Casino de Barcelona

by john on May 25, 2006

Wrapped up work in Barcelona at about 7:00PM on Wednesday and then headed over to the Casino de Barcelona for another taste of European poker.

The World Heads-Up Poker Champinoships have been running this week, I was able to watch some of round 4 which included 2001 WSOP(World Series of Poker) Champion Carlos Mortenson and Paul Jackson, perhaps most noted for finishing 2nd to Phil Ivey in the 2005 Monte Carlo Millions. If you haven’t seen this hand from their battle do take the time to check it out, it’s unbelievable poker at its best.

I won 350 Euros playing 20/40 limit, which is well beyond my comfort zone and won another 300 Euros playing 5/10 No-Limit, which is also a bigger game then I am used to. The casino usually only spreads Pot Limit Holdem and Omaha and Limit Holdem, but apparently this week they have been spreading some additional games due to all the extra traffic. The biggest game I saw was a 100/200 limit game that a couple of the guys playing at our no-limit table moved to later in the evening.

I won’t pretend to have played very well as I generally played a little too scared and then when I did get some chips I played much too loose and passive – limping into pots and then check calling. Ick. I knew what I was doing but had a hard time stopping it, I think that is because I was playing at too high a limit and I’ll have to remember that in the future.

I played two key hands where I won the majority of my money. In the first hand I had J::cT::c in late position and raised to 40 Euro when it folded to me. The button, who had been very loose but aggressive post-flop just called and it was heads-u Flop came J::sT::s4::h. With 95 Euros in the pot I made a 100 Euro bet. Button, a big Russian who later played inthe 100/200 limit game raised it up to 300 Euro. I didn’t play scared in this hand and I pushed all-in for around 900 Euros. He insta-called and I was very worried he had flopped a set. As is tradition in Europe we did not flip our cards over and two rags hit the board, I flipped my cards and after thinking for just a minute he mucked his cards and I raked in a nice double-up.

I was talking about the hand with a Brit next to me when the Russian made the comment he was ahead on the flo Since my hand didn’t improve and I won the pot it didn’t immediatly register what he was telling me, until he said he had mucked Q::s9::s. If in fact that is what he had, and I have no reason to doubt him, he was indeed a 53% favorite after the flo Open-ended straight flush draws are very powerful.

After I lost most of these winnings I won a lot of it back by benefiting from a runner/runner that disguised my hand very well. I had J::s8::s with 2 spades on the flop, called a small flop raise and caught an 8 on the turn and again called a bet with 3 players in thinking I would be good on any 8, J or spade. Turned out I was right except for the J, but fortunetly another 8 came on the river and one player called a nice sized bet I made.

After I whittled down most of my winnings by continuing to play scared I called it a night with a small profit and a good learning experience.

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