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What a day.

Me and DA and Dodger headed down to Cache Creek for the day. We weren't quite sure what to expect in terms of crowds seeing as it was a Monday sandwiched in the middle of vacation week, but we wanted to check out the action. So off we went.

We rolled into the casino around 10:15 and they had just 2 3/6 tables going with several on a list. We all got on the 3/6 and 4/8 list and DA added his name to the NL list as well. We got seated around 10:30 when they opened up a third table - they at the new table and I opted to take a seat at one of the existing games (no sense in fighting amongst our selves now is there?).

Cache Creek has a promo that runs Mon-Wed. From 10:00 to 5:00: If you get pocket Aces cracked you get a rack. About my 4th hand, someone at my table gets AA cracked. He got a rack. Very next hand I look down to see the red AA. With the promo running, you pretty much want to get them cracked, so I just limped and was delighted to see a flop of all clubs! (These promos put you into a very odd mindset sometimes.) I just check and call a flop bet. Turn brings some blank but there's a bet and raise which I have to call (stop raising!). River brings a 4th club. Didn't need it, someone flopped the nut flush. He won ~$60, I got a new rack. :lol: I kind of like AA with these rules. A few minutes later somone else in the room has AA cracked. We were playing about an hour and a half before the tourney (more on this later) started and AA got cracked 5 or 6 times between 3 tables. Amazing.

So I'm up ~$75 real quick, but manage to just spit those chips back into the pot so fast it was disgusting. Lots of good solid playable hands that just wouldn't connect. No real bad beats, just no hook-ups. I ended up about $35 ahead when they had us cash out for the tourney.

At noon, they had a $50 L/NL tourney. (We didn't know about it until we got there.) We had 44 players (they couldn't seat more cuz they ran out of dealers) and BYOC had 3 playahs in the hunt. We all drew different tables to start and off we went. As a rule, the crowd was really bad. There may have been 4 or 5 others who were somewhat solid besides us. The rest were pretty much fish. No really I mean it, F I S H! Luckily, the cards were falling in the right places.

They gave us all 2400 in chips. But, the first 3 rounds were limit. Huh? WTF is going on here? (The tourney had a bit of feel that they were making up the rules as they went along.) Oh well, let's see what happens. We wade through the first 3 rounds and all 3 of us were at least a little ahead from the starteing point. Dodger was up big ~$7K, DA had ~$4500 and I was sucking hind tit (for our group) with ~$3500. But we were all up and I think there were still 43 left. We played and played and finally got down to the final table and all 3 of us made it. Dodger and I were pretty close to even for chip lead and DA was doing OK too in 3rd or 4th chip position. The odd thing is they let us get down to the final table and us decide what to do for payouts. The table wanted a short paylist (I always prefer more players getting paid) but we settled for only 4 payouts which ended up being something like $750, $525, $300, $200. Off we go into final table land.

Unfortunately, DA left the table first when he tangled with Dodger and lost. I think he learned a lesson there. So we were down to 9. I got on a little rush and built my chips up big and then just started pushing the table around. I was getting good cards and hitting good boards whe I needed too and just kept knocking people out. Bing, bang, boom. See ya sucker. It was pretty fun. We got down to 5 way and the house starts bugging us to make a deal. THey want to cut the dealer loose for the cash games. It started getting real hectic. We finally decided to pay the bubble $50 and no sooner was that decided, did one guy go all-in and lose. So we're down to the official money spots. I have a huge chip lead, Dodger has about half what I do, The other 2 guys are just trying to outlast the other for 3rd place. And all we get is pure chaos from the house....

House: "You guys really need to make a deal."
Us: "OK - what's the money look like?"
Dealer: "It's your bet."
House "So are you guys gonna make a deal?"
Us: "I don't know. Stop the clock so we can figure stuff out."
Dealer:"Check or bet?"
House: "How about if you guys chop it this way (gives example)?"
Us: "Well what does that mean money wise?"
Dealer: "200-400 blinds please."
House: "Well, it work out like this..."
Us: "Why would we do that?"
Dealer: "Your action please."....

