Thursday, January 25, 2007


It was another day and another venue.  Rather than hit up the Horseshoe again, we decided that the Gold Strike would be our destination.  Frankly, I prefer the Strike.  Automatic card shufflers in each table to speed up the game as well as ceramic chips that stay much cleaner than their clay counterparts make for a better poker experience in this player’s opinion.  Due to conflicting wake up schedules, G-Rob and I arrived first.  Apparently, TheMark is a heavy sleeper.

There’s no cap at the Gold Strike NL tables, even for $1/$2.  When I sat down at my table, nobody was very deep, so I bought in for $300.  I hovered between up and down $100 for hours it seemed.  Eventually, Maudie sat to my left ready for some more $1/$2NL, feeling good about her play from the previous night.  I watched her catch some cards and outplay a few folks in the process.  Yours truly included.

I’m sitting there, just having been dealt 89d and about four people see the T7x flop.  I’m open-ended and decide to lead out.  Maudie and the player to my right call.  The turn is an 8, pairing me up and still leaving me open-ended.  I lead out again for a bit more and still both players call.  There’s no flush draw on the board so I have to put each player squarely on holding a 9 at this point.  The river is a J and I’ve hit my straight.  Finally, the player to my right leads out for about ½ the pot and I’m confident we’re splitting.  I smooth call, which looking back was perhaps a mistake.  Frankly, I didn’t anticipate what happened next.  Maudie raised 4x the bet.  I immediately put her on Q9 for the nuts.  I was immediately wrong.  When the player to my right called, I folded.  I figured there was no way she’d raise that much without the nuts against two other players.  Well, like I said, I was wrong.  They each tabled A9 and K9 suited respectively and split the pot.  I got outplayed there for sure.  Ni han, sir, ni han.

So I’m sitting there hovering around my initial buy-in and by this point Maudie had about quadrupled up.  I’ll confess to having stack envy at times at the tables in G-Vegas.  There’s nothing like having the $1k stack at a $200 buy-in game, and when either G-Rob, TheMark, Otis or GucciRick are sitting behind one, I’m certainly envious as I’m sure they are of me when the situation is reversed.  But in this case, for Maudie, I was simply flat-out happy for her.  She’s good people and was playing very, very well.

An older gentleman sat down with a huge stack of $100’s and only but a few red bird chips in front.  I would guess he had perhaps fifteen of those bills stacked oh so neatly behind his lonely, single chip stack.  Maudie was the big blind and flat called the gentlemen’s preflop raise.  The flop was AKQ and Maudie led out for $40.  She was min-raised to $80.  Still with about $700 behind, she went all in.  This time, I was exactly correct about her hand.  That size bet on that size pot says one thing, “I have TJ for the nuts.”  Apparently, the older gentlemen was hard of hearing because he insta-called and tabled AQ for two-pair.  The turn brought a King just to scare Maudie a bit, but she sweated the river and took down a $1600 pot.  Stack envy indeed.

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