GRAB A GRAND, LOSE A GRAND
On day 1, I played at the Orleans and won $503. On day 2, I played at Caesars Palace and won $458 for a grand total of $961 – not bad for a few hours work.
On day 4, I decided to spend the whole day playing poker, so braced myself for a 12 hour shift at Caesars Palace. I am keen to improve my stamina, so this was an experiment of sorts. No breaks, no sitting out, no moving games, just 12 hours of non-stop $1/3 No Limit Hold’Em poker.
This isn’t a vanity project, as you will detect from the title of this entry and the end result, I just thought it would help my game and perhaps be of interest to some of you cash game players reading my blog.
So, notepad in hand, this is what happened:
3.15pm: Ate the buffet at the Gold Coast and headed down to Caesar’s Palace with $1,000 in my back pocket.
3.30pm: Sat down at a $1/3 table with the maximum of $500.
Status Report: A little tired from updating the night before, but feeling good overall, although not overly confident of a win.
3.45pm: First real hand I played was a bet with second pair in the small blind. I was re-raised, so folded.
4.00pm: A round later, again in the small blind, won a nice pot calling a River bet with 5-4o on 5s-3h-3s-2d-7h board. I’d check-raised the Flop and checked the Turn. He mucked and later announced a flush draw.
4.15pm: Lost those chips back from the small blind again with a poor call on the River of an Ad-7c-7s-3c-Js board with Ac-6c. He bet every street, I called thinking he wouldn’t bet the seven (and unlikely to hold it from early position) and that if he had a slightly bigger kicker, we’d split. Also Turned flush draw. He showed J-7o. I made a mistake because I knew he was a tight player.
4.30pm: Not hitting anything, dealt a few Ace Kings and small pocket pairs, but to no avail.
4.45pm: Still not making any hands and a few bets with marginal hands have gone astray. Made one poor call with T-8 on x-x-T-x-K board. Thought he had missed flush due to betting pattern, but he had K-T, which made sense, but only because he hit River too.
5.00pm: Raise with Aces utg+1, receive 3 callers and 6-6-8 Flop. Everyone checks. Turn = T. Everyone checks. River = 8. Big Blind bets, I call, so does button. BB has 9-6, button 9-7. Thought I smelt a rat, lost the minimum.
5.15pm: Still no luck or successful moves, down around $250.
5.30pm: Request a table change. Only 2 weak players on current table, 2 very good players, the rest too tight.
Status Report: Still feeling fine, perhaps a little peckish, pleased I had discipline to change table.
5.30pm: Sit down at new table with $500. Pack is bent, I request a change of deck. Falls on stony ground, am told that it’s the machine’s fault.
6.00pm: Not played too many hands, when I have, my bets have been ill-timed and raised.
6.45pm: Am $150 down ($400 total), so refill back to $500.
Status Report: A little frustrated to be $400 down, made a few bad River calls, but playing well overall. Not getting a good run of cards.
7.00pm: Comeback starts with a few well-timed bluff re-raises. Up to $625.
7.45pm: Decide to order some food. Received menu, but no waitress. Have asked 3 times, but to no avail. Thinking about leaving.
7.45pm: Smooth call T-9 pre-flop. Check Flop, bet Turn and River of Queen high board. Opponent eventually folds. Phew, Ten high wins.
8.15pm: Finally hit a hand. Limped 5-2 in late position, Flop 3-4-6. Paid off, now over $700.
Status Report: Amazed to actually hit something, still confident I can finish the session up.
8.30pm: Waitress finally arrives, but says it’ll be an hour. I reluctantly accept.
8.45pm: Two complete novices sit down at the table. British, bit drunk, absolutely clueless – claim to have watched it once on TV that day. Game slows right down, but they are fish, so remain patient and pray for a hand.
9.00pm: Novices are inevitable calling stations. Game very slow due to the action stopping on their go and them asking questions constantly. Even dealer frustrated.
9.00pm: Have A-K in the small blind. Shortstack raises to $12, old woman calls, I make it $62 to virtually put him in if he wants to play. He folds, woman calls! I miss board and check it down scared she’ll call if I bet. She shows 7-7 on Jack high board.
9.15pm: Table frustrated. Novice cracks Aces by Rivering a flush with A-J.
Status Report: Really hungry, probably preventing me from focussing fully and would leave if food wasn’t on the way.
9.15pm: Food arrives 15 mins early. Good timing, was becoming very hungry indeed.
9.30pm: Finally hit a hand. Board = 2-Q-7-2, I have 2-4 and re-raise Turn after calling Flop. River = Q. Argh. Novice bets again, but I think I’m ahead and re-raise. He calls with 8-7. Phew.
10.00pm. One Novice doing well. New (senior) neighbour believes they are faking, I don’t as they are too convincing and I’ve never seen them before back home.
10.15pm: Senior neighbour proceeded to bet $100 on the River with both novices in hand. One folds, other calls. Incredibly, Senior mucks his hand (missed straight draw) immediately. Why on earth he’d try and bluff two novice calling stations, I’ll never know. Senior then leaves.
