but paramedics resuscitated the man and Johnny Grooms informed the crowd later that he had survived. (And in case you’re wondering, his buy in was refunded.)

As a fellow satellite player recalled to me later, “He tilted this way, and then that way and then he just collapsed.”

I planned to play some satellites at the Gold Strike that night since the World Poker Open was finally cranking up, but I stayed at that damn hold’em table game all morning. I woke up, found Ted playing a satellite and invited him to a buffet.

We decided we might as well room together and save the money. With all the free food you can get and affordable rooms (less than $30 a night when two people split one) you can stay in Tunica and play poker on the cheap, but I like to go as cheap as I can.

More reports to come soon.

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