I didn't want to play the pair of fives... especially after it got raised behind me, but I was in the hand now. The flop didn't hit me one bit. I should get out, right? The raiser bet out and there were a couple of callers in front of me. It's just 4 bucks, right? What the hell...
4th of July checklist:
Watch patriotic parade... CHECK
See fireworks... CHECK
Go fishing... CHECK
I jumped in my car Sunday with one goal in mind: poker. I drove the hour and a half to Marksville, LA, home of the Paragon Casino. The last part of the directions said, "Turn right on main street, the casino is 3.0 miles on the left." Fine, except for one problem... the Marksville 4th of July parade.
45 minutes later, I finally made that 3 miles and made it to the casino. Needless to say, I saw a lot more of the parade then I wanted to. I found the poker room and got my name on the list for a little 4/8 HE. To kill time, I hit the craps table. About an hour later, they called my name. I was up $2 at that point and decided to leave that as a tip.
Back in the poker room, I bought in for $200. I frankly didn't know how I'd do and figured I might sustain some losses before making it back. I thought I might even project the image of some young kid who doesn't know what he's doing. Maybe that would help me get a few callers when they shouldn't be calling.
I'm in seat 4. The table consists of an older woman in seat 7, a twentysomething guy in seat 8, and old Cajun men in every other seat.
The first hand I'm UTG and I look down at pocket 9's. That's one of my favorite hands. I think I'll have to come up with a nickname for it. I call. Six of us see a flop of A-9-6. It's checked to me, and I check as well. When the button finally bets, I raise. So much for the table image I was planning to project. Instead I'm check-raising on the first hand. Think that got their attention?
The button calls, and gives me a scowl. The turn is a blank and I bet and he calls. The river is a blank, I bet, he calls, and his A-7 falls to my trip 9's. I think it's going to be a good day.
Next hand I'm in the BB with K-9 suited. It's actually raised in front of me, but I call since I'm already in the pot. Five of us see a flop of 9-6-2, rainbow. No help for my flush, but I've got top pair with a good kicker. I bet out and get a bunch of callers. The raiser didn't raise again, so I put him on two big cards.
The turn is a 9. Trip 9's in back-to-back hands. Oh yeah, it's going to be a very good day. I bet out and get three callers. The river is a blank, I bet out and they all fold. Two big pots and it's been less than 5 minutes.
Suddenly, I realize I'm fishing. My line is in the water, and I'm going to get a lot of bites. In fact, if I just drop my net in, I'm sure they'll just come swimming in.
A few hands later, I get pocket J's. It's raised in front of me and I call. The flop is 8-8-x. I bet and the raiser calls me. The turn is a 9. I bet and the raiser calls me. The river is another 9, I bet, and the raiser says, "Damn that 8," and shows me Cowboys before tossing them in. Wow.
At this point, I figure variance has to kick in eventually. You may win a few pots, but you have to lose some, too. Fortunately, I've found one of the loosest tables I've ever seen, and these people don't know what they're doing.
Of course, not ever hand was a winner, and a few cost me money. The first was Cowboys. It was my only premium hand that didn't hold up.
I raise in late position and get two callers. The flop is 7-x-x. I bet and get two callers. The turn is another 7. I bet, the next player calls, and the last player raises. Ugh. I know he's got the 7, I should fold, right? I call, as does the other player. The river is a blank. I check, the next player checks and the final player bets. We both call. He flips 9-7s, which not only cracks my K's, but the other player's American Airlines. It made me feel better knowing I would have lost either way.
A little while later, the same guy beat my pocket 8's when his K-4o caught two 4's on the board. Of course, those kinds of hands just encouraged everyone at the table to keep chasing and chasing and chasing. How could I complain about that?
I got pocket rockets twice, and both times they held up. The second time, it was raised in front of me, so I just called. I figured he did me a favor, and I got to hide the strength of my hand. The flop was harmless. He bet and I called. The turn was the second 10. Now I was a little worried. He bet and I just called. The river was the third 10. He checked this time, I bet and he called, flipping pocket Q's.
Presto won for me twice. The first time, my 5's amazingly held up with a board of A-9-6-4-2. Four people were in the hand to the river, and the only other pair was someone holding K-4o.
The next time it won, I really hurt an old guy on oxygen...
I didn't want to play the pair of fives... especially after it got raised behind me, but I was in the hand now. The flop didn't hit me one bit. I should get out, right? The raiser bet out and there were a couple of callers in front of me. It's just 4 bucks, right? What the hell.
The turn brought the magic 5. I checked, Mr. Oxygen bet and I raised him. He gave me a look and called. We were the only two left. The turn brought a second 9 giving me a boat. I bet and he reluctantly called. I turned over my fives, and gave him a sympathetic look. He threw his Cowboys across the table. I really hoped he didn't die right in front of me. (He didn't.)
There were plenty of other hands, like when my 7-3s caught a flush on the turn and I pulled a ton of money out of the twentysomething guy at the table. Unfortunately, he tried to re-raise me on the river, but put money in before announcing and the dealer made him just call. The next hand, he stayed with me to the river and my K-Qs won with just a pair of K's. I'm not sure why he was in that pot, but I didn't complain.
When the old Cajun men got drunk and obnoxious, I got up and walked away. Having them drunk didn't necessarily make it easier for me to win, it just made it less enjoyable. I took my $500 to the cage and cashed out. Five hours of poker, $300 profit, $60 and hour, 7.5 big bets an hour. A good day's work.
On the way out, I pulled my $100 chip out from craps earlier and thought I'd give it another run. It was quite a rollercoaster, but in the end, I lost it all. Oh well, I was up $200 for the trip. I could hardly complain.
During the drive home, I caught the tail end of the Bunkie, LA fireworks show. That really made my 4th of July complete.