Sunday, October 16


You're Fired, You're Rehired, You're Refired, You're Rerehired

(This entry crossposted to Steal The Blinds.)

INCITE's Beck has posted to Steal The Blinds some reviews of casinos in his stomping grounds, Atlantic City (Caeasars, Showboat, Borgata), so I thought I could do the same for casinos in my backyard.

One problem: while the Trump casino's poker room is the nicest I've ever been to, I've only been to . . . three. So it doesn't really mean much. But here goes, anyway:

When you're in Trump's poker room, you almost forget that you're actually on a boat. The room is airy with high ceilings. It has plasma TVs so players can follow sports action, an adjacent deli and coffee bar and — I've rarely seen these in any casinos, much less poker rooms — windows. The view is not that spectacular when the boat is docked, but when the boat was offshore it was probably nice. Unfortunately for the aesthetics, but fortunately for gameplay, a change in Indiana state law made it so the boats don't have to hoist anchor to make gaming legal.

Trump spreads limit hold'em at levels as low as $3/$6. They also boast no-limit hold'em plus pot-limit Omaha and Omaha Hi-Lo games. Sit-N-Gos also occur regularly, but the buy-in is a pretty steep $50 + $15. Trump also hosts multi-table tournaments on Monday and Wednesday for $100.

The gameplay at $3/$6 is loose and quite fishy, so decent players should be able to clean up — if variance doesn't bite you. That happened to me — twice — but I bit back.

I arrived at Trump at about 4 pm and sat down at the table with $250 in chips after a brief wait. I then proceeded to play Texas Fold'em for about four hours, and lost almost $200 just bleeding the blinds away. I didn't want to leave broke, but I didn't want to leave without at least picking up one decent hand. I did — aces — and won a big pot with aces full. I won another with K§/Kª when the flop came with the K¨, another diamond and a blank card. I'd raised preflop and on the flop with my set of kings, and was called by just one other person. The turn was another blank, but the river was 6¨ and he suddenly raised my river value bet. I agonized, but threw in $6 to call, expecting a really trashy flush. Thankfully, he had K©/6©, thinking his two pair had suddenly overtaken top pair with a better kicker.

At 9:30 I was ahead, and wondered how much I was going to make now that I'd figured out just exactly how fishy the table was. (I usually find tables online that are weak-tight, where players fold hands instead of chasing longshots.) So, of course, it all fell apart. I had a set get wrecked by 7/4, which made a straight. I flopped the nut straight with J/10 and capped all postflop rounds with two other players, thinking they had worse straights and I'd have them crushed. No: one other player had J/10 and one called down to river a flush.

So again I was under $50, but vowed to get it all back again or blow it all trying. My luck changed after a couple of tables condensed after midnight. I was in the cutoff position and the hand was a "kill pot." Don't be embarrassed if you don't know what that is; I didn't either, when I sat down. Kill pots occur when any one player wins two consecutive hands (outright; no chopping). For as long as that player continues to win, the limit is doubled. The blinds stay the same (in this case, $1 and $3) but the player on the kill pot posts the higher small bet ($6) blind no matter what position he or she is in.

So I was in the cutoff, and the button posted $6 blind. Just about the whole table limped in, and I decided to make a somewhat loose limp myself with 10¨/7¨. Many times in kill pots, the player will raise to $12 to pressure the table and force everyone to fold, keeping his streak going. But with about 73 limpers in already, I didn't have to worry so much about that.

The flop came with the 6¨, another 6, and another small diamond (I think it was the 5), giving me a lousy flush draw. But the flop was checked around and the turn brought 10©, giving me a pretty good hand. Fourth street doubled the already-doubled blinds. It was checked to the player two seats to my right, who bet $12. After the next player called, I immediately and enthusiastically jacked it up to $24, prompting the rest of the table to murmur that I slowplayed trip sixes. My raise forced out the rest of the table, including the last person to check, who showed 10§ before folding.

The river was another complete blank, and the two other players checked it to me. I could have — and probably should have — bet, but still feared a checkraise from trips (people played good hands very strangely sometimes) and checked to show down my two pair with a rotten kicker. The player who folded the other ten cursed his misread, the rest of the table gasped at my bold play, and I scooped a nearly $100 pot that put me up for good.

More than fifteen hours after walking in with $250, I walked out at 7:30 AM with exactly $273.

Next time I go, I think I'll bring a bigger bankroll — and some diaper wipes to clean off the filthy chips. I know I'm fighting a losing battle, but seriously, those things were nasty. I might just stay at online play just so I don't have to go through announcing a $3 call, try to throw three white chips in, and watch as a bundle of five chips practically superglued to each other go bouncing across the table.

Speaking of which, I know it's not my normal site, but . . .

Poker Championship

I have registered to play in the
Online Poker Blogger Championship!

This event is powered by PokerStars.

Registration code: 5851806

(Edited 10/17 1:37 PM to add the STB link.)


Location: Mishawaka, Indiana, United States

I graduated with an English degree from the University Of Notre Dame in 2001, and in 2008 I have a day job that has nothing to do with my degree but gets the bills paid in a semi-regular fashion. (I have running water five days a week!) The idea is that once I get turned around on my bills, I go to grad school. I also have an idea for cold fusion. Anyone's guess which will be feasible first. In non-work mode, I'm usually reading columns by famous and well-read thinkers, blogs by critically praised writers, or sometimes blogs by overzealous cranks who make me laugh. I yearn to be all three at once; until then I'll settle for being the third. I also have an undying love for the Chicago Cubs and Notre Dame football. Praise them and I'll buy you a beer; curse them and I'll dump it over your head. If that's not enough, I'm becoming quite the fan of no-limit Texas Hold'em. My games have one of two results: I either win all the money or whine because I didn't win all the money.

marchandchronicles -at-

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marchand chronicles has such massive readership and influence that it makes me weep.
—Glenn Reynolds


Damn right.


What's Your Line?


I absolutely love the name of your site.

Scott "Big Trunk" Johnson, Power Line
Just the name? Not the content? . . . I'll take it.

You have something in common with Dave Barry, Hemingway, and Mark Steyn: I'm not linking to them, either.


That's good stuff there Mark.

Dean Barnett, Soxblog
Psst, it's "Mike."

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All text and original images © MMVI by Mike Marchand/Marchand Chronicles.

Okay, so I don't really have a copyright. But I still don't want you ripping me off. Reprint it all over the Internet if you like, but give me proper credit and link back to me. Besides, if you're going to plagiarize, steal from someone with some talent.

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