Life is a puzzle, and for many years, its easy to get trapped trying to solve it - rather than go with the flow, and enjoy it.
We have many demands placed upon us - which can be hard to ignore - but, I don't think u can under-emphasise, u need to do what makes u happy.
As one gets older, the rigour of travel, is less of an enjoyment - and certainly now, I prefer to be less mobile.
Poker has a lot of what I am looking for : Its a gamble, with a cast full of characters, looking to solve a puzzle, for money.
This weekend, I was able to play :
Normally I play at a certain casino - but, after a 30 minute drive, got there to discover, the poker room was being used for a private poker event - so, was turned away. I went to the blackjack pit, got the normal shit service (no one says hello, says fuck-all actually), so, I played in the same fashion, and when cashed out, and they asked for my name, picked up my chips, and left.
Drove to another place, and was lucky to find a seat at a $2/5 table. Just the one game going .. its was early Saturday afternoon, and would maybe only get 4 tables, later that evening.
The table was reg heavy .. many of which I knew, would be happy to see me .. but, was not in the mood to blast off my chips.
I bought in for $500, which was about average.
Maybe an hour in, the regs were starting to ask themselves, what was going on. I was resolutely folding out of position, just playing position, with hands of decent quality. In poker, its definitely an advantage to get premium hands, but, just as big an advantage, is position, and knowing what range of hands, both your opponents have, and what they perceive u to have.
A female lady reg, whose range is decent pocket pairs, and maybe suited connectors, got her AA cracked by a set of 7's, and left. She would be important later.
I was playing solid, good poker .. but, generally in the 1st 3 hrs or so, seeing few playable hands.
As the afternoon past into evening, the game attracted some new characters. On my immediate left, was a tight elderly dunnit merchant, who had zero chance of winning. After playing poorly to lose 2 buy-ins, he borrowed a 3rd, from someone at the table .. which surprised me a little, as thought the person loaning the money, would know better. He later blew this off, shoving A♦K♠, into a board of Q♥ 7♥ 6♠ .. which shows u etc. I later saw him in the salon prive, sitting next to a guy, with maybe $20k, watching that guy play blackjack. Maybe another loan beckoned.
There were 2 supposed 'whales' who might play/donate at my game, but so far, they had escaped the net - preferring to play baccarat.
The female lady reg returned, with a v solid reg, who I really respected, to her immediate left. They knew each other, and generally slow-played against each other, which was fine.
A short while later, I picked up Q♦8♦ in late position, which I decided to make a small raise with, and the lady reg, in BB called. Just the 2 of us. The flop came Q♥8♠9♣ and u would think, this would be good. But, as I say, she just plays a v narrow range .. so, when she raised my continuation bet, I folded and showed the table (which u shouldn't do, but, I was there to have fun). The table was frankly stunned, but, it was a good fold, as she had me coolered, with Q♣9♦. Now, this isn't a suited connector, so, am not totally sure why she was still in the hand -- but, still.
Maybe 15 mins later, I get my first premium hand, in 4 hrs. K♦K♠, and decided to flat in early position, hoping for a check-raise situation, as the table was seeing a lot of raises. Sure enough, a reg in seat 5 raised, the lady reg called, and I re-raised. All other fold, but, the lady reg, who again called.
Flop came Q♦5♥4♠ .. pretty good for my Kings .. but she can definitely have QQ, or maybe AA. I put out a decent bet, and she comes over the top, with a big raise. I felt totally in the zone, and put her 100% on AA, so again folded my KK - face up. The table was again, stunned - but, was proved right when she showed her hand. If she had flat-called, she would have got all my chips, but, the raise, told me enough, to get away.
This stellar play, was all good, but, u want to get paid for playing well. I was now seeing cards, and picked up KK again, UTG+2. My raise, was re-raised, by a v solid pro, in mid-position, and either I could shove, or, see a flop, and if no A hit, then shove, as our stacks meant, we would have little choice. The flop came K 4 10, and was lucky to have out-drawn his AA. This gave me a v playable stack, when a whale came back from the baccarat, and sat down with $1k.
The very first hand, I picked up 9♦9♠ in the BB, and with a straddle on, it was pricey to call a raise from the whale, but, decided I had enough to get well-paid if a 9 hits the flop.
Sure enough, the flop comes J♦9♥5♠, and the whale shoves all-in, for about $750 effective (my stack). I called, and his A♦A♣ never improved.
Winning, maybe $1000 .. I decided to quit, and take a walk in the salon prive. As I was walking round, there was a commotion at the 3 card poker table .. a Chinese high-roller, had hit the straight flush jackpot, for $80k .. must be nice .. He handed out high-fives .. I would have preferred $100 notes, but, maybe that's being unrealistic.
It was a fun visit.