The day after Christmas Bear Toe and I drove up to Dania from Miami to check out the Dania Jai Alai and Poker Palace (or whatever it is called). Our buddy BGE lives in Ft. Lauderdale, and he said this was the place to play. The poker room there is a decent size–probably 20 tables, but most of them weren’t used while we were there.
They run a tournament at 3:00 pm daily, and I signed up for that. It’s a $5 entry, winner take all. 2000 units, 50/100 blinds starting out, with increases every 15 minutes. While I was waiting for the tourney I sat down at a cash table–$1/$2 no limit hold ’em with $100 MAX buy-in . After about 10 minutes at that table, I wished I hadn’t bothered with the tournament.
It seems like there were two types of players there, pretty good and pretty bad, and the split was about half and half. I noticed when the tournament started that the pretty good guys at my table didn’t play in it, and the pretty bad guys did. I decided to just push all in every chance I got to possibly double up and get back to the cash table. There were 60 player in the tournament, and I wasn’t about to sit there for 3 hours for a chance at only $300, especially when there was easy money bleeding into the cash games from guys getting put out of the tourney. If I could pile up chips early, fine. If not, fine too. I think I was the 8th or 9th person put out. I think the wise locals show up just to pick off guys as they are put out of the tourney.
The rest of the day was pretty productive. My chip stack was swinging, but not too wildly and always trending up. As I built it, I’d open up a little and give guys action, hoping they’d stick around. By 10:30 I’d built it up to ~$700. Not bad for buying in at $100. My mistake was not leaving at that point. The poker room closed at 12:00, and people started getting really crazy as closing drew near. It worked out well for Bear Toe who won the final pot of the night (everyone involved pushed all-in) for about $500. I got caught with middle pair post flop countless times and was a little to liberal in giving other guys action.
I ended up leaving with $575 and a newly learned lesson courtesy of one of the pretty good players. It only cost me $65 for him to show me a big gaping hole in my game–pretty cheap!
Overall, a decent poker room. There wasn’t really any variety of games. A 7 card stud game was going on when we got there, but it ended and everything went to $1/$2 NL hold ’em. The dealers were fine on the whole. A couple were excellent, and one in particular was horrible. There were a couple of rules that some players had a problem with, but I didn’t think they were too out of line. For instance, if you show cards before the showdown your hand is automatically mucked. The service was not all that great, but I wasn’t there to drink and eat, so that wasn’t a big deal either.
I can’t wait to go back next year with a little knowledge going in!