I flopped a set of kings, I checked, and boy was that fortunate.
My goal last week in the monthly Andy Slater “See You Later” Tournament was incredibly modest: I just wanted to survive long enough to see my table break.
I had played the monthly event at Seminole Casino Coconut Creek on and off for, oh, the past three years, with dismal results. This month looked like it would be no different, as I looked around my table and saw a minimum of four good players, and possibly all nine were better than me. (I look at these things honestly, to assess from whom I could gather chips.)
Early in the night, I was dealt K-K and the blinds were at 150-300. I bet out 900 and two players called. I had been folding a lot, and to make any money I was going to have to rely on their using their aggression and turn it against them. If I just raise big, they know I have it.
The flop came A-K and a 6, two diamonds, I think, and I was thrilled. I checked what was pretty close to the nuts, expecting one of the other players to fire. They didn’t.
A third diamond hit the turn but that didn’t really bother me because the table had not been doing much flush-chasing, and when it had, those who had even four to a flush raised the pot.
C’mon guys, bet! Nothing.
Another small card completed the table with, I think, four cards to a small straight out there.
We all checked and I reached for the pot only to hear the player to my left grumble about a missed opportunity. He turned over pocket aces, and he, too, had checked his better set all the way down.
Other players at the table were flummoxed, and naturally I was happy I never bet. We both commented that had the board paired, yes, all the money would have ended up in the middle. And yes, poker is quite the strange game, we all agreed.
Sometimes players talk about fortunate hands where they collect boatloads of chips. This one, actually, is just a case of not losing chips. And it paid off. I am proud to say I finally made a table break — and more.
I $175 min-cashed, in 20th place in the field of 222, finally ousted with 8-8 vs. A-A as my stack dwindled around midnight. That was hours after host Andy Slater of WINZ 940 AM had left the room to devour his usual steak and lobster, which salves him after quick eliminations.
Trip of a lifetime
Calder Casino gives away what they’re calling “The Trip of a Lifetime” on Saturday. For the past three Saturdays, the casino has selected two finalists. From 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday, four more finalists will be picked.
Then the 10 players will go to the large map and pluck off their prizes, most of which are free play. But one person will win an exotic trip, which they will have some say-so in destination selection.
And if you’re a stay-at-home? Players can also opt for $12,000 cash instead.
Comics looking for a break are vying each weekend at Mardi Gras Casino as part of the sixth annual Jokers Wild Comedy Challenge. The winner opens on Nov. 5 for Rocky Laporte.
A headliner joins the contestants each weekend along the way. Shows are at 7:30 p.m. Rich Aronovitch headlines this Friday and Saturday; Shang is booked for Sept. 30-Oct. 1, Jim Florentine for Oct. 7- 8, Dean Napolitanno for Oct. 14-15 and Kira Soltanovich Oct. 21-22.
Tickets are $18.85 via MGFla.com.
▪ Hialeah Park continues its Guest Appreciation Thursdays. Slot players who earn one point receive $5 to $20 in free play.
▪ Charanga Típica Tropical performs a free show at 9 p.m. Saturday at Casino Miami.
▪ Gulfstream Park has a “Quick Hit” slot tournament with $30,000 cash and free play as prizes from 4-10 p.m. Monday. First place wins $3,500. Slot players must earn 10 points to enter.
▪ The Isle Casino’s big giveaway is at 11 p.m. Saturday. The casino has been selecting finalists all month, and will draw its last set of names from 4-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The winner receives a choice of a 2016 Camaro or a 1967 Classic Camaro.
▪ Two regulars on Chelsea Lately’s show, Josh Wolf and Heather McDonald, yuk it up at 8 p.m. Friday at The Casino @ Dania Beach. Tickets are $25, $300 for a VIP table for four.
▪ Hard Rockin’ Sevens runs from 5-11 p.m. Monday at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood. One player will be selected every seven minutes from 5 to 11 p.m. to win $777 Free Play.
▪ Casino favorite Peter Fernandez and The Open House Band do a free show at 10 p.m. Saturday at Magic City Casino.
Get daily gambling news at SouthFloridaGambling.com.