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Tulsa Poker

July 31, 2009

On business in Tulsa.  It turns out there are two very nice casinos within 15 minutes of the city.  When I arrive…errrr…very late I bee line for Cherokee casino.  It turns out that in three days it will be Hard Rock Casino Tulsa.  I almost drive past the huge building because the signage has already been changed.

Apparently the Cherokee used to host Scotty Nguyen’s tourney.  Ever since his 50k final table it has just been a poker tourney.  The poker room is big, with around 35 tables though there were three 1/2 NLHE games going on what the regulars hailed as a big thursday.

The play was very familiar 1/2 play, with the regular mix of players, except they might have had a few extra seniors at Cherokee.  I’m pleased to say that I think I played excellently.  After a while I did whittle my original $300 stack down to 100, by taking a few bad beats and making a few marginal calls (like getting it in on a 9 high flop against a good LAG with JJ).  The big turning point came near what had to be the end of my session– daybreak was coming and I had to get to the customer site.  I had grinder a big stack at the table of about 750, my opponent in this hand and I had been playing pots all night and he had me barely outchipped. In late position, I called 2 straddle-limpers with KK because I know this player behind me is virually certain to raise.  He did, to 35.  The limpets fold.  I go ahead and repop to 120.  He flat calls.  Flop comes KQ6 rainbow.  I work hard to calmly count out 150 (which I suspect could look like a cbet since I probably cbet 90% of all heads up pots).  He thought for a bit, based on his action I put him on TJ or AQ.  Eventually he shoved and of course I called with the current nuts.  He tables AT for the gutshot.  My set holds and I scoop my largest pot to date at around $1,550!

I put 500 on that table and left with 1600 and some change.  Not only that, but the table was full of some other music lovers and we had a blast making top 5 lists of artists by time period and genre (top 5 all time rock/pop acts: beatles, who, stones, zeppelin, rush with shout outs to the kinks, u2, aerosmith and pink Floyd.). One dealer, Paco, directs me to the Port City Diner (just on the other side of the highway) and I have an excellent country fried steak breakfast.  My day is going awesome.

My customer engagement ends a bit early.  I’m still riding super high from my big take at the Cherokee and I have an hour and a half to kill before I have to get to the airport.  I decide to make my way to River Spirit Casino, a sparkling new casino.  The whole casino is beautiful, including the poker room.  I get right into a game and chip up immediately thanks to the dealer giving me AA and JJ in the first two hands.  Though here’s where things change.  My $200 buy in is already $300.  There are 5 player who called the $5 straddle.  I have As 3s on the button.  Flop comes 334 rainbow.  Loose player opens for $10.  Tight player re-pops to  $35.  I don’t have a lot of respect for this player based on what I’ve seen from him so far.  I go ahead and repop to $110 and he thinks hard talking himself into shoving for about 180.  I said “you know I call and what I have”. He says “not a 3”.  I said “well then what?” and he says “two overs or a pocket pair” and then he flips 77.  What an idiot.  He’s only beating me if I re-popped him with a bare 4, two high cards (which I’ve shown I will raise with preflop) or a pocket pair worse than 7s.  Nice cars reading.  Of course, I’m only upset because he spiked a 7 on the river.  I didn’t have much time left and could only manage to chip up to a $75 loss for the session.  I shouldn’t play short sessions like that if I can help it.  Either way I got it in good.  I’m Sklansky-buck rich.  

Not how I wanted to end what was a great trip, but oh well.  I took over 1500 out of the Tulsa poker economy.  I’m glad to be playing well because I’ll be in Vegas for work next week (one of the largest casino companies is a customer, so I need to go out and help their technical team and stay on the strip for 3 days next week).  The week after i’ll be in montana again.  So I have a lot of hours of live poker coming up.  

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