Thursday, April 30, 2009

Trip to the Borgata poker report

For those who find my poker stories boring feel free to skip this post. This is a report I made and posted (and edited for here) for the 2+2 website.

Before I start, let me first say (so that there's no confusion) that I think that the Borgata is a great place to play poker and it is of my favorite casinos. The staff is friendly and great and I have no complaints whatsoever about the establishment itself or its employees.

The Characters:

Me- a fat guy who turns 39 the next dayy and went to go play poker yesterday to celebrate

Dave- a friend of mine who went along with him.

DB1- Douchebag number one, playing at the 100 + 20 tourney, a bit milder than the others. A man in his early 30's.

DB2- Douchebag number two, playing at a 1/2 NLHE table. A young feller with spiky hair and listening to an ipod.

DB3- Douchebag number three, playing at another 1/2 NLHE table. A guy with a foreign accent, I think it might have been French Canadian.

Supporting cast-

SGG- Sun glasses guy, almost a douchebag but mostly an insecure fish

OG1- Old guy one- an old guy in good shape who wore work out clothes. His bald head and good build made me think he looked like the Spiderman villian, The Vulture

OG2- Old guy two- wore a hat that he won for getting a royal flush (or so he told me)

OG3- Old guy three- this one had a full head of white curly hair.

BBG- Black bald guy, very nice guy who was a fish

MAW- Middle aged woman, a nice woman in her 40's who was actually a fairly solid player (altho somewhat predictable)

KMLA- Kirk Morrison look alike, a guy who resembled the poker player Kirk Morrison

8am, my wife, Lynn, got home from her night job and I left her and the kids behind as I excitedly embarked on my trip. I picked up my buddy and we drove down to the turnpike to route 76. Before getting off the blue route we listened to KYW's traffic report and heard no problems other than the usual rush hour BS (why is it always backed up at Girard, is everyone going to the zoo?!). I really should know better than to trust KYW. The traffic on 76 was about the worst I've seen in a while. By the time we got on to 76 the traffic was back up for miles due to the Penn Relays, which, of course was reported by KYW when it was too late for us.

Once we got to the bridge it was smooth sailing except for the 5, count 'em, 5 speed traps that we encountered on the AC expressway. I got lucky I wasn't pulled over as I was mostly doing 80 the whole way. The cops were out a few days early for the monthly quota I guess. We eventually made it to the Borgata just in time for the 11am tourney.

My buddy, Dave, was the one who wanted to play in the tourney and since he was the only person who could also take off a day from work to come with me so I felt obliged to play in the tourney with him. It was a $100 + 20 tourney and about 80 players played. I started off rather poorly and lost a few small pots as I watched my stack shrink to about 6500 (we started with 10K). I just couldn't hit anything and I kept getting dealt playable hands like AK and suited connectors to no avail. I also admit that my heart wasn't in the tourney, I just find them so tedious these days.

I decided that my ennui could be cured by some drinking. I asked the waitress what beers I could get and Heineken was the only free beer that wasn't swill, besides I started having fun that I could ask for a Heinie and get away without getting slapped. At my first table at the other end sat SGG. He built quite the chip stack as he was hitting some big hands and even double stacked two players at once. (hitting a flush draw of all things, they all got in on the turn) A fish with a big stack started to make me drool and I probably ended calling with some questionable hands just so I could get in a pot with him.

The first of which was when he made a min raise from UTG (under the gun, first to act preflop) and I was in the big blind with A4. He seemed only capable of min raising instead of making normal 3-4X's raises and even did as such after the flop, so i couldn't gleam any info from his small raise. It was folded to the SB who also called and I defended with my suited ace. The flop came A Q 4 rainbow and the SB checked and I fired out a bet of about 3/4 of the pot. SGG min raised and I just called. The turn was another queen and my 2 pair became counterfeited. I checked to SGG who put out only the minimum!! Based on pot odds alone I had to call, I think if he put in a pot sized bet I would have to get away from the hand. The river was a third queen which gave me a full house. I figured that it was going to be a chop but I threw in a pot sized bet anyways, if he raised me I would have called and hoped he didn't have AA or a Q. He called my bet begrudgingly and tabled his KK!! I scooped in a decent pot and my stack was healthy again.

He made some comments about how I sucked out on him but honestly, why was he in the pot after the flop? I ignored his comments and let him play in his fishy way.

Shortly after I was moved to another table and saw that they had quite a few big stacks including the guy to my right- DB1, who was the table chip leader.

I sat down and noticed DB1's huge stack and figured that he must be an aggressive player to get such a big stack that early. So my first hand I get dealt AK and I'm UTG+1 and DB1 was UTG. He puts in a raise so instead of flat calling I put in a reraise. I figure that my stack won't be effective very long with the antes and blinds climbing so fast. I was prepared to go to war against the big stack with my AK suited if need be. It gets folded around to DB1 and he reluctantly mucks. He mutters that he had pocket tens.

