I haven't seriously played poker since college and even then was only an average player. But imagining a bunch of drunk tourists, I figured I won't be the best player but will be at least among the top 3. I started reading the book tynan recommended which advises a much looser starting hand advice. The Turbo Texas program oddly will only deliver via snail mail so I haven't tried it.
Since I'm driving back to the East Coast anyway, I figured I would spend a few days in Vegas getting a cheap $25 room and playing my hand at Limit.
To my surprise, it's hard to find any limit games in Vegas apart from the very entry level 2/4. Only the Bellagio seems to have any higher limits.
On the Monday afternoon, there was one 4/8 table and one 10/20 table. The 4/8 table had a good 30 minute - 1 hour wait so I signed up for a new 10/20 table opening up.
Starting out, I felt good. Folding all the bad cards. won a hand or two. Blinds would cut down my stacks back to break even and then I would win a small hand again. Rinse and repeat. The most aggressive player is to my immediate right so I'm thankfully able to see what he does before I play. Everyone else is slightly loose but very passive. To my surprise a lot of hands never make it to flop and usually with less than 4 players. Not what the book says at all, this seems like a regular table.
Then a very loose tourist with his wife came along raising everything and playing everything to completion. I eventually catch a pocket JJs and going one on one with him. Flop is a bunch of numbers. I keep betting, he keeps calling. Numbers on the turn and river. The showdown. I have two pair with my JJs. He reveals a turn card straight. And he leaves afterwards with my money.
That cut my stack in half.
Afterwards, I loosen up my play because everyone thinks I'm playing super tight. So I start stealing blinds and doing okay at it. But then I get pocket 10s and again bet heavily. Only one other player against me and he's raising me. The flop comes out with #s and a Queen. At this point, I think I should have kept going. I was already well committed into the pot. The pot odds were in my favor. But instead I check, he raises, I re-raise, he re-raises, and I fold. Then I'm down to only a few big blinds and get eaten away.
- Strangely, casino poker feels a lot faster than online even though I know that's not true. Maybe it was just the new environment, but 99% of the time I wasn't paying much attention to everything or calculating odds in my head. Everything just seemed too quick.
- Waiting for good hands is a very boring process.
- Since it was a Monday afternoon, I guess at least half of these guys were regulars. One of them was correcting the dealer's mistakes. Most or all of them obviously had more experience than me. Weekends might be better
- I brought in a $300 which seemed high to me at the time but for a 10/20, it actually feels way too small and I think I started playing sloppy once I had less chips.
- I'll be sticking to the 4/8 waiting list next time