Soft Game Alert

Donkey_CrossingSince Mikey is heading off to Japan soon we decided to hook up Sat. night and hit the Hustler Casino. Due to his preperations to depart the US, he didn’t have a lot of cash on him so instead of doing one of those, “Hey, let’s hang out together. You sit at one table and I’ll be over here at this other table.” sort of things, we just put our names on all the low limit lists and hoped to get seated together. Our strategy paid off because they started two new $2/$4 tables and he and I took the 5s and 6s.

It’s been a loooooooooooooooong time since I’ve played the $2/$4 in a LA casino and it only took a few orbits for it all to come rushing back to me. Seven players to the flop on a raised board. Jack, deuce cracking pocket kings, guys calling a river bet with no pair, yadda, yadda, yadda. No kidding, I watched guys call a river bet on a scary board (four to a flush AND a pair on board) with an underpair to the board. One kid had his mom and sister looking over his shoulder the entire session. I shook my head in disbelief so many times that I started to get dizzy.

It was also one of those games where you watch the donkeys spewing chips and none of them end up in your stack. I even joked with the dealer that she kept giving me dangerous cards because they always made second best hands. I had pocket kings cracked twice. Queens? Yep, cracked. Jacks? Yep, cracked. The only pots I won were with junk hands I was catching in the blind.

But, this post isn’t about boo-hooing. I was having a good time. I got to chat with my buddy who’s leaving the country and the table was a mix of pretty fun characters. As Mike said, “this table sounds more like a craps table than a poker table.” I ended up donking off a rack of blues and was into my second rack when the table started to break up. All the really dead money had left and people were starting to fade a bit.

I asked Mike if he wanted to check out the higher limit area and we put our names on a $15/$30 list. I staked him for the buy-in and told him to just play it like a rock. We both get seated at the same table again but he’s in the 4s and I’m way over in the 7s. To my disbelief, the $15/$30 was only a slightly tighter version of the $2/$4. The other major difference was that with a few less callers, my hands were holding up. It wasn’t that the other players were exceptionally bad but there were certainly way too loose which means that you can get paid off on your good hands.

There was this older dude to my left who was drunk or on drugs. The dealer even callled the floor over at one point when he had left the table and complained that the guy was falling asleep during hands. The floor gave the guy a warning when he returned and he perked up a bit. Near the end of my session, there was a nice sized pot which I ended up whiffing the flop on. The action gets to me and I know I’m beat but I take about five seconds as I replay the action in my head and try to put together who has what. The older dude to my left starts kicking me under the table. First it was a tap and then tap, tap, tap, tap. Obviously he was giving me a signal to fold here which I had every intention of doing anyway with or without the kicking. He ended up showing the nuts and smiles at me. I wasn’t really comfortable with his attempt to save me another bet but I didn’t say anything because . . . it’s my word against his and I was folding anyway.

I don’t think we played there too long, maybe two and a half hours or so, but I left up 20BB. Mike won a nice sized pot right before we called it a night and he ended up $100 or so too. If you have the bankroll or want to take a shot, I highly recommend the $15/$30 at the Hustler around 2am. :-)

Bill Rini
Bill Rini is currently the Head of Online Poker for WSOP. He has been working in the online poker industry since 2004 and has held management roles at Full Tilt Poker and PartyPoker.