Arrived home last night but was just too tired to write this post after the long drive. Hit a ton of traffic in DC which added almost two hours to the drive and left me exhausted by the time I got home.
All in all it was a great trip. I played a total of 29 hours (this is after subtracting for breaks, dinner, etc.) and made a profit of $770. Pretty good for $1/$2. That’s a little over $26 an hour which is well over my $1/$2 hourly rate, so there was obviously a lot of run good, which is always welcome.
I also did very well with my goals, especially with keeping expenses low. I utilized comps and promos efficiently and kept my total expenditures (food, tips, hotel and resort fees, tolls, gas, misc.) to under $200 for a five day trip. I’m very happy with that (as is my wife, which is the most important part). This trip was kind of an experiment to see if I could actually make a profit on these trips playing $1/$2 and it was definitely a success. I realize this is just a single, short term result, but I think it shows that these trips at least have the possibility of being profitable. So the plan for the near future is to continue to head out to AC on a monthly basis.
I also meditated consistently, at least once a day during the trip, and studied everyday (I’m working through Seidman’s Easy Game). So I feel good about that. But there was one goal that I struggled with consistently and that was remaining focused at the table. I’m not used to these long sessions. At my home casino I usually play about four hours. But in AC I was playing eight to twelve hour sessions. I took frequent breaks, ten minutes about every hour and half, and one long break, usually thirty minutes to an hour, near the middle of each session. These breaks certainly helped but I still struggled to stay focused. I was only able to concentrate and practice hand reading on hands I wasn’t involved in for about 45 minutes or so before the iPad or phone came out. Ugh. Really need to work on my focus. This was at its worst at super soft tables. I seem to just get complacent at these tables and play on autopilot, as if I don’t feel that I need to put much effort into earning a profit, so I don’t. Of course, who knows how much money I’m leaving on the table?
There were a couple of other leaks I noticed at the table. First, my hand reading skills are really lacking. I’m not putting people on ranges as often as I should. I’m simply playing my own cards too often. This is the very reason I’m embarking on my intensive hand reading ultralearning project next week. Hopefully I’ll see vast improvement in this area within the next month or so.
I also noticed that I’m missing a lot of value bets on the river. This is something I’ve just recently started working on with my strategy coach, so I’m sure it will improve in the near future as well.
But overall I was pretty happy with my game, at least relative to past play. I’ll give you an example of a very simple line I took that made me think about how far I’ve come since I first started taking the game seriously. I was in the BB with T2s. It was folded to the button who had been raising his button when he was first in 100%, then c-betting if either of the blinds defended 100%. This had been working well for him and I decided that it was about time for me to take a stand. T2s is not the greatest hand in the world but I figured his range was so wide that I would be able to bluff him off a lot of flops. Both myself and SB called the button’s $7 open. With $21 in the pot, the flop came A-8-8 r. As usual, the button c-bet $7. The SB folded and I called planning to blast the river if he checked the turn. His turn checks had usually meant he was waving the white flag and I’d been looking for an opportunity to take advantage of it. $35 in the pot and the turn came a 7 for a board of A-8-8-7. I checked and the Villain checked behind just as I thought he would. Still with $35 in the pot the river came an Ace. I put in a pot size bet of $35 and the villain insta-mucked (looking back I think this bet was way to big but that’s not really the point of the story). I know for most of my readers, this is a pretty ABC play, and it pretty much is for me too. But it felt good to recognize an exploitative opportunity, make a plan, then actually follow through and execute that plan successfully. No matter how small or inconsequential the play was, it was nice to recognize a spot where I was actually applying what I was learning. That felt good.
Honestly, the best part of the entire trip was not driving for three entire days. Driving to work and the casino is taking up a huge chunk of my waking hours and it was nice to have a vacation from it. So I’m looking forward to my next trip which will be October 17-21. If you’ll be in the area I’d love to meet you. Hit me up.
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