Poker in the ghetto

My buddy Doug and I went and played in a poker tourney today. He had been telling me about this dive casino that has a daily poker tourney for $20.00 and is limited to about 30 people. Well, it sounded like fun so off we go…

From the outside, the place doesn't look too bad. Take 1 step in the door and you are fully expecting Jed Clampett to be working behind the Sportsbook counter. When you walk in the front door, you are standing inside the sportsbook. Oh, don't worry, you won't get lost in there. It's no bigger than your average living room. Turn the corner and go down the steps and you are in the main casino area. Look straight ahead and you can see Cletus dealing Black Jack and Jasper behind the Craps table. Sadly, Elly May is NOWHERE in site. But Granny will pass by every 20 or 30 minutes to ask if you'd like some moonshine.

We make our way back to what can only be described as the broom closet. There are 3 poker tabels set up that must be at least 40 years old. Jethro takes our $20 and points us to our table. Since we arrived 30 minutes early, we had some time to kill. Doug risked his life by ordering food. I'm happy to say he made it out alive.

We take our seats and we find out that they are packing 12 people around each table. Playing with 10 at a table is fairly tight. 11 is uncomfortable and 12 is just insane. But, we suffer through. Doug and I are both at the same table. After the first 3 rounds, the stakes go to no-limit. I have never played no-limit before so I'm a tad bit nervous. I play a fairly tight game but move in when I have the cards. We outlast enough people that our table gets broken down and we move over to fill spots at one of the other 2 tables. We both last through that table and end up at the final table.

Doug had informed me beforehand that they only pay out the top 2 spots. Since we are now down to 9 people, I'm thinking that I have as good a shot as any to actually cash in. My first 4 hands at the final table are all good enough to play. Twice I went all in and I busted out a lady when my straight was higher than hers. After about 15 – 20 minutes of being at the final table, it was down to 3 players. Doug, myself and some other guy. The 3rd guy had the most chips and Doug and I were about even with me having the slight advantage in chips. We went around a few times and Doug ended up going all-in only to be called by the other guy at the table. Doug lost to a flush leaving me and the other guy. At this point, Jethro announces that the tourny is over. They come over and pay us out. I pocketed $175. Not bad for 2.5 hours and $20.00. I was a bit bummed that the top 2 guys didn't get to “finish” the game. As soon as it went down to 2 players, the person with the most chips won the tourney. Granted, he had me at least 3 to 1 in chips, but that doesn't mean I couldn't have doubled up a couple times and taken him down… Ah well. I'll know for next time.

Oh, when I said at the beginning that the place was a dive… Don't just take my word for it. Here is a review to check out.

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