Among the things that plagued me as a poker player was not having a readily available live game to me once I left northern Wisconsin, my original home. I went several years without playing a single time live, even if I was able to hone my poker skills in a technical sense while playing online. I have no doubt that my game is much better for having played so much on teh InterWebs, but I still missed sitting at a live table. Just because, you know. Just because.
So it's been a conscious effort on my part the last few months to find "live" poker opportunities, to work on that part of my game. There's the private tourneys up in McHenry that I'm now frequenting, where I can report being ahead in those, but still well behind in the cash games.
I also discovered that there's a floating poker casino of sorts called Rockford Charitable Games that runs all sorts of 'charity' poker events all across the Chicago northwest suburbs. It's a bigger operation than I imagined when I first heard about it: when I decided to spend a recent Sunday afternoon at a Hoffman Estates 'funder,' I was surprised to find something like 23 tables in play. 14 were devoted to a tournament (in which I partook), while the others were held for a various assortment of cash games an SNGs.
Quite the operation it was. Run reasonably smoothly as well, complete with a tourney clock broadcast on a flat-screen TV on the wall, chip runners for rebuys, and of course, the usual assortment of donkeys. No, I have no victorious tales to share, since I went out of the $100 event (with one re-buy and add-on, $50 each), exactly $200 poorer. In about the middle of the pack, perhaps 70th or so.
If I had any concerns at all, I think it would be that it looked like some cards were being marked --- at least I think I saw one ace with a distinctive rub on it, just before the deck was pulled out at a break --- and given that this was being held in the upstairs meeting room of a bowling alley, closed-circuit surveillance isn't likely to happen. I guess it comes with the territory.
I also plan on trying to satellite into the HPT championship being held over at Majestic Star early next month, just because. We'll see how that one goes. It's a step up in stakes from the $10-50 range I normally toy with online, but you just don't find those baby tourneys live. In my way of thinking, it's time to push the envelope a bit, move up in stakes both online and live and see what happens.
Maybe it'll work out, maybe not. But I'm pretty sure I can grind out enough of a profit at lower stakes to warrant taking the occasional shot.