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Saturday, October 01, 2005

Trip Report - Canterbury Park, Friday 9/30/05

So much to cover, so little clarity of mind.

As mentioned the other day, I spent a couple days this week in Minneapolis for work. I flew out and back and was rather disappointed that neither pilot thanked the passengers for flying Bankrupt Airlines.

Things worked out so that I had a fair amount of time on Friday with not much to do. Which, of course, meant that a trip to Canterbury Park was in the offing.

I've posted before about how much I like the way Canterbury runs their room. It's a good sized operation (31 tables) and is usually packed. The few shortcomings the place has -- such as the lack of no limit games -- are more the fault of Minnesota law than of Canterbury management. You don't find too many assholes at the tables,
and it's just a nice place.

I arrived about 11:00 a.m. for a first session and was seated at a 4/8 table in about five minutes. There were short lists for most games (2/4 to 30/60), and it wasn't tremendously busy. I'd guess about 18-20 tables were in action. What followed was the kind of session that makes you wonder why we play this &*^!$ing game.

I know how to deal with lousy cards. You fold. I know how to deal with hands that hit the flop - in no-foldem casino poker, you play as hard and fast as possible, since you WILL get called down regardless. So what the hell do you do when you have big hands that don't improve? I mean, I can fold if I know I'm beat and the odds don't dictate continuing, but if the opposition doesn't ever raise to give you that information, what do you do? Things got frustrating and fast.

After a couple hands, I started keeping track. Here's all you really need to know about this session:

AA - twice, lost.
KK - once, lost.
QQ - four times. Lost all four, twice running into AA on all undercard boards.
JJ - four times. Lost all four.
TT - once, lost.
99 - once, lost.

Sets: Zero.

That's right, 0-for-13 with big (or at least big-ish) pocket pairs. Some hands I could fold when overcards hit and action came, but several went to showdown. I lost to well-disguised sets, runner-runner flushes, two pair, you name it. With each of the hands I folded, I would have lost if I'd called down. I won a couple small pots with KQ, and flopped a set with 33, but other than that, nada. The inital buyin just vanished. Poof! I took a break for lunch, spent some time seriously considering the idea of never playing casino poker again, reloaded, and played a little while before heading out to meet people for dinner.

I had a crack-of-dawn flight back, so I figured I may as well kill off the rest of the night giving it another go. I got back to the cardroom about 10:30 pm, expecting to have to wait an hour or two. I was stunned to find that there weren't more than 8 or 9 people on the 3/6 list, and only 3 or 4 on the 4/8 list. I opted for the 3/6 game, figuring I'd want to get as much play as possible out of my inadequate remaining bankroll. It was about a 15 minute wait -- on a Friday night?! Perhaps this is a sign that the poker fad has about run its course.

I cycled through a couple tables that eventually got shorthanded and broke. I had a little success, running even to slightly up, nothing spectacular but certainly far better than the previous effort. Around 3:00 a.m. I get moved again.

For which, I can only say, THANK YOU! This was the game I've been dreaming about, or at least close to it. It was LAGtastic. Huge pots. People were not shy about going 3, 4, 5 bets preflop. Raising with really marginal hands - 3 betting with A9s or KJo?! -- several of those pots were 5, 6 and 7-way action. I felt extremely comfortable, taking shots with big hands and solid drawing hands.

I didn't take notes on what I won with, but I think it'll suffice to say that I *LOST* several HUGE pots -- flush over flush, boat over boat, set over set and QQ v. AA yet again -- and was still up more than $100. If those hands had held up, I would have been up $500 or more, easily. The flush vs. flush hand had five people in preflop, capped. The boat over boat was my set vs. two pair, he hit his four outer on the river. Everything was multi-way action. Huge stacks of checks (both the 3/6 and 4/8 were played with $1 chips) just sitting there waiting to be taken. Awesome.

I was with considerable regret that I had to leave about five to get to the airport. If I'd been in town another day, I would have stayed at that table as long as there were fish 'n chips available.

So that's my story. I ended up down for the day, due to the horrific early session, but I had a good time anyway. I got to see the Latin Unabomber (hispanic kid in full Phil Laak mode). I saw some Gus Hansen wannabe kid raise K4s, A5o and Q7o preflop. I met some interesting people, got to play a few hands. Good times.

Now I need to get about 16 hours of sleep.


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Shelly said...

"So what the hell do you do when you have big hands that don't improve? I mean, I can fold if I know I'm beat and the odds don't dictate continuing, but if the opposition doesn't ever raise to give you that information, what do you do?"

That **so** accurately describes the dilemma!!!!

Glad to hear you had a good time, if not a very profitable one.

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Drizztdj said...

Wow, that's a big constrast then the last time I was there.

Half the hands at my 4/8 table got folded around to one raise.