This went on for about 20 minutes. We knocked the other 2 guys out and played a few hands head's up. Dodger started catching a little heat and we got pretty near even in chips. I had about 4 big blinds more than him, but it was pretty close. Dodger suggested we just chop up 1st and 2nd and I said fine. I really wanted to play it out (not for the money so much as for the contest), but it wasn't much fun with the damn house guy breathing down our necks. So we chopped up first and second and both got around $650. Works for me.

We left some money for the dealers (the other guys didn't which kind of pissed me off!) and headed off for some lunch. We tried to get on the lunch list so we could get right back into action, but apparently, everyone else on the long list were also fresh out of the tourney so we were getting no break at all in that regard. Thanks a lot. "Congrats on your tourney. We hope you don't mind hanging around for 3 hours waiting to play again." The 3/6 list was 50 something deep, the 4/8 game had 15 players and they still hadn't started a game, and the NL list was 30 players deep with no game running yet. (There were still 5 or 6 tables not in use.) Apparetnly the crowd was much biggger than they were expecting. I almost offered to deal a table for them, but decided against it. As I said before, this place really needs to get their cage together.

So we go get some lunch, have a nice long lunch and still hadn't been paged for a seat. We wander back over to see we are still quite a ways down on all the lists. I see that a 4/8 game had started, yet my name was still 12 deep - right where it started 4 hours ago. Whatever. We decided to explore the rest of the casino. DA wanted to try some craps. I told him that they had some type of craps that they didn't use dice, but cards instead - some sort of legal line that allows craps in CA. Well I was half right. They use "dice" alright, but also use cards. They have a blue die and a red die. They roll the 2 dice and whichever die is higher determines which "card" they draw. the cards have symbols of normal dice roll results (a 4 and a 3, a 5 and a 1 etc) It looked really retarded but the table was packed. I have no interest in craps so I decided to go find a slot machine to kill some time.

I reach in my pocket to find a fist full of $5 chips. Oh yeah! "Free money!" During the tourney, they had a bounty working, where you got $5 for every player that was eliminated. I had $70 in bounty money. (Yeah, I was pretty much taking names! :wink: ) Sweet! I cash them in and head over for one of my favorite Wheel of Fortune machines. Find a $1 machine and ripped through $20 in abaout 3 minutes. Drop in another $20 and start working it. I'm floating a little down and DA and Doger settle in behind me and start up with the rail-birding. (This is a slot machine mind you.) They're just laughing at me dumping money in this machine. "Hey - it's free money - I'm just putting it to work!" Ha, ha, ha. Then I hit a little bit and get $20 up. "You should cash out now." WTF? Am I keeping you guys from something? Jeez, I thought I was a serious stop loss sissy, but what in the hell is point of walking away froma a slot machine $20 up. I mean there's a $500,000 + jackpot on this machine. $20 up is just 6 more tries for the big money in my mind. If I get up decent money I'll walk, but $20? Come on. Play a litte more and get $100 up. "See? I know what I'm doing here." :wink: These guys couldn't believe that I wasn't cashing out. "You small time rail birds! Go find some other loser to pester." About 15 minutes later, I hit a $400 spin. OK - that's a big enough hit to walk away from. I spin off about 10 more shots and cashed out +$360. "You da man." They were bouncing along behind me like one of those suck-up, side-kicks in one of those old cartoons. Well, I exaderate, but they were kind of going on and on about how hot I was running today. I tried to take it all in stide, but being up about $1000 is pretty big news for me. We wander back to the poker room to find that we're pretty close to the top on the 3/6 list. I put my name on the NL list as well.

