Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Stud Adventures: Foxwoods, Felicia, and Pokerstars

I woke up early on the morning of November 4th and drove from cloudy Narragansett, Rhode Island to Foxwoods, Connecticut. Senor had to work so I did the drive by myself in less than 40 minutes, grabbing Dunkin' Donuts along the way. I found out that the World Poker Finals events were being held in the Sunset Ballroom on the ground floor instead of the poker room. On that particular day, they were running a $1000 Stud event. I wandered down there and waited for Felicia and Glenn to arrive. They also held the single table satellites for various World Poker Finals events and lammers in the ballroom. They moved the entire operation from the entrance to the Smoke Free Casino to the ballroom.

I had not seen Felicia and Glenn since I was in Vegas last Spring with Derek when we were sweating Glenn as he played in a satellite for the WPT Championships at the Bellagio. It was good to see them and catch up. Felicia came up to Foxwoods solely for the Stud events and Glenn was playing mixed games (NL and satellites). We walked inside and Foxwoods had a breakfast buffet set up for the players. We were milling around the sign in desk when Greg Raymer walked over to Felicia and myself. "I hope I'm not at your table," he joked with Felicia. Holy shit! Fossil Man in the flesh. I was taller (something that surprised me) and he was wearing a red Pokerstars shirt and shorts. Felicia introduced me as "a real writer." We shook hands and Fossil Man and Glenn began discussing a hand he had the night before at the NL table when his pocket aces were beat to a middle pair when the guy flopped a set. A few moments later, Felicia introduced me to Jean Gaspard. One of the last entries I read on her blog was about Jean and I got to place a face with a name. He also was very cordial and seemed interested that I was "a real writer." That was cool of Felicia to say that twice. It made me feel like I was a real writer even though I was slacking off and should have been hard at work writing my new novel, instead I was hanging out with poker pros talking shop at 8:50am on a Thursday.

I wished Felicia luck and Glenn and went upstairs to play some poker. He wandered off to the no limit table and I signed up for low limit Stud on the brand new computerized system. I was finally seated at a 1-5 table. I was the youngest by at least 25 years.
The Stud players...
Seat 1: Pauly
Seat 2: WWII vet
Seat 3: Paulie Walnuts from The Sopranos
Seat 4: TJ Cloutier lookalike
Seat 5: Boston taxi driver
Seat 6: Man older than God (WWI vet?)
Seat 7: Loose Lute Olsen
Seat 8: Boston taxi driver
Two guys at my table were retired Beantown taxi drivers. They didn't know each other either and were yapping the entire time. I got the worst seat (by the way what is the best seat at a stud table, Felicia?) but the guy next to me was a really nice guy. We spoke but he didn't feel it was important to incessantly chat about nothing, so our conversations weren't forced. I wasn't in a big mood to talk much, especially a few days after the election, where that seemed to dominate the majority of the table chatter. The guy across from me who looked like Paulie Walnuts was hilarious. He hit on every single waitress (even the not so good looking ones). The guy in the corner who looked like Lute Olsen saw every hand to the river. Yeah, I'm just 32 and I was the youngest person at the Stud tables.

I bought in for $100 and played for four hours. I lost $95. Most of it was on two big hands. The first one was when I had AJ/A. Loose Lute's door card was a King and he had been calling with nothing but K high. He ended up catching running Kings on sixth and seventh street to beat my two pair. That was ugly. On another hand, I lost the biggest pot of the session to the Boston taxi driver. I had rolled up aces! What are the odds of that happening? AA/A. I jammed the pot at every instance, check raising, and rerasing anyone who played back. The taxi driver caught running diamonds on sixth and seventh street to suck out a flush. Paulie Walnuts missed his flush draw and ended up hitting a backdoor straight on the river. I had a set of Aces, praying on the last two cards that I'd pair any of my up cards. Nothing and I left soon after that ugly hand. For the session I played very tight and there was a thirty minute stretch when I had to bring it in every time! It was getting annoying but what are you going to do? That's stud. I didn't get too many playable hands especially at a table where five or six people saw cards through fifth street. The few pots I won were when I actually bluffed at the pot when I missed my draws. I guess my opponents missed theirs too otherwise I never would have scooped any pots.

I went over to find Glenn and I didn't see him. He expected Felicia to last for a while and I went downstairs to find them. After I couldn't find them I realized she was probably KO'd early. As I wandered around the tournament tables I made eye contact with Fossil Man. I asked him if he knew were Felicia was. He pointed at the far table and when she wasn't there I figured she was busted. I was busted too! I only took $100 with me, not expecting to play much. After one last tour of the poker room, I picked up a copy of Cardplayer, signed out and grabbed a free lunch at the food court. I love Foxwoods chicken fingers.

Pokerstars Stud

I played in a $1 Stud tournament on Poker Stars a couple of weeks ago. After a long day of writing, I decided to relax and play poker. With 667 total players, I came in 34th and finished in the money. I had the chip lead at one point and blew it only to storm back and get as close as 16th place before I was rivered and knocked out.

Level 1: I hit a Queen high flush by fifth street and nearly doubled up. T1909 and looking good.

Level 2: QK/J to start in a multiway pot. I hit two pair by sixth street and had enough juice to take it down. T2443.

Level 3: I got moved to another table. I was 66th out of 648. I won a big hand with AK/3 when I hit my trips on the river. I scooped another pot with 99/A when I nailed a full boat by sixth street, smooth called a raise and went in for the kill on the river. T5825. I was the chip leader (1 out of 585) with a lot of time left to play.

Level 4: I started bluffing a little more and jamming pots when I had the highest card on the board. I won medium sized pots with As5s/Ks and KK/5 starting hands. I lost with rolled up 2s to a guy who caught trip kings on the river. T8293, 3rd out of 416 at the break.

Level 5: Won only one pot with JK/J and I moved back into the chip lead. T10,363 and looking solid.

Level 6: I hit a King high flush and missed a royal flush by one card. T10347 and 8th out of 237.

Level 7: Lost a monster pot with 88/Q8Q. Some guy caught a full boat 10s over Kings on the river and I lost my chip lead. T5198 and I slipped to 80th out of 178.

Level 8: No hands and I slowly got chipped away to the second break. T2448 and I was an anemic 112 out of 128.

Level 9: The tourney had now included antes every round. I got lucky and hit a card on the river to get a flush and triple up to T6344. I caught another flush when I had to bring it in with Jh9h/2h. By sixth street I hot my flush and managed to have T10,500+. I move up to 42nd with 94 players left.

Level 10: I bluffed at a pot with As9s/3hAhKhJh/7s and took it down. I was moved to another table. I had T15,678 and was 16th out of 70th.

Level 11: I had gone all in by fifth street with KK/7-10-7 and won the pot. I had a little under 10K and was hanging on 39th out of 54.

Level 12: I bluffed at a lot of pots with Aces as my doorcards and stole bringins and antes to move up to T20,000+. I was 22nd out of 38.

Level 13: K8/KK. I was allin by fifth street and I lost on the river to a gutshot straight. I was bounced in 34th place but made the money in my first Stud multi on Pokerstars. I played much better than at Foxwoods, but I was also getting more cards and bluffed more when I had a big stack, pushing my chips around and making people pay to suck out on me.

Arizona Card Rooms

Make sure you read the trip reports from Felicia and Glenn about their recent play in Arizona card rooms.

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