Saturday, October 23, 2010

Still Slow at the Bike, But Plenty Is Going On

After having my most profitable month ever in September (ignoring jackpot winnings), I'm at some risk of having my first losing month in over a year. I'm up so far this month, but only a little and I could easily lose it if my last week of October goes poorly. Not bad considering I had five losing months in 2009. My win rate this year (playing mostly NL) is three times that of last year (playing mostly limit), and despite an initial jump in volatility, overall my hourly standard deviation this year has been only 10% higher than last year. Of course, avoiding having any losing months is not the object of poker, but it's nice to see all the black in my spreadsheet.

I went to Vegas two weeks ago to visit the In-Laws. It turned out to be a good venue for a mini reunion. I stopped by several poker rooms, and it was all very, very slow. The Mirage was almost completely dead around noon on a Sunday.

Things have gotten pretty slow at the Bike recently, particularly for my regular $500 NL game, which I played for only eleven hours in four days this week. However, they have had two or three 20-40 limit games going most days (thanks mostly to a new crop of flexible, low wage, silent props and a promotion giving players $5-$10 per hour, depending on the time of day), and often a 50-100 mix game, which includes Badeuci and Badacey, mixes of Badugi with 2-7 lowball or A-5 lowball, respectively.

I met Pinkerton, one of this blog's occasional commenters. He introduced himself after we'd been chatting for quite a while without my realizing who he was. This was the second time a reader has introduced himself at the casino, and in both cases they were reasonably discreet about it. As I told Pinkerton, it might become awkward for me if the existence of this blog became common knowledge at the Bike.

The day I met Pinkerton I also met Charles Lei, an online pro and poker teacher at He made the mistake of saying "nice hand" to a player after this player beat the volatile Vinny Vinh in a pot. Vinny took offense and harrassed Charles a bit. I stood up for Charles, telling Vinny I didn't think Charles had done anything wrong. Hours later, Vinny retaliated by calling the floorman immediately after I got up for a bathroom break, telling him I had been away for hours and that the f-ing props think they can do whatever they want and still get a paycheck (another player told me about this later). The other players stood up for me, but the dealer agreed with Vinny (!), so I returned to find my chips picked up and my seat taken by a new player. Oh well. Good one, Vinny! You got me. Anyway, Charles has been discussing hands and players with me every day since then, which is nice for me because he has refined his game pretty well and has some useful observations.

211 poker is returning at 2:11PM on Monday, only this time it will be played only for high, both limit and no-limit. The game failed to catch on back in February 2009, when it was played as a high-low split pot game. I hope it catches on and brings some more people to the casino, but I just don't know if there's much of a market for a new game nowadays. Maybe they should wait until 2:11 on 2/11/2011.

Also rumored to be returning is Live at the Bike, which is an online video feed of actual cash game action at the Bike. Nichoel Peppe, whose position at the Bike I took after she left for Arizona, is likely returning to be a regular commentator on the program. Supposedly the high-stakes game that her husband was playing in Arizona broke after three of the regulars died of old age, so he and Nichoel recently moved back to Los Angeles. I think the Live at the Bike game will be at least 10-25 blinds. I'd like to try it, but it will be very awkward having cameras on both my cards and me.