Monday, December 29, 2003

Poker Room at Hollywood Greyhound Racetrack!

I've played poker all over the world. I'll play anywhere, any time... earlier today I visited Hollywood Greyhound Track. My friend Schanzer went there a few weeks ago when he was in Miami visiting Jerry. I blogged parts of his email.

I arrived just after the room opened at Noon. You enter the dogtrack and go up the escalator to a nice room that looked like it used to be a banquet hall or something. There were twenty tables with outer doors facing the actual dog track. At the time only one game, seven card stud was going. I signed up for $1-2 Omaha and Straight $2 Hold'em. After five minutes a few more gentleman came and we had a game! Let me set the premise here... everyone that I sat down with was at least double my age. I would say that everyone that I played with at my first Straight $2 table was over the age of 65. I had no remorse about the possibility of taking some of their social security money... but hey, they're at the dog track, looking to piss money away, so I figured I stop in and see if I could crack that game. I got to play with old fellows by the name of Slow Jimmy, Harry the Greek, and even a guy named Sol. Almost all of these guys were from the Northeast and retired to Miami. They all played the ponies and I got a few random tips (unsolicited of course). Sol was the craziest.... my man looked like Harvey Keitel at age 82 with a freakin' voice box! Every time he'd yell "Raise!" I'd freak the fuck out! Anyway, the very first hand I got dealt Big Slick suited... A-K diamonds! I didn't raise and just called. I caught an Ace on the flop and won my first hand. I lost a few hands early and I was down $40 for a while before I hit two big hands in a row... I nailed a gutshot straight with Q-10 which paid me off well. I also held A-4 in the small blind, and flopped a set of 4s.

Jerry got out of work early and met me at the dogtrack. When he got there, there was a new $1-2 game opening up, I joined him and I counted my chips after I sat down. I lost about $20 in 3 hours playing Straight $2. This time, I sat next to a nice woman named Linda. She's a widow and an avid golfer. She just picked up the game and we had some nice chats. She rooted for me when I stayed in on hands! Anyway, I made back $20 playing $1-2 and walked away up $3 after 5 1/2 hours of playing. I had a good time. Schanzer described the poker room there as sketchy. I would say that it looked fairly nice. It was smoke free and they had brand new chips. 80% of the players were old white guys from the area. The dealers were not so good. They pushed pots to the wrong person on several occassions and some of them never really had control of the table... which they should have. Anyway, Jerry and I had a good time hitting our second poker room in our third session! I won a few good hands against a frat boy from FSU. I held A-J suited. I flopped the straight and just smooth called. On the turn I raised and the frat boy (wearing sunglasses at a freakin' $1-2 game raised me. I re-raised and we went back and forth until the betting was capped. On the river the same thing happened... the bettin ggot capped. I began to think that he probbaly had an Ace high straight as well and I expected to chop up the pot. To my surprise he turned over a K-Q suited. He had top two pair and was betting into me with that! He walked right into a straight and never saw it coming. That win was big for me after I lost a couple of hands to a small flush on the river and when my A-K didn't hold up and lost to a pair of 3s.

For the Miami trip, I am down $32... after three (four if you count the time we went twice in one day) different sessions. But I lost $30 betting on greyhounds!!! Bad idea.... I should stick to poker and betting on college basketball.

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