18 December 2005

Gutshot Poker Room Review: British Mule Society

I won't go in chronoligical order, but I'll start with the poker at Gutshot. I got their fairly early, around 6:30 for their 8:00 freezeout (no re-buys). There were a couple of cash games and a couple of satellites, but I decided that I was going to use 100 pounds that I had from an earlier trip (free money). 61 players, with the winner payed something like 1900 pounds. I play solid through four orbits, either taking down pots with pre-flop raises or after the flop if I had callers. Player on my right was younger and inexperienced. He limped with blinds at 100/200, he raises to $800, I re-raise another $1,500, he then comes back over the top, and I have another $1,500. I didn't feel good about AKo, but I couldn't get away from the hand with the pot as it was. I got a queasy feeling when he rolled over ATo, then hit his ten on the flop to send me packing. I was at the Johnny Moss table, but the crazy thing was that it was upstairs in the back of the place, and it was absolutely freezing. I played with my trench coat on, and often had my gloves on between hands. Brutal.

There were three cash games, and I got into a new min 50 pound Pot Limit Hold-Em game. I only had 60 more pounds, so I just bought in for 60. I've never played pot limit before, and I'm both not very good at it nor was I successful. Blinds were 1/2 pounds, and half the pots were raised pre-flop with three-five limpers. I tried to trap with KK once, but no-one stayed with me. I caught two sets after overpairs hit the board and I mucked to flop bets. I tried to tread water, played fairly tight, went through the sixty plus another hundred (I bought back in with dollars, which were gladly taken). Rebought with another hundred when I got down to fifty pounds. Pot Limit is a post-flop game, as well as a reading game. One terrific hand the board was Q98, and this guy got another guy to lay down AA. I had one very bad suckout, with one limper and a raiser and caller, I re-raised for my last 75 pounds with 33 on the button. The blinds folded to the limper, who comes over the top and goes all-in, shutting out the initial raiser. He flips over KK, then I hit a 3 on the flop to double up to 180. Several hands later, I pick up 99 and raise from the button again with two callers. The flop comes 234 with two spades. I bet the pot (twenty I think), the guy to my left raises the pot. I had seen this guy and another guy bet aggressively either putting guys on high cards or pushing them off of big hands. I can't read people (so I'm not going to say I sensed weakness or anything like that), but I felt strongly that I was way ahead and re-raised all-in. He had made the pre-flop call very non-chalantly with a sandwich in his hand (they had brought sandwiches for everyone--it was 5:00AM). They don't show cards, but a 2 came on the turn and a J on the river. I flip over my 99, and he then turns over 2d6d for trip deuces. He backed himself into a corner trying to be aggressive then couldn't get away from the hand, unless he really had me on big cards. I had laid down AQ and AK several times, so who knows. It was a massive pot and knocked me out, probably something like 400 pounds ($680 or so).

The one extremely disturbing thing about the Gutshot: they don't take a rake, they take a service charge of 5% of each pot over some certain level. That is a massive rake (they can't call it that legally, I think). They also tip like their members of the Rat Pack, tipping seven-ten pounds sometimes. I tipped alot better when I played 4/8 vs. 15/30. The standard Bellagio tip is $1 when you take down a pot, although it can move up to 3-5 on a good pot. I've never seen regular $10-20 tips, for sure. Putting aside my buy-in for the tourney, I lost around $450 or so I think. You definitely have to be really solid playing post-flop with pot limit, but I hate that I got knocked out of both the cash game and the tourney with poor calls. The cash game, you just shake your head and move on after plays like that. The tourney was just inexperience.

I got to see my first English Premiership soccer amtch between Fulham and Blackburn at Craven Cottage. It was brutally cold, and it reminded me of a big-time high school football stadium (albeit very old). The concession stands were manned by what looked like Fulham supporters. Costs were very reasonable, and I got a ticket on the 6th row right at midfield, really great. Soccer is similar to the NFL in this way: it is basically organized for the sole purpose of gambling. Soccer is a bit surreal as there is betting right in the stadium, betting on the final score and who the first scorer would be. I never win in sports betting, so I decided it wouldn't be a good idea to start with something I knew almost nothing about.

All in all, still a good day. For those interested, Gutshot can't be compared to any large poker room in the US. It really is what it would look like if your local bar (like Barnacles or the Derby for ATL fans) was a poker room, with no tables for dining, half the size of a Derby (except for the downstairs with six tables). It's 6:30, so I'm not sure if I'll make the Victoria Grosvenor tourney or not. I have to see how I handle the day.


Blogger Mark said...

When you go to Amsterdam on Monday, you should check out Holland Casino. It's close to both the Leidseplein and Museumplein tram stops. When I was there, only two cash games were being spread -- 5/5 euro no limit and 10/20 euro limit. The rakes are atrocious. The games don't start up until early evening. I tried to play one day at 3:30 and no one was there. The action is very good. Good luck!

11:11 AM  

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