Aside from the layoff during March Madness, I've been playing a *lot* of poker lately. Normally, I prefer to play the 1-2 no-limit game, but a couple of weeks ago, when funds were pretty light, I took a hundred bucks with me and sat down at the kiddie table and played 4-8 all night. Well, that was an eye-popping experience, as since that time I've taken almost a thousand bucks off of that game (in addition to the almost $800 I got as a player share when the jackpot hit a couple of weeks ago).
People are starting to think of me as being a limit-game player only, but that's not the truth. The truth is, I found a way to beat the game at night, so I'm going to keep sitting in until the money train stops running. During the day, the limit game *is* damn near unbeatable, only the house wins. But at night, when there are a bunch of drunks and regular 'calling station' type players at the table, I feel like a very big shark in a very small Koi pond. It is extremely beatable, and I just sit there and play dumb and nod my head in agreement whenever people talk about how you can't beat a limit game. And on the inside, I'm thinking to myself Y'all just keep on talkin' and call yourself broke.
It's all about game selection--I'll probably never play in the old guys' limpfest game in the morning ever again. It's such a tight game that the rake takes away all of the potential profit. But at night, when I come in and see a table with four or five truly horrendous players sitting in the game, plus another guy who plays every night, who is solid, but plays much too tightly, then I can't wait to get a seat.
Not only have I been playing very well and minimizing my mistakes, but I'm getting pretty damn good at reading the other players. More often than not, I *know* when they don't have anything, and I *know* when I'm beat. Just last night I laid down pocket Kings with a fairly blank board, knowing I was up against trips after the flop. When I showed it to my opponent, he flipped out like Teddy KGB in Rounders.
Lays down a monster... YOU SHOULD HAVE PAID ME OFF!!!
Heh. I felt pretty good about that one.
Not that I'm some kind of pro or anything, but I can tell that I've made the jump, so to speak, and now that particular game is a positive expectation for me every time I show up. I was playing so well the other night that in the seven hours I was sitting at the table, I made exactly five misplays all night long. I knew them immediately and could identify them, and at the end of the night, I felt like I was playing about as well as I possibly could.
Having bad players in the game helps, too. A few times now, I've said to myself that I'm not leaving this table until Player A and Player B have gone broke, and as long as they keep re-buying, I'm still gonna keep going after them. It's worked so far. I just hope that I can keep it up, because working two nights a week is a tough way to make a living, but pulling an extra $500+ a week off of the table sure helps the bottom line.
Speaking of work, there is some good news on the horizon. There are three graveyard shift dealers on the extra-board in my poker room. The guy with the most seniority gets three days a week, and me and the other guy only get two days a week, and since I'm the bottom of the totem pole, I'm scheduled on Monday and Tuesday. Sucks, I know, but it beats dealing in the pit. (Plus, I get the random call-ins, too, so I still manage to eek out a living). Anyhow, the other dealer with only two days a week is leaving next week for at least 90 days--his visa or passport or something expired and he has to leave the country for awhile, so I'll pick up at least one more scheduled night per week, and I think it might actually be worked out so every other week I get four nights on the schedule. That would be ideal. We'll see how it goes.
Also, I've also had my time off approved in June to participate in a World Series of Poker bracelet event. I'm going to play in the first one, the Casino Employee's No Limit Tourney. It turns out that my boss is also taking vacation on those days and we'll be playing in the same event. (She made it to the final table last year, too). Anyhow, I've wanted to play in that thing ever since I've been here, but this year is the first time that it's gonna actually happen. If I happen to cash, then I'll probably play in another $2000 or maybe a $1500 event also, later in the Series. If not, well, at least I'll have a good story to tell--one much more interesting than cold-decking Teen Beat cover boys in a low-stakes limit game...