Here I am with another Casino review. I had a day in L.A. to kill, so what better to do than play some poker? I headed down to Inglewood (Swingin') to the world famous Commerce Casino to play some No-limit-Texas Hold Em. Inside is a room with tables as far as you can see... they had a good spread of all games, including Stud and Omaha.
For No Limit Hold Em, they had two games: $200 Max buyin, $3-5 blinds and a $400 Max buyin, $5-10 blinds. Rake was $1 for jackpot, $4 for any hands that got to the flop. Both offered a max buyin of 40 big blinds, so once you entered a pot with any raise, you'd better be prepared to go to the mat with the hand. Normally I'll sit and assess the table, and then base my style according to the play. But with only 40x big blind as the buy in, I was committed to playing TAG all the way.
Luckily, most of the table was Loose-Passive. I was fortunate to sit down at a new table. As we sat, I sized up my opponents - four of them were obviously regulars, and knew each other well. 2 seemed to be semi-regulars - the regulars didn't know their names but acknowledged their presence and some referred to past tables or histories. That left three of us as the n00bs.
Action got started and things were pretty normal. No showdowns, some preflop raises and some flop bets. I sat there and waited patiently for awhile. Preflop raises were around the range of $15-$30, depending on how many people were in the pot. I picked up two hands in a row after about 30 minutes and took down both pots after a preflop raise and flop bet. At least these players were paying attention to my tight play and made comments as such.
I built my stack up to $280 when my first big hand happened. I picked up AsAc on the button with two limpers ahead. I made it $20 to go and had the 3 seat and the guy to my right calling. Flop came K-10-5 with 2 hearts. Checked around to me and I make a bet of $40. Guy in the three seat calls, and the guy on my right pushes all in for a full rack. The whole table has shown willingness to go to the mat with any top pair so I insta-push all in myself. Guy in the three seat folds.
Guy on my right tables Kd5d for top and bottom pair. Gross. I brick the turn and river and hand a rack over to the guy. I made a mental note to myself about the guy and think that I'll have my chance to get my chips back from him later. Unfortunately, 15 minutes later, he runs up against the other big stack and loses all his chips when he goes broke with 6-2 vs. K-2 on a 8-2-2 board and they get it all in on the flop. As the guy leaves, he criticizes the winner for being involved in the pot in the first place with K-2 suited, who merely limped on the button with 5 callers ahead of her. THIS from a guy who called a preflop raise of $20 out of position with only 2 others in the pot.
So I sigh and push on with a full rack, knowing there were plenty of loose-passive d0nks at my table who were stuck. There was one crazy Asian gambler (you know the type) who was stuck 4 buyins in the course of an hour and a half. Callin STATION (even more than me at WNP). Got a few pots from him with some standard preflop raises and c-bets. Took down a big pot bluffing with 10s5s after raising preflop to $25 in position with 4 limpers, having ALL call, flop coming all diamonds with K and Q on board, checked around, diamond on the turn, checked all the way to 4th to act, who bets merely $15 in the pot of $120, and I raised to $70. Folded all around, and the crazy Asian gambler takes a minute to decide and folds his Jack of Diamonds, claiming that I *definitely* had Ad. I decide not to show my bluff and take down the pot of $135.
Went on a mini-rush there, picked up a set, got calls from one guy all the way to the river, and found myself up $35 again, with about half hour remaining in the session. Made the decision to tighten even more up as I was happy with climbing my way back... but then ended up with Jc9c in the big blind on a limped pot and flopping a gutshot straight flush draw when the board came KcQc-x. I bet it all the way to the river, but my lone caller shoved on me on the river, and I never made any part of the hand. Was down $80 again...
... but then I picked up AdQd on the button. Standard raise to $25 with 3 limpers. One caller, same guy who had beaten me on the previous missed straight flush draw. Flop comes black A-10d-5d. YAHTZEE. He check calls my $40 flop bet. HMMM.
Turn comes Ah. Even better. He checks, I fire out $60, and he calls. HMMMMMMMMM.
River comes a non-descript heart. He checks again, I fire out $60 again, and he sighs and folds. I show him my hand, and he remarks "good thing the diamonds didn't get there. I would've gone broke". Damn... wish the diamonds got there!
I dinked around in a few more hands and then left to pick up the wife. Ended up down a whole $3 the entire session. Figuring in rakes and tips and getting my Aces cracked, I was rather pleased with the outcome. I highly suggest the Commerce as a place to play. The staff was knowledgeable, the players nice and loose-passive, and the food was pretty decent. Plenty of parking, and easy to find off the freeway. The only thing I didn't like was the blinds-to-buyin ratio, as it encouraged a lot of shove poker (I saw super-tilting crazy-Asian go all-in preflop with A-J off, into a pot of $15, IMMEDIATELY after rebuying the full $200, got called by A-K, and crazy-Asian spiking a J). However, this can work in any TAG player's favor, as the players consider themselves pretty committed in any sizable pot.