Sunday, August 7, 2011

Poker Night

A few weeks ago, the Main Event of the World Series of Poker was shown live* on ESPN.  I love poker and watched way too much of the coverage.  Starting with the second to last day, they started showing a player from Belize named Badih Bounahra.  Despite his short stack, he kept inching closer and closer to the final table, which will be played in November.

As the tournament wore on, the announcers starting talking about the man from Belize.  They said he owned a poker room in Belize City.  I thought that was impossible because I didn't think there was a poker room in Belize.  Considering that they also called Belize City the capital of Belize, I figured the announcers just had bad information.  Turns out they were right and I was wrong.

Ever since I learned there was a poker room at the Princess Casino in Belize City, I have wanted to make a trip up there.  The Princess has a less than stellar reputation and despite having the only movie theater in the country (currently showing Transformers 2), one of two bowling alleys in Belize, and a casino, I had somehow never made it there.  I sought to fix this oversight last night and headed up to Belize City.

I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the poker room.  They had quality tables,regulation chips, and professional dealers in a room separate from the rest of the casino.  Most of the players were polite and knew what they were doing.  (There was one guy who never stopped talking and bet big into almost every pot.  He won several big hands, but ended up losing approximately US$800, so despite his obnoxious personality, I was glad he was there).  The rake is absurdly high, 5% up to $25.  (Normally, the rake is capped around $4).

I started the night off hot with pocket kings on my first hand and I won the first three pots at the table.  Within 30 minutes I had pocket kings again and I was up $75 quickly (with an initial bankroll of $100).  From there, things turned sour with a run of bad cards.  Twice the boorish guy beat me on the river and I was down $200.  With my last $100, I quickly tripled up to get back to even and won a few more big pots to end up ahead by $250 for the night.  Not too shabby for a Saturday night.

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