Tiger Tours the Tables - bay101, san jose, california


bay 101 is in san jose, just off route 101, known as the bayshore parkway. hence the name. duh.....

the club's trademark are the dolphins, whose statues frolic and spout water in an artistic creation in front of the club. the room is separated into two sections: asian games are on the left side and poker is on the right side. they've got about 30 tables of poker, ranging from 2/4, 3/6, 4/8, and 6/12 hold 'em to medium limits spread on the far right side of the room. they offer omaha/8 at 4/8, and they were even spreading 7-card stud at 4/8. there is one signup board for low limits and another for higher limits. they run a full tourney schedule. props are identified by prominent badges.

the room is bright and airy, and there is lots of room between the poker tables for food service tables. although club rules nominally prohibit sweaters and kibitzers, there are lots of non-playing persons hanging around the gaming area.

i'm seated almost immediately at a new must-move 4/8 omaha/8 with a half-kill. i see 2-3-4-4 with two spades for the first hand i play, which is a kill pot. the killer acts in turn. i'm one off the button and join six other limpers. the flop comes down k - 5 - 4 - and they're all diamonds. it's checked to me and i bet it. two callers. the turn pairs the king. the killer bets and i'm the only caller. the river is a ten, and he bets again. i call. he turns over the winner: k 10 q 3. ::::sigh:::: i wait until the blinds go all around, and play an (a2 suited; kq suited) on the button in another kill pot. the flop is 4 - 5 - 4. it's checked to me, and i bet. three callers. the turn is a five; all check. the river is a jack, and i lose the hand to the killer (same guy) who had pocket tens. ::::sigh::::

i'm then moved to the main game, which is almost as nutty. i lose another big hand, and find myself down two racks of blues in my first twenty minutes. but i settle down, and get it all back in the next hour. then, the guy from the other game (the guy who had beaten me twice) is moved to the main game. he's on my right. i love it! :) as soon as he sits down, he asks for a seat change, and gets it ten minutes later. he moves to my left. i don't need this....i pick up and cash out even for the session.

i put my name on the stud list, and wander around. i am delighted to find a stack of bay 101 rulebooks sitting on a counter! i pick one up, and browse through it. it's a terrific rulebook! it carries a date of 1995, but they must have been out of them when i was here last in 1997, 'cuz i have never seen this rulebook before. the boardman refers me to supervisor susan. she doesn't know who was responsible for the rulebook, but refers me to manager stan seif. i chat with stan for a few minutes, and learn that the rulebook was the result of many many hours of agony and negotiation among the various senior staffers who opened the club, including jan bowman. it took them more than a year before they were satisfied with a final product.

as i'm talking with stan, my name is called for a new must-move stud game, and we walk over to the table together. i'm telling stan about my trip and rgp, when a man i've never met comes up to us and asks me "are you tiger?" i tell him yes, and ask him for the secret word. "presto!" and he wins a jacket!! it's a long-time rgp lurker, whom i'll call "cal" since that's not really his name! all right!! wtg cal!! :) cal is a software engineer (not really surprising here in silicon valley), who lives in nearby garlicville. he doesn't play very high stakes, and he doesn't have to - he just loves the game of poker. all right, cal!

my stud game is populated by six maniacs, a fish, and your dauntless reporter. somehow - somehow! - i managed to win a rack of blues in this insane game, and i ran for my life. ;) typical hand: bring-in starts the action; the maniac on my right raises with a four; i re-raise with pocket rockets. not one player folds. woman to my left pairs her door king on fourth street and bets (the smaller limit). three callers and maniac on my right raises after getting a suited five. i muck. the kings continue to bet, and the guy to my right continues to raise. the woman really did have three kings, and the guy to my right was betting a rather dead gutshot straightflush draw. one thing about this game: players didn't hesitate to comment upon other hands held by other players, whether they were in the pot or not. apparently, this is an accepted practice in this club. but i'd had enough action for one day.

here's some of the usual stuff: cash doesn't play. they use the forward moving button rule. dealers are pretty good and keep their own tips. at the stud game, everyone antes $1, and they take $4 for the drop as soon as 3rd street is dealt. at the lower limit hold 'em games, the button charge is $3. at the omaha game, the button charge is $4. the room is fairly quiet, and i didn't hear anything from the asian games. food is cheap.

i bought myself a souvenir baseball cap, and booked the session.

i think it'll be casino san pablo tomorrow, and lucky chances on wednesday, for their morning stud tourney. it's almost a sin to play poker on turkey day, but you're gonna find me at that screwy 9/18 stud game at the oaks next friday!! :)

stay tuned!