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My Seattle Poker Journal

After gaining confidence from the PokerStars PSO (Poker School Online) and hours and hours of practice, I decided to go to one of the biggest and funnest casinos near Seattle in the city of Auburn, WA called Muckleshoot Casino.  They have great live shows there, people that go there get dressed up for a good time, and a secure parking garage.  It's about a 35 minute drive from downtown Seattle.

I have to admit that I was a little nervous to play in the real game.. it's so easy to fire up the laptop, log onto and play with real players without risking real Benjamins (Play Money games of course).
I also made the drive thinking that I could find a $1/$2 No Limit , $100 buy-in game as my buddy does in Vegas, however, I came to learn that in WA state there is only Spread Limit, not "No Limit", and at the Muckleshoot, only $3/$5 Spread Limit with $200 buy-in, along with it's limit games.  As luck would have it, I was only prepared for a $100 buy-in, and after scrounging around in my wallet and a trip to the ATM which left $6 in my account, I managed to get the $200 buy-in without having to return home!!

I won't spend time writing about what Spread Limit means, but I will say that the hosts at the Poker room take the time to explain it to you and love to share their own stories at the table.  My initial worries about not finding the game I was looking for were wiped away because of their helpfulness and sense of humor.

The poker room is large and there are never enough people to fill the number of tables it has.  At 22:15, only 2 Spread-Limit tables were playing, and about 4 Limit tables.  Arriving at 9, I waited 75 minutes to get in finally on a game.  They had free fix-it-yourself coffee, apple cider, and hot chocolate, which I helped myself to and used to kill time while I managed to watch the hands at both tables for a while.   (PRE-GAME POKER TIP: It looks a lot less awkward standing by the table and watching when you have a cup of coffee in your hand. ^^.)

I started with $200, the obvious short stack at a full-table, almost laughable, but after flopping a 10 Set (to beat two pair J K), and also winning a King-high Flush (over K K), I was already up to more than $600 within an hour.  I left with $510 at the end of the night, mostly due to me telling myself to leave by midnight, and I mentally started rushing hands and playing with cards I should've folded, but I think that leaving with the Green with any amount should be considered an acheivement.  Next time however, I've decided to tell myself that I need to stay competitive because it is a game after all and if my mindset isn't to take it all, then I have no business being at the table.  Consistency is key.

I used a lot of the knowledge gained on PSO, particularly to play tight, and stay consistent with my folds with weak cards.  Everytime I folded a Group 4 hand (I forget what to call the first two cards that are dealt to me), it payed off because even if I started to wonder if they may work, I never missed out on a win I should've had that night.  Thanks PSO!

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