Written by Ji Chul Kim

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

User Rating: / 1


Cigars and Poker.... These are a few of my favorite things.

Of late, I find myself playing a lot of Texas Hold'em.  I enjoy just about any flavor of poker, but with the popularity of Texas Hold'em, it seems the easiest game to find.

 My favorite Sunday past time is to play in a free tournament hosted at the The Independent (  Besides the fact that I've been calling The Independent my Oasis away from home for the last 16 years, it's cigar friendly!

I found myself enjoying a Bolivar Corona Gigante this past Sunday while the Tournament started.  The first few inches of the cigar was pretty uneventful.  Nothing in the cigar distracted me from the card play which would probably lead me to make a hasty bet!

In the first blind round I found myself with A-K offsuit in middle late position.  The blinds were 1-2 and found myself acting after an early position raise to 10.  I've played with the raiser on several occasion, while he generally plays tight early, I sensed this raise was a little weak.  I don't like to commit too much pre-flop with A-K unless pressed.  This was one of those times where I felt I needed to push a little harder.  I raised to 60 (starting chips 250)and found everyone folding up the small blind who called.  The early position raiser pushed all-in, 109 on top of the 60 I had raised.

Not really what I was expecting, but I had a decision to make.   Against A-A or K-K I'm in trouble.  Any other pair, it's pretty much a coin flip.  Against A-x I like my odds.  I decided to push all in to isolate the early position raiser.  I was a little surprised to see the small blind call.  I guess he liked his odds.

 A smile came to my face when I saw both players turn over A-Q offsuit.  I couldn't have asked for a better showdown.

I flopped a K, turned a K, the hand was over.  I was in good shape to take me down to the top 3.  I finished third in this tournament after losing with my 5-5 against Ad-4D on this board Q-8-8 Q 10.  Needless to say that Bolivar sure did start to taste better after I took down that pot with A-K.


0 # I love a good poker storyJon Caputo 2009-01-14 00:03
I am a big poker nut. I love playing..watching it on tv. My BIG complaint is any of these poker houses at casinos wont let you smoke a cigar while playing poker. You can smoke it 4 feet from the poker tables at a slot machine but not in the poker room. I HATE that. I mean poker + cigars = heaven.

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0 # I remember the day.Ji Chul Kim 2009-01-14 04:19
Jon, I know what you mean. Unfortunately I can remember a time not too long aago, maybe 5 years ago when you could still smoke in the poker room at the Horseshoe Casinos.

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0 # CasinosJon Caputo 2009-01-14 05:26
Are there any casinos where you can still smoke cigars while playing poker?

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0 # Smoking in CasinosJi Chul Kim 2009-01-14 05:41
Jon, not that I'm aware of. Since the WSOP got so popular and Harrahs buying everything up, it seems the push to make non-smoking poker rooms took precedence. Not to say that there aren't any out there that exist, but I haven't seen any in awhile.

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0 # Ji Chul Kim 2009-01-15 03:42
I think a private section would do well. Historically though, if it weren't for the resurgence of Texas Hold'em, I think we'd see the card rooms disappear altogether from the Casinos. That real estate is much more profitable if it's filled with Slot Machines.

With moden ventilation systems, I think a partitioned poker room would do well. The Cigar Lounge that I enjoy spending my time in has an air exchange system that recycles all the air in the space every 3 minutes. I do have to admit it's nice because the amount of smoke is not even close to becoming overbearing even for a smoker.

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0 # Smoking in CasinosAaron T. 2009-01-16 09:47
We have been going to vegas for the last 10 years and I remember when the Mirage made their poker room non-smoking. I think it was the first main one to do so (back them only a couple of casinos had poker rooms bigger than an office). This was before poker blew up, I remember everyone was pissed and people were lining up against the outside wall to smoke.

You do have to admit, it would suck to be a dealer in a poker room that allowed smoking. You have to sit there across from the smoke all day. I assume it would be worse than other dealers where people come and go more often.

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