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Guys' trip to Shreveport + Horseshoe 1/3 NLH weekend review

I went to Shreveport this weekend for a guys' trip. This is my experience. This will be long and a lot will be common knowledge to live grinders. Believe it or not, I did cut out A LOT of unnecessary info..
I just want to start by saying the 1/3 game at The Horseshoe was AMAZING compared to the 1/2 games I've played 8+ years ago at Chocktaw/Winstar. I really hate low stakes NLH because of the 6-10x standard open and capped buyin, which basically turns the post flop game into a short stacked 2/5 game. 1/3 at The Horseshoe allows you to buy in and match the biggest stack. All of a sudden those $20 opens aren't so crushing. I've heard there is a 1/3 at Winstar. If you play there, please let me know if they have the same buyin setup.
First night, I get there, they just opened a new table, and I was able to sit down with people who also just arrived. I asked about the straddle situation. I do enjoy the button straddle element to the game, but rarely use it. They said if the table agrees, we can do a straddle/button straddle. We agreed. They put a small sign next to the dealer that indicates straddles are allowed. For those who don't know, a button straddle is where the button can double the big blind and take over as last to act pre. Once a button straddle is on, the small blind is now UTG and first to act. This table ended up being the best table I've played with probably ever. Most were drinking. There was a decent amount of action. Table talk was fun. I was immediately surprised how comfortable these players were that sat down. They all seemed to play very regularly and seemed like they would be good. Spoiler, they weren't. The players were limp/calling pre and very passive post for the most part. I get the feeling most would describe their game as TAG or LAG, but nearly all were completely Loose-Passive and Holdem Manager would label over half the table as fish. In online terms, I'd say this was a 45VPIP/10PFR table, which for my nitty game usually means cha-ching! I was right. By the end of it, I was in for $400 at 7:45pm and out at 11:30pm for $918. The free drinks were great and I got a bit drunky, which is mostly why I got up. I'm usually the worst drunk poker player ever, but managed to stick with the strategy this time. I didn't play a flashy game. I was nervous and had shaky hands for the first hour. I just played super tight, fold or raise pre(only limping blinds and rarely), big squeezes with premiums, and take it down on the flop or turn. I would have liked to have made smaller value bets to keep players in, but I was pretty determined to post a win and was quick to take them down. That way I can talk my wife into letting me play live more. I haven't played live at a casino in 2 and a half years and that makes me sad. Profit: $518 over 3.75 hours Stack: My stack next to my buddy's absurd stack. He's a genuine LAG and much better than I am. You can also see the button straddle sign in red next to the dealer
It was a guys' trip and we don't all play poker, so I didn't want to spend all my time at the table. I continued the drinky, including celebratory shots, and went to bed at 1am. Sadly, the dad in me woke up at 7am anyway. Two of my friends wake up at 8:30 despite staying up til 5am. We all get ready and watch Tiger play at the hotel until the only place we could find that has TV opens up, Hooters.
At 12:30, I'm back at the table. I'm pretty sure most of the players came from a dwindled 2/5 game because I look around and see some mega stacks from multiple OMCs. At least 3 have black chips($100) and I see a lot of green chips($25) out there. I think the big stack had about $2.5k. This table was a lot tighter preflop overall. I'd say this was about a 30VPIP/15PFR table. I play my same game waiting for cards. I end up about $150 up after an hour. I picked up queens and had a good flop. Took down $100. I did the same with an AK hand. Then I ran into a couple of OMCs that were not havin' it. I squeezed to $22 in position with AQo. OMC pops it to $225 after having limped originally. I let it go. Another hand, the King OMCs raises to $10. I raise to $25 with AJs. King OMC calls and the flop is AT3 with a flush draw possibility. I have top pair and no flush draw. Yay! I lead out for $25, which now I think I'd rather have checked. OMC pops it to $65. I think this is an easy call and see what happens, but this man has made zero plays so far. I mean, he has just sat there and I'm at times genuinely concerned he might be dead. Not this time. He woke up and I just folded. I had a weird feeling and let it go. Not long after that hand, and I shit you not, another OMC walks up to his king and at some point I hear the words "I wish they could hook this straight up to my veins." King OMC laughs in approval. I am not making this up. About this time, I'm ready to leave. I was super hung over, my hands were shaking even when I wasn't in a hand, and I had one of those back of the eyeball headaches. And let's face it, this table is not a great one for my game. In for $600 at 12:30 and out for $634 at 2:30. Profit: $34 over 2 hours (Did not take picture of my $34 profit stack)
I go back to my shithole room at Diamond Jacks and take a nap while my buddies hit up the pool. When I say shithole, I mean the tv is an old tube that cuts off the far right and left of every channel. Nice Jacuzzi tub, though. I can't complain too much. The room was only $250 for Friday and Saturday nights, which means I only paid $125 since we split the room. The TV: Not bad Jacuzzi tub:
After the nap, we eat and I'm back at the tables at 7:30. I'm super groggy this time. The table is great for action, but full of shady individuals who don't talk. I watched one guy pick up his big blind after the dealer forgot to scoop it in the pot. A few of us noticed, but didn't say anything. I later found out the guy he screwed out of $3 was his own brother. I have a few good hands. I had queens again that won me $40 preflop when I squeezed to $80. I picked up another $60 when I get AsJs and 5 $12 callers. I flopped two spades and bet $35 to take it down. Headache is gone, so that's a plus. Good news. After almost 2 hours, I'm up nearly $200. I decide to go ahead and pack it up. The trip has paid for itself, I'm too exhausted to concentrate, and time to get drunk one last night before it's back to reality. In for $400 at 7:30, out for $598 at 9:15. Profit: $198 over 1.75 hrs Stack: Again, my buddy's stack on the last night. He ended up winning all 3 sessions with over $2k profit for the weekend:
Total of $748 over 7.5 hours ~$100/hr Yay!