We finally got seated (3/6), all at about the same time (~5:00). As I'm unracking my chips this is what I see:

There is some college dufus with a bunch of chips betting a turn. The board has 3 clubs. He gets a call from some Asian goober. The river brings a 4th club. The college dufus checks, the Asian goober bet and the college dufus check/raised. Asian goober calls. College dufus shows... the 2 of clubs! My eyes just about pop out of my head. But wait, the Asian goober has no clubs! Just top pair. I started looking for the Candid Camera camera, but couldn't find it. I look at all the other players trying get a reaction to give me a clue about what the hell was going on at this table. They all just took it in stride as if A) they had no clue how bad that whole bit just was or B) it was run of the mill, nothing new. Great, what did I get myself into. I swore to just have fun and not sweat it whatever happened - I'm already having a monster day.

The first 5 or 6 hands I'm dealt were all unplayable garbage, but all the hands would have won the pot. Example:I throw away 92 and the flop brings 22 and the river brought a 9. I start telling myself to play anything cuz I'm rushing and missing it. Well the next hand I get 55. Doesn't take much cnvincing to pay this hand. I turn a set. Sweet! Come to papa. Well college dufus is along for this ride and calls the turn and checks raises me whan a gut shot straight came in on the river. Oh no. This is just not a good sign. Next hand, I get a suited A8 call a pfre-flop raise, flop top 2 and end up losing to one of the "better" players who called the raise and flop bets with a suited 62 that caught a third 2 on the turn. Great. I'm actually steaming a little bit. It hasn't been 20 minutes since I tell myself to laugh it off, but I'm already steaming. There's just something about low limit bad beats that piss me off.

I'm down about $75 but manage to catch a few hands. Meanwhile the brush is polling the house looking for NL players. I guess the list was so old, he was just combing through th tables to see if there were any players. All three of us BYOCers jumped on it a few minutes later, I was dragging a pot that got me back to even (+$4) for that short session and heading for the NL table. Deep breath, here we go.

Their NL structure is simlar to ours in that you can't buy a stack, you have to earn it. $100 buy-in. Period. During the game, you could buy yourself back up to $100. So we all sit down. They have a 3 blind structure: $1 on the button, $1 SB, and $2 BB with a $4 bring in. (You had to bet at least $4 to enter the pot - the BB isn't "free" as we usually look at it.)

(This is the same structure that Ace was proposing for a game a few weeks ago that some were freaking out about. It's no big deal!)

I was a little worried about the game we saw last month where every bet was big. This game was actually pretty comfortable. We had a few big bets, but most preflop raises were $8-$20. For the most part, raises were treated with respect. There were a couple guys who had no business at that table, but for the most part it was a pretty solid game. There was only one guy at the table who I felt was in our league. I know that sounds a little conceited, but that's just my observation. Only one guy I was really worried about besides Dodger and DA.

I start off winnning a couple small pots. There were 2 guys stacking most of the chips early on - the guy in the 10 seat and the guy in the 1 seat (I was in the 2 seat and 1 seat was the only guy that showed any real promise.) We go along for while and Doger throws a pretty big bet at the pot after having raised pre-flop. Everyone laid down and he drug a nice pot to get up about $60. The game was starting to have a little definition - the players knew who they were and who the fish were. Now let's execute.

After I bled some chips off chasing a draw, Dodger and I got into it. I had rasied the pot preflop with ATs in late position. Got a couple callers including Dodger. The flop came Axx with 2 of my suit. Dodger fired a $20 bet into me. I thought for just a few seconds and shoved about $65 "All-in" everyone else folded and it didn't take Dodger long to call. He flips up AQ. Well, I manage to collect a diamond on the river to take down the pot. "Hey - I rivered YOU!" I pulled a reverse Hagar on Dodger. He took it in good fun, but I could tell he wasn't as amused as he was letting on.

