In a sort of unusual action, I decided to go to Harrah’s Chester on Friday night, by myself, to play poker. I left at 6:00pm, the worst time to leave, and it took me about an hour to get there. I knew the best way was 76 to 95 but I started putting faith in the gps to get me around traffic and it just was going in circles. When I got there I was expecting a wait because it’s Friday and I figured the degen’s near by were looking to blow their paychecks. Amazingly there was no line and I got a seat at a 1-2 nl game. I bought in for 300 and even made a pact to myself that I wasn’t going to drink any beer ( I had about 3 throughout the night). To give some thoughts on the table I was at, I was in for 300 and was covered by 2 people at the table who had about 5. Everyone else was in between 1 and 2 hundred.

This is going to be poker related so stop reading if you have no interest. I was in seat 4 and Ray was in seat 2. I point out Ray because him and I played for about 5 hours together and he was easily the life of the table. I drew the best seat in the entire casino (seat 3 would be better but he would be next to me all the time so this literally was the best seat). I couldn’t tell exactly but Ray was decked out in all Phillies gear and was what I thought, bombed. Not only that but Ray had a wad of 50’s that he wasn’t ashamed to flaunt around. Ray played about a 90/10 and went to showdown about 75% of the time.

My first hand came about 5 hands in and I was dealt 88. I made it 10 total and got 4 callers. Flop was K82 two hearts. I bet 25 into the 40 pot and only Ray comes along. I bet 60 on a 9 of hearts turn and Ray called again. The river was a 3 and I put Ray in because I saw him play a hand prior where he called someone down with a pair of twos, so I was about 95% sure my hand was good at this point. Ray says “if you got a King, you got me,” he flipped over pocket jacks and I was up a quick 150 or so because Ray wasn’t in for the max. So after a nice first hand Ray pulls out the roll of 50’s and rebuys for table max. CHA-CHING.

I was folding most hands at this point because the table was full and I wasn’t really seeing anything playable. I get QQ and open to 10 from EP and get called by a female and 2 others. I believed the female to be competent (lol) after an hour or two of play of play with her. The flop came 467 and I made a c-bet to 30 and get called by the woman. The turn brought another 4. I saw her raise a bettor on a similar board with a pair and a gut shot so I thought she could have a hand like 56 or 76, I bet out 60 which was about half pot and she was really staring me down and was asking me if I had a big pair. The more she talked the more I was putting her on 99 or tens and was ready to snap call her if she made a move, unfortunately she laid down the hand.

A few hands later I get AA and 3 bet Ray and some other clown to 35 and ended up getting one caller, not ray. The flop was really good for aces and the guy had about 40 behind. In my mind there was no way he was folding so I put him in and he somehow found a fold after putting in half his stack preflop. The very next hand I’m dealt AA and from EP make it 10 total and get 5 or 6 callers. The flop came K53 with two spades. I put out a nice 45 bet and get a call from the female who I made lay down her overpair a bit earlier. The turn brought another spade and I hoped she had a hand like KQ. I checked the turn and she checked behind. The river brought another spade and I checked again and she bet 40. It was 40 into 140 and I went with my read that she had KQ and hoped the Q wasn’t a spade, she had A3 of spades and I felt like a tard for calling.

After that hand the wind flew out of my sails for a bit and I sort of just folded for a while. Here’s where my boy Ray comes into action. Ray makes it 12, one cold caller and I bump it to 40 with AA. I get one other caller behind me and Ray comes along. The flop comes QQ4. I’m thinking this is one type of flop that can get me in trouble but Ray checks to me and I bet out 60 or so and only Ray calls. The turn comes a ten which really didn’t change much. Starting with 225 or so Ray had already committed 100 bucks and had 125 behind. I checked the turn not wanting to get hit by a Q from Ray who could have hit it on the flop. The river brought a Jack and Ray checked to me. Now at this point I was really uncertain what to do. He was pretty unconventional and had c/r’d rivers with mediocre hands and I really didn’t want to let him off the hook here if I had the best hand because he could literally have anything. This guy could literally show up with any two at anytime. So I mustered up my courage and put Ray all in and he called with KK and I scooped a nice pot. Ray re-buys for 300.

At this point Ray has lost his buzz and is starting to get a bit upset being down about 1500 or so. He was still playing like a goon but notice he just showed up with KK. The real story happens within about a 15 minute window so literally a few hands later Ray makes it 12 pf and I call with JT of spades and we get one other caller. The flop came K44 with two spades. Ray c-bets to 12 and I call. The turn brings a J and ray bets 24. I’m thinking the Jack is probably good here but I’m not 100% so I call his bet. The river fills my flush and Ray checks. In hindsight I made a pretty big mistake here and I bet 125 into the 90 pot because he didn’t care about how big a bet was in relation to the pot and he ended up folding 99.

The very next hand I get 68 of spades and call a raise from another player seated next to Ray. Ray obviously also calls. The flop comes 67J with two spades. The initial raiser bets 20 and Ray and I call. The turn 4 brings my flush and the initial raiser checks and Ray bets 30. I bump him to 100 which he calls. The turn brought a beautiful 3 and Ray goes all in for 180. I didn’t snap call but after about 15 seconds I decided there is just no way I can fold and he showed a pair of Jacks which gave me another huge pot in a span of 15 minutes. So now I’m sitting at the table with about a K in front of me and Ray is completely steaming at this point. He started arguing about his cards being behind his chips and how the line plays. I ended up going to get something to eat because I honestly thought he was going to kill me after I stuck him pretty good on two hands in a short time. I came back a half hour later and he was on his way out. The game had lost it’s funding and two of the more competent players ended up leaving.

It was about Midnight and there was no more list for 1-2 but we were still full. I only had one more notable hand where I made it 10 pf with KQ and got two callers. The flop came K-2-4 and I bet 17 into the pot of about 30. I got raised by a player who was really tight and seemingly solid to 40. Now I thought about this pretty hard and thought that he wasn’t the type of guy to do this with deuces or fours and he’d of had to flat me with AK, which he was capable of, but I wasn’t completely sold on that. I called his bet and checked to him on an 8 turn. He bet 40 into the 110 pot and I called fairly quickly not backing down from my initial read with a weakish bet. I checked a 6 river and he bet out 60. I pretty much said I’ve come this far and called him and he tabled 99. I just think it’s so weird that I played with the guy for 6 hours, he knew I wasn’t a complete monkey and this was the one hand he decided to play against me. It’s like he just decided his nines were good and he even tabled them like he thought they were. I ended up leaving a little bit later and took home 662 (the Cheese Steak and Pepsi was 13.50) for a profit of 650 bucks.

My conclusion is that the table was really, really soft. There is limping galore, not many 3 bets without the goods and if you have any reasonable concept of hand strength you should come out a winner. I don’t think I could beat the game for a 100 dollar an hour win rate if it wasn’t for Ray, but I think you could win consistently without much trouble. And this is coming from me who, in my opinion, didn’t even play my best poker. I was way to weak preflop in certain spots and made some bad reads. Overall though the poker room is decent (for Chester) and I’d say the experience wasn’t awful but if you are looking for a better time, go to AC.