Friday, October 24, 2008

Thunder Valley Gets Poker; Stick's Updates

I had taken my mom to Thunder Valley Casino for her birthday in September. It's an Indian casino about 5 miles from us. It opened in 2000, but we had never gone since we like Reno much, much better. So we tried the buffet (good price, great selection, mediocre food), did a little gambling (smoky, tight machines, not very inviting atmosphere), and tried the neat looking bar in the center (cool atmosphere, somewhat enclosed from the games, expensive drinks). Then I spotted an area under construction. Upon closer inspection, it was POKER! But it was those damned automated poker tables. That sucked, but at least it was poker. I found an article about Thunder Valley's new poker room in the SF Gate. (NOTE: The article refers to Thunder Valley as a "Bay Area establishment", but it is 100 miles from there and some residents of both the Bay and the Sac Valley might even get offended at the incorrect reference.) Being mainly an online player, I thoroughly enjoy handling real cards and playing the game in a traditional way when I play live. But the advantage of automation is lower rake and no tips, so I guess this will have to do for now. They are advertising on my local sports radio station, KHTK, and I thought it was hilarious that the ad never mentioned that the tables were computers and there were no dealers. I guess TVC wants to hide that fact and spring it on all the old timers who get excited and drive out there to play while assuming they will be playing traditional poker with live dealers. Bad move, Thunder Valley!

As far as my poker is concerned, I've been really studying and trying to tweak my game. I just bought Holdem Manager and I'm loving it. The stats reports available with this thing are seemingly endless and it really helps me get down to the nitty gritty. I recently posted some cash game stats and graphs on Cardschat and got some great feedback based on the info that I was able to produce with HEM. With help from my CC buddies, I figured out that my VPIP-to-PFR ratio is too wide and my won money when saw flop is a bit low. I'm hoping that a few tweaks to my aggression will help these areas. With about a week left in the month, I'm running about -$100 profit. So we'll see if some tweaks to my game will help me get even in time.

The Cardschat team competition is heating up and the last 2 events are this weekend. The top 3 teams are within 5 points of each other and the pressure is on. I'm in the Heads-Up event on Saturday, but I'm not feeling the pressure yet. I completely sucked last time, but I think that was due to pressure. I hope being more relaxed will help my result this time. Anyway. The games seem fun and the standings are close, but it just seems a bit too serious this time. I get accused of being too sensitive with these kinds of things and I guess everyone's perception is different, but I just see some things being said that sort of take the joy out of it for me (and I'll bet for some others, also). I agree that some good natured ribbing makes things a bit more fun. But lately losing team members seem to like to hurl around phrases like "chip dumping", "soft playing", and "you're just lucky" like they are just so casual. But little do they realize how bad it makes them look even though they say "I was just kidding". When someone goes at it like "I'll throw out an excuse why we lost and then say I'm kidding", they just end up looking like a poor sport. During one of Tiger's many successful seasons, PGA Tour golfer Rory Sabbatini once said "Tiger Woods seems beatable now", even though Tiger had already won a few events that year. Well not only did that make Rory look foolish and motivate Tiger even more, but that comment has been attached to Rory ever since he made it even though he retracted it later by saying "I wasn't serious". But I guess some people just feel the overwhelming need to spout off before they think.

No comments: