Monday, January 16, 2006

A Very Belated AC Trip Report (Part One)

Well, it has been quite a while since I posted. Yes, I am still alive. I returned home from AC just before the New Year with a 103° fever. It took a few days to get better. Then the procrastination set in. By the time I realized what was really holding me back from posting, it was time to go to St. Lucia. So, I have quite a lot to talk about. Rather than post one huge post, I will break it up a bit. Today, I will start with my AC trip.

When I booked the trip, Harrah’s told me that the first two nights would be free, and the last would be at the casino rate ($79, not bad.) When I arrived, they gave me a suite and comped all three nights up front. Did they know something I didn’t? It turns out they did. I had a horrible run of luck in the casino. Yeah, I know casino games are not a +EV situation.

In the past my philosophy was something like this: my play is –EV, but I get 50-60% back of that –EV in comps. The rest of the EV I can chalk up to entertainment value. But I have changed my mind about that. Here are my reasons:

  • Losing 10 hands in a row of pai gow at $100 a pop is not entertaining.
  • Losing an equal amount in craps is not entertaining.
  • Losing a greater amount in black jack is not entertaining.
  • Poker is +EV for me and my casino loses are eating into my poker profits.
  • The casino losses put me on tilt in a way that poker never can.
  • I can afford to pay for the stuff I like that is otherwise comped.

Before you decide that I really went off the deep end, please understand that I have had several trips in the last few years where I have won as much as I lost here. I think my overall analysis is correct, but I am done with casino games for at least a year. Poker is profitable. Why even bother comp whoring?

The main thing that was holding me back from posting is that I got slaughtered. When I took some time to think about it, my casino losses seemed to blur together with my poker action. The reality is that I lost about $1400 in poker. Not a disaster by my standards. My last live outings were +$1800, +$2800, and +$400. I lost the money in two key hands, one of which I made a small mistake. But I am getting ahead of myself. The point is that I let the money bother me.

After much ado, here is the poker action at Harrah’s: They only spread 3/6 limit and 1/2 NL. I sit at 3/6 while waiting for the 1/2 NL. Every flop is 4 or 5 way, usually un-raised. I wait a couple of rounds for cards. Nothing doing. I play 67 suited in early position, confident of getting the pot odds I need. Sure enough, there are 5 limpers behind me. The flop comes 667. I get paid. Next hand I pick up QQ. The flop comes QJ7, rainbow. I get paid by AJ. One really fun thing I watched while I was folding most of my hands: The guy across from me had a hillllllarious tell: every time he had a big hand, he tried to bet 6 or 12 on the flop. This is in a 3/6 game. Good times. I get a seat in the 1/2 NL game. So I cash out for a $60 profit.

No big or memorable hands happened in the 1/2 NL game, but I managed to double it on some small moves and one TPTK vs. TPSK hand in about an hour. It was just too easy. This day, I was not in the mood for fishing; I was in the mood for big game hunting. I cash out for another $200 profit and head over to the Borgata.

Tomorrow: The Hunt
Later this week: Playing in NYC, poker in St. Lucia and a really great picture of SoxLover