I planned to play at Casino Malaysia City this Saturday, so I figured I would get there early and hopefully not have too long a wait for a seat. Well, I arrived at 4:30pm, and the $1/2 list was a mile long. So was the $200 buy in $2/5 list, and even the $500/1000 game had six waiting.
I really think Star City doesn’t like spreading poker games at all. I mean there were six tables closed, but with three hour wait lists for every game.
Anyway, I put my name down for the $80 1/2 game and went to have a late lunch while I waited.
I took my time over lunch, but when I got back my name was sill at least 50 down on the list.
What they did have though was seats at the electronic poker tables. Each player has a personal screen and there is a big screen in the middle that shows the board cards and the pot and bets. I have seen them in Melbourne too, but never played, preferring a live dealer – as many others seem to too.
But still facing a long wait for my table, I decided to give it a go. It was either that or donk off money playing craps.
It took 20 minutes in line to get the buy in card of $80. Then a few minutes to figure out how to log in, since the table host seemed more interested in talking to his other staff mates than bothering to show someone how to get started. I got some help from the table and I was in. (The game is 1/2 NLHE by the way.)
Only to be card dead for the first 25 or 30 hands. My balance was down to about $50 and I was yet to see a flop. I am in the big blind and have K J. There are a bunch of callers and a raise on the button to $6. It seems like a weak raise to me (into a $10 pot), so I call and so do two others.
The flop is 8 J K, two spades. Bingo! I want to kill the possible flush draw and a pot size bet is $35, which only leaves me $9, so I push all in. That kills two of the callers, but the guy on the button calls, which is a good result for me, even if he is on a flush draw.
The turn is a 10 and the river is a 9, no spades. The computer shows the winner – the other guy with a Q 7 off suit. He had no flush draw and caught runner, runner for the straight. Nice hand mate. I’m not ready to quit yet, so off I go to get another buy in card (still way down for the live dealer table).
It only took a freaking hour to get another buy in from the desk. I don’t know what those six staff were doing in the pit there, but come on Star City, why don’t you just put up a sign that tells everyone you hate poker players taking up your floor space.
I eventually get my card and sit down again at another table. Bad choice I think, because one guy there I recognize from Bluff Magazine as a pro player from Melbourne, bracelet on his wrist and all. Another guy is from the US and has about $500 in front of him (built up from his $80 buy in), and the rest of the table seems tight and knowledgeable. Maybe this will be an early night for me I think.
I play my usual tight-ish game, catch a few cards and am half way back to covering my first buy in. I get J J UTG. raise the pot to $12 and get three callers. The flop is 4 8 9 no flush. I think I am still ahead, and a continuation bet seems right anyway, so I bet $20. Two folds and the button calls.
The turn is a 5. I am not 100% sure where I am now, the button is quite capable of playing low connectors and 6 7 is a plausible hand for him. If I bet and he re-raises, I am going to have to fold, and if I bet and he calls, I still wont know where I am and may end up pot committed drawing dead. If I check, maybe I can pick up some information if he bets, so check it is. He checks too.
The river is a 10, another nasty card for me, so I check again. He checks and my jacks are good.
Maybe I should have bet on the turn, but hey, any of the three ways I could have played that hand was going to be wrong.
I fold both blinds and then my seat at the live table finally comes up. only a three hour wait. I cash out for $165.
The live game is a much softer affair, but as usual, I am card dead for the first hour or so. Finally from early position I get A K spades. I raise to $15 and get two callers. The flop is 10 K 9, two hearts.
I figure I am good and bet $30. One folds, the other calls. The turn is a 2 of nothing. I have $35 left, and have to be good here. With two possible draws on the board, you are going to have to pay to beat me pal, so in goes the $35.
River is a J, and I lose to K Q who called two bets cold with his inside straight draw. Ho hum, second bad beat for the night. I buy back in for another $80. Since I have the chips in my pocket, at least I don’t have to line up for an hour at the buy in pit.
I am in the big blind on the next hand and I have A K again. There are six callers to me, making the pot $15 already, so I pop it up to $30 and get two callers.
The flop is A, blank blank. ‘Ah ha’ I transmit telepathically to the callers, you all know I am on tilt after that bad beat and have nothing. ‘All in’ I say. They all fold. I muck face down and try to make it look like I had a bluff. Still, I am now only $20 down from my previous loss, so I am not complaining.
I take down a couple more small hands with marginal cards that I limp in with from the blinds. I call a few small bets or limp in with small pockets, but fold when nothing hits. I just can’t catch any hands tonight. A K and jacks are my best hands for the night.
I have been at the Casino for about six hours now (and actually playing for four), and figure I will cash out at the next time charge in half an hour. I am on $150, only $10 down for the night – not bad considering the two bad beats.
A few more hands go by and I an UTG again with 8 8. I would usually limp from early position with that hand and try and see a flop cheaply, but you have to mix it up a bit, so I decide to represent a bigger pair. Besides, as I watched the other players, no one seemed that happy with their hand, so I may well be ahead at this point anyway.
I bump it up to $15. The button (my nemesis from the last bad beat) calls, and so does the small blind. The flop comes A K 4. Fan-bloody-tastic, I am almost certainly beat here. The button has been playing A rag and K rag all night, as if they were premium hands too.
SB checks, I check. The button goes all in for $38. SB folds. Now, he could have an ace or king, but he is also quite capable of bluffing in that position, and I don’t respect his play much. Sure enough, there he is giving me the big aggressive stare down, what a turkey. I have seen this once or twice before, as I recall. I check my cards just to make sure the eights are still there and call.
‘You got me’ he says ‘good call’, and turns over Q 7. One more for Mr Caro – best poker book I ever read.
The turn is a 10. Great, another jack on the way I think, and my third bad beat for the night. The miracle card hits – for me that is, a 5, and my eights hold up.
Time charges are called shortly after, and I am outa there. Net result – $65 up for the evening, not bad considering, Tough work for a $10 per hour return though.