You probably don’t know this about me, but I love playing poker. I’ve been playing on a poker website called Pokerstars since 2005. I started out playing tournaments on free chips, but a few years later, I became brave enough to play for real money. Usually, the buy-in for the tourney was $1 or $2 so that was the most I could lose.
As I did better, I began to play tourneys for more money. The tourney buy-ins now were from $3.50 to $8. I prefer playing in a tournament because you pay one fee and that’s all you can lose. If you play in a cash game, you could lose all your money in one hand, and that was too dangerous a possibility for me. So, I only play tournaments.
But playing online has many disadvantages. You don’t see anyone’s face so hard to tell if they are bluffing. And people play the worst hands just for fun but then they win. (I was just playing in an online tourney and I had Ace/Queen. The other guy had 7/6. The flop came up Ace, 4, 7. He went all in. Turn card was a 6 and river a 7 so where I had a pair of Aces, he had pulled out a full house. Bad beat.)
A number of years ago, I played in some live tournaments hosted by a bar in East Hamilton. The buy-in was $60 and about 40 people played. I played in 3 tournaments and came second twice. Won $340 each time. Not bad eh?
Tells are a big thing in poker. I’ve got a pretty good poker face, and I practice putting on my Spock. But while playing at that bar, the guys told me to wear sunglasses while I play poker because my eyes sparkle when I’ve got a good hand.
For the past few years, I’ve been playing only online, but it does get old fast especially with those bad beats. I had to play live again. When I moved to Brantford, I knew there was a casino here and found out they held poker tournaments once a month. I scoped out the casino and found out where it was situated. But the problem was I didn’t know how long I would last in the tournament and I had Kira here at home. I couldn’t leave her all day.
Luckily, I found a woman who works part-time at my vet and she could come for the day. So with that settled, I called the Poker Room to find out how to register for a poker tournament. I was told to come to the casino to get a membership, which I finally did. The place is only a 10 minute drive from my house.
The Brantford Casino isn’t very big as far as casinos go. There’s only one restaurant (and it’s not buffet) and everything is on the second floor. There are about 10 blackjack tables. I saw lots of slots in another room and a couple of craps tables. There’s a large signing saying Poker Room, leading into another room in the back. It was quite quiet in there though a few tables were playing a cash poker game.
I registered to play in the Sunday, March 11th, tournament, and I played in it yesterday. I was very excited but yet terrified as well. I had never played in a casino nor played for such large stakes. I didn’t know what kind of people would be playing or even how to manage the chips. I had no idea what kind of bets to make.
But it was a challenge and I love taking on new and different challenges.
I arrived 30 minutes early to the Poker Room. I signed in and received my table and seat number. Of course, I had troubles finding my way around but the dealers were already sitting at the tables and they helped me. When I sat down, I admitted to the dealer that this was my first time and could she help me out with a few things. She was very kind and I felt better after talking to her.
The tournament began with 80 people at 11:00 a.m. There were 10 to a table. I noticed only two other women playing. When the play started, I was glad to receive some bad hands so I could watch the others play. I had to see what people bet and how they handled their cards. I was very nervous.
But over time and after winning a couple of hands, I felt better. It was so much fun. I really enjoyed playing poker and I didn’t want it to end. I know this is something I want to continue with because it brought me so much joy.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get many good hands and the blinds go up quite high so when I received a pair 6s, I went all in. I lost out in 38th place. Only the top 11 are paid. First place was $3,800.
So, not bad for my first time. I made a few mistakes so I look forward to redeeming myself. I feel much more confident to play now.
I’m arranging it with my dog sitter when she would be able to come over again. I want to play in another tourney tomorrow but will have to wait until next month. I had come alive for the first time in months. I really needed this opportunity when I could just live for myself, and not have to worry about the dog.
My dream is to play in Vegas. Never been there and dying to go. It would be fun playing poker every day for a week. One day.
My publisher is making the final proofread of my new novel, Where True Beauty Lies: A Modernization of the Book of Esther, from the Bible. A modern spin on a biblical tale… In the country of Baltia, jealousy, deceit, and murderous intention simmer beneath the surface. What will it take to keep the peace, and bring the citizens of Baltia together?
I’m meeting with the publisher on Thursday to see the book. So excited. Hopefully, it will be published and available on Amazon by the end of March.