10.15pm I get up to $850 (only $50 down now) after making a nice call with Q-Q. Risky limp in early pos, no raise. Flop = Jc-7h-4c. I, and seat 9, smooth call the bet. Turn = 4d. Bettor bets again, I call, Seat re-raises another $85, I call after a long dwell, eager not to see a third club on the River. River is a blank, we both check – I win a nice pot.
Status Report: Am playing the novices well, not getting frustrated with the pace of the game and lack of hands, but thinking my bets through and not doing anything silly.
10.30pm: Lose a few pots with some loosely goosey calls with marginal hands.
10.30pm: Long delay as ruling is required. One hand, a player forgot to return his cards. Dealer put them in his rack and intended to add them to the pack next hand. He forgot, a new dealer was brought in and two hands were played with foul deck. The last hand, one player was in the middle of scooping a pot when the error was noticed by the dealer. The TD was called over, and he ruled that the pot should be dismantled, the winnings taken off the player and all chips/monies returned to the players. I thought this was absurd, especially when (1) action had occurred and (2) this was the second hand played with a foul deck. Player argued for ages, rather aggressively, but decision stood. Apparently, this is the ruling all across Vegas.
11.00pm: Back up to $850 after denting a relative shortstack with Jc-3c vs. Tc-7c on an Ac-Qc-4c board. Didn’t think he had the King, so made a good out-of-position $100 bet on the River.
11.15pm: Newbies leave, to the dismay of many. I think one was a couple of hundred up. The other several hundred down.
Status Report: Thought about leaving due to the novices standing up. Didn’t want to finish down – big mistake.
11.15pm: Disaster strikes. New player sits down and calls my pre-flop raise with 7-6s from the big blind. Flop = 8-9-T rainbow. Both check. Rag Turn. He bets,, I call. Rag River. He bets $40, I make it $100 (I almost flat called), he makes it $290. I fold face-up, he is enraged (literally red in the face). “That’s a crazy fold!” he cries. Down to $600. Later learn he had Q-J.
Status Report: Knew I should be leaving now. So close to profit, yet knocked back down annoyed me and I played poor poker hereafter. Remember thinking I ought to call it a day.
11.30pm: Players leave, new players join, including aggressive Scandie.
11.45pm: Make a poor call to new player. I raise Kh-Jh pre-flop, Check Ac-Ah-Kc Flop. Turn = 4h. I bet, he calls. River = blank. I check, he bets, I call. He shows As-Qs.
12.00am: I raise pre-flop with A-8, receive three callers. Raggy board is checked all the way to River, where I reraise a $45 bet to $145. He makes good call with bottom pair (Q-3). A mistake yes, but only because I picked the wrong guy. Down to $400, Top up to $500, $500 down overall. Slightly demoralised.
12.15am: Hilarious hand that felts the Scandie. He raises pre-flop, two callers. 4-7-K Flop. He bets $50, Mateyboy calls, Mateyboy2 re-raises, Scandie pushes. Mateyboy1 calls. Mateyboy2 also calls, although reluctantly. Mateyboy1 has 4-4, Scandie2 has 7-7, Mateyboy2 6-5 and hits 3 on River. Scandie is furious and doesn't take it well. Mateyboy just laughs and inexplicably scoops a $1,000+ pot.
1.00am: Playing badly, making too many weak loosey goosey calls.
Status Report: Now very fatigued and unable to concentrate fully on the game. Making no efforts to observe.
1.30am: Cooler puts me down to $250. I raise pre-flop with 9-8s, hit 9-8-3 Flop but run into Scandie’s set of Threes. Did well not to lose my entire stack.
2.15am: Not playing many hands, continuing to make errors in terms of calling off chips. Dribble down to $200.
2.30am: BB rock bets every street of Q high board, I call with Q-T each time, even though I know I am beat, although I expected K-Q or Q-J, not Aces, which he checked pre-flop.
Status Report: Shattered and bored, money only going one way now. No way I’m leaving with chips, never mind a profit.
2.45am: Went as low as $150, but added $75 with all-in bet with 7c-6c on a Qc-7d-2c-5c board. Scandie dwells, shows 7, asks me to show one card. I refuse. He says he has a 6 kicker. I show my 7. He folds, saying he must be behind. I show.
3.30am: After much folding (I’m simply looking for a spot to shove and, perhaps, gamble), Rock raises to $20 utg+1, receives multiple callers, I push for just around $200, he calls with Queens. I fail to hit and leave penniless, $1,000 down.
Status Report: Not as gutted as you might think. Disappointed to have missed my coin flip as I would have left after that hand anyhow, but similarly critical that I was looking for spots to gamble. Felt okay when I returned to the hotel, treated it as an experiment, only played with money I’d won, and consider it a lesson learned.
Conclusion: I have to take breaks. It only takes one error for you to get felted, and although I didn’t make that one big slip-up, I called off way too many of my chips and gave up on observing my opponents. It is clear that fatigue is a big influence on my game, but if I can rectify that, I should win more consistently. I played well until 11.15pm, which is 7hrs and 45mins worth of non-stop poker. Happy to be able to focus for such a length, but would like to be able to play for longer, or simply be more determined to leave.
On my next day off, which I believe is Thursday, I will try the experiment again. Play 12 hours, but this time ensure breaks are taken. Hopefully I will fair better. Either way, it’ll be interesting to find out if I do and whether my status reports differ.