Friday, September 19, 2003

Tuesday Roadtrip to Foxwoods

I am back from my lengthy road trip to Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut where I played in three different poker tournaments: I came in 5th place twice (out of 10 people) and 49th place (out of 200 plus). I also gambled until 6 AM this morning. I rented a car Tuesday morning and drove up by myself. The trip is about 150 miles from the Upper West Side of Manhattan. I took a mini-short cut (to avoid I-95 congestion) on the Merrit Parkway through Connecticut on a lovely day with high blue skies. The first inklings of autumn speckled the trees along the way. Some of the leaves are turning yellow.

I got to Foxwoods just before 1 PM. I was starving and visited the food court. Foxwoods sent me a $5 food coupon for my birthday, valid for the entire month of September. I got a free chicken sandwich and a Dr. Brown's Black Cherry soda.

When I got to the Poker Room I found out that they moved the Act One and Act Two Tournaments (satelites for the World Poker Finals) to tables near the entrance to the "Smoke Free" gaming tables. Six tables were roped off in the middle of the casino, which meant random people wandered over to watch the action. When I got there, I was seated at an Act Two table right away. I did not have any time to warm up and play some low limit $2-4 Texas Hold'em. Instead I got thrown right into the firefight, with nine hungry, blood sucking players wanting to take my chips. I bought in for $115. If I won the 10 man (single table) Act Two tourney, I would win a $1,000 coupon for an Act Three (scheduled on Sept 18th).

I wasn't in my best of wits. I did not sleep very well the night before and I woke up with a slight head cold. And here's what really set the tone for my trip... I ran over a skunk on Route 2 on my way to the casino! That fucking smell of dead roadkill festered with me all day and night.

Right away I held a Q-3 of Diamonds. The flop came out Q-2-3... and my heart started pounding. I got very nervous. I had a great hand and I wasn't fully into playing mode. I Took a deep breath and bet. I won my first pot and started off well. I had pocket Aces in the early position and slow-played them (I didn't raise) which was a good call because I would have lost on the flop to a Flush. I won a few pots during the first hour and knocked out two guys at once when I ran into my second pair of pocket Aces. Then I got screwed. With five people remaining, I caught two Kings... pocket Kings. I went all in with about $3,200 in chips and one guy called me. He had pocket Aces. I was fucked and didn't win. He knocked me out and I finished in 5th place. I made a solid move and I ran into the one hand that would beat me. It wasn't a bad beat, just a tough hand.

Around 3 pm, ten minutes later... I bought into my second Act Two tourney of the day. This time I felt the players were much better. I struggled the first two hours, and I never had many chips. I made it to the last five and bluffed on a hand I should not have played. I lost on pocket 10s to a guy with a pair of Kings (he held K-7 suited and caught the K on the flop). I got knocked out of my second tournament. In four hours I was down $230 in my quest to get into an Act Three.

I headed to the Poker Room and sat down at a $2-4 Hold'em table for a couple of hours until the daily cash tournament started at 7 pm. Every Tuesday, Foxwoods holds a No Limit tourney (separate from the satellites for the World Poker Finals in November). The buy in is $80 and last weeks winner walked away with $13,000. Again this is a cash tourney... for real money, not coupons for other tournaments.

First place was rumored to win $14,000 (with 200 plus entries). I played very well the first hour (I flopped a nut Flush and won a big pot on a Straight) and not so good the second hour and barley survived the third hour. When my table broke up and I got reseated, I got screwed. My new table had guys with almost $20,000 in chips. When I sat down at the new table I had $1,000. I was overmatched. I went "all-in" with Ace-9 off suit and doubled up on my chips. With over $2,000 I was ready for a run. On the very next hand I caught pocket Aces! I went "all-in" and one guy with a pair of Tens called me. On the flop (A-7-J), I caught a set of Aces!! I figured the pot was mine. Then the turn card made me scared after a Queen came out. The guy caught a King on the river, and he made his straight, beating my three Aces. I was shocked and this was a tougher beat than the last time. I got knocked out and I made it to the last five tables and came in 49th place (out of 200 plus). That was my best finish to date (in Foxwoods weekly No Limit Tournaments). I dunno if I will play in it again, I might stick to playing the Act Twos... and try playing in the Monday night Limit Hold'em weekly tournament.

Anyway, I ate some dinner which included a slice of cheesecake and went back into the poker room and player for seven straight hours (at $2-4 and $4-8) until my eyes started to hurt. I knew it was time to go and I made the drive back to the city, fighting rush hour traffic. I won a few dollars playing in the side games and lost almost $400 in tournament buy-in and entry fees. I'll get my money back next trip!
Reader Mail

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Monday, September 15, 2003

I will be hitting Foxwoods on Tuesday for the first time since my bad beat. I hope to play in the weekly NO Limit Tounrey in addition to finding an Act Two tournament to play in.

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

"There are only two types of people who wear sunglasses indoors... blind people and assholes!" - Larry David