TL;DR Went to Shreveport for a guys' trip. Had a great time. Found the 1/3 game is big and players are generally passive. Won some money and my friend won a lot more. I highly recommend it for those internet grinders who want to leave their basements every once in a while and try out live poker.
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[MF] [AA] Getting Out Stakes- A short epic that I had to write for class. Any feedback would be appreciated!

This is confusing and long and isn't that good (not really used to writing epic poems), but hey, it's something. Anyway, we had to write an epic poem and this is what I came up with. Tell me what you think.
EDIT: Nevermind, formatting fixed itself. Doesn't really matter either way.
Getting Out Stakes
The Driver
The girl on the radio drawled on about her muse while the knightish gargoyles cloaked my car in darkness as I drove out of the cheap, gated neighborhood where I was temporarily living. Where thirty minutes ago I shot Cassidy White with one of my own antiques, I’m proud to say- a 32 caliber by Smith and Wessen. Great gun, lots of firepower, easily concealed... Great gun, really...
“Beginning GPS waypoint tracking on account 02...Holden, Tennessee.”
The woman on the radio kept talking about some Madre casino, just down the road, too... as if I need my gambling addiction to get even worse. Already spent all my money and lost it. Speaking of, did you know that spending your money and losing it are two different things? You should, it’s a fact. Proven, by yours truly. Over two thousand times at a slot machine.
“Fifty-five minutes to destination.”
See, when you spend money, you get something in return. Goods of some kind, or a service, like my cleaning lady who used to come by every Tuesday. But when you lose money, it doesn’t go anywhere. Well, at least not back in your pocket. It goes on a pipeline, directly to the House- that’s a gamber’s term. Means that the casino gets the money, not you. Yeah, that’s right. All those bright lights and neon signs? Winstar? Cherokee? The gargantuan waste of electricity that is Vegas? It’s all paid for... by the losers.
The House always wins, they say. That’s why Cassidy was at mine- debt. Ten thousand dollars, all spent in a drunken romp, in some casino whose name escapes me down South. He’d been looking for me for a while. And I’d say that’s the long story short, but, heh- a gambling addiction and the aftermath.... it’s never a long story, really.
“Thirty minutes to destination.”
Always ends with some poor sap getting corked with something, perhaps a little higher of a caliber than what I used on Cassidy. I could tell you a lie, tell you some people make it, tell you not everybody dies in this business.
Including me.
But then, of course, I’d be lying. No, the only people who beat the game are the ones who don’t play. One or two trips every three years or so,win some money, maybe the jackpot, and then go home. The addicts aren’t the ones who don’t go home, though. They’re the ones who live in the goddamn casino.
“Fifteen minutes to destination.”
And as for me and Cassidy...believe me, it wasn’t an easy decision to make. Or an easy thing to pull off, for that matter. Still, though, I had to do it. You have to understand, he was going to keep coming. I couldn’t run f-
The car jolted to a halt and the GPS stopped yammering as I hit the brakes hard, the tires screeching painfully against the cracked and broken road as I slowed down fast. The empty, vertical dropoff in front of me where Elmer Bridge used to be and the headlights behind me told me that my story just got a lot shorter.
