I cannot freaking’ wait until the end of the work day and my sojourn to Colorado tomorrow for an antiemetic wedding. On Wednesday night, after waking up early and travelling across this fine country by aeroplane, wifey Kim will be joining her friends for a bachelorette party and I will be joining wifey Kim’s friend’s fiance for some poker in Black Hawk, Colorado.
A while ago, when I first found out I was heading to CO, CO-native kodokmas 99 gave me the lowdown on the local scene.
For those who don’t travel a lot, poker is legal in a shitload of places where you wouldn’t expect it. Colorado was one of those places for me. Thankfully, one of the fringe benefits of having this poker blog is meeting people from all over the country and world who share a similar interest. Peaker is one such person.
Peaker gave me one major warning. Don’t expect much for the cash games. Colorado apparently has a law limiting the Indian casinos to $5 max bets. The result is that the highest limit game at an Colorado casino is 5/5 Limit, whether it be LHE or LO8, which apparently is fairly regularly spread (likely, an unintended side effect of the bet limits). There is no NL spread anywhere.
To most people, this is a serious Lemon; NLHE is the game we all know and love. For me, it merely means an adjustment. I play poker, plain and simple, and the rules are merely guiding principles in how I play, not if I play. My plan is to play 5/5, predominantly, mostly LO8, if possible, and use one of two strategies. I will either play the role of the nut peddler, waiting until I have strong hands and always enter the pot raising OR I will play many hands to a limp and see how hands develop. They are two opposite strategies, but ironically, they are the two optimal strategies in No Fold’em games.
Nut peddling is pretty straight forward. If everyone is playing to the river, hands can get expensive, so limiting the hands I play will limit the variance. Since players are going to the river no matter what, I don’t need to build a loose image and will hopefully be paid off when my strong starting hands hit.
Conversely, by limping a lot, I will be playing a high variance style that is designed to extract money from thin edges and superior post-flop play. In other words, if I can see a lot of cheap flops and extract a lot of chips when I hit (folding when I don’t), I can still beat the No Fold’em players. The key to this strategy is suffering through the many limp misses and check-raising or doing other things to get extra bets into the pot when I am ahead.
The smart money is to nut peddle, but for my action-loving self, I will probably choose to play lots of hands, particularly in O8, where I can still make a profit winning half the pot, provided there are at least 3 people reaching showdown.
Of course, there is a loophole to the ole CO laws. Tournaments seem to shirk the usual laws in a lot of states. The result is nightly tournaments with buy-ins from $40 to 70 during the week in the location where I will be playing, Black Hawk, CO. I don’t much know one casino from the next, but I expect to hit up a poker tournament Wednesday night at 7pm, most likely at the Gilpin Poker Room (Warning: Do Not check thier tourney schedule online. It’s a PDF file that froze my browser thrice!). The other possibility is Central Station Casino’s 7pm $60 buy-in.
If anyone is from the CO area and could offer some advice about those casinos, please do! I’m wondering if one place gets more players, or is nicer, or has a better structure. You can leave a comment or email me at HighOnPokr (no E) at Yahoo. If anyone happens to be in the area and is interested in watching me win a tournament against a bunch of CO hippies, please feel free to join. It may be a bit odd telling my compadre that I am meeting up with a stranger from the Intertubes, but he’s a poker nut, too, and more importantly, I don’t really care what anyone thinks.