My meeting went reasonably well, and I left the building into a steamy, muggy, and rainy (!) Phoenix evening. Starving, I debated my options: go into Scottsdale and find a La Madeline to eat at, or go have dinner while playing poker at Casino Arizona. Do you even have to wonder which one really won?
I decided to sit and play in the $8/$16 w/a full kill game instead of the $10/$20 or taking a wild and crazy shot at $20/$40, and it seemed to be a good decision as I managed to triple my buyin (+50 BB, the rest of the details are left to the math geeks). The table was just how I like it 3-4 live ones, and the rest of them decent players, but maybe a little looser than normal, as this game is played with $2 chips instead of $5 and $1, meaning there are a lot of little physical chippies in any sizeable pot, giving people the idea that they have better odds than they probably do, as the pot is hard to eyeball. It also means that I have a really hard time playing the $16/$32 kill pots, especially when I'm raising, as I can't seem to get my brain around how many chips I need to put in on a given street. The fact that they take the $1 jackpot out immediately from the SB makes this even harder because that throws me off even more - how many chips do I put in when I have $3 (which is really $4) in front of me if I want to raise from the SB on a kill pot? My answer: tell the dealer I'm raising, and I'm putting stacks of chips out there until he tells me to stop. The real answer: 14 chips.
I think I played really well, taking advantage of a player who would reraise on the turn with top-pair-bad-kicker when I had an overpair, and I also got lucky by cracking AA with my Q9o. This is the only hand I felt marginally bad about, because I knew the player with the AA had a big hand, and was a decent player, and I knew I was behind. But what are you going to do when there are 6 limpers, the SB (with the AA) raises, and you KNOW that not one of those 6 limpers is going to fold? I told the AA guy that I don't think I could look and find two cards to fold, knowing I'm going to get 7*2+1=15 to one odds; any two cards are worth it for that kind of money.
Flop came down T 8 2, meaning I can catch a J for my gutshot straight draw. The AA bets, and with 16-to-one odds, I call, as I only need 11 to one for this call to be correct.
Guess what? 6 other people put $8 into the pot. Yum yum. Pot's at $128 (8 BB) now.
Turn is an off suit Q. AA bets $16. I sigh, and I know even with the Q I'm behind, but I really put him on AA or KK, meaning that now any J, Q or 9 means I win the pot. I have 9 outs with 46 cards in the deck - that's 4.1 to one that I'll make my draw and the pot's offering me 9:1; I call.
Two guys overcall my call - one goes all in for $12 or so.
The river is a beautiful J. To the AA's credit, he checks, I bet, the overcaller folds, and I show my 9 for the straight, the AA shows his cards and I take down a monster pot. The AA guy gets up and takes a walk to prevent tilting and when he comes back, I say, "I knew you had a big hand, and that I was behind, but I kept getting the right odds to call you. So I feel a little bad about all that, but not enough to give you your chips back, ha ha" Again, to his credit, he said he understood and if he was in my shoes he'd have to do the same thing and he'd only feel marginally bad about busting me as well while he was stacking my chips were the situation reversed.
That's one thing I really like about poker - I can sit down at a casino that I've not played at before, and within an hour, I get recognized as a good player and become a temporary member of the "regular" crowd of decent players.
And now I think I'm going to try and nap on the plane, even though I'm seated in the very back row in the window-without-a-window seat. This time, my flight left on time and might actually get into the airport early. Hoo-ray.