Last Friday I went down to the Aria poker room rarely early for me, my hubby was headed to Aria for a business meeting and brunch, so I rode along. Once I arrived I was deflated to see only one table rolling at 10am. I got on an interest list for 2-5 and headed to my seat with the max buy-in of $300.
I watched the table for a couple of hands and started play when the BB hit me. You dont have to post in this room, but it doesnt hurt to watch a few hands and see who the table captain is, who isnt playing much and who’s fishin.
My luck was holding. I had the drunk on my left, he had been there since 5pm the day before, and was on a long hang-over. Two to my right was a young Finnish fellow who was quoting every poker book he’d ever read. This was going to be very interesting indeed.
The first hand I played was pocket 10’s. Fin raised and I completed from the BB, and we were heads-up. Flop/10-A-Q…I checked, he bet, I called. Turn Q. I checked, he bet, I called. River is 2…I bet 2/3 of pot, he goes into the tank. Finally he calls and turns over A/J…cha-ching!
Drunk guy raises under the gun, a couple of callers, to me, I see 22 from BB again, and call. Four players to the flop of A-3-4…I check, drunk bets relatively small, other two call, so do I. Turn is 2. This is a scary card for me, although it makes a set for me, it also give a straight to anyone with PP 5’s or A5 suited. I check, drunk now bets the pot, which is now over $175. The two callers fold, and I have to start thinking of how to play this hand now. The hands I put the drunk on have to be KK, QQ, AK and AQ. I cant believe he would be betting into this pot with a weaker hand, so I re-raise all-in for additional $125. This puts the pressure on even a drunk! He goes into a slurred explanation of how he’s played this hand and how I couldnt have check called to draw out on him, yada, yada, yada. In fact he takes so long that the guys at the table start tellin him to act or they are calling a clock. Geez, I’ve never called a clock EVER in a cash game. He actually has about $700 behind at this point, and he’s getting like 4-1 on his money so he calls. He turns over A/K and I turn over my set. PHEW!…rake in a huge pot, almost $600!
Drunk goes on a tyraid calls his buddy and tells him to get over here, he’s losing his ass to a girl. Everyone is laughing and listening to this guy, but soon after he becomes very belligerent and I just about cant stand him anymore. Luckily they call for the 2-5 game, and I head for greener pastures with about $800 total.
The 2-5 game is a little skinny, but there are 2 or 3 with $500 and 2 with $1000 and the fish with $300. Scared players are usually easy to spot in this game, they actually guard their chips with their hands and constantly count and stack their chips. Scared money is good and bad. It sometimes is very hard to get, unless…you figure out how to make scared money comfortable.
The shorts stacks were at my left and the heavy stacks were across the table. I was in a pretty good spot to control my pots. I’ve seen big players pound and pound on short money, I dont happen to believe that you’re going to get much of their money by doing that. On short pots with marginal hands, I may call to see a flop from the blinds. The scared money bets into the pot, and if I havent hit, I will make a comment like, “you got it”, toss in my cards, which I am generally greeted by a smile as they rake in the pot. A couple of times like this gives scared money “confidence”. Then when a real hand comes that I can play, I get more of their money with my charming looks and scheming ways.
The hand that I made the best money on was quad 9’s. This time one of the short stacks got it all in with two pair and a big stack got me all in for about $700 with the nut flush on the river, being my final 4th 9!!! He truly thought I had pocket Aces and we wont even go there on the short stack. After that hand, nobody would mix it up with me, and soon after I left with $1900 total for the day.
Aria was good for me the one time I’ve played there, and I will probably go back. It appears that the weekends are the best times, but I’ve heard the businessmen and tourists are heaviest at Aria than any other poker room during the week as well. We’ll see……….