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Dodger and I headed down for a day of fishing at Cache Creek on Friday. As expected the place was jammed-packed. We got there around 11:15 got on a short list and were seated in about 15 minutes. They have about 12 tables in their poker fish bowl and all but 4 were already going. I got seated about 5 minutes before Dodger and I think they started a new table for Dodger. (Just for Dodger :wink: )

I sit down to a table that suited my style perfectly. Most were at least reasonbly skilled players (knew what was going on, respected raises from the "good" players and punished the fools) and one or two fishy types. I know that this is pretty much opposite of what all the books tell you is a good table, but as a rule, I prefer this kind of game. Not lot's of preflop raising; not a cap-fest.

First hand I get: 55 in late position. OK, I like it. I flop a set, it checks around to me so I can bet it right out without it looking like an overly, aggresive bet. Get several calls. The turn brings a 2, which looked pretty harmless, but I think there was a straight possibiity (isn't there always). The morning fish (didn't know this yet), bet out from early position. Not having a clue what that meant, I just smooth called along with a couple others, hoping for the board to pair. Sure enough, the river pairs the board. She bets, everyone else folds, I jack it and she just calls. She had pocket 2s and my boat over boat wins. I look over where Dodger is still sweating the NL game and give him a big grin and he just chuckles.

Unfortunatly, that was about the extent of stuff I had to grin about the whole frickin' day. The mornig fish got a horseshoe stuck up her ass and started hitting her fish cards hand after hand. She hit 4 sets in 45 minutes. Whtever she needed to make a winner she did. Just ugly brutal. She had about $50 when I sat down and racked up about $250 in the 1 1/2 hours she stayed at our table. Luckily, her husband came and made her go to lunch. The guy to my left, slid over into her chair hoping to catch some lightning and I told him "You know, you have to play EVERY hand you're dealt for that magic to work!" He laughed and refused to believe it.

Enter the afternoon fish. For all of you familliar with DJ's, you know th guy that Quads calls "furniture", (the house calls him Grandpa) and this guy was him in a younger, fatter, richer, dumber version. Call you down or bet with any pair. Play every hand. Never, ever "get it". Everyone else at the table is just running over this guy, but the poker gods decided that I was the one who was gonna allow him to "feel lucky". I flop 2 pair and he catches a bigger 2 pair. That kind of crap. He was into the game for 3 racks in about an hour, but somehow he could beat me. Very frustrating.

For the early session, over all I had pretty crappy cards and pretty crappy luck when I did make a hand. Had AK 3 times, hit TPTK all three times and got smoked all 3 times - ran into 2 flopped sets. I don't remeber what happened with the 3rd one (probably a suckout straight or flush), but I just could get it to stick. I was into the game for 2 racks. I came close to hitting an Quad aces busting straight flush (which would have been worth $500 (HHJP) on one hand, which was kind of fun (I think I took the afternoon fish down to the felt on that one) and I managed to hit a straight flush a little later and got paid off pretty well for it. Unfortunately, only one of my cards played, so no jackpot for me.

The jackpot cleared at 4:00 (the guy who would have won it, wasn't even there!) so I went over to Doger's table and told him I was ready for some food. He thought that was good idea, we cashed out, both down a little (I was down $75-80 and he was down around $30. His table was quite a bit different than mine, but I'll let him tell the tale. We got on the return from dinner list (by now all 12 tables were packed, and the waiting lists were 40 players long in some cases.

All the decent food places were 20 minute waits (at 4:00?) so we went over to the coffee shop place and grabbed a bite to eat. Food was OK, service was pretty bad, especially considering that there were about 12 customers and 50 servers in the place.

We went back over to the brush and it took us about 15 minutes to get back into action. It was a frickin madhouse and they were very unorganized. They told us to just "hang around here" for a few minutes instead of giving us their little pager boxes.

Any way we get seated at seperate tables again. My table had quite a different composition than the afternoon session, a little more cap-happy. I really didn't like it much, but stuck it out. There were a couple of horseshoes floating around this game. One guy had a couple shoved up his ass, and a couple others were sharing one. But there was a supreme evening fish at this table. Easily the worst player I've ever seen, and he had the misfortune of having lots of money in his pocket (at least he started with lots of money) and wasn't afraid to keep pulling it out. Unfortunately, my cold cards and bad timing continued.

There was one guy (really annoying old black guy) who thought he was the king of the table and he was running fairly hot. He had 4-KKs and an AA in about 2 hours and spiked 4 sets with them and the 5th held up. One of them came when I flopped 2 pair (Ax) and was betting it all the way. Unfortunately, I was in early position so I just couldn't leverage the betting. He called me all the way down to the river which brought him a K to make a set. WTF? You were calling with the second best hand (at best) all the way down? He was observant enough to know that I wasn't betting that many hands, so I know he was just acting fishy. Brutal.

