Wednesday, September 23, 2009

That's the way (uh-huh, uh-huh) I like it (uh-huh, uh-huh)

Mandalay Bay has recently become my default place to play on Sunday afternoons. I have played there four Sunday afternoons of late, booking no losses and averaging $353 per session. This week was no exception, even though it was actually the smallest of my wins.

It was one of those rare sessions in which nearly everything went the way I wanted it to. Because my ex-wife is visiting, I have had to modify my poker schedule to leave more time for playing host. Sunday that meant that I had only three hours to play while she did shopping and window shopping in the Mandalay/Luxor/Excalibur complex.

I hoped to be able to pull in $200 in that time frame, though it wouldn't really be right to consider that a "goal." I know from long experience that one has only limited control over hourly win (or loss) rate in a given session, so it's pretty silly to set specific monetary goals. But $200 was enough that I wouldn't feel like I was hurting my income to have just a short session, so it was what I was hoping for.

The ex arrived back in the poker room five minutes before the three hours was up, and I was up exactly $201, having hit that mark just about three hands before, which was very satisfying. Moreover, I had not had a single difficult decision to make the entire time. Every bluff I ran won me the pot (though that was only three or four). I made only one erroneous river call. I built my stack gradually, with no huge pots; I never won or lost more than about $60 in any hand. The only time my entire stack was at risk was when I was all-in, but I had the nuts at the time, so the risk was minimal--and we ended up chopping that pot.* I used table image and position to get enough respect that I usually won with a raise pre-flop or a continuation bet or check-raise on the flop. Few hands went further, which is why I wasn't faced with any really difficult decisions. In fact, I only lost two hands at showdown. One was the call I shouldn't have made for about $30. The other was when I made a pre-flop raise with some junk, a very short stack moved all in for so little more that I was compelled to call, and I didn't get lucky on him.

Overall, it was the classic Aesop's "slow and steady wins the race." And that, in turn, meant that it was basically stress-free poker.

Days like that are rare, but when they occur, they make me think, "Gee, this is EASY!" Then I usually get snapped back to reality the next time out.

*Here's how I Tweeted that hand. It's worth retelling because it was the only funny (though unintentionally so, on the part of the speaker) thing that happened all afternoon:

Unclear on the concept story: Board is Q8KK. Opponent and I both go all in. We
both show KQ. He says, "I knew I was good unless you had pocket kings."


buttnuggt said...

That you and Vegas Rex are using the same KC reference on the same day was a funny coincidence. Keep up the good work, Grump.

Oh, yeah, Nice hoodie!

Rakewell said...

Pure coincidence, I assure you. I had not seen that post until you pointed it out.

Buttnugget said...

Oh, I never once suspected that either of you stole it. Just thought for one fleeting moment that the two of you might have both been at the poker table at the same time. That's a table I would have loved to have played at... wait a minute, I don't want to risk my bankroll playing with either of you. ;)