I immediately, say, "Really? You had me beat but it was close to a coin flip." He then gets incredibly indignant at my comment. "What?! You're an idiot. Why would you reraise me with AK or AQ?!" he continued to berate me for my "poor playing skills" (based on one hand!) for a good minute and I just ignored him. Unfortunately just 3 hands later I defended my big blind (to yet another min raise!) with A9 and flopped a set of 9's on a Q99 board. The money got in on the turn and I was all but drawing dead when the villain tables his QQ. C'est la vie I thought as I got up to go to the cash games. I overheard DB1 as I was leaving, "Stupid fish got what he deserved!" I almost stopped to say a few things but I only had 3 beers in me and thought better of it.

They opened a new table of 1/2 NLHE when I put my name in, so 9 of us all sat down to play together. I continued to order more Heinies and was starting to feel a bit looser. I debated trying to play LAG (loose aggressive style) but questioned my ability when I kept getting reraised by OG1. OG1 was a crafty old bastard (The Vulture!!) and I would have taken him on more if my spider sense was working. I did however end up winning a decent 120 pot from the guy to my right. It was probably my biggest pot of the night and it was just a matter of having 2 pair to his TPTK. Right after winning that pot my buddy came over from busting out at the tourney and sat down at another 1/2 table. He soon called me over as there was an empty seat next to him. I was actually enjoying the table I was at but, alas, friendship called and I switched tables. I was up about $75 at this point.

By this point I was inebriated enough to start my silly drunk guy routine. I am bipolar so I'm apt to say weird things by nature anyways so when I get some alcohol in me I tend to be jokey and silly. Most of the players at the table didn't seem to mind and laughed at most of my jokes. (altho to Dave's chagrin and embarrassment) I also got friendly with a lot of the staff and dealers. I recall a tall black waitress with HUGE boobs that liked to sing as she delivered drinks. I felt she was a kindred spirit and I encouraged her singing and told her that and asked if she took requests. Unfortunately, she wasn't familiar with Phish or Umphrey's McGee and she continued with her R&B singing. I also remember telling every dealer that I had that they were the best dealer in the world after every pot that I won. I didn't win any big pots or stacked anyone the whole night but I did manage to win a lot of little pots.

One strange thing that did occur was that a hand got heads up to me and Dave. The flop had two spades so I remarked in a joking way that "I should check my hand for spades." and I then peeked at my hole cards again. When I looked up I saw that the turn and river were dealt. (the board was J T 8 T J) I blurted out, "What?! What happened?!" The dealer replied that I said that "we would check it down" and I guess the dealer figured out that me and my buddy were friends and thought we would soft play each other. Dave and I looked at each other and didn't know what to do. After some debate we decided to play it from the river and since I had a Jack I threw in a small bet. My friend called with a T and I guess I lost out on a big pot due to the dealer's mistake/mishearing me. I didn't mind so much since it was my friend after all but I did politely inform the dealer that I don't soft play and don't think anyone else should.

A few hands later DB2 sat down with his head phones on so loud you could hear the music from the headphones.

Some new players joined us at this point. OG2 came to the table and he was an older gentlemen that I recognized from the tourney. He was wearing what I call a cabbie/paperboy hat. The type of hat that you see in movies in the 20's where the paperboy is yelling, "Extra, Extra!! Read all about it!" or the cab drivers that say, "Where to mac?" also where them. I actually own one myself, so I complimented him on his hat and he then went on tell me that the Borgata gave it to him when he hit a royal flush. He kind of reminded me of Studs Terkel and shortly after he came to our table I noticed he was napping.

BBG was also there and was donking it up and playing most hands. I chatted him up and he was a super nice guy. Unfortunately for me he would get lucky every time we got involved in a hand together and would take my chips and then donk them off in the next hand to another player. The dynamic of the table seemed fine and dandy at this point, we had OG2 napping, BBG was creating some action and I was Mr. Chatty Fun Guy. That was until DB2 got into a hand with BBG...

I was on the button and DB2 was in middle position and it was folded or limped around to him. He raised it to $12 and my buddy and I folded and so did the SB. BBG in BB called for $10 more and then the limpers folded. The flop came:


BBG checked, DB2 threw out a pot sized bet and BBG called

J on the turn

BBG checked, DB2 threw out a pot sized bet and BBG called

river was a blank (maybe a ten?)

BBG had less than the pot left but still checked, DB2 raised enough to put him all in and BBG called right away.

DB2 tabled KK, BBG tabled 62o and scooped the pot.

DB2 went quiet at first and then a moment later mumbled, "You called with that?"

BBG- "Yes I did"

DB1-"You called my preflop raise with that?!- Nice play!" He said in a sarcastic tone.

