Last night was indeed an excellent evening.....
Of course it started at Duprees for Monday night 8-ball. Just before the matches were about to start, my pal Earnie who I've known as far back as I can remember who is leaving for New York, permanently, on Thursday, called to let me know he got hooked up with a 5/10 Hold'em game at a friend's house. He asked if I wanted to come out and play. I told him to call me as he was heading out that way, I had some things to consider.
My hesitations of not saying yes immediately.
- I've never really played a structured game at 5/10. I'm used to our friendly quarter/2 games.
- I'd be playing with absolute strangers except for Earnie.
- I'd be playing at a table seated solely with Korean males whom Earnie indicates raise a lot of pots for the sake of raising (buying pots)
- I'm playing a little tug of war with myself internally concerning the moral implications, possible outcomes of gambling.
The PROs of playing in this game.
- I've never really played a structured game at 5/10. I get a chance to test myself in this situation, at the least I'll chalk it up as a learning experience not unlike my online gaming experience.
- I'd be playing with absolute strangers except for Earnie. I won't feel so bad about raising pots. No feelings to get hurt. In this situation I can consciously focus on the cards and players without feeling bad about taking friendly money. I'm certain that the players in my normal friendly games are aware of the consequences, but I can't help feeling that the game has taken an aura of seriousness that makes me feel uncomfortable.
I spoke with Ollie briefly about the game. I asked him how much one would need to bring to comfortably play at a 5/10 table. After picking his brain for I figured I need to go to this game with about $400.
So, getting posted first in our 8-ball match. I played a player handicapped as a 2, so our race was my 5 racks to his 2 that must be won. I won in 5 racks. I was feeling pretty good, so I called Earnie to get the skinny on the game. This was about 9:15 or so. I got the skinny on the game and left Duprees after making a short stop at the ATM, cha-ching... $400 withdrawn, I was ready to play.
I was just about to the apartment where the game was being held, when I realized that I've left my bag, with this computer I'm typing on, back at Duprees, so about face and back to the bar. I almost took this as a bad omen, but I made the trip back and 45 minutes later I found myself sitting at a table with 9 other players 8 other players, not including myself. I found my spot at the table. Earnie was sitting to my left. I cashed in for $300, next I knew the cards were flying. I played rather conservatively, making aggressive smippets here and there. I'd dwindle down to $200 in chips or so after playing a little and then scrape a pot with 2 pair to bring me back to my starters. Earnie at this point was up $300 bucks or so. I found myself chasing a few bad cards, probably betting on draws that I shouldn't have, but I'm glad I kept that strategy in my mind. I would catch a few good draws later. My first big hand was a nut hand. I was dealt A-J clubs in the hole, raised pre-flop. Flop turns A-J. I bet, get raised, raise to the cap, then an A comes up on 4th street. At this point, I'm certain I've got the nut. Somebody could still have 2 jacks, the betting continues, player to my right raises, I re-raise, this goes on to the River, then I turn my A-J. That was probably a $200 dollar pot. At one point I found myself short on chips, probably about $125 in front of me. It was about this time that i was dealt 8-9clubs in the hole. I limped in, flop turns 9, 10clubs, something else. I figure I'd stay in with my pair of 9's. I think there was one raise before 4th street. 4th street turns the Jack of clubs. So now I'm sitting on a straight-flush, flush draw with my mediocre pair in my hand. I raise once and it's a showdown between me and one other player. Low and behold the 7 of clubs turns on the river. My silent satisfaction. I'm certain I did not respond to that card, except raise, raise, raise as much as I could. Unfortunately there was not much action on my straight flush.
A couple of sets, a boat on the flop, some pretty good action, stakes raised to 10/20 late in the night, 4.5 hours of Hold-em, I tipped the house $40 bucks and cashed in $1000 for myself. Not a bad night.
How do I feel now? I'm excited that my night went so well. I'm scared that I've found a regular game. I have an addictive personality, and I'm not quite comfortable with myself with the amount of cards I've been playing recently. Now the stakes have raised......
I'm glad I have a conscious.... Viva Las Vegas.