Monday, March 05, 2007

Cash Games

Typically, I refrain from playing cash tables (live or online) cause to me, cash games are the fastest way for anyone to lose money regardless of your poker skill level. It is also the fastest way that you can make money - as I found out last week while I was visiting Regina.

The Regina Casino is a nice little place built within the historic train station. Its poker room isn't bad (they hold their tournaments in another room). I missed out on their daily tournaments due to other commitments but I decided to play a bit of the cash game (basically for the sake of ending the boredom), so I sat down at the $1-$2 table. With no distractions (seriously - can there be any more thick women???)

I managed to focus in on the game and made $160 on my first night (I started with $100). I was happy with my play and willing to walk away with an additional $160 in my pocket.

After the initial success, I went back the second night and found myself down to $26 (I started again at $100) before getting dealt pocket 8s. I pushed for $26 and got 3 callers and won the hand with a set of 8s (this bumped me up to $104). I eventually ended up building my stack to about $375 when I was ready to leave after grinding it out for 4 hours. Looking down, I had 6-7 off and I decided to raise (to $10) with this from the button (dealer) position. I got two callers (the big and small blinds) and the flop came up 5C-10H-8C, giving me a open ended straight draw. The small blind bet out $25 and the big blind raised it to $75 . With the open ended, I called the $75 to see the turn (4th street) and watched as the 4D came off, to complete my straight. At this point there is $255 in the pot. Again the small blind bets out with $25 and the big blind raises to $75. With about $290, I thought about what I should do...there is a flush possibility, and I figured my opponents had two pair or a set. I decided to push and re-raised the $75 raise to a total of $290. The guy in the small blind instantly calls, then turns to me and said "I think you have me beat, but I have to call..." while the guy in the big blind looks at me disgusted and folds - but shows that he had a set of 5s (trip fives). I turned over my cards to show that I had the straight and the caller showed only top pair (king kicker) and giving me the big winfall of over $600. I had enough brains to walk away from the table at that point.

Now being a tournament player, playing cash tables is always dangerous for me. For one, I don't like the idea of actually betting real money per hand. This means that I can't intentially lose hands to set up big gains later on, cause it actually costs me something. Second, for as quick as the money can go...cause the last night there I went through $200 in about 2 hours of play (and I even built up my stack to over $600). Suffice to say, I came home with an additional $500 or so in earnings...but I could have made that bigger. Oh well, that's the way the cards are dealt.


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