Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Presidents and small winnings

When I went south to go to the casino as mentioned in the last post, I thought "what the heck" and passed through a currency exchange and got US$1000 in cash. Way ahead of time but I want to get my travel kit in order. Already I have a bag where I gather all things needed for my trip to the WSOP Main Event. Passport, papers (reservations, contracts, info, numbers, plans), power adapter, diverse security/safety items, and now a wad of pieces of paper with dead presidents on them. I particularly like the Franklins. It's all about the Benjamins, baby.

So now I have $1001.26 at home. The bills plus two halfdollars, a quarter and a penny from a coin collection. The halfdollars are one JFK and one Liberty Bell, the JFK one is my lucky coin for use in poker games as a token in my pocket or as card protector.

I had hit a downward slump at Partypoker, never making it big and seeing my bankroll slowly dwindle. Finally won (1st place) a SnG the day before yesterday and hope to turn upwards now.

Got a bit stressful yesterday. It seemed like our regular biweekly homegame wouldn't happen since people were busy and we would be only three then, so I got in a cheap SnG at Partypoker. When we were four left J called and said the homegame was on, so I got super aggressive in the SnG (but didn't want to pish it away either) and whaddya know, I knock one player out, so I won't leave empty handed at least. All in with any hit and actually win some but out at third place.

The homegame: Four players, four rebuys (one each). We're getting really evenly matched now. Second place, almost gave it away because we had been grinding heads up for nearly half an hour, it was nearing midnight (started late) and those of us who weren't at home already wanted to go home.

I've got such a yearning to go to Las Vegas! And I will, it's all been arranged now, but it's three point nine months left. Whoa, it is getting close. Almost within my reach. But I'm getting paranoid; I keep imagining situations where I walk up to the airline counter and get "Oh, that flight has been postponed two days." or "Certainly sir, one return trip to Kuala Lumpur coming rrright up!". Or at the hotel desk "There is no reservation under the name Huykenschmitt.". Or at the WSOP registration at the Rio "As per regulation C, paragraph 15, since you entered the country less than 72 hours ago and are a pre-registered European player in casual clothes, you are not eligible for play.".

Almost daily I browse the web, reading travelogues, reviews, tips. Look at Vegas in Google Earth. I even look at traffic cams! What's with all the (white) Ford F150s? And it warms my heart to see all the lights on and limos passing by. At 5-6AM Vegas Time on a weekday.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

My first comp

Got my first "comp", sort of, at a brick&mortar casino yesterday.

I play a lot of poker, online and live. My father only plays around a little online with play money and the occasional (but rare) family homegame, so as a birtday gift I gave him a "Poker Night" at the regional state-run casino. It's a package deal where you get dinner and a poker tournament for the dinner guests. I arranged it well in advance and this Monday we went. The in-law that also was supposed to be coming along was ill, so we were only two. When I called to notify them of the change they said there were no other people booked for Poker Night. We decided to go anyway, now that I had travelled to attend.

When there, I let dad do the talking. We had the dinner, the casino apologized for not notifying us of the cancellation and we got a free dessert (panna cotta, yum). Got a quick runthrough of how poker cash games and tournaments work at the casino by a cute brush and got more freebies. Sunglasses, lighter-that-looks-like-poker-chips and a deck of cards. Each.

As part of the package you also got three 20-crown chips (20 crowns = $2.50). Dad put one down on the roulette, at 14/17. Clickettyrattle, fourteen red.

We played around on slot machines and video poker and then at Casino Holdem, which is a bastardization of Texas Holdem where you play against the dealer. Put one chip down to get cards, if you want to play them after you see "the flop" you put two more chips down. Then the turn and river comes and the dealer has to have a pair of fours or better to "qualify". If the dealer doesn't qualify you win one chip regardless. If he does qualify, your hand has to beat the dealer's hand and if you do, you win all that you've bet. Also some extra payouts if you have better than... straight (I think).

All in all, I think we were break-even on table games and machines, got some father-son time, drinks and dinner and some stories to tell.

The standard of the casino (Cosmopol) was... questionable. Never having been there (yet!), I would think that if it was in Las Vegas, it would be a run-down backstreet joint in downtown LV. But good staff.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Yet again

Another homegame tournament No Limit Texas Holdem, wild and crazy. We were six players and there were seven rebuys. I made one, one guy made three.

Same procedure as always, I do well in the middle of the game, I was in a massive chip lead in the middle phases, helped by for example a flopped Aces full (had AA, flop comes QQA, bingo, yatzee). Then much of it goes away when I with A3 in an unraised big blind flop two pair and the guy with a straight draw and a flush draw tags along and after all in hits the case flush on the river.

One hand can make you and one hand can break you. Third place, on the bubble.

My participation in WSOP 2006 Main Event draws ever nearer. Only four months to go now! I made the hotel reservation two weeks ago and last week I arranged the flight, finally. Now it's just waiting, waiting, waiting annnd lift-off!

Next Monday I'm treating my father and brother-in-law to a Poker Night at the regional casino. A package deal where you get dinner, gaming introduction and a Holdem tournament with some tin cup as first prize. Just so dad can try it "for real", he plays around a little online but only with Play Money.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Another Royal

I got my second Royal Straight Flush yesterday!

Too bad it was once again in a tournament setting. It was in a Sit'n'Go.

Dagnammit, I don't want it then and there. I want to get it when it really matters, on a High Hand Jackpot table, in a multi-way all in in a cash game or at the final table of a large prize pool tournament with lots of callers and audience.

Well, it's probably karmic payback for my miracle river straight on the bubble this weekend.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Two seven

Homegame, six participants.

Blech, it didn't go well at all. Cold cards, chasing didn't hit anything on the flop. Made two rebuys.

And I ran into The Hammer, the infamous 2 7 off suit (although one time it was suited, Spades) twice. First time it filled a 5-9 straight against my pair of Queens with Ace kicker, second time it was a stone cold bluff, he put me all-in when I was shortstacked.

Just one of those days.