19 December 2005

Casino Holland Poker Review: Tiptoe through the Maniacs

I had lofty plans for Sunday (to go to church, play at Victoria Casino), but I went to sleep at 6:30 and didn't wake up until 9:30 at night--a whopping fifteen hours of sleep! I then didn't go back to sleep, working off my Party raked hands for my bonus, then donking off my money in NLHE (I was up $80 then played braindead for ten minutes). I won't go into the personal logistics of the day, but if it wasn't for my bankroll I would have been stranded without any funds.

I arrived in Amsterdam, bought some Euros, then made my way to the Marriott. And it happens to be 300 yards from Holland Casino. I got there at 7:30 (free entrance from the Marriott, regularly 3.60 euros), made my way to the poker room: I think there were maybe six or seven tables, and they were next to that Caribbean Stud Poker game. Anyways, not only is there no game there is no people associated with poker anywhere. I ask, and they tell me the cash game will get started around 8:00. So I railbird the Caribbean Stud Poker and remember why I don't ever want to do table games again. I did watch one guy lose about 300 euros, and he would later join us at the poker table sitting in the 3 seat. There were two games to spread after I found someone: a limit min 200 euro buy-in and a NLHE min 250 max 500 buy-in with blinds of 5/5. I decided to buy into the NLHE for 300 euros and had exchanged $500 for 400 euros (so I had my trusty 100 euro chip in reserve). First hand the Caribbean Stud guy sits down, maybe the second or third hand of the game, there are six callers and the flop comes Js8d5d, The 8s bets 60 euros, the 3s goes all-in for another 480 euros, and the 8s shrugs and turns over Jd2d; 3s has 8h5s. 4d comes on the turn and a blank comes on the river, and just like that I see where this game is headed. It was an absolutely wild ride, with the 8s as the aggressor most of the time, coming over the top with nothing. Often there were either 7 limper or a raiser to 40 and four callers. I was card dead for the first 90 minutes, occasionally limping with off-suit connectors or calling 30 euros with KdQd or Ts9s. I never connected, and I was down to 230 euros. I was then in the small blind, and there were three limpers, a raiser to 40 euros, two callers. I looked down at AJo and figured this was my time to make a stand (the raiser had another 50 euros). The raiser called, the callers deliberated and folded. KT came on the flop with undercards from there, but the raisers AX didn't pair and I was back in the black. I was then later able to come over the top with QQ and take another 200 euros, but I was just praying for some monster hand as people were paying off hands left and right. There were also great bluffs and incredible calls. The 8s ended up losing his entire 2000 euro stack that he accumulated over five hands. The first one, an absolute rock re-raised his re-raise all-in with AA to his QQ (this guy had played a tenth of the hands I'd played, which means he may never have looked at his cards before). The rock then caught QQ and got another guy all-in. The 3s made a stunning all-in call with 22 and two all-in's in front of him (AQo and AKs) and tripled up. I was very proud of my game, as I absolutely could have been sucked into either pretend poker or lowering my standards significantly. Best laydown pre-flop for me was a raise UTG by the 3s of 30 euros and I find AcTc. He ends up with KK and a flop of two clubs, all undercards.

This was action city for sure. The only real downside was the small number of tables (two going) and smoking at the table. Other than that, it's probably worth flying to Holland just to take these guys on. The 3s kept telling me how he would have had a straight if he would have called the 50 euro bet with his 97o, or that he would have paired his five with A5o when I went all-in (I told him if you call that, I'll fly you anywhere in the world to play with me). I'm exhausted, so I'll sign off with that. Up 250 euros, which correlates to some amount of dollars, I'm not sure. But a nice 280 minutes at the Holland Casino.


Blogger Pinky said...

Sorry that I missed your stop in London (The Gutshot is a semi-regular haunt for me). Have a great rest of trip.

11:21 AM  

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