I got an email announcement for the Movada poker series at Harrahs Cherokee in early December 2013. They had several events during the week and I had a few extra vacation days remaining so I figured why not try something new. I’m not much of a poker player anymore – back in the Moneymaker days I played a couple of times a month with the neighborhood guys and would sit in a tournament or two every time I was in Vegas. I haven’t ever cashed in a live tournament, but I can hold my own and made it fairly deep in some small events.
This tournament was a $250 buy in and had a fairly large field – I’d ballpark it at 300 people strong. It was mostly middle-aged white guys who seemed to play events on a regular basis from the table talk I heard. It was the usual cast of characters with the super-agro table leader, couple of quiet young guys with headphones, a loose cannon older guy who bet on almost everything, and the super friendly retiree who made a comment on every single hand. My day didn’t last long, won a couple of small pots early and then got AK hearts – 3bet – was raised by loose cannon, re-raised, he went all in and I called down his AQ spades – I’m a 70% favorite to win so you can guess what came next – 2 spades on the flop, spade on the turn and the river just to add insult to injury and I’m gone. This is why I’ve stopped playing poker – lots of skill, but in a tournament there is a lot of waiting for cards and then 2 ill-timed spades can tank your whole day.
Outside of poker of course I made time for blackjack before and after my quick exit. It seems like a trend that my first few rounds at Cherokee always take a bite out of my bankroll and this visit was no different. I lost $400 before the poker game which put me in a solid hole for the early hours of the day. After poker I took a break to grab a bite of lunch, rehash my poker bad luck over and over in my head, convince myself that I did everything right, and get ready to play solid blackjack so the day wasn’t a total loss.
The afternoon black jack was solid, nothing exciting, but solid. I clawed my way back slowly towards break even for the day and then the last shoe put me back to a $100 total loss for the day – not great, but not bad considering my early losses. Overall a fun day, I doubt I’ll play any large tourny poker in the near future, this reminded me that I probably don’t have the patience to make it through a big field so I’ll stick with blackjack from here on out.