Casino Virgin

Despite the fact that in the past eleven weeks I’ve played forty tournaments, a couple city-sanctioned “timed tournaments with one blind level” and a few home cash games, I had never played poker in an actual casino until last night.

I’m still not sure that’s not true, because the casino I played in was a tribal establishment where the “Poker Room” was more of an alcove off the rows and rows of slot machines in the main hall. There was a single table playing $1/$3 Limit Hold’em at 10pm on a Sunday and I put my name on the list, went to the bar to get a beer, and waited for someone to get tired or broke. I read news on my iPhone for about thirty minutes, then took my place with $60 between the oldest player at the table and a lady with an impressive rack of $5 tokens.

I played tight for the most part—it took me a while to figure out the betting structure of $8 max raise—although I did pull down one pot with a complete bluff holding [8c tc] when an [ax] hit the turn. I managed to get up to about $90 before a couple of good hands were outdrawn and I tumbled to only $25.

I split a large pot holding [ks 9s] with the oldest player on the same ranks but unsuited, then played [as 6c]. Several players were in for calls of $16 on a flop with [qc jx 8x]. I stayed in with one other player for the turned [tc]. He pushed to the max and I called plus put in my last chip when a [kc] hit the river. I thought for sure he’d hit the flush when I turned over my ace for the straight, but he had [qx 9x] for a pair on the flop and a straight on the turn, but I’d snuck through with the Broadway draw. With the money from the other players’ early action I more than doubled up and left at midnight with twice what I’d bought in with.

90 minutes. ROI: 100% (including tips).

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