Tunica -- Back to My Used to Be
It's the voice of the blues calling me back to my used to be.
-- Irene Scruggs
TUNICA, Miss. -- I'm swimming again.
It's something that I haven't done in a while. Last time I was in a pool was three months ago, swimming in the little wading pool at the hotel in New Orleans with Jill. We'd come back, split a bottle of wine poolside, feed crackers to the little birds that came to sip out of the pool.
All of that a very distant memory. What will New Orleans be like if I ever return?
The water feels nice. I'm in the Horseshoe's pool, a rare moment during a poker trip where I've stopped to just enjoy what's out there. I brought out Greenstein's Ace on the River, which is appropriate because the title comes from a hand that he got in a Tunica WPT tournament that knocked two people out of the final table.
It's appropriate that I'm swimming in a Horseshoe pool. Last year, after my $1,000 pot at the Bellagio, I took a break and went back to swim in the Horseshoe's rooftop pool. It was 103 degrees out. I still remember that afternoon.
I had a hard time finding a game today. Made a little bit of money at Sam's Town $3/6 and then came back for a little swim. Then I was hungry, so I came down to look at the 'Shoe's poker room. I've accumulated a few meals at Sam's Town, but I didn't want to drive out there again if I didn't have to.
Then I saw another $10/20 table. I sat in a nearby chair and just watched the game for a little while, drinking rocket fuel the entire time. No need to put a brigade at risk if it wasn't a good game.
But there was this Indian or Middle Eastern-looking guy in his 50s who was playing every hand. I remembered Mike Caro's comments in Super/System 2: "The answer to the question of 'Why didn't I leave when I was $14,000 ahead' is: Nobody ever asks me that when I make $50,000." The troops aren't here for R&R and pool leave and neither am I. After a few moments I jumped in.
The guy was a complete Sith Lord, though. He was chopping up people's aces with raggedy rags and adding their lightsabers to his expanding red chip collection. I got the better of him with KQs in early position, which turned into quad queens. Soon I was up $200 on him and things looked pretty good.
"How quickly can you fly here?" I called Mark on the cell. He was at a Braves game.
But the Sith Lord even got the better of me, once calling with Q5s under-the-gun and making a higher straight than my straight with T8s in the big blind. He had to move to another game. I made $100 again off of another guy who just sat down. I had AJo in early, he raised pre-flop. Flop was an A and I check raised him. He called me down to the river, when another J appeared.
When the fishy guy left, it was my signal to leave. Already I was at two hours, the amount of time you need for a comp. And I was still hungry. So I went to eat and later ended up at another fishy $3/6 game at Sam's Town. A win there puts me at $515 for the trip.
Limit poker is so interesting. On this trip I realized all the mistakes I made and I tried to write them down or remember them. Greenstein writes in his book that he makes about 20 mistakes in a session, so I don't feel too badly. But hopefully I'll be able to shore them up in the future.