Gaming – A visit to the commerce
I was in California last week and made a point driving up “The 5” (Interstate 5) to the Mecca of the Poker World – The Commerce Hotel/Casino. It advertises itself as “The World’s Largest Poker Casino” and WHEW – it was huge!
Officially, there are more than 240 poker tables on site and they spread more limits of Texas Hold’em than any other poker room in the world with a wide range of limits. The LA Poker Classic was going strong while I was there so I am sure that added even more tables.
I saw an amazing hand just as I walked into the big tournament room, Event 25 was in progress (a $340 No Limit Hold’em Double Stack) and as I walked up one player had pocket 3’s while another had pocket Q’s. The flop came 3 – 3 – 9, giving one player quads and another the over pair. All the money went in and the turn brought a Q with the river dropping the last available Q for quad 3’s being beat by quad Q’s. WOW – no jackpot either.
I then went down and signed up for the $20 – $40 game, quickly getting a seat. Now, this is my game – a bit more fitting to my bankroll than the $30 – $60 ½ kill and / I didn’t know anyone – beautiful! I bought in for $400 and settled in.
One surprise right off the bat – a player has to post here, no matter if a new player or not. Colorado is unique (from my experience) that the rooms will allow a player to come in after the button for free. I am for posting (no free cards) – just makes sense and keeps the cost for all players the same.
My first hand was the hand Doyle Brunson has said he simply won’t play, the A – Q off suit. I called $20 in middle position and saw a flop 4 way of Kh – 10s – 4h. There was a bet and a raise in front of me and I chose to let it go. The hand played out and I wound not have hit, good laydown.
A round later I had pocket 4’s and the button. There were 4 callers and I chose to raise as I had position. Fortune was smiling and the flop came 3h – 4s – Jd giving me a set. A player who caught the “J” bet out and I raised with 3 of us seeing the turn which came a Qs. I bet with both players’ calling and the river paired the board with a Jc. The original better bet out, I was able to raise and he called, grumbling. My full house (4’s full of J’s) held out and I won a very sizable pot.
From there I played a few rounds without becoming really involved, giving back a few hundred. I could feel the table keeping an eye on me and being very cautious when I was in. So, I played the following hand hard.
I was on the button again and woke up to an 8h – 5s. There were 5 callers in front of me and I guessed (correctly) that the blinds would not raise. The flop came 8d – Jc – 4h, giving me middle pair. One player bet with 3 others calling in front of me so I gambled, calling $20. At this point there was nearly $200 in the pot. The turn came a 6d. Once again there was a bet and 2 players called so, I chose to gamble assuming (correctly) that I had a chance.
That was it for me. The table was getting cold and I could tell there was going to be no more easy pots or bet’s. I played another round and cashed out $380 ahead for just about 3 hours of play.
Did I play well? I believe I observed well, jumped into the hands I could make money in while staying out of trouble, and took advantage of being a bit lucky – leaving at the right time. So, I would say I played well.
Most of all, I enjoyed my first trip to the “World’s Largest Poker Room” and survived – even taking a bit of theirs with me. For those at The Commerce – don’t worry it’s just a loan, I’ll be back next year to give it back.
I did visit a “Bob’s Big Boy” in Downey, Calif., on the way back down to Orange County – indulging in a double decker burger, onion rings and tartar sauce – mouthwatering. Trivia question: Where is the closest Big Boy to Denver? Answer – Baker, California!
Remember – play your game!