Poker Tour: Timerake

Played at the IP, Hard Rock, and the Beau this past week. Played three or four tournaments (zilch) and played cash games (winner, winner, small loser). Taking a break from online poker grinding me was a welcome change. Even still when I go to the coast I get that little twitch of excitement that comes from traveling and relishing the opportunity to compete.

All former athletes feel that little buzz even if has been adapted to a different competition whether it is a sales call, an ad pitch, a live or even a play online poker game, a softball game, a beer pong game or whatever, that little fire's embers are still alight deep inside and traveling seems to really stir up the fire.

Pretty much got to even on the trip(s) couple of hotel stays sandwich between a ride home to do some fathering duties. Which means things could have been a lot worse from a poker perspective but could have been a lot better. I was stunned by the paucity of the crowd at the Beau's poker tournament. In the third of the ballroom the event felt even smaller than it was, and even when it was full it felt negligible. When you think back to the gigantic room full of folks at a friday poker nooner, it was quite a different vibe.

Doing my little beers around campus at three of Biloxi's finest poker rooms, I made some quick conclusions. If I had to compare the three rooms I liked the action at the Hard Rock best. Drunk guys there to have fun. The action at the Beau wasn't bad, but it was more about drunk guys there to win money. The IP was mostly nits nitting it up and the few wild guys always seeming to be next to me buddying up and avoiding pots. Ugh...

The rooms are very different. The IP has made an effort to embrace poker, moving it to the first floor, making the facilities top notch and putting it near their high limit section. The room in the Beau is a little harder to be found, also in a distant corner of their only floor, but the place is always fuller.

I'm surprised. With no time rake at the IP or the HR I kind of preferred the relaxed pace of things. The time rake kind of corrupts the games in sublte fashion. For one, there is no compulsion to make decisions every half hour about whether you want to stay and play or to pick up and go with no time rake. You don't feel like you have to commit to another half hour of your life to poker and just like online poker you can come and go as you please. You can play poker online at any time, whereas live it's all about timing it right when a timerake is involved. Granted it's only $6 as a timerake but still there is this psychological hang up for me to not play a full half-hour if I've paid for it.

Yeah, I'm the guy that gets back to the meter of my parked car and wonders if I should find something to do for the extra six minutes I got left. Hate to waste it.

Also, at that half hour mark not only are dealers scurrying to the next table you get everybody coming and going in one ugly bunch. Harrahs poker room has that problem. I heard a guy bitch about it saying he hates how it forces people to pick up early. They don't want to pay the time rake and leave. True, but there are also people that stay til the end of the time rake and stay later. Maybe the first is more true than the second but who knows.

I'd prefer no timerake with a free flowing movement through out the night. As it is the only guys leaving mid-changes are the bustouts, it seems. At both the Hard Rock casino and the IP poker room the excitement level was toned down but there was plenty places on the felt to eke out some cash wins.


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