So my wife and I planned to head up to Santa Barbara wine country for a romantic Valentine's dinner at the Sunstone Vineyard with a few other couples. She booked a room at the new Chumash resort. I recalled reading the poker listing of the Chumash poker room up on Tworags, so I was hoping to get in a session or two if I’m able to find some time.
We arrived Friday afternoon and she was a bit under the weather and wanted to get a good night sleep in so she would be rested for the big dinner the following night. Okay, I guess I'll just have to go down to the poker room. Not too bad...
I get there a bit past 9pm, and it is packed. They are spreading 4 NL tables at the $100-200 buyin level with 2/5 blinds and one NL table at the $300-500 level with 5/10 blinds. The lists are 15+ names deep, so I also put my name on some limit list and go to the cafe to grab some food. I get back 30 minutes later and the NL list hasn't moved much but my name comes up for the 4/8 limit game after another 15-20 minutes.
I haven't played much limit in about 2 years, and I'm not a big fan. I try to play a pretty straightforward/TAG game and don't enter many pots. I did have AK one time from LP, raised, get two callers and bet the rag flop, bet a blank turn and folded to a bet by an EP player on the river when I missed again.
I also played a few community pots with 8-9 players but never really made a hand for the 45 minutes or so I played. I think I lost about $70 in total when my name finally came up for the $100-200 game.
I buy-in for the max $200. The table consisted of a mix between blue-collar types in their 30’s and 40’s and college kids, probably coming up from UCSB. Everyone was very friendly and seemed to know each other.
To say I was card dead would be an understatement. Not only did I not get many/any premium hands, but when I did play a hand I rarely hit a flop. On several occasions I would raise from late position, continuation bet when it was checked to me and sometimes even fire a second and even third bullet when I could sense that my opponents wanted me to check. Well, in almost all cases I would get called down by opponents with very little – second and third pair type hands, but they were usually good enough against me.
Of course I tried to change gears and wait for big hands, but even then I would usually lose. For example, one time I three bet a guy with QQ, got called and then on an A rag flop the guy checks to me. I felt compelled to bet, the guy agonizes and calls, he checks again on the turn, I check too, he bets the river I call (probably a bit tilted) and he shows AT.
I played until 2:30am and maybe won 3-5 hands the entire time! One time I did stack a guy when I hit trips on the flop and my opponents didn’t believe I had it so they called me down, but hands like that were few and far between. I lost a few buy-ins and never could get anything going. I did have a good rep to get action for my premium hands, but it just didn’t work out for me. As they say… that’s poker!
I did have a good experience and was impressed with the room. The dealers and players were friendly, the action was good and management was very professional. They could use a bigger room with more tables and a bigger waiting area, but other than that I had no complaints and look forward to my next trip up to Santa Barbara!
* There was a guy there who won about 10 buy-ins – he cashed in for $2k which is quite a lot in a $200 max buy-in game. Not only did the guy have an incredible run of cards, but it seemed that every time he hit a big hand, someone else hit a big hand too, but it was just under his hand. At one point he was dealt KK three times in two orbits. Each time he stacked a player who also had a premium hand, just not quite as strong as his. Just an incredible run of cards.