In August 1874, dozens of freed slaves and six men from Northern Louisiana were told to leave the state of Louisiana by some redneck cowards who didn't like the idea of carpetbaggers and free blacks in South Louisiana. As those 6 white men and the dozens of freed slaves with them were headed toward Texas, they were run down by 40 men and killed. Their bodies were dumped in shallow graves. No one was ever convicted of the crime. This happened just outside the town of Coushatta, Louisiana.
I wish I had known that history before I took my carpet-bagging self to the Coushatta Casino for a little poker. There was another massacre and my bankroll might as well be in a shallow grave.
It was the $50,000 quarterly tournament at what was once my favorite live poker room. There were 120 players who each ponied up $460. It wasn't my favorite structure, however, since we started with T10,000 and blinds at 100/200. The regular Saturday tournament is much better.
I got my seat assignment and told myself I'd tried to wait for big starting hands in the first level and play them hard. I wanted to make som chips early so the blinds didn't start to hurt me.
Three hands in, it happened.
UTG limps and UTG+1 does as well. I peek down at two black Q's. The Hilton Sisters. Two dirty bitches. I pop it to T1000. It's folded around to UTG who smooth calls. Curious. We're heads up.
The flop is 852 rainbow. Hard to ask for a better flop that doesn't include a Q. UTG checks and I bet the pot, T2500. He smooth calls. I suppose I should have worried about something here, but what am I supposed to put the limper on at this point? It's possible, I suppose that he flopped a set, but I didn't get that read.
The turn is a 7, a second spade. If the guy called my preflop raise with 46 or 69, so bet it. Send me home. The guy checks again and I have T6500 in front of me with a T7500 pot. If he was playing something like A8 of spades, I've got to make it expensive for him. And if he's playing 99, TT or JJ, I'll be taking all his chips. Hard to put a limper on AA or KK. What's the play?
If I check behind him, he gets a free river and an invitation to push on the river. If I bet anything at all, I've committed my entire stack. I decided to push. He quickly called and flipped KK.
Cowboys. He limped UTG on the third hand with KK and cold-called my raise. The river was a 4. I'm just not sure what I do different on the hand. Am I really suppsoe to play scared with a big overpair and a relatively uncoordinated board?
I'm out, in dead last.
I couldn't go back to a poker table, so I headed to the Craps table instead. Thankfully, the dice were very cold with a lot of 4 and 10 points and I cashed out up a hundred bucks (I bet wrong, remember).
That helped me get rid of the tilt. I got some chicken fingers and fries for lunch and headed back to get my name on the No Limit list. I couldn't go out like that.
Big Hands? What Big Hands?
The table was a nice mix of bad players, rocks and maniacs. I had them read pretty quickly, that just meant I needed to get the right hand at the right time to make it pay off.
KK: I raise to 20 preflop and win the blinds.
AA: I raise to 20 preflop and got FOUR CALLERS. The flop comes down 44K and a pretty bad player who bets at EVERY flop bets $25. I raise to $75 and he pushes for $500 more. I fold. He shows Ace-fuckin'-four.
JJ: I raise to 20 preflop and win the blinds.
QQ: It's min raised to 10 in front of me and I re-raise to 30 and get two callers. The flop is 762. The tight player who raised to 10 pushes for her last 95. I call. She flips AA. I wasn't shocked, but getting coolered continues to suck.
I never made a flush and I never hit a set on the flop. The only big hand I hit was the HAMMER. I had just busted when my AT went down to A3 against the table maniac when he hit his miracle 3 on the river. I rebought and saw the HAMMER. I played it but was forced to fold to a bet and raise on a flop that missed me.
The next hand, it's the HAMMER again and I raise this time and get two callers. The flop is K82. There's a modest bet in front of me, a call, and I call. The turn is a 7. A short stack pushes, I push and I get called. It's J-high flush draw vs. Q-high flush draw vs. my two pair. The river deuce boats me and I win a $700 pot. I get the HAMMER again the third hand in a row and call a very short stacks all in and just miss hitting the wheel.
In the end, I finished down almost a buy-in at the NL table. It wasn't pleasant.
I guess it's more irony that a chop would play such a big role at a casino on an Indian Reservation.
I decided to try my hand at a single table satellite into the big $1080 tournament in May. It cost $115 and it paid out one seat. The structure was terrible. T1200 to start, 100/200 blinds, 15 min levels, blinds double every time. Of course, that's pretty damn close to pool table poker, so I was prepared.
I played my cards perfectly and got down to four handed. That's when I got QQ again. Ugh. I raised to T1200, almost half my stack and got called by a shorter stack who left just T650 behind. The flop was A66. Just my damn luck. I didn't have much choice, though, so I pushed. He angrily folded KK face up. Um... okay...
He went out a few hands later and then I busted third place to get heads up. The other guy had me slightly outchipped, but I still suggested a $100 save for second place. He had no idea what I was talking about so I dropped it. I was pretty confident, although the blinds (400/800 when we started heads up with stacks around T6000) worried me.
I quickly took the chip lead and we got all in, my A7 vs. his A6. According to the hand analyzer, I win that 49% of the time. The flop was 852. I'm now 70% to win my seat. The turn 2 and the river A sealed the chop, however, and the game wasn't over.
The very next hand I get A8 and run into AT. Was there a chop for me? Of course not. The donkey doubles up and has a T700 chip lead over me. The next hand I'm in the BB of T1600 but get 85o. He raises and I fold. I'm in trouble now in the SB when I get JTd. I push and get called... by KJo. There was no luckboxing and I'm out.
There's only one place that's a worse finish than last... and that's the last one to win nothing. The bubble. I was on severe tilt at this point, and, thankfully, managed to make my way from the Casino without losing anything else.
It was a massacre.