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Road Trip Part 2: Wild Horses & River Boating

I meant to get this post up yesterday, but work...she ain't agreeing with me. Every time I think I'm gonna have a free moment reality rears it's sarcastic head and laughs in my face. As I mentioned a few posts back, I'm working for two these days and taking a few days to road trip probably didn't help. But damn I wouldn't take it back cause it was a good time.

Since I wrote the last post I have had a little time to think about what I wanted to write. I've also had time to read a few other blogs as well and I'd like to get a few thoughts out of the way before jumping into the road trip.

Things have been strange in this little poker world lately. Sort of a bum feeling across the board. I swear after I finished reading Iggy's most recent post I just didn't know for sure what to think. We all get caught up in reading other peoples feelings and we...let me cut the we stuff...I get caught up in the stories. But inside those stories there is so much more than hits the posts I read. For one, I figured Iggy was having the time of his life and wouldn't change his new lifestyle for anything...only to find that he is checking his options for jobs. Only thing I can say is he needs to do what's best for him. He made some good points about the differences in online poker vs. the Brodie/Phillips style where it's not the end of the world if you drop a $10k buy-in cause you've got a few cool mill in the bank. The jet set life they live is one most of us will never know.

Anyway, I was a bit bummed out after his post, but mainly cause I felt like I was reading someone looking for an answer...I hope he finds it...and if it means a break from us jokers then he needs to do his thing. Drop poker for a while if need be, but I wouldn't suggest dropping the cures what ails ya. As for all the content in his post, damn that was some good stuff. Definite uber post with mucho material.

To continue with the bum mood, I found out that Felicia isn't doing so well. To be honest, I didn't start reading her blog till right after the WPBT Horse event, so I can't say I know much about her. But it's never a good thing to hear about someone who is sick. Just plain uncool. I wish her the best and plan to link her this weekend. That sounds so trivial right now, but more importantly she's in my prayers and maybe my link will get her a few more prayers.

O.K. I'm ready to get into some upbeat stuff. So on to the road trip report...sorry for being a downer earlier. One thing I've thought about for this trip report is that some of you will probably think what I find exciting is pretty damn boring. You see, until this past weekend I had never been to a horse track, a casino (albeit a river boat casino), to Tennessee, Kentucky, or Indiana. But I was able to check all those things off my to do list in life. To tell some of these stories might be blah for some, but we'll see...

Having made it through the rowdy drunkfest of Thursday (St. Patty's Day) and a chill Friday, it was time to break bad on Saturday. To start we decided to bust out of Kentucky and make our way to a horse track in Indiana. The horses were not actually racing there (too cold), but there were satellite feeds at the track so you could place bets on tons of races. The track was much more than I expected and I hated there were no actual live races as that would have been a hoot to watch. Still, I knew there was gambling to be done, and I was on a mission.

Once we got our programs/booklets listing the races, I quickly realized that I was the equivalent of dead money in poker. Yeah I could read the odds, but there were so many factors to consider in horse racing it was ridiculous. I swear there were so many different things in those booklets that I couldn't even get close to explaining. Still I decided that it was not about winning or losing the money, it was about the experience. I had already told myself that the $50 I was walking in the door with was going to be spent one way or another...and if I walked out empty handed, I'd have a smile on my face, beer on my breath, and torn/worthless tickets around my feet. And that's exactly what I did. And damn it was fun.

My average bet was $5 and I played anything from picking an Exacta (the top 2 horses in order), to a Quinnella (top 2 horses any order), to picking the horse to win, place or show. A couple of times my horse or horses were almost there, but I never pulled out a win. My buddy we were visiting managed to win two different $2 bets and walked away from there $60 richer. For us po folks, that was a big win. Prior to one of the races I decided to pick a horse named Archie Manning to show (come in 3rd). I sat down to get ready for the race and just a minute before it started I decided to check out the stats for the horse, jockey, and owner. Something I should have done prior to picking him, but I was just going on a hunch. As for the records...the horse was (0,0,0,0)...uh oh. The jockey was...yep...(0,0,0,0). The owner guessed it... (0,0,0,0). All rookies. I bolted up to the auto pick machine trying to change my pick but it was too late. Unbelievably, that little fucker won. He was quick as shit and I lost the bet cause I picked him to come in 3rd. It was wild.

As for the experience in general, I'm not sure how it works on any given day, but I can safely say I was happy to just be there visiting. You could see the dark side of gambling when looking at some of the people there. A few interesting things I saw/heard while there...while getting a beer, a guy in the line next to me said to the lady getting his beer, "I need that bad, I've been awake for 35 hours straight." She - without a flinch - said, "honey this is the last thing you need", but she still gave him the beer with a smile. Guess the customer is always right. I'm sure he managed to waste his paycheck over the next hour. Another good one was when a guy at the table next to me said, "uh oh, I'm down to singles." I looked at my buddies and just shook my head and laughed. It was time to go...we hadn't even made it to the casino yet...

