So when I found myself in AC on Sunday morning stuck $250 after a $450 swing at Harrah's the night before (I know, Karol, I shoulda just gone to Resorts) I didn't retreat to the limit games. I didn't try the low buy-in SNGs. I didn't even suck it up and go home, confident in my ability even with a slightly bruised ego.
Oh no, none of that. I decide to try my hand at $2/5 NL for the first time in my life at the Borgata, a room I had already been warned was a little sharkier than most in AC.
Yeah, that's the kinda thinking that comes out of the SC public education system.
So I sit down at a brand new $2/5 table, look around at the stack everybody else has, and buy in for $300. That works, since I'm not really comfortable buying in for more than that, and yet it put me right about in the middle as far as stack size went.
For about half an orbit, til my top pair with an open-ender didn't improve against a flopped two pair when all the money went in on the flop and I got stacked.
Yeah, this game is fun.
So I rebuy for another $300 and tighten up. I generally play only decent hands and only speculate in late position, but things aren't looking good for our hero. I've missed the flops and gotten my continuation bets raised a couple times with AQ/AK and the like, and had to make those laydowns, when I look down at pocket Cowboys. Brokeback mountain. KK in the hole. I'm in the small blind, and as I'm trying to decide exactly how to play the hand, the gentleman in the 4 seat raises to $25. I have about $175 in front of me, so I stick it all in the middle, hoping to drive out the limpers.
I get called in two places, my Kings hold up on a board with every face card except a King, and I'm back to almost even. That prompts much more folding on my part, since the clear message from my tablemates was that they would call all my legitimate hands, so I may as well wait for them, play them strong, and not sweat too much about revealing the strength of my hand, because they won't believe me anyway!
So I sit back for a little while until I get chiseled down a touch from missing some draws and getting blinded off, when I look down at AQo. I'm in late position and there's an early position raise to $25. The standard raise has been $20-30, with 4-5 callers for that money, so there's no question I'm reraising here. Not just to find out where I am, but to drive out the cheap calls that were coming behind me. There's a call of the $25 by the same nice man in the 4s (who was a solid player, he just happened to be the guy who came out 2nd-best to me in these two hands), and then I raise to $75. Folds around to the original raiser, who mucks, and the caller in the 4s calls the extra $50.
Flop comes AJ6 rainbow, he checks to me. The pot is around $200 now, and I have around $300 in front of me. Any bet commits me, and any call commits him, so I shove. He calls almost immediately and I throw up a little in my mouth.
"Ace-Jack?" I ask.
"No," he says, flipping up his KT for the gutshot draw. I turn up my AQ and he hits none of his three outs, so I double up and the second-largest pot of my life. I'm now back to even for the entire trip on the back of two hands, and I have enough chips to breathe with. I manage to chip up a little more, when a new guy sits down.
"Man, that's some storm out there."
Returning to the vomitous theme, I ask in a nauseated voice "Huh?"
"It's snowing and sleeting. The roads are getting really bad."
I now realize that I'm 4 hours from my flight's scheduled departure time and 60 miles from the airport. I'll be driving unfamiliar roads through winter weather conditions to make my flight, which may or may not take off. I think about just taking a room at the Borgata for the night (that table was gooood), but decide that I should try to go to work on Monday and I'm pretty tired of sleeping alone, so I'm gonna try to get home.
I then realized that to make it home safely, I should rack up right then and hit the road. But I had just paid time, so I decided to stay through that dealer's down and leave in half an hour.
What? I'd just paid time. There was no way I was leaving right then. Besides, I made it back, so it must not have been too cracked-out.