Monday, August 29, 2005

Trip Report: Cincinnati Club

On Thursday I finally made it along to my first tourney at The Cincinnati Club.

The venue itself is a converted restaurant in an old building just south of the city centre. Aside from a few slot machines, it is entirely dedicated to poker, with ten tables immediately available and room for another four if needed.

This sets it aside from the other 'official' venues, which are all casinos with card rooms.

There are some pictures in this article, but I also wanted to show the domed ceiling which rises above the main (i.e. big cash game) table on the mezzanine level. This is from my phone camera so apologies for the quality.

The Thursday night tourney is usually a £5 rebuy Pot Limit Hold Em event, which competes directly with the same event at The Riverboat Casino. This in itself is pretty pointless, as it would be more productive to offer a variety of events to differentiate the new venue.

There's a surfeit of rebuy events in Glasgow and not enough freezouts, or shootouts. Hence this initiative to get more variety introduced.

Unsurprisingly, the turnout was poor. 16, I think. The poker was still fun, and there was complimentary tea, coffee, and soft drinks on offer as the tourney commenced.

On one of the earliest hands I limped on the button with QJs and several callers ahead of me.

The flop came KQx and was checked round to me. With so many in the pot, I was pretty sure there'd be a king out there somewhere, so I checked, and was delighted to see another queen on the turn and some betting before the action got to me.

This fortunate turn of events saw me raking a substantial pot, and the first rebuys of the night being called for.

There was some banter at the table and I got a real slagging from one of the players, as I hardly played a hand for quite a while after this.

I was getting atrocious cards and couldn't really make a move as there were a few limp every hand, call any raisers about. (Fiver rebuy dontcha know!?)

But I played along since you never know when a super tight table image can come to your aid.

Later I raised pre-flop with AJo, and the only caller was Mr Slagger in the BB. At this point, he tried some verbals along the lines 'you don't like that I called'. Clearly he was implying I was worried he could outplay me, and I figured it was wisest to let him have his say.

The flop was rags and he bet out immediately. After I folded, he showed 44, which I suspect was more to my benefit than his. Information. Most welcome.

Later when I raised with A9 and found myself heads-up with him again, I was first to act, and bet out on the flop - having missed again - and he folded to me. This time he didn't show.

Eventually I went out on the bubble of the final table - 4 handed - when I got TT in the big blind. The big stack button raises the pot. Small blind (call anything) smooth calls.

I reraise the pot in the hope the button is either stealing or has two big cards but no pair.

Effectively I'm pot committed here and wouldn't hate it if they both folded, but the cards were as good as I could hope for to make a stand anyway.

Both smooth call, which I like since it implies no overpair, but dislike as I'd rather be heads up.

The flop is 663. Small blind checks. I'm all in which is roughly a pot size bet. Big Stack Button guy agonises for ages, which makes me think he's got me beat, but he looks very reluctant to call. Perhaps my super tight image can save me?

Nope - he reluctantly calls. Small blind calls all in with not a care in the world. Button has QQ, small blind has A3. Turn is another 3 and Mr Any Two Cards is off to the final table with a monster stack!

Sigh. Still, it was instructive to see how difficult Mr Big Stack found it to call my all-in. I suspect if he had less chips, the fear of AA or KK would have made him fold.

Over the course of the night, I did see a few angles being shot. Most noticeably - to me anyway - a player deliberately over betting the pot on the river, after the turn was checked around on an AKxx board. This is Pot Limit remember!

He clearly didn't want a caller and when last to act decided to call with Q high, he suddenly 'realised' his error and tried to take back the excess chips.

My understanding is in this situation, the bet stands for the full amount. The caller didn't seem to know this, and let it go. If it had been my call, I'd have been claiming the full amount.

You don't get that sort of action online!

Overall it was a good night at a nice venue, but it really needs to busy up a little to get the full benefit of the unique setting.

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