We got up and checked out of our hotel early (having made reservations at another) and headed over to the Northern Lights Casino to play in their afternoon tournament. It was a limit tournament, but changed to no-limit when down to 5 players– an unusual, but interesting structure.
My wife was knocked out 6th, right before the money. (The top five got their buy-in back.) I was short-stacked when we got down to five, but managed to make the most of playing no-limit against players who were more accustomed to structured bets. I managed to build up to the big stack by the time we were down to three. We decided to make a deal– we were all VERY close in chips, and the blinds were huge relative to our stacks.
We split the prize pool evenly, since only a couple chips separated us. It was a fun tournament, and I think I played really well. I only won one hand in the entire tournament where I didn’t have the best of it when the money went in. (The hand in question I had A5s to my opponent’s A7, and we split the pot when the board paired tens.) In general, the play in this tournament was below average for what I’m used to locally– I was able to pick up a lot of money early on from octagenarians who “found my raises and aggressive play distasteful.” There was one guy (who’se name was Marvin) whose play I learned to respect, however.
After the tournament, we headed to the Hawthorn Inn, where we would be spending the rest of our little mini-vacation. (On our way, we stopped by the Skagit casino for lunch– it was beautiful, but they don’t have a poker room. I picked up $60 playing craps, and we headed out.) We got checked in, and were very happy with it– it was MUCH nicer than where we were, with a large room with a full-size kitchen and a DVD player. We took a quick nap, and then headed over to the Tulalip for some more poker.
When we got to Tulalip, they didn’t have a $100 max buy-in no limit game, so I decided I’d get warmed up at a limit table… big mistake. I played 4/8 for a couple hours, and was getting absolutely killed in a frozen wave of cards you wouldn’t beleive. In 2 hours, I didn’t make a single draw, and every sinle time I made a decent hand (top pair top kicker) someone would pick up a strait or flush on the turn or river. I didn’t drag a single pot!
Down about $100, I decided I’d take a shot at the $200 buy in no-limit game. ($3 and $5 blinds.) This was good, as in a few short hours of play I managed to make back the $100 I was stuck, along with another $500 for good measure. Some key hands:
I have A9 of spades, and there are two spades on the board. The player on my right checks, and the player to my right makes a downright silly $15 bet into the already $60 pot. I call, as does my other opponent. The turn pairs threes on the board. The guy to my right makes another rediculous $15 bet, and I call. The guy on my left goes all-in, for a total of $95. The guy to my right makes the call, which puts around $325 in the pot, with $80 to me. I think for a minute or so, and finally decide to make the call. (I wouldn’t have called if my opponent had folded– I wouldn’t have had the pot odds… but his call created a huge pot.) I get lucky and catch a spade, and drag a $400 pot.
I fold the next 10 or so hands, and pick up K4 of clubs on the button. Everyone had folded to me, so I decided to take a stab at the blinds with a $15 raise, getting a call from the big blind. Flop comes K/8/2 rainbow, and I make a pot-sized bet. The big blind makes a call that is a little too fast for my tastes. The dealer puts out the turn, but I don’t even look at it… I’m studying my oponent, trying to figure out what he’s got in the hole. There’s no real draw on the board, and if he had top pair with any kind of kicker he’d surely raise me. I decide he’s either slowplaying a set, or I have him beaten. After much deliberation (and a quick peek at the turn– a ten,) I make a $60 bet, which was called again. River is a blank, it goes check-check… My opponent had pocket fours, and I drag the pot… good read.
All in all, a great day of poker. Had a great time, and made $600 for the day.