Monday, April 23, 2007

Win some, lose some, its all the same to me

The oaks card club is nestled in the mid town of the east bay area. Located across the street from a bank of america and a slight swagger away from one of the east bay's largest liquor stores (that also stays open the latest at 1:45am), the Oaks card club is home to Oakland's dreamers, and losers.
The club itself contains about thirty tables of poker, hold'em, omaha, stud are on the menu along with Pow Gai an Asian card game which I am completely unfamiliar with. A large section of the gamblers are asian and or african american. Scattered around are caucasians, college students, and slumming professionals.

After about a twenty minute wait I sat down at table 10 to a game of 3-6 limit texas hold em. Texas hold em is the cadillac of poker, and limit is like cruising down the highway. You're dealt two pocket cards face down. After an initial round of betting with two forced antes (called blinds, one large, one small) three community cards are dealt face up. If you've made it to the flop (to the round of betting where the three cards are shown) you know have five cards in your "hand." Regular poker rules apply. Straight flush is the nuts, and your deuce seven don't mean shit especially if the board don't match you up. After another round of betting the turn comes (the fourth card). Another round of betting, and then the river (the fifth and final card). You now engage in a final round of betting in which you make the best possible 5 card hand that you can out of the two cards in your sausage like fingers and the 5 on the table. If you've got the winning hands, well congratulations you're a lucky fuck. If not, well you're a loser, and we all need losers to make money in poker so keep on playing.

When I was playing (much more regularly) in Vegas I would usually stick to the 2-4 game, not having much of a bank roll to move up and being pretty comfortable with the amount of money I won, and lost. I decided to move up in my limit mainly because they didn't have a 2-4 game open. For the most part the play is the same. The type of players are the same, the action is usually about the same, its just a little more money that you're playing for. This means that as a player I need to bring in a little more of a bankroll and be a little better about taking bigger swings in my stack of chips. For example I lost thirty three dollars on a second best hand tonight, whereas in 2-4 if I'd lost with the same hand I would have only lost twenty two dollars. Taking bigger losses also can mean raking in bigger wins. I ended up being down to twenty four dollars but then in one hand won over sixty dollars.

I had a bad run of cards tonight, the highest pair I got was a pair of pocket tens in three hours, the best high card dance I got was Ace Jack off suit. I won a hand (the fifty plus dollar hand) with pocket threes. I limped in and hit a third three on the flop which I ended up slow playing to win a shit ton of money. The other winning hand I had (I only won two hands I think the entire stint) was with an Ace ten suited that I played in late position for fun (playing for fun is usually a bad idea, in this case not a horrible idea, but not something that I would usually do). I scored on the flop though with X, 10, 10. I slowplayed the flop and raked in a little bit of money.

A lot of my bank went into blinds and limping or calling raises with pocket pair. One early money loser was with a Jack-Ten suited that I limped in with on the small blind. The flop was X, 9, 8, no one bet on the flop and the turn showed a queen. I bet with the nut straight. I got two callers. The turn showed a jack. I bet heavy again and again I got the two callers. One of them had King ten for a shitty hand. The other drawed out on me and won with a king high straight versus my queen high straight. Fucktard, what's he doing playing with those shitty cards. Actually I should congratulate him as most of the time in a situation like that I played correctly and he played incorrectly. If we can remember one of the fundamental thereoms of poker we'll remember that everytime our opponents make a mistake we gain.

Maybe I should make sunday night game night for a while. I haven't been playing much go, backgammon, or any of the other games I enjoy. When Sabrina moves in maybe she'll bring a chess set...

No comments: