Exploring Midwestern Poker Part 2 of 5

The day we left Dallas we got up and were out on the road by 9 AM. With the baby asleep for most of the morning, the drive went by smoothly. In my mind the only notable thing that happened that day was when we passed Topeka. All I could think of as we passed Topeka was of an episode of Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends when Bloo was watching the news and it was Hot in Topeka.

Getting off the highway and pulling into the entrance for Harrah’s Kansas City felt like I was pulling into an amusement park of some sort. The road that leads to Harrah’s has a big arch over it announcing that you are entering Harrah’s with two big billboards on each side. The road leads along the river and is surrounded by trees. As we continued down the road looking for the main entrance and valet, we started to see that there were traffic cones, rope, and traffic barriers as if there was an event or some construction was going to start soon. It was confusing to get around because things were not clearly marked and when we figured out that Valet was closed, we just went directly to the hotel main entrance.

As I was checking in I asked if it was possible to get an upgrade since there wasn’t any valet available and I was supposed to get valet with my stay. The person helping me check in responded by saying, “We don’t have any complimentary upgrades.” It was a little off putting because it seemed that there was a little sass in their voice. Then I asked if there was a bellhop to help us with our luggage. Unfortunately, there was not one, but I think the worse thing about it was that there was not even a bellhop cart for us to use. After we managed to get everything out of our car and up to our room it was time for dinner. When I started to look at what was on property, it seemed like everything on the property was closed! I started to look at was nearby and really couldn’t find anything. I decided to call the concierge. When I spoke with the concierge, they insisted that they had plenty of options on property, but I pointed out that they were all closed. That is when I found out about a restaurant called Winning Streaks. It was basically a bar and grill kind of place that serves typical American cuisine like burgers and sandwiches. My wife suggested that we give it a try and stay on property to make things easier, and I could go play poker immediately after dinner. There was nothing impressive about Winning Streaks, but it was not bad. We were full and the service was good.

After dinner I went to the casino floor and my wife went back to the room with the baby. I walked around to check out the games that were being offered and eventually found the poker room. The poker room at Harrah’s is separated by a set of glass doors and glass windows where the cashier could look out. I walked in and found that they did not spread $1/$3. I put my name on the list for $1/$2 and they took my number down to text me when a seat became available. It didn’t look like a seat would be available soon, so I had to find a way to kill some time. I decided to go play some craps while I waited. I found an ATM and withdrew some money since the only cash I had on me was my poker bankroll money. As soon as I took the money out, I received a text message letting me know that my seat was available. The max buy-in for the game was $200 or half the big stack. I had two options for seats, one table looked like some of the players were deep and the other table looked like everyone had even stacks. The floor let me know that the second table was a newer game and I decided to go there.

The game was soft! Right away I noticed that players seemed to be calling for the sake of calling. It was an action table too! Players were straddling just to straddle. I remember one guy didn’t want to call a raise because it was too much of his stack. This player had about $50 and the raise wasn’t very much. But when he said he needed at least a pair to call another player chimed in and asked if he thought this was too much then why was he putting in 1/5th of his stack to straddle. They argued back and forth about it for a little while. I made a mental note about the player that had pointed this out. He seemed to play tight relative to the rest of the table but was not adjusting to the straddles or the plays that were happening at the table. Then there was the guy that was playing on my direct left. He seemed to be making a lot of calls and his chip stack was going up and down. When ever someone would sit down at the table, he would welcome them and say, “It’s a fun game. All we are doing are just passing chips around! As soon as we win them, we lose them.” Every time he would say this, I would look down at my chip stack and wonder what he was talking about. I had been slowly building my chip stack and keeping the chips that I had won. I started to 3-bet a little wider because I realized that these guys were not being very aggressive pre-flop. My raises were getting respect. Players were over folding to my pre-flop raises and I was able to steal a lot of pots. There were a couple players that tried to keep up with me, but I do not think they were used to facing big turn bets. In my opinion the key to the game was to just bet as it seemed these players were not correctly playing back.

Here is a hand that happened towards the end of the night. I was in the Cut Off with about $450 in my chip stack. The UTG player limped in and then the UTG+1 player raised it up to $30. It folded to me, and I 3-bet to $100 with pocket Queens. BTN folded and the SB who was new to the table and killing time waiting for his taxi, went all in. It folded back around to the original raiser, and he tanked. He genuinely seemed unsure of what to do. It looked like he wanted to call my raise because the other guy was all in and was claiming to have Q3 off suite. I personally did not believe him since I had two Queens, but if he really had one then that would be better for me. Eventually this guy folded, and it was verified that the guy did call me short of the $100 bet that I had made. The board ran out clean and I was able to scoop the pot. After the guy left, someone said, “I hope that wasn’t his taxi money to get home, that would suck.”

Shortly after that the game felt like it was going to die out. I decided to cash out, I was in for $200 and out for $645. I decided to go downstairs and check out the craps game. I still had the money that I withdrew from the ATM in my pocket. I found a table and started to play but shortly after I started to go on a heater, they shut the table down. It seems that the casino in Kansas City was still recovering from the pandemic shutdown. Games were getting shut down around 2 or 3 in the morning. Luckily there was another table still open, and I went over there to continue playing for a little while. The second craps table was not something that I had ever seen before. There was no crap bet on the table. You were able to bet on everything from 2 to 12 while the point was on. I lost about $100 before I decided to go up to my room and get some sleep. We had another drive ahead of us and even though I wouldn’t be driving in the morning I wanted to have some rest to be functional in the morning.

Click on this Google Maps link to see the route that I traveled – https://goo.gl/maps/pBzvb4pmvusGPDaU8. To get notifications when I make another post about my trip you can scroll down to the bottom of my blog site and subscribe to get email notifications.

Bizzy’s 2021 Gains: $4148.45

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