16 June 2006

Argosy Casino Trip Report

Trip report, then a few other things. Linda Johnson, WPT tourney announcer, presided when the the poker room opened at Argosy three weeks ago. The Argosy is on the Ohio River, about twenty minutes from the Cincinnati airpot and an hour from Dayton. Louisville's Caesar's is a bigger room, but this will turn into a no-brainer for the greater Cincy area. Non-smoking king room with about a 30" plasma TV: $69/night at the hotel. This is a riverboat casino in a very small town, so you have to go to the bottom floor to get to the poker room. Just be certain to keep walking past the blackjack tables (-EV). I stopped by at 11:30 on my way to my lunch appointment, and they were about to start their daily noon tourney. I got back around 5:30, and there were eleven tables running. I had interviewed the Poker Room Manager for an article (formerly World Poker Open tourney director in Tunica), so I put my name on several lists: $4/8, 6/12, 1/3NLHE, and interest list for the $10/20. Even though the room was only three weeks old, it was already filled with regulars. 5% college kids, 10% college age kids who didn't seem to go to college, 20% middle-aged old farts, 50% retirees, and 5% ladies (NOTE: percentages may not add up). They had only one real annoyance: cash doesn't play, you can't buy chips from the dealer, you have to run your own chips. I asked a dealer, and this is due to some sort of paperwork problem that caused this policy to be implemented for some period (it means no one in the poker room handles money, is what I can gather).

I got the $4/8 game first. There was a rapper/new Vanilla Ice looking guy in the 2s (I'm in the 4s), and a horrific donkey guy my age to my left with his lady behind him. He was horrible, played sooted stuff, caught runner-runner two pairs, a great guy to follow around. He heard someone say $10/20 table, and I knew that this is a guy I wanted to befriend, fly around the country whenever I travelled. I don't think he ever hurt me, but there were some brutal beats. I was up $70 or so when I got moved to the $6/12 and they said the $10/20 seat was about to open. I sat down at the $6/12 table and played a couple orbits, treading water until I got called for the $10/20. I had just folded my blinds and had the button, decided to look down at one more hand, where I saw two black aces. Limpers, and I raise the button with three or four callers. Long story short, everyone stays until the end when a 8 hits, making the board 67398. Of course I come in about seventh place vs a T6, a 57, and a 98 that all stayed to the end of my betting.

$10/20 was something else. No hand histories but a few big pots: older African-American lady capped it out of the sb with Th7h, caught her trip 7 on the river (six players saw the capped flop, and I'm not sure if anyone got out). Raises were gladly called or re-raised by eight or nine players (the tenth would be yours truly, mucking my 93o regularly). One of my better lines that I like to use, which was true: "I wish I could get better cards, then I could start playing tight." I started jumping in, calling three bets with Tc8c and catching two pair on the flop to crack aces (six callers). I mainly folded and watched all the elder statesmen, as at 41 I'm pretty sure I was the youngster at the table. This one guy older than my grandfather would play baby aces and catch them on the river every time. Crazy, crazy stuff for these guys. It would have been stereortypically normal if I was surrounded by WPT wannabes, but all these middle aged to old farts pounding bets indiscrimantly at the pot was just something else. I ended up +$270 for the session and ended around midnight or so.

ADDENDUM: For a review of the Argosy, go to this article I did for PokerWorks.

I'm planning to use the letter to your Congressman at Poker Players Alliance. Poker would take a huge step backwards if H.R. 4777 passed, and this may also be a precursor to broader changes with the web that would not help us at all. Jump in as well.

Played a Party MTT last night, 1300+ signing up. I made it to the 500 mark or something, then got crippled with ATs and top pair getting called by KTs, who then caught the king on the turn. Had a bout of shoulda's where I layed down 99 to a raise and an all-in which was around my stack (AJ vs. AQ, and the 9 hit on the river), as well as didn't call to an all-in when my M was about 5 (Qh9h; eventually, two people did call his all-in, and the baby pairs and AJ would have lost to my flopped Q with a runner-runner flush). Played some NLHE and $5/10 afterwards, playing much too loose in the limit and hitting some good hands with gapped suited connectors vs. set over set, again vs. TPTK).

No Friday's recipe today. I'm headed to the mountains of G-Vegas this afternoon/evening, then will sneak back here some time. I'll probably get some golf in and not sure about poker, we'll see. Have a good weekend, and I'll catch up Monday.

ADDENDUM: A few things regarding the World Cup. I'm pulling for England as my sentimental favorite, so yesterday's result was great on so many fronts. To see Rooney running on the pitch was pretty special. He looked 80% or so, not necessarily ready for his all-out runs consistently (but a heck of a lot better than Ronaldo). Gerrard and Lampard were brilliant; a bit more finishing and they would have been up 6-0. I'm not a huge Crouch fan, but he's a tireless worker, which I am a fan of. People knock Beckham, and I've always just loved him. I love him as captain and I love him as a player. Is he the best midfielder around? Hardly. Is he great at what he does? Absolutely. He is the John Stockton or John Elway of soccer, able to put a ball wherever he wants from thirty yards away. I am hoping that England and Germany avoid one another for the next round.

