In my opinion, out of the three poker rooms located near I-295, the Shoe looks the best when you walk in. The MD Live poker room lighting could be better and the MGM poker room entrance is right on the casino floor. Local poker players and bloggers TPM (blog) and PPP (blog) have played many sessions there. Even the travelling poker player TBC (blog) has played more times at the Shoe than me.
I decided to make the trip after work and see if a change of scenery brings back Lady Luck.
I got my chips and picked up the Ante Up magazine at the podium. I was sent to a table right away. I chose the only open seat, 4.
|Front and center: famous poker blogger|
It didn't take me long to realize that seat 5 was the table captain. He said he was waiting for a $2/$5 seat to open up. He was in almost every pot and rarely did he make it to showdown without raising big on one of the streets. It was unfortunate that I was immediately to his right. I tried limping several hands but his $15 to $30 pre-flop bets/raises made me fold quickly.
The Shoe allows straddling from any position aka Mississippi Straddle. Maybe I wouldn't mind it if seat 5 wasn't using it so often. The way the game played and seat 5 having position on me, I didn't like it. Let's get to some hand summaries.
Less than two orbits in, I'm UTG+1 and get dealt A-10. I don't have much on my opponents. UTG leads out for $12 and I call. Seat 10 makes the call as well. The flop is 10-4-4 and seat 3 bets $25. I call and seat 10 raises it to $65. Seat 3 calls and I'm sitting there trying to justify a call. What would you do?
I folded. They get it all-in on the turn. Seat 3 flipped over K,K but seat 10 showed K♦,4♦ for the win.
The table was not tight to say the least. Seat 5 opens for $10 and gets three callers. He gets it all-in on the flop with 7-7 versus seat 7 who has K-Q and rivers a straight. Seat 5 rebuys before the chips get pushed to seat 7. Table captain was playing aggressively and it cost him another buy-in. He kept showing the second best hand.
I bet $10 pre-flop with 10♣-9♣ in the cut-off. Seat 5 called. The flop was 7 high with one club. I checked the flop and the turn which was also a club. Surprisingly, he checked back. The river was a 9 and I bet $25. He decided to look me up. I showed and he mucked.
In seat 4, I get dealt 5♠-6♠ in the BB. Seat 5 bets $10 and I call. We are both about $200 behind. We check the 5♦-4♣-10♣ flop. I lead out for $15 on the 7♣ turn and he calls. The river is a 5♥ and I bet $25. He moves all-in for about $130. I'm in a pickle. What would you do?
Thank you all for the comments. I learn a lot from experienced players and their approach to poker. In this hand, you might say that I made several errors. I won't disagree. My thoughts, when it came to my opponent in seat 5, were that he likes to play many hands and is aggressive. I liked my suited connectors and wanted to see the flop against seat 5 since I close out the action pre-flop.
I check the flop and he checks it too. Him checking the flop gave me info that I thought was valuable. I would expect an overpair or a set to bet in order to charge straight and flush draws. The pot was $21 and I bet $15 on the turn. I think the bet helps me keep him guessing. If he has a flush, unless it's ace (or maybe king) high, I'd expect just a call. And if he has an overpair, he would want to see the river.
When the 5 comes on the river, I bet $25. If he has an overpair, he might call the small bet. I don't think a straight would raise. No way he has a 5 in his hand. What hand with a 5 would he raise UTG pre-flop. When he moves all-in, my thoughts were that either he has a flush or he's beat. Yes, he could have a full house but that's unlikely.
I made the decision that I wanted to see his flush. If he has it, I'm ready to say nice hand, sir. I call and he doesn't seem to like it. He slowly turns over his cards and I see the A♣ and a black queen. I feel discouraged for a millisecond. I look closer and see that it's the queen of spades!
His play made some sense. He raised pre-flop to $10 with A-Q. The flop wasn't that good and he checked. He called the turn after he improved to the nut flush draw. The 5 on the river looked like a blank. He probably put me on a 10 or even a straight. His thinking might have been that he can represent the nut flush and make me fold my hand by raising the river.
I raked in the chips as he got up and left. I played for a bit longer and then cashed out double my starting stack. It felt good to call and be right but I could have easily lost.
I took some photos of the casino.