The move to LA went off with but a single true hitch, and Danielle and I are settling nicely into our apartment. Almost all of our stuff is out of boxes (except the stuff that went into our storage unit), which was no small task considering that her Dad suggested we might actually have more stuff than he does. The catch is that we rent a two bedroom apartment and he owns a 4 bedroom house. Anyway, I spent the last two days at Commerce, and will do my best to describe the experience in terms of what's the same and what's different:
Everyone from the Bay Area apparently comes down here every weekend. OK not everybody, but tons of regulars from the Bay Area casinos are here. MCI, who plays the 40 and 80 at Bay 101? He was in the 40 all day yesterday and today. My acquaintance Eric who plays the 80 at Bay and I've played 30 with at The Oaks is lurking around somewhere deep in the top section (so deep that I don't even feel comfortable walking around back there...dudes are playing Chinese Poker with like 5 figures each on the table and there's a $10,000 buy in NL game that's playing like 8 handed). DVS, whom I first knew from the world of software and now know from the world of poker? He's here for the weekend. The Grinder from The Oaks 30? Check. Hell, even Batman is here, having driven down with a friend for the weekend.
Also, I run like ass here as well. I have like a dozen hands on my phone where something or other awful happened to me, but I can sum it up in just a few. In my second dealt hand, at 40/80 mind you, it folded to me in the small blind and the big blind informed me that he didn't chop. I raised KQo and eventually ran a one card king high flush into a one card ace high flush, costing me 5.5 big bets. Shortly thereafter I moved down to 20/40, and on three consecutive hands that I played my combined 4 opponents (two hands were HU, one was 3-way) flopped two wheels and a queen high flush. This if freaking heads-up Texas Hold'em, not 321 Omaha or 7 way Crazy Ocean Pineapple here people. And it's not like I was able to fold in any of these hands. Oh no, not me. Dude flops the queen high flush....what do I have on the turn? Just top pair, top kicker, and the nut flush draw. Guy flops the wheel with A5hh on a 432hh board. What am I holding? KQhh. Did I turn a King? You better believe I did. These happened in about 15 minutes and just left me flabbergasted. Shortly thereafter I held KK of red and flopped J42hhh. So for the record I have an over-pair and a king high flush draw. I was in 3rd place of 4 hands and drawing dead to a running full house. I got KK again in quick order and saw a flop of AT8 three ways. This time the SB just donked and I managed to fold. His AT eventually got cracked by AJ. A guy opened UTG (6 handed though) and I defended A4o. His K6 sooted was blessed with a flop of AKK. The button cold-called my raise and we played heads up. He flopped a flush. I flopped top two on a T76 board from the big blind and was drawing to four outs the whole way. It just went on and on and on, and all of this was only yesterday. Today was a little better, and for the two sessions I only lost about 2 racks,which was a testament to the size of the pots I was (occasionally) dragging.
The games are all fabulous. From time to time I've found myself wondering where all the action is, but in short order 2 or 3 people reach the same conclusion and table change away, making room for a couple of live ones. I feel like I'm playing in the evening Garden City game 2 years ago where I started out. Almost every pot has 5 or 6 people seeing the flop, with most of the peeling hopelessly. A guy 3-bet preflop with 66, then called three bets on a Q75 board. He turned a 6. I won a 12 big bet pot with one pair of kings, with 3 opponents seeing the river.
In general people are bigger douche bags. Like not as much as everyone says on two plus two, but still a lot by basically any metric. I saw a guy lobby for a full orbit, then not respond when the dealer asked if he wanted his blind (it was clear he heard her), then ask for a set up two hands later, then rack up his chips and leave without playing another hand. Arguments are more prevalent, but there are fewer floor men to enforce order. Things are just a little dicey. When you have 40 tables of 20/40+, things are bound to get out of hand.
There is food everywhere. The food is free, and you can have as much as you want, and everybody, myself included, is constantly eating. Today I had a fruit plate, chicken skewers with peanut sauce, and some sushi. It was all tasty and it was all free. Between Danielle working at Google and me getting free food all day, our grocery bill will drop by at least 75%.
Games come to a grinding halt like every hour or so. One guy will get up to take a leak, and one guy will already be lobbying and then the next guy will decide to take a break too and all of a sudden somebody doesn't want to play 6 handed and boom the game is at a standstill with everybody bitching that nobody is playing. Then I come back from the bathroom expecting to have to wait 4 or 5 more hands but instead they managed to play like one hand while I was gone. Or it happens when I'm still at the game and I try to post my big blind in the cutoff and get a hand dealt 3 ways but everybody bitches and for some reason the dealer doesn't just pitch the cards. It's fucking nuts.