Now to the US. I've written a bunch of stuff in the comments section of Matt Matros' soccer blog, and he hasn't deleted it which is nice. The mass sports media, who don't really know soccer, jumped too high with expectations coming into this World Cup. Having to play the Czech Republic and Italy is a tall order for anyone, no question. The US coach, Bruce Arena, coached at Chapel Hill for many years, and he would regularly listen to Dean Smith, Coach K, and other great coaches who made their way through. Somewhere in the midst of SI covers, a top five FIFA ranking, and press conferences, we believed that we had arrived in soccer. Our hope lies in always knowing that we haven't arrived but that through effort and cohesion we can play with anyone on any given day. We have no depth when it comes to US Soccer, and our US Team, realistically, is a group of aspiring players. We've had strong keepers in recent years, but beyond that we haven't had world class or great players. I posed this question in Matt's comments so I'll put it here as well? Who on our team would start for one of the top ten teams in the World Cup? I'll pick England as it is the easiest for me. Maybe Keller, and that would be it. Would anyone else make the team? I can't imagine it. How many of England's castaway's would be starting for against vs. Italy? Sol Campbell? Check. Wright Phillips, Dafoe, on and on you could plug our holes. Does that mean McBride isn't great? I love Brian McBride, because he had a comfortable existence in the MLS but went to Fulham at a not so young age, fought and clawed to get in the lineup, fought and clawed every minute he played at Craven Cottage (Fulham never actually plays away from home, but that is another matter). I hope Beasely works through this tough time as I applaud him for doing the same at PSV. Landon Donovan, our poser boy, I have no time for. He gets pulled back to Leverkusen, the team that he was under contract to, he can't adjust and doesn't play, then he runs back to the MLS where he can be a star. Ask Michael Owen if he isn't a better player or person for his stay at Real Madrid, and I can guarantee his answer would be yes.

Do we have a chance against Italy? I think we have a chance, but I don't think we'll get a result. I hope I'm wrong. Our guys don't need to step up, they don't need to play above themselves, but they do need to work relentless, run until they drop, focus on defense first and foremost for the first third of the game, then service McBride if he's in the lineup.

Again, if you aren't watching any of the World Cup and you are a sports junkie, go out this weekend to your nearest bar and take in at least one game. France-Korea on Sunday will be absolutely entertaining, and Brazil-Australia right after church will be great as well. And there is Italy-US Saturday. For country and glory.

ADDENDUM2: This just in--Argentina is the team to beat. This is an absolute clinical, beautiful team to watch, and there is no way I'm doing anything on 21 June at 3PM other than watching Argentina-Holland.


Blogger JvilleWhip said...

Enjoyed the trip report. Who knew donkeys were bred specific to that area of the country. Learn something new every day. I must say though, a little surprised there was THAT much calling on the 10/20. Not overly surprised...but am wondering if it has anything to do with the new factor of the card room.

1:37 PM  
Blogger Ignatious said...

wish i had gotten out there to meet ya - figures the only day this week i wasn't there - you showed.

you captured the essence of the 10.20 game very well. no fold em indeed.

2:01 PM  
Blogger cc said...

Adam, it's probably worth driving if you ever get within 400 miles of it. I'd defer to IGGY on the new room factor.

IGGY, we'll bump into each there I'm sure. I have a client in Florence, KY, so Argosy will be my hotel of choice whenever I visit. I'll give you more of a heads-up. Didn't get into a NLHE game (tried to play different stuff to get a feel for the game). The Poker Room Manager is big on PLO, so I think that will be a big game there as well. Thanks for stopping by, and have a good weekend.

2:08 PM  
Blogger F.J. Delgado said...

Sounds like a fun and active poker trip, sometimes you see some asinine play at loose 10/20 tables.

As for your World Cup thoughts, you're spot on. The U.S. is in trouble against Italy and I think we would be fortunate just to get a draw.

I terms of U.S. players good enough to play for the powerhouses, I would hope that Claudio Reyna would be good enough to man the midfield for one of those teams... a healthy Reyna is pretty damn solid.

4:50 PM  
Blogger The Poker Enthusiast said...

The thing about Beckham is that every thing does seems to be without effort. The game looks easy to him and thus he seems to be lazy on the field at times. In reality, I think his fluid play cause this misconceotion and that in fact, he only uses what he needs to use to get the job done.

His ability to place the ball to a spot with the right pace is outstanding.

8:54 AM  

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