Last Thursday I wrote that my challenge was simple – find the game – beat the game.
At that point in time I was still trying to find the game, wandering around Surfers Paradise and the Gold Coast getting sunburned. And it was not just any game I was trying to find either. It was “THE game”. To hear tell of, this was the easiest game you could ever wish to play.
Well eventually I achieved half of my task – the wrong half though!
Let’s just say I haven’t beaten the game yet. I’ve only won one of my three sessions there, although I am only a tiny loser so far overall. But at first I wasn’t even sure that I had even found the game. When I compared the evidence of my own eyes to what had been promised to me by that Canadian guy back in Brazil a year ago, I started to wonder “Have I been mis-sold THE game?”
The game that he told me about was the liveliest, loosest, easiest-to-win-at game of poker that you ever heard of. Full of fish! Galahs galore! Players literally giving their money away!
But that wasn’t the game that I came across. With a couple of notable exceptions (of which more to come later), the players weren’t in the habit of giving all their money away to me or anyone else for that matter. So I wondered if I was at the wrong place and whether “THE” game was actually some other game.
Alas no. Having asked around and searched online, this pretty much has to be the game in question. One of the regulars who I have seen at Jupiter’s every time I’ve been there assured me there is nothing else going on along the Gold Coast and the next game is all the way up at Brizzy (Brisbane – an hour’s drive North).
So unless the Canadian was talking about some home game (which I find very unlikely) then yes, I have indeed found “the” game. And having travelled 12000 miles to find the supposedly bestest game in the whole universe, I have to say I feel a bit let down.
The obvious candidate for “the game” was Jupiter’s Casino, which is part of a big hotel complex. And I wasn’t massively impressed with it. Although it claims to be a 5 star establishment, it doesn’t look like one. It is decent, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not a patch on the Star City in Sydney, which you can really tell is a five star. This in turn means that the Jupiter probably isn’t a tenth as good as the Crown in Melbourne (where they play the Aussie Millions). I still haven’t been there but I’ve heard from untold sources that the Crown is the absolute nuts.
But who cares how good a casino is? It’s not like I go to a casino to play the table games: I only care for the poker. The Jupiter poker room only has space for 10 tables and when I got there at 4pm on a Friday there were only two tables in action. There was a $1/2 game and a $2/4 game with a maximum $300 buy in (although a $2.50/5 game started at about 7pm with a $500 max). In three visits I have not seen more than four tables open at once. Compare that to the Star where there were 20 tables in action at 2am on a Friday night/Saturday morning.
However, the Jupiter has its advantages. There is no table charge and the rake is 5% instead of 10%, although there is no cap so it can get as high as $50 on a $1000 pot (it is capped at $10 in the Star). I have to say the $10 per hour table charge they make you stump up at the Star is the single most ridiculous thing I have ever seen in a cash game so I’m at least grateful I don’t have to pay that at Jupiter’s.
The poker room itself is surrounded by noisy slot machines and banging loud music, something that annoys and amuses the players in equal measure.
“Can you ask them to turn up this banging music please?” joked one player to the dealer.
“Come on man, turn it up! Can’t you see the clientele want it louder?” he persisted, pointing to a geriatric old girl who was hunched over a fruit machine having a coughing fit.
Given the demographic of the slot playing clientele – they are all old ladies without exception – it is a particularly odd scenario to hear techno playing at that volume.
But I don’t so much mind the conditions so long as the game is good, namely that the people playing it are bad at poker. So you can imagine my displeasure at this amazing fold I saw:
At the river the board was showing four hearts, thus:
Ah 10h 5h 3h 3c
The flop had been checked and there was a smidgeon of action on the turn. On the river there was about $200 in the pot and the guy from Melbourne who had about $2200 bet $110. His grizzly tight opponent thought for ages and then raised to $290.
“All in” said the bloke from Melbourne in a flash.
The grizzly bloke had less than $300 left. After some bitching and moaning he finally folded his hand face up – King Queen of hearts for the best flush. It was around $260 to win about $1150. And he folded! Incredible stuff.
The guy from Melbourne showed his A3 for the full house. Say what you will about the fold and the pot odds and the fact it was a cash game, but at the end of the day the bloke folded the best possible flush and he saved just under $300! Now if this was really a good game the man would stack off in an instant there. Even some good players will call out of sheer frustration there!
And this is supposed to be a good game?
Hmmm. I think I’ve been mis-sold ”the game” here…..