I've now recently made two trips to Tunica to play and have done very well both times. The first trip I played mostly at the Gold Strike and did very well in their $3/$6 game. I did well enough to pay for the trip and getting a table share of their bad beat jackpot was a nice bonus as well. The jackpot was not very big but there were few players in the room at the time so it worked out quite well.
The second trip there was no jackpot bonus involved but I did well enough to pay my expenses and bring some profits back. This latest time I played most in the Grand at a $4/$8 table.
These two trips, as well as all my other trips to Gulfport and Biloxi in the past, have given me a lot of hope for the future. I'll never get rich grinding it out in these low limit games but I will be able to supplement our income once Connie changes careers and we actually live near a poker room so that I don't have to spend most of my winnings just to pay my expenses.
Connie and I have talked about it and I'm considering getting an apartment in the Tunica area and splitting my time between there and Orlando. We found apartments ranging from $325 to $600 a month. The ones on the low end were older complexes in the south end of Memphis but looked fine. They may not have as nice a pool and I'd have a half hour drive to the casinos but that would be worth it to save $200-$300 a month in rent.
I've been able to average $60-$100 a day playing less than 8 hours a day so if I can play 14 days a month and do anywhere nearly that well that works out to $840-$1400 a month. Even if that is a little generous I should still manage to break even and I don't think that earn rate is over generous based on my previous results. Nor do I think I'll have trouble playing 14 days a month. I'llprobably manage more.
Connie seems fine with this play even though it has me gone a lot of the time. She has been so focused on school and work that there's not been that much time for us anyway and I've been pretty unhappy. I came back from this last trip to Tunica feeling on top of the world. My game works. I feel confident now that if I just play my game I will win over time. Sure I still have my down days. I sat in the Gold Strike for three and a half hours in a $3/$6 game and won a total of three pots on the way to losing $97. I never lost my cool, I was just getting crappy cards and a few out draws (I refuse to call them bad beats, they were just beats). I finally gave up because I felt I was losing focus. I really hated to leave this game, it was incredibly soft and it was frustrating that I could not get cards to take advantage of the money many players were seemingly trying to give away. That night though I went to the Grand and in just a couple of hours in their $4/$8 game I wiped out that loss and built a nice profit by doing just what I'd been doing earlier in the day when I'd had the losing session.
I feel my game has been improving as well. I've worked to mix it up some. Most of the time I don't bother and it's a fairly straightforward game with little bluffing or tricky plays. Most of the time they don't work at these low limit games and they aren't needed. At times I have noticed a few players adapting to my playing style though so I've changed up some. One of the things that's worked best is occasionally raising from early position when I'm first in with medium suited connectors or a medium or medium low pocket pair. Many times I'll have to dump it but other times I've managed to either hit my hand and really surprise somebody or better yet win a pot with what I really suspect was not the best hand. Even if I go on to lose a hand where I've done that it's seldom very expensive and I'm able to raise later in the game from early position with premium hands and get some action.
All in all I'm very encouraged. It feels good to have found something that I seem to be good at that seems like will allow me to actually make a contribution to our situation. Right now we don't need what I'll make so profits will go in my poker bankroll, which is big enough to absorb a few month's worth of losses if that should occur as it certainly can. I don't remember feeling as happy as I did after this trip for a very long time. I'm looking forward to being back in Tunica as soon as I can swing it.