20.11.06

Crib Redux

Today there was the semi-annual inter-branch tournament of the Camrose Legion vs. the Jasper Place Legion. Turnout was decent, with about 50 people or so. I had heard the other day the JP folks were fewer than the Camrose folks, so some of them southerners had to play for us folks from Edmonton.

Things started off on a down note, and ultimately wound up being pretty pathetic overall. Of the 8 games, my partner and I won but one. One of those losses was a skunk (although barely; we were one peg away from saving the skunk). That makes three losses by skunk in the past few days... I'm unimpressed to say the least. Oh well, like the old saying goes, you pays your money and you takes your chances.

After leaving the legion (and dropping dough on my membership for both 2006 and 2007), we (meaning myself and those with whom I traveled to the crib tournament) trundled off to the River Cree casino to kill some time. The others scattered across the slots area whilst I headed for the poker room. It took well over an hour to even get a seat at a table since there was apparently a shortage of dealers working this afternoon. I was not amused, but it's not like it's the first time I've had to wait for a seat in a poker room. (The downside was I spent that time watching one of the 3/6 tables trying to pick up information on the players... and it happened to be the other 3/6 table where I wound up being seated.)

I eventually sat down at the 3/6 table with my usual buy-in of a rack of singles and I couldn't even catch a cold the cards were running so poorly. It's like it was some sort of overflow of bad karma from the crib tournament. After the first orbit I had one hand worth playing... and it wasn't even really worth playing, but I played it nonetheless as it was my big blind so I got a discount to the flop. All tolled I had one hand worth opening the action, a pair of black tens. An ace hit the flop, however the 3 players remaining checked. A 4 hit the turn so I bet, with both people calling. The river brought what seemed to be a blank, an 8, and the player just before me opened the last betting round. After calling, he showed a 5-7 which went nicely with the 6 on the flop and the runners. I was rather pissed off at that since it meant I was too timid on the flop. If I had put a tester bet out there on the flop to see if anyone had an ace, it would have been very likely the 5-7 would fold and I would have won that pot. (Though why the guy called a pre-flop raise from the small blind with 5-7 offsuit I don't know.) The third player in the pot couldn't beat my 10s, and folded after my river call, so I would have been golden. Live and learn.

(The worst part was the player who held 5-7 that hand was playing a bunch of crap and catching huge. He was an internet player who kept betting the wrong amount, had no idea what a kill button was, didn't know if he was allowed to leave the table without forfeiting his seat, etc. Although his money is as good as anyone else's, people like that tick me off and I hate playing against them. Everyone has to learn some time, but why does it have to be at my table? I mean, sheesh, if he's an internet player you'd think he'd at least have some concept of bet amounts in a limit game! It's not rocket surgery here.)

I played for maybe an hour before I had to leave (as my ride was wanting to get out of there). After being stupid on the end and wasting a bit of money chasing, I cashed out with a little over half of my buy-in. That makes me 2 for 2 at River Cree when it comes to not winning, my worst record at any casino.

And yes, there are still some issues with that poker room. Things were a little better this time around, as some kinks appear to have been worked out, but one glaring problem I saw was with consistency when dealing to (temporarily) empty seats. Sometimes the dealer would deal to the seat then kill the hand, sometimes they'd pass over that seat entirely and not deal to it. Multiple dealers did it both ways, so it's not a one-off thing. Since the choice whether or not to deal to an empty seat materially affects the outcome of a hand, there needs to be absolute consistency when it comes to that situation. I'm not bothered which way the house rules fall on this matter, but I definitely want to see the same actions on a consistent basis.

Upshot: they've now got a coffee pot near the poker room so you can get free coffee. Pop is apparently a buck... at least, the one person I saw get a glass of pop gave the waitress a buck. It might have been a dollar for the pop, or it might have been free pop with a dollar tip -- I'm not sure and I didn't ask. Still, the coffee bit is a definite improvement versus opening day.

Oh well, at least I still have a fair amount of dough left in my poker kitty from wins earlier in the year to keep me going for a while before I stop playing with winnings.

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