The last week has found me struggling to get out of a downswing. My San Diego trip was a definitive loser, and adding to that a 3 rack loss the day before I left and a 1 racker the day after I got back, I found myself in a near replica of the downswing I suffered in late October. Specifically, about $4500 in less than a week's time. My confidence has been rattled, and while the last two days have seen me book solid wins, I feel I've been playing kind of badly, making mistakes I'm not prone to like, such as calling down with hands that don't justify it and raising hands preflop that don't warrant it. Yesterday I did better, and I just need to remind myself that when I'm in a pot the goal is to win the money in the long run, not to win this pot right now. If I can just remember that, I should be OK.
Last Friday night I made my first trip to The Oaks, as I found myself at Oracle Arena at 4pm after watching Danielle play basketball on the court there as part of her Oracle Rec League Playoffs (shelling out 8 figures to name an arena, it would appear, does not come without some perks). I've heard that the Oaks 30/60 is a wet dream of a game, and I wanted to find out for myself. I arrived at about 4:30pm and immediately spent 10 minutes circling the building. Apparently you really do have to make a U-Turn, but I didn't believe that, then I did and found there was no parking left, so I ended up going to the valet which was kind of insulting. Once I got inside, I put my name up on all the lists and took a seat in a 6/12 game just to get a feel for the place. I found myself with 2 Artichoke Joe's regulars from back in my "good old days" and was comfortable immediately.
I quickly got called for the 15/30 game, and only spent 30 minutes there before hearing my name called for the 30/60. And away we go. The 30/60 game was a must move table that at first was close to full. The Oaks even has 10 handed tables, instead of the 9 handed ones I'm accustomed too. The game, however, didn't have much of a waiting list and we kept losing players. Eventually we were 5 handed, then 4, then even 3 for a bit, then back to 4. I played in the game for 2 hours with a known 2p2 professional short handed and only managed to lose about $100, which I felt was well worth the experience I gained. My table broke, with one player leaving and the other two getting seats in the main game. I sat on my arse for 30 minutes waiting for my seat, which I have to admit was rather irritating; this type of thing doesn't ever happen at Bay 101, and I tend to take it for granted.
Once I finally got a seat in the main game (nearly 3 hours after I got to the club), I found it to be not as great as I'd heard. The players were pretty bad, and it was definitely beatable, but I just wasn't that impressed. The aforementioned 2p2 pro later told me that the game was "usually better than you saw that night", but I'm not too convinced as he's obviously a much better player than I am (as our 2 hour short handed session proved). I'll certainly be giving it another shot though, sometime in the near future. I left the Oaks up $100 total, $400 of which I won in the main 30/60 game (that 30 minutes of 15/30 was expensive!).
This leads me to Saturday, which I spent at Bay 101 trying to get my Mojo back. At first I was having little success, playing bad and running bad all over the place, until...what's that I see? Was it really him? Sweet mercy it was! Lamont Jordan is at table 37! Floorman!!!! I put in for a change and get it three minutes later. The seat that opens is remarkably just two to Lamont's left (not quite the Jesus seat, but close enough). Lamont proceeds to play as badly as one can possibly play, calling down and raising with anything that even resembles a draw (at one point he flashed me his T8o on a board of 56J-2-Q after putting in tons of action and saying "I never get there"). I call him down with King-High (he of course has trips), but in general win some money back. Then it happens....Jared, a regular in our game who for some reason hates me and I don't really like either, sits down at the game and raises preflop from the blinds. Lamont had limped in, and 3-bets. They are heads up now and the dealer declares "No Cap". Jared 4s, Lamont 5s, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10....I'm not sure how many bets they went, but I think it was about 17, and when Lamont had about 3 bets left Jared stopped, claiming to "save a little for the flop". It's obvious Jared actually had Aces, and were Lamont a normal human being it'd be obvious he did too. The flop brings two diamonds and Jared checks his hole cards...."Shit, I don't have the diamond" he says as he and Lamont put the last 3 bets in. The board runs out something like Ten-high with a pair and Jared rolls his rockets. Lamont rolls...Q9o. Then he calls for chips, saying "I just wanted to go all in...now that that's out of the way...." All in all Lamont lost about 4 racks while I was at the table, and spent the last 45 minutes reading his "Lamont Jordan's Week 14 Game Plan Book: Patriots at Raiders" and drawing blitz pickup formations (did you know that the Oakland Raiders blitz 21% of the time, and bring pressure from the secondary 16% of the time? Now I do, and apparently so does Lamont). I leave the game stuck a rack, 15 minutes before Lamont. I know this because his driver came in to inform him that the meeting he had was at 7pm and that they were only 10 minutes away, so he could stay until 6:45. As before, Lamont was a joy to play with, taking and dishing out bad beats with a smile on his face.
The last two days I've spent at Bay 101....and I'll write about them either tonight or tomorrow.