Personally I really hate this. Yes it's obvious to most of us at the table that BBG is a donk. Yes, he called with a bad hand preflop with stacks that don't warrant a call there. Yes, he got lucky and took all of your chips.


DB2 continued to insult BBG for the next 3-4 hands and I couldn't take it any more. But instead of confronting DB2, I turned to BBG and said, "Forget him, he's just angry you got his chips. You can play however you want, don't let him tell him you otherwise." BBG said, "Damn right! It's my money that's backing up my bets and I can put my money in whenever I damn well please."

And BBG couldn't be anymore correct there. I wish douchebags with thin skin would cut out the crap. IMO, you can't be that all great of player if you're going to criticize someone's play.

The mood of the table really deflated after that outburst. Plus, having not eaten all day and starting to feel the pinch of drinking on an empty stomach my buddy and I racked our chips, cashed out and went downstairs to the Panda for some orange flavored chicken. Stretched our legs and went back up to play some more.

At this point I had made up the money I lost in the tourney and I was maybe up an additional $15 on top of that.

With our bellies full, my buddy and I managed to get another table together right away. I sat down and was immediately big blind. it was limped to DB3, a mid thirties man who with a foreign accent. I'm bad at most accents but if I had to guess, I'd say he was French Canadian. He put in a raise and the SB, who looked sort of like a sickly Kirk Morrison called. I had 84o and then asked the dealer that since it's my birthday, could I take back my big blind until I get a better hand. The dealer immediately replied, "Look pal, this ain't Denny's!" Which I thought was a rather clever reply. A blond middle aged woman called the raise and off to the flop they went.

8 4 2

KMLA checked
MAW checked
DB3 put in a bet of about $15
MAW folded
KMLA called

turn A

KMLA bet $30
DB3 called

river was a blank (J?)

KMLA bet $40 and DB3 acted all indignant that he was bet into again (which told me he had a monster) and put in a min raise. KMLA called after a moment of thought and waited for DB3 to show his cards. DB3 then turned over an 8 and asked, "Ees deese gud enuff?" KMLA flipped over his AK and said, "Sorry, no." And then DB3 paused a moment and then flipped over his second card and said, "Oh? Well, then how 'bout dees wan?", his second card was another 8 which meant he had the third nuts.

KMLA's jaw hit the floor (as did most everyone at the table.)

"You slowed rolled me? Like that?!! Wow, you are incredibly rude!"

DB3 tried to defend himself, "What what? I just try to have a leetle fun wif you! Deese wan two game is soo boring!"

KMLA then retorted that he was playing poker long enough to know what a slow roll was and he then moved to another seat on the table away from the douche bag. I commiserated with KMLA and had it in my mind that I would slow roll the muther f'er back if I got the chance.

So after the slow roll Dave actually got heads up with DB3 and the reverse situation occurred where he had a set of fives and the douche had TPTK. (top pair top kicker) But, alas, Dave doesn't think of such things and didn't slow roll him. The table itself turned out to be VERY nitty. (playing cautiously) I've never seen such tight play at a 1/2 table before. We even had another old guy asleep at the table (OG3). As result I decided to try to play a LAG style and see if I could start running over the table.

Of course, the best intentions never seem to go as planned. It seemed that whenever I would start pushing my hands someone would wake up with a real hand and would push back. Considering how tight the table was I had to give the reraises their due and I started to bleed chips. Just my luck too as I soon got pocket Kings UTG and bet them preflop figuring my loose image would get a callers or reraisers.

nope, everyone folded

I start getting tilty from this, so next hand, I get 69 UTG+1 and raise. Of course I get 4 callers....


8 5 2

I throw out a bet and get 2 callers including MAW



Now I have a flush draw on top of my gut shot- woo hoo- but I still wasn't liking the fact I had 2 callers- dummy me I check. MAW bets 1/2 pot only. OG3 folds and I call.

river was a glorious 7

Now I realize that I played this hand rather poorly from the start but I got lucky and got the best card I could as there's no way she's putting me on a straight. I throw a bet of about 3/4 of the pot and MAW calls with her AKo.

I immediately tabled my straight and at first she didn't even see the straight but conceded and politely told me "nice hand".

I was now back to even for that session and the rest of the game I couldn't create any action or get any decent hands. Dave actually busted out to DB3 when his nut flush got cooled when DB3's 2 pair made a full house on the turn. I started to feel bad that Dave was just wandering around the casino while I played trying to get a decent pot. So despite being down a bit I pulled up stakes and left. Overall a loser for the day- -$35.

We stopped at White House on the way back and I scarfed down a "Special" in the car. While no cops were on the expressway, I was amazed at how many deer I saw on the side of the road. I think I saw at least 50+ deer on the way back and it made me very twitchy as you know how they just love to jump at you and destroy your car at 70mph.

It was a fun day despite the douchebags, I just don't get some people sometimes. Nevertheless I made a few new friends at the tables and got to play poker.

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