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Hagar did a little club gaming over the last few days and thought I'd share my experiences.

Friday - I was really hoping we'd get our last minute Firday night game together, but it was looking slim that we'd get a table going. I decided to spend some time over a the Derby and I sent Quads a note telling him I'd be there if the table happend to fill. Little did I know that Packin' was in the process of dragging Quads off to Vegas at the last minute.

Any way, sat down in the 4/8 game around 4:45. Didn't have much luck in the early going and burnt through a rack in about 1 hour (not hard to do without bad luck in a 4/8 game, but I did get robbed a few times). Looked at my watch and figured "What the hell. It's Friday, my wife's out with a friend and maybe a few of the BYOCers will end up down here. RE-BUY!"

Got my second rack and things settled down for a while. I floated around between $75 and $125 down for about 2-3 hours. Win a little pot or 2 then slowly leak the chips back. Win a little pot or 2......yadda, yadda, yadda. Somewhwere around 8:00 I looked over and saw The Kid sweating the table by the entrance. I saw him get seated and went over and said "Hey".

About a half hour later I saw him jamming his card into the ATM machine, so I didn't figure his luck was running much better than mine. Around 9:00 he requested a table move and there he was standing over my table and wound up with the seat to my right. He sat down and immediately caught the "...best hand I've seen all night. Literally." and he pumped the pot right up. I think he won the hand with his big pocket pair. (KK?)

For the next half hour we both rode the tide - up a little, down a little, up a little, down a little.... I wa starting to get seasick but at least I wasn't just getting buried. Then all of a sudden we both caught a little fire. My fire was a little stronger than his, but we basically took turns raping the table fort about a half hour. We even butted heads a couple times, but nothing major. I don't remember too many hands, but here's where it all started going good for me. I'm in the BB and look down to find KQ. OK, how will this hand screw me? (I was still in the can't really get anything going mode). The flop comes JT9 rainbow. Hmm, yeah that'll work. I check it and someone else lead out for me. I just smooth called figuring to check/raise the turn. I mean, what could possibly come to wreck this hand? Turn was a Q. Oh, that's what could come to wreck this hand. I check raised anyway and had only 6 or 7 players call 2 bets. The river brings an Ace. Well at least I have a piece of the nuts. Bet. The next to act was this older lady who had talked her son into bringing her down to play cards and she was just burning through chips. She looked at me and asked if I made a straight. It took all of my restraint to not just bust out laughing and gave her the Hagar shrug. She called and everyone else folded. (I was a little confused by that, but have to admit I was just fine with it.) I showed her my nuts and she flashed an A8. Wow.

After that I just started rushing. I don't rtememebr any more hands, but I do remember that there were a coupleof hands that I just couldn't play that would have won had I chased my rush down a little more. But I was just raking in chips. I nearly had my $500 pyramid complete when someone asked: "What are you doing, building a pyramid?" Yeah I'm trying to. When I wasn't winning, Dave was dragging the pots. When the dust settled I looked down on $450 in chips. I looked at my watch and it was nearing 10:00. I had to get up fairly early to play golf (and I use that term very loosely) and was planning to leave fairly soon anyway. I said (mostly to myself but loud enough for the kid to hear) "If I have half a brain I would get up right now. I could sure use a win right now." So I used half my brain, finished the orbit, cashed out $425 chips and went home and got some sleep. I hope David managed to claw his way back to above water. On the way out, who should be standing on the rail waiting for a seat but Kasper. I said "Hey" wished him luck and went on my way.

So today rolls around and I have a Dr's appt. at 1:00 and decide to just take the rest of the afternoon off. I finished the Christmas shopping and headed over to DJ's to see if they had anything going. Dead, dead, dead. Mel, Jack and Roderick were there fighting over the video game. Later guys, maybe next time. (DJ's has been really struggling to fill their table the last few times I've popped in. Doesn't look good for their future.)

So I go outside and try to talk myself into just going home. Part of my head was arguing to drive over to the Derby, but my traffic-hating side vetoed that idea. I didn't want to come home from there during commute hour should things not go too well. I almost went home, but I remembered that there is some other place "just down the road on Folsom Blvd". So I decided to go see if I could find it and check it out.

Well, there it was on the corner of Mills Station and Folsom, the Rancho Club (or something like that). I go inside and was very surprised to see 5 or 6 tables and a reasonably clean atmosphere. There was one table going and I wasn't too surprised to see a couple of the DJ semi-regulars in the game (one of the Armenian guys and Al, the old black guy). I had to wait about 15 minutes for a seat, which was fine - it gave me an orbit or 2 to get a feel for the game and it looked like my kind of game. They actually spread a 3/6 half-kill (If someone won 2 pots in a row, the game became 4/8 until he lost a pot).

