Welcome to Derek's Poker Blog

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Taj Mahal

Atlantic City, NJ:
The Game with 2 Cards

I took an unexpected trip to Atlantic City a few weeks ago. I went for the night and had a ton of fun. I gambled at the Taj Mahal. I didn't get a chance to make it over to the Borgata. I hadn't been to AC in a while and I had a blast. Most of my poker playing has been at Foxwoods or online at Party Poker. It was a good change of pace. I really don't like playing online. I prefer live games but at least you get to see a lot of flops when you play online. It's very convenient but I've been playing online a little too much for my liking. I was looking forward to playing in a casino. It's been awhile but I didn't expect there to be so many fish. They had a No Limit list there and it was packed. There was the usual crowd of college kids with their baseball hats and dark shades. I decided to stay away from the No limit games and stick to the low limit games. I wanted to play for a while and I didn't want to risk losing my bankroll too quickly at a NL table. I signed up for $3/$6 Holdem.

While waiting to be seated I saw something pretty funny. I'll never forget it. This foreigner comes up to the registration table and asks one of the dealers if he could register to play poker. She asked him which game he wanted. He tells her he wants to play poker. She asked him which poker game and he gave her a really clueless look. She starts to run down the list of poker games and again asked him which game her preferred. He kept saying poker and the dealer was getting more and more frustrated. It looked hopeless. I was laughing pretty hard by now because I knew he wanted to play texas holdem. It looks like another person just learned how to play poker on TV. He was so confused by this conversation. He thinks the dealer is stupid and she thinks he's dumb as shit. His english wasn't so great and he spoke slowly. At first, I thought the dealer was just messing with him. I thought she knew all along that he wanted to play Texas Holdem but was just screwing with him because he was an obvious first time casino player. Then all of a sudden she decides to explain the rules to the different poker games. That's when I realized she had no idea. Even though this was funny shit, I decided I was going to step in and end this train wreck. I was just about to tell her which game he wanted to play but he suddenly blurts out that he "wants the poker with the 2 cards and the bluffing." lol . . . How funny is that! The dealer looked at me and started laughing. She finally shows him the holdem list and says . . . "Honey, I got the perfect table for you, I'm going to send you to one of the low limit tables and good luck with the bluffing thing because I have a feeling your going to need it." She shouts across the floor and tells one of the floor guys to lock up one of the $2/$4 seats for this guy. The guy walked away and she looks over at me and goes . . . "I didn't know he was a foreigner at first . . . I thought he was just retarded or something." I couldn't stop laughing. Got to love the poker boom! The dealer told me that she hasn't seen as many clueless people as she has in the past year. This got me even more excited to play. A few minutes later, I got called to play. I sat down at the $3/$6 Holdem table in seat # 1 which is one of my favorite seats.

I had AK suited cracked by some old Asian woman. She had A little suited and caught runner runner flush on me. She took down a huge pot from me. I was jamming the pot from the get go but she was fearless and kept calling me. I flopped a K and got one on the turn but my set wasn't good enough. My betting didn't slow this lady down one bit. I got AK, KK, and QQ a bunch of times and won most of the time. The table I was playing at had a run of boats. I counted 10 full houses in less than an hour. Of course, I didn't get any of them. I caught a runner straight on this German guy and beat him bad. One time I had JJ and went up against two callers to my preflop raise. The flop came down 2-6-A. I bet out in EP to see who had the A. I was called by both players. The turn was a 4. I check-raised on the turn to see what was up. I got two callers again. Another A came up so I bet. The guy next to me re-raised. The 3rd guy called and I folded my Jacks with two A's on the board. The hand ended and the winner turned over 10-10. The loser had 9-9. I had the higher pocket pair and folded it . . . ouch!! This hand hurt a little but it wasn't really that bad of a play since their were two aces on the board. I probably should've folded when the first Ace hit (I would've saved some money) or I should've just called the last bet because I was pot committed by then. I blew it this time.

