on sunday mornings, hollywood park runs a small buy-in multiple re-buy hold 'em tourney. i had gotten up early in anticipation of playing in a stud hi-low tourney at crystal park, which is advertised in poker digest's tournament schedule. however, crystal park told me that they haven't run this tourney for many, many months. since i was up anyhow....
the hollywood park tourney starts promptly at 11:30 am. there are nine tables set up for the tourney, but each table has at least two or three empty seats. for the $10 + 5 buy-in, you get T200. limits start at 10/20, and the first three levels are 20 minutes each. whenever you get below T200, you can re-buy T800 for $20; you can re-buy T400 for $10 at any time during the first three levels.
i raise with big slick, get a few callers, flop an ace, get raised on the turn, and pay off a guy who made 10s and 9s on the turn. "rebuy!" my table is silent, but pretty soon mr ucla sweatshirt sits down across the table from me and we start talking it up. tables are pretty full by noon. i flop trip 10s and am rivered by a straight. "rebuy!"
the dealers at hollywood park are, in general, good. it's a pretty big place, and not all the dealers can be superstars. however, my tourney dealer, girmay, is either asleep or simply incompetent. at the showdown, one player announces "straight!" but girmay starts to award the pot to a guy with two pair. girmay ignores my request to see an aggressor's mucked hand at the showdown where all bets were equalized. girmay makes several mistakes on side pots, and i haven't the slightest idea why this guy is dealing a tourney.
in the big blind in an unraised pot, i hold 78 of hearts, and flop 6h 9h js. i bet the hand, get called by the worst player, bet the turn of 2c, and check it when the river comes an ace. he had a presto for the winner. "rebuy!" after the third level, you can do a single add-on of T400 for $10, or a double add-on of T800 for $20. i do the double. levels will now go up every 15 minutes.
after the break, i win a big pot with j10 suited; i flop two pair; little blind flopped a pair of aces; ucla flopped an up-and-down; dunno what the other guy had. sb bet; ucla raised; i made it three bets; all call. a jack on the turn filled me up, and they all called the rest of the way. i then re-raise mr aggressor with ace-ten of spades. ucla comes along, too. flop is a red ace and two little spades. bet; raise, and i make it three. they both call. turn is an offsuit deuce. they both check, i bet; ucla calls and mr aggressor leaves. river is a nine, and my kicker is good. :)
at the next break, we are down to 8 tables, and i am one of about 10 chip leaders. my table breaks, and i'm the big stack at my new table. only three or four hands later, and my table breaks again. my new table has several stacks bigger than mine. at 1000/2000, "mexican poker" hat raises all-in. i re-raise with k 10 suited; small blind calls and big blind re-raises. i call; sb calls. flop is 10 9 7 rainbow. sb checks; bb bets; all-in waits; i raise. all call. turn is a king. two checks to me and i bet. sb calls all-in; bb calls. river is a queen, which is just enough to give the sb a gutshot straight (j4 suited). bb had 10 8; we never saw mexican hat's hand. ::::sigh::::
i'm now badly short-stacked; get past the blinds once; and put it all in with a suited king-queen. only the big blind calls. flop is 10 a 3. he had pocket threes and i never got the jack i needed. yup. one jack off, and i go home now.
i head back to the live game area, and put my name on a couple lists. the boardman says, "tiger? tiger123???" it's rick nebbiolo! hiya rick! we chat for a few minutes, and i then wander back to the high-limit area. and who comes walking into the room? none other than the mad genius himself, mike caro! mike tells me that the universal rulebook, long promised by caro, roy cooke and cooke's buddy john bond, will soon be up at the new planetpoker web site, which will be accessed through caro.com. i hope so!
i'm called for a game, and sit down at a 6/12 omaha/8 table. lots of rgp'ers were in the room and heard my name, and i met an awful lot of you today! i won't name names, because i didn't write them all down, and if i make a list, i'd miss some of you. but it was fun talking to all of you! :)
ok. some details of the room. they spread lots of games and lots of limits. on the low side, stud and hold 'em are offered at 1/2, 2/4, 3/6 and 6/12; omaha/8 is offered at 3/6 and 6/12. on the high side, i saw games of stud at 15/30 and 25/50; i saw hold 'em at 10/20, 20/40, and 40/80. $100 bills do play at the highest limits. and, of course, there ain't no smoking in these here parts. :) forward moving button rule is in effect.
in this room, they don't take a rake. the cardroom gets its revenue from a button charge, which increases as the limits increase. at 6/12, the button charge is $4. so, each round costs a player the little blind of $2, the big blind of $6 and the button charge of $4. it costs one full big bet every round. :( i never got to play at the stud tables, but i suspect that, at 6/12, each player antes $1 and they take $4 from the antes for the drop.
i can't believe how they play omaha/8. i see players raising and re-raising with hands i automatically muck. one player (middle-aged asian woman, dressed in expensive clothes) plays every hand. she's crushing everyone at the table except one guy (muscular black man, about 30, shaved head, t-shirt, doesn't put down his cellular phone), who plays the most amazing hands. i saw him call a raise in middle position with 6 7 8 9 rainbow, and scoop the pot with the bottom end of a straight. later, i call his raise, holding kq suited; kj suited. the flop is 10 a j with two diamonds (not my suits). he bets; i raise; he calls. the diamond nine got there on the river, and he won the pot with jd 4d 8h 7c. this guy must have had at least $900 in chips in front of him. i drop a couple stacks and book it. some days you win and some days you lose. ::::sigh::::
i'm only going to be here a few more days, and there are lots of other clubs to visit! :)