Thought I'd share some random thoughts with you, while I rest up before dinner and a session of poker tonight.
Am I a Cheater?
Here's the situation. Derek was second to act. He had a good hand and raised pre-flop. I had nothing, probbaly 2-7. I called, as did seven others. Nine of us in the pot. The flop: Ks-Qd-6c. Derek raised and everyone in front of me called. I made him for K-Q or possibly A-K. So I re-raised with 2-7! Now... I'm sure it was immoral to do what I did. But just like Canada Bill Jones said, "It's immoral to let a sucker keep his money." I re-raised. I knew two things would happen. Sketchy hands would fold, and decent hands would call the raise, building a bigger pot for Derek. Four folds and three calls. On the turn a 8h fell. Derek bet and everyone in front of me folded. It was just me and my brother heads up, so I folded. He won a fairly sized pot. I'm sure I'll get some shit for colluding with my brother. But honestly, I never went into the game thinking I could cheat with my brother. I mean, he just started out playing. But when I saw an opportunity to scare off some folks (who would have stayed out to the river and possibly caught a card to knock out my brother, which had been happening all night, those damn drunks!), so I took the chance to protect my younger brother. Would you do the same? That was the only time it happened all night, and I'm sure it happened to me once or twice at Foxwoods from the regulars.
I forgot about my two biggest expenses in Las Vegas: tipping and water. A decade a ago, I would have told you all of my money (non-gambling money) went to strip clubs and bar tabs. Alas, in my early thirties, I have mellowed out. I save my dollar bills to tip the cocktail waitresses in the poker room. I never drink when I play poker... just water and ginger ale (soothes upset stomachs). Seriously, I'll have a few drinks then drive afterwards. But I'll never drink and play cards. Go figure. I take cabs to a lot of places, and you have to tip the drivers. They're not used to good tips, which I guaged from their reactions to my generous tips. I guess since I live in NYC, I'm used to taking cabs and tipping. Plus, you have to tip the dealers every time you win a pot. Tipping adds up after a while.
I saw Senor's favorite dealer. I won't reveal his name, but I'll call him Frosty. Senor thought he was a "Nazi" when we played during March Madness. He yelled at some kids at our table for using the F-word. He was actually very cool this time. Since I had Seat 1, I chatted with the dealers most of the night. I won a couple of nice pots when Frosty dealed. And of course, when you win a pot, you tip. If it's a small pot, I throw fifty cents their way. If it's a good size pot, I tip $1. On huge pots over $50, I tip $2. Everytime I tipped Frosty, he said, "I thank you and the kids thank you."
I saw my favorite dealer... Del. He's awesome. He's been dealing for decades and has some of the wildest stories to tell. Actually, I recognized plenty of dealers from my previous visits this year (March, April, July & Dec). I met a dealer who used to deal at Foxwoods. He had a wicked New Englnad accent and I made a bunch of local Foxwoods jokes.
Casino Games vs. Online Play
There are some major differences. The human element is the most important one. Dealers deal thousands of hands a day. There are plenty of mistakes and misdeals. It happens, and it's part of the game. You don't have a computer dealing your hands. And sometimes you just don't gel with the vibe of the dealer. There were a few that I couldn't wait to get bumped to another table. And there were times I wanted my favorite dealers to stay, but they had to move to another game or take a break. Another thing I see frequently is people acting out of turn; betting or folding before the action gets to them. I noticed a slew of online players hitting the casinos for the first time, and they had problems adjusting to live games. Chip placement was a good example. They did not know where to put them at first. Online players are not used to handling chips, so you can guage their hands based on how they reach for their chips. It’s a old school tell, that I picked up quickly.
Man I just got my ass handed to me. We went to the Mandalay Bay to watch the games. The Sports Book displayed all nine early games!! It was cool. I got to watch my NY Jets (it's snowing again in NYC) and all the games that I bet on. Fuck the damn St. Louis Rams. They cost me a huge parlay bet. I picked 4 teams and if all of them won (New England, Iggy's Bengals, and Kansas City -- all won and covered the point spread), I would have netted 11 times my original bet if allf our teams won. It all came down to the Rams. They were up 21-12 at halftime and did not cover in a 27-22 win. I was wicked pissed. My brother needed them to cover his parlay as well. I'm going to stick with poker. Although I put a c-note on Philly against Miami on Monday Night Football.
A limit hold'em freeze-out tourney with a $25 buy-in starts at Noon on Mondays. I stopped by the Luxor and chatted with Eddie the manager of the poker room. He told me the entires were limited to 30 seats and they sell out quickly. We have to get there at 9 am to sign up if we want to play, which we will! More details to come.
A Las Vegas Blog