I had had 2 huge hands later on, both vs. the big stack solid guy to my right. I'm on the button and get a Colt 45. Lot's of limpers so I fling in my $3 to complete. The flop comes 376 with 3 hearts. Wow! Nearly perfect flop. One of the fishier guys leads out an $8 bet and the big stack guys calls. After a bit too much deliberation (I don't know if anyone else noticed but it felt like I took 3 minutes to decide to slowplay or bet it now) I decide to just call. 3 to the turn. The river brings a very ugly 8. At least it wasn't a heart. Fishy guy bets $20, big stack raises to $40. Shit. Now what? Did this guy just land his gutshot? My locked nuts just turned into #3 nuts. Fuck it! "All-in" (about $140). Fishy guy swims away, but the solid (dwindling but) big stack starts asking for a count. He wasn't in real quick, but he finally called. I really didn't want a call. Dealer dealt the river and it was a complete blank. MHIG! He throws away his hand face down and later told me he had an open ender and flush draw. Wow. Time to go clean out my pants. I had a pretty good stack now (about $300) and was feeling really good about my game.

Solid guy (who used to have a big stack) had to chip up. The very next hand, he raised preflop and I looked down to find suited A3. Had to call (respect the rush!). And what do I see on the flop but A3T! Yeah baby! Solid (used to be) big stack guy shoves his $93 stack. "Sorry, I have to call." Everyone folded and we flipped them up, He had AJ and was way behind. Unfortunately, old man river remembered his role and solid guy was delivered from the felt with a runner-runner QQ. His 2 pair and kicker won the hand. He stood up and let out a howl and threw his fist in the air as if he had just won the WSOP. Kind of rude, but I was OK with it. Really. He apolgized (twice) and I actually gave him a high five! WTF is wrong with me? I just got beat by an awful beat on $100 bet and was laughting it off! 2 hours ago I was steaming over a $12 suckout, ready to rip that college dufus's head off and shit down his neck, but I'm high fiving a quy who just took $100 away from me?!?!. (Something to think about here I think!)

OK this is getting really long so I'll wrap it up. We left at about 8:30. I was up about $65. I think Dodger ended up down about $70. DA wasn't so lucky. He ran pretty bad all day. I'll let those guys tell their stories. I will say this about the NL game: It had a really comfortable flow to it on this day. Bets tended to be $8, $12, $16, $20, $24, $25, $40 and few random "just how many chips I had in my hand" bets $14, $17 etc. there were a dozen or so All-Ins, but they usually came at appropriate times and it wasn't a "crazy" game. I did find it hard to figure out how much to bet. I'm so used to playing our style of chips values, that it felt funny betting $16 as a meaningful bet. But, I got used to it and really enjoyed the game. It's going to be hard to go back to a 3/6 game.....

Dodger and I are considering going down there on NY Day. It will be an unbelievable zoo, so we may decide to just hit a room or two here in town instead. (I'd much rather spread our own game that day, hint, hint!)
 

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Great recap Hagar!!! Yes, Cache Creek was a lot of fun and a great learning experience, as always.

Aside from the tournament, the cards ran really bad for me at the limit tables and at the NL table. At the NL table, I cashed in a few small pots after raising a small amount. But when I had two good cards to start, others would barely limp in. After the first rack in two hours, I decided to take a walk, change seats (yeah, like THAT'S going to help! :) ), and get a new rack. Still....3-K, J-4, 3-7, 7-2, etc...you get the idea. It was getting late, I was tired of crap hands, got impatient and with J-10 suited, 7-8-J on the flop, I went all-in. Guy to my right had A-x. Turn was A and the river who knows. End of my first non-BYOC NL card game.

In the tournament, I played well all the way to the final table. Cards were good enough to play and bet accordingly. The limit part for the first hour WAS kind of screwy. A lot of people, even during the NL play, bet on stuff like 10-4, K-3, 6-7, etc. all off suit. It was a matter of getting some luck on the flop/turn/river. At the final table, I totally let the excitement of the game get to me. I went all in on a K-Q off suit and never should have. There were 10 people still, I had a decent stack and was still 7 away from the blinds. So...hindsight..."patience, patience, patience". And, going up against Dodger or Hagar.....crazy...... I should've worked with them on getting the others out in order to get to the money. Then, maybe, the racks lost in NL wouldn't have "ouched" so much.

All in all....another fun time of cards. The place is very noisy.....

Look forward to more BYOC tournaments....
 
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