The Attendant
I’ll make this brief. My name is John Mercer and I’m almost retired. I’ve worked as a security guard at the Dinero Muerto for almost decade now, and, after doing some wetwork jobs for the higher-ups, I guess they liked me enough to promote me to Vault Attendant. That means I guard the Vault. Crazy, huh? Y’know, the big one that the suckers at the craps tables don’t get to see? Every last dime made at the DM is stored there in some form or another. Usually, that means massive piles of money scattered around the room. No, that isn’t an exaggeration- seen it myself. Mountains of cash just thrown around the room in the most haphazard way possible, almost like Sal himself said, “You know what, I think that whoever can break into that Vault deserves some kinda reward before Johnny kills ‘em. So next time just kinda leave the money out in the open, hah?”
The guy talks like he’s a real mobster. Well, he is a real mobster, but most mobsters don’t actually talk like that. I think.Don’t tell him I said that, though. As much as I’ve done for him, I’m still disposable. But not for much longer. After today, he’s not gonna have anything to dispose of. I said I was retiring? Yeah, well, you don’t retire. Not from Sal’s employment. If you get old enough, he just kills you himself so he doesn’t have to keep on paying a fossil who can’t compete with the newbies anymore. In this job, you either die by his stupid fat fists or by some goon during a raid. So how am I getting out? Simple. If he thinks I’m dead, he can’t really do much about it, can he? Nope. Not a single thing. Not a single damn thing.
My pager buzzed twice with the words WHITE DEAD, REPORT as the Vault alarm echoed through the casino.
The Nightowls
I don’t really remember when we got lost. We didn’t really mean to go too far from the house, but, I don’t know. After you drink a lot, things kinda become a big blur. And lots and lots of drinking equals a really, really big blur. My memory is not great right now. At least there weren’t any drugs at this party- I think. Not like last time, otherwise we’d have never gotten outta there. But oh, getting lost. Yeah, I dunno how that happened. I mean, how do you get lost? What’s lost when you’re not trying to get anywhere? Can you even be lost then? Define lost... ...How can you define something?
....Maybe there were drugs at that party.
But, hey, the cops are nowhere to be seen! That’s great. Like, really, really great. Sam looks like he’s doin’ alright. Victoria is doing really great, as usual. They’re as good as they can be, considering the circumstances. After all... Man, there were a lotta cops. Now we’re in the woods somewhere. Better than back at the house, at least. And hey, were people gambling there? I think somebody mighta been. “God, why are we in the woods?”
Now a sound’s ringing in my ears. A short whine, only for a second, then it stops. Victoria thinks she knows where it’s coming from, so I’m following. Suits me fine. Better than being lost, heh. Elmer Bridge is over that way, too, I think.
The Janitors
“Gunshot, but you knew that. .32 caliber, probably from over there...” My partner pointed at a raggedy armchair at the other end of the room. “...a clean shot to the chest.” He picked up the spent casing with his tweezers and put it in his bag. We had arrived maybe forty minutes ago at the guy’s last known location. Some junky-looking, walled-off apartment complex by a gas station. Almost missed the damn thing. It doesn’t really stand out, if you know what I mean. There are five other almost identical apartment complexes like it within a few hundred feet, all of which are listed under the same address for some reason. And it doesn’t help that the guy we’re tracking isn’t a moron, either. Rented the room with false credentials, used cash. Cash from the casino, mind you, so tracing it doesn’t do us any good. Just takes us back to the place where we fucking work. Big help, asshole.
“Hey Mark, whaddaya want with these?” Don had finished searching the body and now held up two charred toothpicks that looked like they’d been thrown in a fire.
“What are they, fags?”
“Looks like it. Really burnt, though.” He stood up from his crouch, delicately brushing off his suit.
“I don’t see a fireplace.”
“So how did they get burnt?”
“I said, how did they get burnt? Nobody’s stupid enough to use a lighter on the entire freaking cigarette.” Instinctively, I reached in my pocket for the Lucky’s I always carry.
He was one step ahead of me, smoke already billowing from his stick. “Oh. ...Dunno. Maybe they lit a fire.” He took a long drag, closing his eyes for a second.
I caught up with him, tar filling my lungs as I put the fag to my mouth, inhaling. Cigarettes always helped me calm down, think more straightly. Straight. Straightly? Think...more....straightly...or straight? Fuck. Maybe I shouldn’t have accepted that kid’s offer. God, I think that pill I took was drug. Great. There were drugs at that party.
“You okay ?” Don looked at me with some concern showing on his normally blank face.
“Yeah, yea-ah...f-fine. Look, that all? The evidence and all that, I mean.” I was getting nervous. The more I stayed in that room the more tempted I was to look at White’s sprawled-out corpse in the second armchair next to me.
