Sunday, March 19, 2006

That sickening feeling

Rule No. 126 of Poker: If a player is wearing a T-shirt that reads, “World Poker Tour Texas Hold’em Player,” he probably sucks at poker.

That thought crossed my mind as I watched this fashionista drag in a monster pot with 5-7 offsuit, which he had limped with from early position in this $4-$8 game.

Sometimes this game makes me want to throw up; I mean I just want to barf all over the table. I’ve played practically nothing but small stakes for several days as I protect my bankroll and see if my luck will turn around, and while I grind out small wins, the aforementioned champion rakes in hundreds of dollars.

Some people, it seems, are just luckier than others.

I made my way downtown to some of the other casinos on Friday. The few that feature poker rooms have little action. I saw a $2-$4 limit game at the Circus Circus and two $3-$6 games at Harrah’s (of all places.) The only decent poker room downtown is apparently at the El Dorado, which has a very nice and busy room. I took off the training wheels momentarily and sat down in a $3-$5 NL game with a short buy-in of $200. For once, I was the lucky one. My A-K of hearts turned a flush after I got it all in on the flop by betting the pot. The fellow who flopped a set of queens wasn’t too happy about it.

As usual, I am running into the same dealers and players that seem to pop up at every tournament stop. Kyle, a dealer from Cincinnati who is about my age, was in Tunica in January and at the WSOP last summer. I’ve seen him play more than deal as they seem to have more dealers than they need around here. He and I plan to talk more in depth about the dealing life later.

There’s the guy with the Eastern European accent and the wide-brimmed hat that I kept running into at the Plaza last summer, Michael something or other. He looks and sounds like a guy who ought to be chasing teenagers through a wheat field with a scythe in a Hollywood production, but apparently he plays good poker instead. He won one of the early events here in Reno and I recall him telling me last summer that he was running well in the WSOP until he took a bad beat.

The best bad beat I heard at the WSOP, however, was from the Texas exterminator with the long hair and the white tank top and blue jeans who was obviously going for the Kid Rock look. I had also met him at the Plaza, but ran into him again while playing a tournament at the Sahara.

Kid told me he flopped a flush and got it all in on the flop and a guy called him with two pair.

“He rivered a full house and I went in the bathroom to throw up,” he said.

See, I’m not the only one with gastrointestinal troubles in this game.

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