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Thread: Rippin' it up live...

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    J_Verschueren's Avatar
    J_Verschueren is offline They call me "J"
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    Default Rippin' it up live...

    Well, not exactly ripping, that's not my style, but I got together with a couple poker buddies at Grand Casino Brussels for dinner and poker after.

    Though they don't regularly spread LHE, there are occasional games on the initiative of a couple punters who, rightly, as it turns out , feel they're getting owned too badly in the no-limit games. These same guys also don't like to play shorthanded, which is why the floormanager (who is a personal friend) regularly badgers me to play in that game. I usually politely decline, but, with my personal situation and the decline of the game at the pizza joint, it'd been really long since I played live, so I finally gave in. Johan picked me up from work and we met Jean-Yves and Gunther (who live in Brussels) at the casino.

    The meal was, as usual, nice. I can recommend eating there. The food is good, prices are very reasonable and we got our "pousse café" comped by my friend the floormanager (this might not work for everybody).

    So, upstairs to the pokerroom, away from the incessant noise of the slot machines. Gunther and myself were to play in the LHE game, Jean-Yves and Johan were going to try a satellite to a big live tourney. Once I got there I noticed a "pro" who used to play in my local games. I put the term "pro" between quotes because what he does is supplement his unemployment benifits by playing in various casino's. He thinks online poker is rigged and truly believes we're suckers for playing it. His esteem for online players is very low and he thinks nothing of my game in particular. He bases this on 3 sit&go's we played together, two of which I got coolered in early and another where I was really both card- and situation dead and I ended up taking Ac4c up against KcTc. Obviously, villain flopped quad tens on me and I bubbled, but I digress...
    As he was on the waitinglist for the NLHE cash games, he also sat down in the game, so I quickly pulled him aside to impress upon him "this isn't a home game, no strat at the table, ok?" -to which he replied "of course, sure, sure, I understand.", but I still had to remind him once during the game when he started trying to put me on a hand out loud.

    Ok, intermission and disclaimer: though my live roll is ok for the homegames I play in, I am by no means rolled for 10/20 LHE. In fact, I only had 90-ish big bets at the start of this game. I do not recommend sitting down in a game with 1/3rd of one's pokermoney. This can potentionally do things to your game which will facilitate losing a large chunk of your poker lifeblood. I did it because live poker is more about the fun and the banter at the table than about winning for me. Of course I try to play good and if I win, that's nice, but if I lose... well, other leasure activities cost money too.
    One of my good "bad traits" is I can fairly easily distance myself from the value of money, so I was fairly sure I wouldn't play scared. Also, and ideally this is another thing one shouldn't do, I gave myself a stoploss of 50 big bets, as I felt I would undoubtedly kick myself if I tanked more than that into this game, regardless of it just being variance or not.

    As it turned out, I sort of ran average and play was such one could easily manipulate the potsize (except in pots against Gunther and/or the "pro") according to the robustness of one's holding (big edge, big pot, small edge, small pot). The punters were your prototypical passive players and rife with tells. It's hilarious to see a boisterous and animated person look at his cards, clam up mid sentence and then very mechanically put in a raise... I folded my pocket 4's. It's also amazing to catch yourself giving off a tell (turned trips and glanced at my chips, ugh...) and villain, eventhough he's staring me down like we're playing for the deed to the farm, completely missing it.
    I sat down with 600,- and, when the game broke some 4 hours later, I had 725,- Euro. I was up more a couple times, but then I'd have a hand of the sort where I'd raise a limper with AK and hit a K on the flop, with villain then proceeding to c/c 3 streets and flipping up the set he turned.
    All in all, a good night out and very nice to play poker with real cards and real chips again. That said, I wouldn't recommend playing there (sorry Bram). The dealers were slow, fairly clumsy and sometimes straight up rude to the players. The people who work at Casino Namur and Middelkerke are much better/more professional, but Brussels management decided to take on these guys from a government scheme to get "opportunity deprived" youngsters into the jobmarket. I think their basic problem is they're motivation deprived, to be honest.

    Anyhow, like I sort of said, no real "stand-out" hands, just run of the mill stuff. There was a hand early on which had a lot of meta-game to it and probably kept the "pro" off my back until he realised LHE is a different game than a NLHE sit&go and therefore I play it differently. If you guys want to hear about that one, I'll put it in the strat section.

    Oh, and Tim: that autosave thingy really works!!

  2. #2
    Jalopy's Avatar
    Jalopy is offline Senior Member
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    Sounds like it was a good time out. It always helps when you can sit at a table with some of easily identifiable fish to fillet.

    I'd love to see the hand you were talking about with the meta game. It not often that LHE hands are posted so I drool at the opportunity to see them show up in the forum...even if it is mostly meta.

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    RyckyRych's Avatar
    RyckyRych is offline Retired Micro Grinder
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    Very nice. Also, I wish I knew people with such cool names.
    I do a new thing now. Hidden Content

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    Tim's Avatar
    Tim
    Tim is offline quintessential chopbuster
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    Nice report.

    I'm interested to know more about the spread of games offered by a typical poker room in Belgium. LHE is almost non-existent in the UK (places I've played at anyway).

    Quote Originally Posted by J_Verschueren View Post
    Oh, and Tim: that autosave thingy really works!!

  5. #5
    J_Verschueren's Avatar
    J_Verschueren is offline They call me "J"
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim View Post
    Nice report.

    I'm interested to know more about the spread of games offered by a typical poker room in Belgium. LHE is almost non-existent in the UK (places I've played at anyway).
    Like I said: LHE is not regularly spread. Apart from a very occasional 10/20 game at Grand Casino Brussels (as a nod to long term customers), I don't know of any being spread in Belgium. Not as a regularly scheduled game anyway.

    At your typical casino here you can expect to find :

    - 200NLHE (2/2 blinds), 10% rake with a cap of 8-10 Euros and a 4-5 Euro/hr time charge

    - 500NLHE (5/5 blinds or 2/5 blinds, depends), 5% rake with a cap of 20,- Euro.

    - 1000NLHE (5/10 blinds), 5% rake with a cap of 20,- Euro.

    - 2000NLHE (10/20 blinds), 5% rake with a cap of 20,- Euro.

    - 400PLO (2/4 blinds), 5% rake with a cap of 14,- Euro.

    - 1000PLO (5/10 blinds), 5% rake with a cap of 20,- Euro

    Games go from about 6pm to 4am on weekdays and 3pm-4am on weekends. Casinos have to close at 4am in Belgium. You can't pull all-nighters.

    Also on weekends there are satellites to live events held in Belgium and most casino's also do 250+25 or 300+30 sit&go's, although, in Brussels, that's gone from once a week to once a month, it seems. Don't know what the situation in Middelkerke is at the moment, but they used to have several sit&go's per night.
    In Middelkerke they also used to do "micro-week" from time to time: 100NL 1/1 self deal with a 2,5- Euro time charge and self deal 50+5 sit&go's. I.i.r.c. both also required a minimum of two consumptions from the bar, but I don't know if they still do that.

    Of the 4 casinos (Middelkerke, Oostende, Brussels, Namur), I largely prefer Middelkerke and Namur, but beware I've only ever played tournaments there.
    Last edited by J_Verschueren; Feb 6th, 2013 at 02:52 AM.

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