He scratched his head worryingly and did a three-sixty, scanning the room. “Well...I think so.”
“You think so? We’re goddamn Cleaners, Don. Leave no trace and all that sphiel. You sure we got everything?”
He looked about the floor nervously, chewing on the end of his cig.
Well?” I knew what he was doing. He’d been trying to not look at the ceiling for the past few minutes. I gestured at him, made a noise. He got the message and looked back at the floor, worriedly.
“I-I’m just looking....” He stared at one spot for second. “.....wait.”
He bent down and tried to pick up something I couldn’t see, pinching his fingers together unsuccessfully a few times. He managed to grab it on the third try and held it up to the light.
Clenched tight between his fingers was a short, dark brown hair.
I moved closer to get a better look. “Holy shit.”
Don spit his cig on the floor and absent-mindedly ground it out with his heel, then looked at the hair again, confused. “What?”
“Cassidy was a redhead, right?”
The Boss
The cigar jutted out from his reddened lips like an iceberg that had sunk too many ships and was now worn down because of it. Smoke blew not only from it, but also from his entire mouth, toward the fan at the far end of the room, which in turn gave the entire place a hazy, fog-like visual effect.
The door opened shortly after Sal’s sixteenth puff. The V.A. stumbled inside, gasping for breath, gun drawn. The smoke choked out whatever words he had prepared and he started coughing violently. Sal turned around in his chair, looking away from the monitors for a moment.
He spoke with great difficulty as a mouthful of fumes erupted from what the Attendant could only assume was the general region of his face. If Sal hadn’t been serious, the sight might’ve been amusing.
“Mercer, good. How’s our vault doing?”
John paused, opening the office door the catch his breath for a minute. He returned to the room at Sal’s silent insistence (he had a way of telling you something without saying it, and that something was usually hurry) and spoke, barely.
“Sir...the vault is...well...”
“Speak up.”
Sal pulled out what looked like a .44 revolver from his suit and pointed it at Mercer’s forehead.
“Speak up.”
“EMPTY. IT’S EMPTY, SIR.” He braced himself.
Sal thought for a moment and then started laughing- a hollow, deep chuckle that was muffled slightly by his trying to keep the cigar between his lips.
“...Empty? Empty? You’re telling me that the most secure cash depository within a hundred miles of this city has been broken into, all the contents stolen, and the culprit left without a trace? And under your supervision, no less?” The answer Sal wanted was not the answer Mercer or anyone else had.
The Attendant was trying to choose his words carefully. “Well, almost, see, although the vault was secure, and although it was broken into-”
Sal tightened his grip on the gun and cocked it with his free hand, slowly.
“-not everything was stolen, though! Not everything was stolen! And there is a trace! We know who did it, we know, sir!” His teeth were gritted and his eyes were closed. He opened one temporarily too see what Sal was doing.
He relaxed his grip on the gun slightly and scowled. “How much was stolen, Mercer? I need an exact amount.”
The Attendant made a quick glance at the computer screens on the wall in front of Sal. They showed various feeds from around the casino, a few body cameras from the guards. Twitching, he looked toward the lowest left monitor. The screen was filled with an image of two men in dirty suits standing around a corpse, talking. A ceiling view. Four other suits were now crowding around them, lifting the dead one by his limbs and starting to carry him out of the apartment. The two immobile suits handed them plastic bags as they left.
They just stood there, smoking.
“Do you want me to shoot you, Mercer? Because you’re getting really, really fucking close.” Sal sneered as his teeth clenched, crushing the cigar.
They’re still fucking standing there.
MERCER!” Sal peered down the ironsights from where he sat, finger quivering.
Suit number two spit out his cigarette and stamped on it as Sal fired two shots at the chest of the nervous figure standing at the entryway to the office. Mercer turned toward the door as the bullets carved their way through the smokescreen and smashed into his side. They hit their mark and he crumpled against the door, gun still in hand.
Sal stood up, throwing the gun down, fuming.
Suit number two dropped his bent Lucky’s package and bent down to retrieve it as the casino alarms sounded and the crumpled figure shot Sal Foreman in the temple mid-stride.
His bulk crashed to the ground, eyes rolling back. The two suits were now barricading the apartment door with two old armchairs and a desk while John Mercer was dying. He sent a message through his pager and passed out as guards flooded the office.
The Plan
The van outside blew up violently as four bricks of C4 were detonated remotely under it. The four Cleaners carrying the deceased were incinerated, along with all evidence of Cassidy’s murder. The firelight penetrated the walls of the apartment that Mark
I haven't finished the rest. Any feedback or comments are welcome, I'd like this to be good for when I turn it in.
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