well, here's the run down of my experience. recommendations for casinos with fish varied across the board. fish is about where I want to be given my level of experience. after some study I decided to go to Showboat.
Turns out - there was a tournament being held there the next day. Expecting a table of flounders and guppies, I walked into a table of sharks. After two hours of play, I broke even and split. KK preflop, and 22 with another 2 showing on the flop basically gave me the chance to earn my money back.
I went to another casino and found a table more my speed. What I found was that my reads are very good. There were a couple experienced guys at the table and one dude who was clearly sharking the table to regain some lost money from a bigger table. Had two very strong plays - both revolving around bluffs, the only two times I actually bluffed. Spotted a top pair bet and folded him out. Something just clicked and told me if I bet into a sweet spot (not high enough to look like a bluff but not low enough to be a no-brain call - a high bet that looked like I wanted him to stay in) he would fold. And he did.
The second came from a piece of internet advice that is golden. Don't look at your hand until its time to act! Watching the table I caught everyone dead give away that they weren't thrilled with their hands but everyone limped in anyway. From the blinds I folded out 8 people on a strong raise with 7 5. One person called. Flop hit 7 7 X , so I got lucky. I made what looked like a continuation bet, and then did a check-raise on the turn to end the hand.
AND THEN... the shark at the table and I are in a hand heads up. Which I told myself not to do, but there I was on QJ. Q J Low Card flop out, but two of them are spades. I make a strong bet and he stays in. My gut put him on a flush draw and the turn flipped 7 of diamonds. And me, like an ass, made a value bet. I'm thinking I'm gonna get away with a big hand on the river, which was supremely dumb of me. Obviously if he didn't catch the flush I wouldn't make any money. I should have gone all-in and ended the hand, or gone into the river with favorable odds
. But no... like a shmo I value bet giving him an easy call. And sure enough the 5 of spades comes out. What's even better is one voice in my head goes "just check-fold". The other voice goes "well... maybe you misread him, go all in now and try to get the fold." I think at this point everyone knows what I did here.
Getting away from a decent hand is tough. There's an instinct not to do it, even when you know up down left and right to just let it go.