But the double horseshoe guy was just on absolute fire for about 45 minutes. HE COULD NOT MISS. And it came at a time when the capping started going nuts. Just before it all went crazy, a guy set down to my right, capped the betting preflop with a JTs and held on to hit a gutshot straight on the river. That's when things went wild. The super fish and the annoying old black guy, were raising everything and went into cap before the flop about 10 hands in a row. And the double horseshoe guy won everything. For the most part, he was getting pretty good cards and they were hitting hard. JJ - flop a set. ATo, hit the straight. Yoiu know that story. BUt he took advantage of his horseshoe as well. I finally got KK (after about 8 hours, I finally caught a pocket pair bigger than 66). Of course I was in early position, but I raised it anyway. About 6 calls and the flop comes something like 88Q with 2 diamonds. Not the best flop for me. I bet and get 4 or 5 callers. The turn brings (of course a third diamond. I just check and of course double horseshoe guy bets. I think there are still a couple callers, I do have the K of diamonds and he could just be betting a Q. I hope for another diamond or a K or 8 on the river but get no help. I check and he bets and I call to to make sure. He flips up the 34 diamonds for the flush. Nice work buddy. He didn't get into me too much (I was mostly just a spectator), but at about 8:00, he called for a color change and they brought him $600 in reds and he still had over $200 in whites (well they're yellow there) in front of him. I think he had about $150 when I set down at 4:45. Most of the chips had come from super fish (directly or indirectly - he was 6 racks into the game when I left and showed no signs of giving up), but he was clearly running over the table. Oddly enough, after he colored up he slowed down and played a little more normal.

Despite my rotten luck and cold cards, I managed to float around even for most of the session. I got up $50 pretty quick and was down $50 just as quick. I had KJs hit a flush and get stung by an A5s. (I seem to always get nailed with K high flushes which I'll never understand. You watch these rag flushes take down pot after pot but my K flushes are just worthless for the most part?) I had QQ cracked (my only other big pocket pair of the whole damn day), but managed to get AK to hold up for a couple of big pots. I did suck-out one guy with 2 pair when my gutshot hit on the river. (When in Rome....). At one point (around 8:30) I was almost dead on even for the whole day and I was getting tired. I played my final orbit and bled a few chips back and ended up cashing out down $20-25 for the whole day. Disapointing? Yes, but considering how things were going, I'll take it. I found Dodger and told him I was gonna grab a beer and let me know when he's ready to hit the road. He played his last orbit and we hit the highway around 9:15.

Fun and frustrating day, and I'll do it again.

Casino notes:
The dealers there are borderline competent (kind of hit and miss) there were several miscues thourghout the day and most of the dealers were without personality.

The brush station needs to clean up their act. Absolute chaos almost every time I'v approached that cage.

They run a NL game (they may have had 2 tables running). It's a $100 buy-in, no more-no less, so you have to earn your stack (just like our game). They have a 1-1-2 blind structure (1 on the button, 1 in SB and 2 in BB. The bring-in bet appeared to be $4. I don't know if that's the rule but I never saw a game opened for less than that. I was sweating that game pretty much every time I had to go out of the poker room to smoke (so I leaned over the rail that was 2 feet behind the table and smoked? - very silly) . The play was very aggressive, some good, some bad. Most post flop bets were $25 or more. I saw one guy lose his stack when he called all-in with a J3s to a Q6s. (They weren't both in the blind...) I saw another knuckle head call several $50 bets with nothing but bottom pair and actually bet out when he made 2 pair on the river. The board was way too scary to have been hanging around for premium bets with bottom pair. One guy was running over the game for most of the day and from what I heard (a railbird took it upon himself to give a couple of blow-by-blow accounts of this kid's escapades) he was a pretty strong player who was catching cards to go with his game. He had at least $1500 in front of him at one time. I was hoping to get up a couple racks in the 3/6 game and then take a shot at the NL game, but that just never matrialized. (I'm not sure I'm ready for that game yet anyway.)

I think Dodger saw a sign that advertised "A rack for any Aces cracked on Mon, Tues, Wed." They have a bad beat JP and a HHJP. I'm not sure if they run the HHJP everyday or not.

For you non-smokers: The poker room is non smoking, but it's open aired - the "walls" are just rails. I didn't notice any smoke in the air, but it could be because I smoke. But there wasn't a wall of smoke like there was in their old "non-smoking" poker room. The rest of the casino is a smoking zone, but I think it very well ventilated.

That's my story and, unfortunately, I have to stick to it.
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