We made the 10 minute drive to the river boat casino which was neither on the river or a boat. Of course, they were just using the river boat theme as a way to make it legal. But make no mistake, this river boat was going no where. It was a big ass building that was probably built 6 inches out on the river. But what did I care, I was there to gamble.

My buddies were all wanting to soak it in and then head to the craps table. I on the other hand wanted to see what kind of poker action there was. I bid them a fond farewell and booked it down to the ground floor where the tables were. Now I would have been happy to find a small limit table or even a 1/2 NL table, but it didn't look like I was gonna be appeased. Instead, when I asked the lady at the desk what tables were available, she rattled off about 5 different limits that all seemed way over my head. I wasn't there to put more than $100 on the table, so it looked as though I might not be playing. I know that you're probably thinking, what the hell are you doing at a casino only willing to spend $100. Just understand, the purpose of the trip to Kentucky was not to go gambling, but it just happened that we were there. Plus, I had already dropped some dough at the horse track. Still, $100 was in my comfort zone to win or lose at the poker tables. Though I didn't want to lose it, if it didn't work out, I'd still walk away from the table with a smile on my face, beer on my breath, and a check mark next to my to do list in life.

The only limit and game I could even think would work for me was the 5/10 NL she mentioned somewhere in the mix. I asked the min/max and she said 100/500. I plopped my hundy on the table and got my wee stack of chips. It wasn't till I sat down at the table and started to get comfy when l I realized I might be over my head. I looked around the table and there wasn't a stack there less than $400, except for my $100. Most of them had between $500 & $1000 so I must have looked like such a toolbox in that moment. Abut 20 seconds in the guy immediately to my right says to the dealer, "better check this guy out, I don't think he has enough." I'm pretty proud of myself for not crawling in a hole at that point, but instead I - in as nice a way as possible - said, "I'll mind mine, you mind yours." From there on nobody else gave me a hard time.

From the get go there was not much playing around for me. I mean, I only had 10 times the big blind for friggin sake. So if I was getting in a pot, I was probably gonna be pushing...sort of how the pros have been playing on the Poker Superstars. Just close your eyes and push all in with any two cards. Though I didn't do it that way, I did play my hands strong once I was in. My two biggest hands were strangely the same hand. About 30 minutes in - and after getting my stack to about $120 - I pick up AJ hearts. Two people limp and the guy to my right (Mr. Better Check This Guy Out) raises in the small blind to $50. I give it about 5 seconds and then push it all in. To my surprise, since I figured I'd be heads up with the small blind, I watched as the original limper called my bet. Everyone else folded including the small blind. Limper flipped over QQ and when an A came on the flop, I found myself with a healthy stack.

About an hour later my stack had dropped back down to around $140 and the exact same scenario shows up. I have AJ hearts in the big blind and small blind raises me after a few had limped. I again push and this time he is the only caller. He flips over AKoff and now I'm in trouble. That is until the door card is an A and the second is a J. I kept my happiness to myself and I'm glad I did cause I had not realized the 3rd card was a K. Nothing on the turn or river and I was out. I wished everyone well and made my move out...with a smile on my face, beer on my breath, and a check mark on my list of things to do in life. Finally I had played some live casino poker...and I liked what I saw. Yeah I probably over played the last hand, but I managed to play a couple hours starting with a small stack so I wasn't bummed about my play.

The most interesting hand of the night was one I wasn't even in. With only about $100 in the pot and a flop of A Q 3 a guy checks and another guy pushes his whole stack for $803! The original checker went into the think tank for what had to be about 5 minutes and just kept mumbling, "why'd you bet so much...I don't think you've got it." At the time I wanted him to hurry up, though I said nothing. He had about $900 and we were all a bit surprised when - after taking that long - he counted out the $803 and called. The original all in guy had AQ and the caller had AJ. Wow. Not sure what he was doing calling that much with A J. He's beat by so many hands.

After my poker fun I went up to join my buddies at the craps table. Not knowing how to play I was again dead money and gave them a little bit more of my dough as well. We watched an ole timer (see pic below...ole timer on left...lesbian converter on the right) turn $200 into $900 and then roll out which was cool. I think I had my most fun at the craps table, but that's probably cause I was with my boys. I can see how people get addicted to that game. Pretty cool how it works.

After a little more time spent on the boat doing random stuff we headed back to Kentucky. We ended up at a dive bar and proceeded to have a blast dropping some shots, playing some pool, and winning some beers from over zealous pool players. I think we only lost one game to a couple of chodes, but we got our beers worth out of them the next 2 games.

Well I've taken way too much time to write this here post and it's bedtime for me. Thanks for reading and though I have so much more to write, I think it's time to get back to the here and now. I haven't played any online poker lately and will probably deposit some dough into Stars this weekend to get ready for the next WPBT event coming up. I see I'm something like 54th which is just no damn good. I've got my work cut out for me. Laterz.

posted by TripJax @ 3:14 AM,


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