At the end of the night, I played my worst hand. I left shortly after it and still up for the session. I was dealt KK on the button. I raised all the limpers. There were 5 callers. I asked if everyone had pocket A's like me. Everyone laughed but one guy. That should have told me everything I needed to know right there. The flop came down 3-7-9. I raised and got 2 callers this time. An A hit the turn. The guy in 1st position checked and the 2nd guy bet. I raised and the everyone called. The river was another A. I was worried on the turn that someone had the Ace but when the 2nd one hit, I thought the odds that someone had two Aces in their hand or even one of them shrank a little with the 2nd Ace hitting the board. Boy was I wrong . . . what was I thinking? It was late and time to leave for sure. I had a feeling I was toast on this one especially when a raise and re-raise war unfolded. The guy in 1st position turned over pocket A's. He had quad Aces and destroyed me. He took down a huge pot and looks over at me and goes . . . didn't I play with you a few times in Vegas at the Excalibur? I thought he looked familiar. I replied yes and he laughed. He was that guy who remained silent when I asked about everyone having pocket A's. I made two bad plays all night. Even though I played really well, I should've walked away with more money than I did.

Real late in the night, this drunk red neck sits down at the table and he had only one front tooth. He mentions that he loves Texas Holdem and how this was his first time playing it in a casino. He learned by watching it on ESPN. At first, I thought he was full of shit and was just playing the table until he called bottom pair all the way down to the river and lost to a straight. This guy's play was pretty goofy and always comical. He won one hand and was so excited that his mouth full of chew almost fell out onto the table. My table was full of clowns. There was this one guy who was convinced that 8-5 was a better starting hand in low limit holdem than AA, KK, and AK. He swore by this and said he won more hands with that garbage than anything else. The funny thing was that he took down a big pot with 8-5 suited in the BB a few hands later. He flopped two pair and cracked pocket Jacks. There were so many drunk people at the table too. Some old guy was drinking Jack and coke all night and hadn't left the table to piss once in 8 hours. I wonder if he had some sort medical assistance or was it just a large bladder? lol. He kept telling the dealer that he was Old School. I was definitely entertained all night by the peanut gallery. This drunk Pakistani kid from Brooklyn kept ordering So-Co on the rocks. Hmmmm . . . I wonder if that excites anyone? There was also this guy who had a tattoo of a Royal Flush on his forearm. He said he'd been playing poker for over 50 years and never got a Royal flush until a year ago. And since then he's gotten 5 of them. He said that each time the Royal Flush was in spades. This prompted him getting his first ever tattoo.

I walked away up for the session. I won over $400 and was happy I made the trip. I didn't see anyone famous in the poker room. I had a blast and can't wait until the next time I visit Atlantic City or a casino. I forgot how much I love playing in casinos especially when there's a ton of fish throwing their money away. Playing online is alright because you get to see all those flops while in the comforts of your own home but I'd rather play in live games. Playing online is almost fake poker. The game is so different in person and you can spot the online players right away. They don't know how to bet and they're always asking how much money is in the pot. They don't know anything about poker etiquette and they don't even know how to move their chips properly. Playing online allows these guys to eliminate some of the tougher parts to playing poker. These guys get nervous because they're not used to you being able to look at them while they think and bet. Being at the poker table can be real intimidating for some. The pressure of raises is different at a table than online. Seeing your opponents' live reactions, reading them, and putting pressure on them when you know they're weak is what makes playing poker fun and challenging. You can't get that playing online. In person, people are more likely to break down under the pressure when adversity hits them. That element is missing from online poker and that's why I call it fake poker. It won't stop me from playing because once your hooked on poker . . . your hooked! Unfortunately for me, I don't get to the casinos too frequently these days. I wish I had more time (and money). Since I don't have this luxury, playing poker online with my credit card will have to do!


At 9/12/2004 3:46 AM, Blogger Barron said...

great story! I had fun reading your AC experience. I love hold em and play a lot with friends, but every time i get to the casinos (vegas) im way too intimidated. =]

take care and good luck!

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