As a change in the regular routine, I ventured out to the track last night for a little live charity poker. I was prompted to go, in part, by reading that checkraising is now allowed by the authorities. Also, I saw that the outfit that organizes the game has added Omaha to the list of games spread.
I made it up there about 7:00 and found that my options were to play in the nightly tournament (pass, it was a rebuy) or to play the only other game going - 1/2 "NL". It's technically spread limit, but the upper limit is high enough that it plays as no limit. Two tables were going, and a third started soon after I arrived. No regular limit games ever got started. I put my name on the list for Omaha (high/low, 3/6 limit), but it never got close to going. Off to NL.
Early play was drum tight. Once the table filled, though, it gradually morphed into the loosest, weakest NL table you'll ever see. Lots of pots with 5-8 people seeing a flop for $2 apiece. Occasional preflop raises ... to $7.
I won a few small pots with hands that caught a piece of the flop plus position. After building my $100 buyin to $140, I played a hand horribly. With AJs on the button and a few limpers, I pop it $12. Four callers. Oops. The small blind leads weakly for $10 (less than 1/4 pot) on the KQ4 flop (one of my suit). Folded to me. I elect to call, with the idea of taking it away on the turn. Turn is another of my suit, but I completely wuss out and check call. The river gives me third pair, but I again can't make myself fire and deservedly lose to top pair mediocre kicker.
Back down to my starting stack, I won my one big pot of the evening. I have J9s in position and get to see a flop for $2. I flop a jack, the field is thinned to four by a $7 bet. The turn is another jack, and two players call my raise to $20. The river is a beautiful 9 and the SB actually calls as much as he has of my $60 bet (I had $61 left, strategic betting) with J4o. Sorry, sir, trips no good and my 9 kicker would have played anyway.
I don't think I got a single quality hand the last two hours, but since I never caught a piece with the junk that I did play, it was a slow bleed. I finally gave it up about 11:00, up fifty bucks. Never had a pair higher than 7s. Maybe a half dozen big aces, which essentially broke even.
I did find myself wondering just how often some of these people play. By the end of the night, my table had FIVE people that I've played with before, and I've only been to the track five, six, eight times in 2+ years. Some of them I've played with several times. Others are just memorable - like the lady who cracked my KK with 92o in a limit game the first time I went. Another dozen or so familiar faces were playing the tournament.
If I ever bothered to take notes (or learn how to play), this could be a very profitable game.
I have no idea if the Friday Night Donkament is on tonight, seeing as how Kat is in Oklahoma for Okie-Vegas. If it's on, I may or may not play, depending on whatever else I've got going. Lined up for 36 holes tomorrow.