Tiger Tours the Tables - gold strike, sams' town, grand - tunica

10/20 wednesday

this trip report has a surprise ending. };)

i'm playing 1-5 stud at the gold strike. at my table is ed, a gray-haired gentleman of about 55-60, gray beard, wire-rimmed glasses, about six feet tall, medium build. i've seen him in the room yesterday, and he's still wearing his "vietnam veteran" baseball cap. he's retired, and lives in an rv. originally from michigan, he has post office boxes in memphis, tennessee, el paso, texas, mesquite, texas, and boulder, colorado. he's a quiet, self- confident, educated and articulate individual who just doesn't have a real "home." he's complaining that his bankers, who (so he says) make half of what he earns, won't loan him money because he doesn't have a permanent mailing address other than four p.o. boxes. ed isn't a very good poker player, but he's a helluva nice guy.

this is in contrast to "ice cream doug" who is at my table when i move to the 3/6 omaha/8 game. doug is from st. louis, and he claims to have seen me walking around station casino last week with my green notebook. doug has nothing good to say about vito, the day manager of the station casino cardroom, so doug immediately makes my list. yeah, you know the list. he doesn't stop talking, and he doesn't stop talking trash. but i don't say anything. i just watch his stack of some 200+ white chips dwindle down to about 40.... i lose $9 in three hours.

it's time to go to sam's town! i've got a date!

newjane1 is a delightful brunette with glasses and an apparently unlimited supply of energy! from jumping up from her seat behind a stack of whites (she tells me she's stuck, but i don't believe it) in a 4/8 hold 'em game, to giving me a big hug, to calling her husband bruce, to arranging comps for the chicken 'n' ribs buffet, all while carrying on a non-stop conver- sation that goes in at least three different directions! jane is terrific!! we get to the buffet. bruce joins us after a few minutes. he's about six feet tall, balding, glasses, with a big booming laugh that springs from his ever-smiling face at least once a minute! what a great couple!!

after dinner, jane and i are seated at the same 1-5 stud game at sam's town. the room has about ten tables, both stud and hold 'em. generally, they only seat 7 players at a stud table. the rake is 10% max of $4 - hold 'em rake is 10% max of $3. on weekends, when they spread a game of 10/20 or above, the rake maxes out at $2. cash plays. they have bad beat jackpots, plus an hourly "spin to win" bonus giveaway. the seats next to the dealers are not no-smoking. this poker room has no rulebook available for players, and the supervisor on duty didn't know the origin of their rulebook. there is free coffee, soda, hot dogs, chips, and sometimes popcorn available in the room. of course, the decor of the place is the old west, and the murals on the walls depict various poker games in progress.

jane sure likes to play! she's in a hand and makes a running pair of tens. "woohoo!" awwww....nobody calls her bet. :( it doesn't faze her one bit! "i missed my calling! i'm going to become a professional stud player!" a few hands later, one old geezer pairs his door. jane laments, "oh...he's got a pair of queens!" but she calls anyhow.... :( i win a few whites, and say goodbye to my old friend whom i've just met. we hug and promise to meet again at barge 2000. :)

let's check out the grand casino, located at the north end of town. oh, what a magnificent complex! it's got an rv park, a convention center, a kiddie world park, and a *huge* casino! and it's got two or three separate hotels! the poker room is on the second floor of the casino, and is set off by floor- to-ceiling glass walls. it's quiet and not smoky. they've got 15 tables, and have three 1-5 stud games, two 2-5-10-10 hold 'em games, and one 5/10 omaha/8 game with full kill in progress. i'm on the stud and omaha lists. the room runs a $5 + $15 rb hold 'em tourney on tuesdays at noon, and a similar omaha/8 tourney thursdays at noon. this room also offers coffee, soda, hot dogs, etc. they've got bad beat jackpots. the rake on the flop games is 10% to a maximum of $3 - i didn't get the rake for stud. the dealers are pretty good in this room.

after waiting for almost an hour, i decide to take an empty seat at the 2-5-10-10 hold 'em game. the blinds are 1 and 2, and the bets are spread limit up to $5 before the flop. the flop is spread limit of 2-5, and the bets on the turn and river are spread limit of 2-10.

yes, folks. tiger does play hold 'em.

i raise with big slick in late position. nobody calls. i raise with kings in middle position, get one caller and a re-raiser. i make it three bets, and we're three-handed. flop's got a king and i bet it. two calls. i bet the turn and the hand is over. i call with a suited jack-ten on the button and flop k q 9, two hearts (not my suit). checked to me, and my bet gets three calls. offsuit jack on the turn. checked to me, and nobody calls my bet. i raise with a suited slick in late position, and get four callers. i flop an ace. one bad player calls my bet on the flop and on the turn. the river makes four clubs (not my suit). checked to me and i show it down. my kicker's good. i'm on the button with pocket sevens. six people limp. the little blind raises, and four people call in front of me. i call. the flop is 9 8 7 rainbow. checked all the way to me - i bet, and the little blind check-raises. one caller in front of me and i call. turn is a four. little blind: "i bet my straight," and he puts in ten blue chips. i call. "damn! you must have a set!" the river is another four; he checks and pays off my full house.

hey! keeping notes of hold 'em hands is a cinch.

yes, folks. surprise! tiger does play hold 'em.

2.5 hours = +$130. };)

vicksburg, mississippi, here i come!