Raise or Fold:  Learning (From) Poker

Writing and playing poker as if they were activities worth doing well.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Long Day's Journey Into Night

I played in the Golden Nugget's $240 NLHE deepstack "Grand" tournament today. It started at noon, and I busted out at about 11:30 pm, 18th of 201.

Here's the good news: I played my A game throughout. I was very pleased with the quality of the decisions I made, including several big laydowns, a couple of hero calls, and a few appropriate major re-raises or shoves. I do not know how to play poker any better than I played today.

Every big hit I took, I had my money in good. People had to beat the odds to beat me. Had the cards fallen my way I would have had an enormous chipstack heading deeper into the money. I have no regrets about my choices in this tournament.

The bad news: my net profit from almost 12 hours of playing was $80.

I am tired (really tired), but at peace. One of these days, I firmly believe, my good decisions will be rewarded proportionately, and I'll make a boatload of money.

The structure for the Grand series is exactly my sort of game: generous stacks and very gradual blind level increases. It rewards patience, observation, and strategic thinking. These tournaments are a VERY good value for the money. Their payout schedule, on the other hand, was ridiculous this evening. They paid 27 out of 201, with the bottom 7 getting their buy-in back. Ten hours of poker to get your money back??? They originally announced they would pay 18 and they should have stuck with that. If you make the money you should be guaranteed a profit on your buy-in.

The Nugget is also nickel-and-diming tournament players in a disgraceful way. The drinks service, for example, extends to soda, water, tea, and coffee only. If you want alcohol or Red Bull, be prepared to shell out additional cash. What's more, the Golden Nugget makes non-guests pay to park in their garage. That is just DOPEY, in my opinion. They should be doing everything possible to make it convenient and pleasant for people to play in their joint.

Tomorrow is a logistics and recreation day. My lodging situation has been sorted out (more on that in a future post), and I need to go shopping and stock up my larder. I'll also be seeing the Cirque du Soleil show "Love" in the evening, which I'm really looking forward to. I feel that I've finally got my feet under me, and should be able to get the kind of nutrition, sleep, relaxation, and exercise that will allow me to do my best.

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