The game had a mix of reasonable players and fish. There was one guy who was reasonably good but talked too much for his own good. He liked to analyze everything outloud (showing off his expertise) so he really gave a lot away about his game.

There wasn't a lot of over aggression and there wasn't a lot of folding. Half the table saw the flop and there were usually 3 or 4 to showdown. It was a table that was basicaly real easy to read. Sure, one of the fools would hit his crap hand once in a while which you really couldn't foresee, but for the most part the game was running what I would consider "normal".

Eventually they had 2 tables running and they would shuttle players over to our table as seats opened. Bust one knuckle head and ther was another one to replace him. I pretty much floated between even and +$50 for the better part of 3 hours. About 6:00 they shuttled over this little Chinese gal. I noticed her from our table and she had this monsterous stack of chips. She came to us with about $400. We asked the dealer if she was good or lucky. He said she was good. Hmmmm.

Her second hand at our table she won a pretty good pot. Next hand, she won a better pot. Next hand she won again. She wasn't playing awful, but she wasn't playing great either - she just happend to be holding the right cards at the right time. She got the kill button. I looked down to find AJ and decided to test her a little so I raised the pot, made it 8 to go. She called (of course) as did half the table. Flop comes 99J. Coulda been worse, but I sure didn't like the 99. I bet out and she raised me. Crap. Here we go. I think we lost everyone else and it was just the 2 of us. Turn brought a 3. Check, bet, call. I told my neigbors that if I loose this pot to her I'm leaving. River brings a blank. Check, bet, call. I start to get up to go get some racks "show me your 9" and she flips over J3! WTF? I semi-laugh/semi-scoff and told the table that I was their hero "I slayed the Dragon!" They all laughed and for some reason that was pretty much it for her. Her smoke and mirrors were exposed. Her $500 had been bled down to about $150 before too long. She just couldn't stay out of a pot and couldn't let her crappy pairs go. Good huh?

Anyway, I got a little semi-rush and landed a few healthy pots and looked down to see it was 6:30. The wife would be home soon - I better call to let her know where I am. I borrowed the casino phone and it never really worked. Bummer. I was working on the second level of my $500 pyramid - I really didn't want to go quite yet. And I just kept getting playable hands that were holding up. QQ in BB. 2 raises ahead of me and I throw the cap on it. Flop QK8. The flop gets capped 3 ways. (Yikes did I run into set over set?). Turn 4. It checked around. WTF? River brings another 8 and I bet out and they fold. WTF? I get KK in early position and raise and get a fist full of callers. The flop comes and Ugly A5A (yes, that's a capital U). This maniac who transfered over from the other table bets into me I raise and there are still like 4 callers. Turn brings a 5 and I'm feeling like I'm dead. It checks around. WTF? Rivewr brings another A (A5A5A board). Maniac bets into me again, Anybody else and I would have laid my KK down. I reeally thought he had a raggy A. But I did have number 3 nuts. I just called and everyone else gave up. He had nothing. Something like Q3. :lol: MHIG!

Anyway my stack's looking pretty nice, but since it's now 7:30 I figured I better get my tail home if I had any plans of keeping it, so I finished the orbit and cashed out nearly 4 racks. Sweet.

There's something odd about that place that I just can't quite put a finger on. It could wind up being a pretty cool little spot someday. They are working on implementing a couple bad beat JPs and a Royal JP. I'll certainly check it out again.

They have one really odd policy. When the dealer exposes the river card too early (which was done twice while I was there - not good) they do everything right (pull the river card back into the deck, shuffle, cut and put another river card out). Except that there's no action on the river. Just flip 'em up and show it down. I really never understood the ruling and I got kind of screwed by the rule - the new river made my hand and I couldn't even bet it! (Yeah, I know, I wouldn't have won the pot if the dealer hadn't screwed up, but that's really not the point. He screwed up, the first river card "never happened". Here's the river card now play.) It was just very weird. "We don't want anyone to get hurt by the mistake." Well, you better get some competent dealers then. 2 of the 3 dealers were pretty good - one was pretty bad. I think he was a DJ reject.

I kind of thought that most card rooms played by the same rules, but I guess not. They also have another funny thing. when the river checks around, they start looking at the hands starting with the last player rather than the first. "That's how we do it here." I'm thinking, "Dude, what make's 'here' so freaking special that you play by different rules than every other card room on this side of the country?" I kept waiting to learn about "Rancho Royale" where the best possible hand is "J9532" is the nuts, but only if it's all Spades and Diamonds and it's Monday and you're in the 4 seat. Luckily it never came to that.

So I cashed out nearly $400 and headed for home to see how much trouble I was in. I think the fact that I finished the Christmas shopping kept me out of the doghouse. Well, maybe it's because my wife's pretty cool. :wink:
 
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I totally dig reading your recaps Hags.....I think you hit the nail on the head with the "cool wife" thing........she is a keeper.....ya think?!?
 
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