It’s been a few weeks since my last post but the grinding hasn’t stopped. Well, actually I didn’t play much at all over the Thanksgiving weekend as I spent the holiday in Palm Springs with some family. Here are some photos!
I went into a bit of a breakeven stretch over the following four sessions. I have only myself to blame for this because I failed to use any sort of anti-jinx methodology. For example, say you send a tweet talking about how hard you’re crushing a game or how amazing you’ve been running at the tables. I usually don’t like to write such tweets because over 50 percent of the time they carry the jinx-virus, which will abruptly halt any and all rungood and stop it dead in its tracks. That being said, it is possible to tweet such thoughts to the twittersphere, but it would be foolish to do so without using anti-jinx protection. You’re simply putting yourself and your bankroll at risk without strapping on a hashtag along the lines of #plsdontjinxitkthx at the end of your happy tweets.
I don’t know why we call the poker gods, Gods, but we do. They seem more like a bunch of high school dropout, weird uncle, goofball idiots to me. When they abandon you, it is the filthiest, loneliest feeling you can imagine. But when they reflect their light on you for any kind of extended stretch, you feel, well, enlightened. Chosen. So in tune with everything you can hear the hum of the earth.
I somehow managed to sneak a $117 victory past the jinx-bouncers playing $1/$3NL at the Rio on the 1st of the month. But the next day when I ventured into the Palace of Caesar, his games of $1 and $3 were not so kind. I left @CLVPoker $400 lighter in the pocket, and followed that with a small $85 loss on the 3rd. My spirits were quickly risen on the very next day, which was a Thursday. Thursday evenings, as you should know by now, means Pokerati game night. The PLO/NL mixed game has treated me really well since its incarnation @PalmsPokerRm (#nojinxnojinxnojinx) and this particular Thursday brought happiness in the form of a $520 win, erasing losses from the previous two sessions. Unfortunately the breakeven stretch continued another day; on Friday I played a long, 10-hour session at the Rio dropping about $700 in frustrating fashion. Actually there was a pretty interesting hand from said session…
It was early on, and I had noticed that the middle-aged man with a WPT hat and a beer in his cup holder directly to my left was playing every hand, and raising almost all of them. He also had a lot of chips. I decided to switch seats after he stacked a player and was sitting across the table from him when I raised to $18 with KQ after 3 limps. There were three callers including WPT guy and I had position on everybody. The flop came 643, and WPT guy led for $20. I had seen him donk-lead like this with a flush draw in a previous hand and this situation felt very similar in that he could have some sort of a straight draw. It folds to me and I decide to call. The turn is a 3 and he leads for $50. It feels like a good card as it doesn’t seem to change too much, and if it hasn’t then I think a lot of the time I have the best hand. I call again. The river is an A, and WPT guy pauses for a while. He starts eyeing me and saying things like “Hmmm, that’s not a good card,” and is really taking his time. He eventually bets $220. I tank and say, “You could be bluffing with the best hand” and he laughs. I’ll post the results in the comments below later and if anyone wants to give input on all streets, please feel free.
The next day I demoted myself to $1/$2 and hit Planet Hollywood, which I keep in my regular repertoire of offices. The games are insanely soft, which is partly due to the fact that if you self-park upon arrival, you have to walk all the way through the Miracle Mile shops. It’s insane far, and as a result, most locals/regs/nits don’t bother playing there. Trying to valet is a gamble in itself; the attendants can be pretty meh. One of them even took my car key home with him at the end of his shift! I had to wait 20 minutes for him to drive it back to the casino. Arguably worth the wait, I booked a $465 win at PH and followed that up with a similar sized win at @RedRockPoker two days later, erasing the Rio debacle. Things were really looking up when my next session earned me $710 at the Palms the next day. And $430 two days later, followed by $515 the following day.
It was around this time that I realized what was happening. I don’t know why we call the poker gods, Gods, but we do. They seem more like a bunch of high school dropout, weird uncle, goofball idiots to me, but the community has dubbed them gods and who am I to question the community. Anyway, when the poker “gods” abandon you in that dark corner of the room, it is the filthiest, loneliest feeling you can imagine. But when they use their watch they stole from Walgreens to reflect the light of the sun on you, for any kind of extended stretch, you feel, well, enlightened. Chosen. You are in tune with everything around you and you can hear the hum of the earth.
Everything was flowing naturally. I would make plays that were always correct and opponents would make plays that would have me texting my friends to tell them about it, OMG. I flat a bet with the nut flush draw, someone behind me raises, I shove, he calls off with a worse flush draw. I raise 99 on the button, get three callers, flop 9-2-2, someone donk-ships all-in with a flush draw. A guy misreads his hand and shoves into my made flush. It’s the type of stuff you wish could just always exist, as all the stress of poker would just fall into nothingness. Before I knew it I had racked up 13 straight wins for one of, if not my longest win streak ever. Now, as far as the stakes go, it’s nothing whatsoever to brag about. This is low-stakes grinding at its finest and I haven’t stepped back up the ladder. (Side note, Matt Marafioti aka ADZ aka @adzizzy has currently racked up 20+ straight wins playing high stakes NL. Sigh…) But it’s a beautiful thing nonetheless and a pretty sweet upswing to pad the bankroll.
If only it could last forever. Today at Caesars I played in what could possibly be the best $1/$3 game I’ve played all year, and that’s saying a lot. But I must’ve felt a need to pay that dark corner a visit to get reacquainted. The very first hand, I donated $400 to a guy that definitely does not need it, 3-betting with AQ, barreling the flop and barreling all in on a blank turn. I somehow found a way to leave with $800 less than I walked in with, which secures my last few sessions as another breakeven stretch or small downswing. If I could mirror the last sequence and go on another 13-game win streak that’d be, um, nice, but that’s asking a bit much I suppose. And so the small-stakes ride continues.
Guided by the gods, of all people.
You can follow Andrew Neeme’s life on the Las Vegas low-stakes grind @AndrewNeeme.