I’ve only been playing poker for three years. In this day, the learning curve is a lot quicker than it used to be with the amount of books and access to online poker. Me, I’m not one that’s big on theory. It may sound strange to someone who is an avid player, but I rely more on instincts and reads.
I do the whole pot odds things and calculate. I make certain knowing I am going to get paid off in the end, but I’ve always been more interested in the history of the game. Poker evolved from a back room, hustler’s game to a mainstream pop culture reference, which I am now a statistic.
While in Los Angeles, I had to take the opportunity to play poker. There are hundreds of card rooms in this great state and hearing the stories and history behind these places, I had no choice.
The tiny poker player in me was calling, tugging me toward the Commerce.
It was dingy, musty and probably moldy from the looks from it.
It was perfect.
Poker came alive in that room. There was history there although many of the players on the lower limit side weren’t thinking about that. They were flinging their chips into pots with greater than I have ever witnessed.
Now, revealing I’ve only played for the last few years, I’m not a bankroll where I play in big games. I’m still at the kiddie table, playing $1-$2 NL in Atlantic City. I didn’t know what that translated into in the structure in California.
I chose the $200 buy-in game because I always buy in for $200 in A.C. Apparently, these games aren’t on the same level. Their $1-$2 NL was a $40 fixed buy-in. Even if I had known that, I probably wouldn’t have jumped into that game anyway. A $40 buy-in doesn’t give you much room to work with.
$3-$5 blinds. That was the game I was in. A little over my head and lots of loose player, who apparently don’t care about theory either. Pot odds? To hell with that too. These guys were just interested in getting as much money into the middle of the pot and stacking chips.
Normally, in this type of situation theorist say the looser the game, the tighter. I ended up beating these guys at their own game while following my basic rules. I didn’t get my chips into the pot with a bad starting hand just because that was their move. I started with a decent holdings, I just made my requirements a little lower.
I was stuck in the game for $400 and down to my last $50 before I got the hang of it. A lesson learned quickly, but expensively.
Good thing Bluffmaster Deuce (he was sitting in the two seat) sat down. This guy was the easiest read on the game. When he had a hand, he bet roughly ¾ of the pot. When he bluffed, he doubled the size of the pot. If there was $40 in the pot, then he bet $80.
I got back to even on his bluffs alone. My pair of deuces? Way good when he bet $40 into a $20 pot. My open-ended straight draw when he bet $80 into a $40? Money.
Finally, after four hours of play, I got back to even. I planned to leave when the blinds hit me. However, while under the gun, I looked down to black Kings. I raised $25 (standard) and four people called me.
The flop comes 4-K-5, rainbow. But being in early position and lots of people behind me, 6-7 and 3-4 are definitely hands I see these people calling with. I bet $60, I get one caller. The turn is an ace. I bet $150, he mucks. Missed his open-ender he says. Awesome.
I went home up $150 after being stuck $350. I felt like I won $1,000.