The post below is actually the third one that I published. I'm not reposting the very first post because, for some reason, it was a review of an experience I had staying at the Excalibur. It was already a year after I had stayed there that it finally saw the light of day, and now, an additional three years later, I don't suppose it has much relevance to what the Excalibur is like today.
My second post was my very first published report of a genuine hooker encounter (see here), but I'm not reposting that because a lot of you have probably read it. As a hooker post, it got a lot of page views long after I published it, as I started telling other hooker stories and readers looked back for my older ones. So no point in reposting it.
The story below, however, has not gotten a lot of page views so it's likely most of you have never read it. Recall that when I started the blog, I was almost exclusively a a 2/4 limit player, and this story below, which took place some time before I even started the blog, is about a game of 2/4 limit. The other reason for reposting it on this day is that it is very representative of the kind of poker posts I thought I would be doing when I started the blog--fun hands, not much strategy or analysis. I think it's fairly different from the kind of posts I do these days when I write mostly about poker. See if you agree.
Another difference was, back in the day, I didn't add any graphics to my posts. I wasn't even aware of how easy it was to do that. So my original post didn't have any pics. To demonstrate yet another way my blog has changed over the years, I'm going to put in a totally gratuitous, random picture of a really hot woman at the end of this post, just to add some graphics. The picture has nothing to do with the subject matter herein. But if you think I shouldn't include this particular photo with this post, you're crazier than the guy you're about to read about.
I hope you enjoy this trip down memory lane. The original post was entitled:
Some time back I was playing in a 2/4 game at the BSC. I wasn't doing well, so when I dropped down to having less than $50 in chips (from a $100 buy in) I bought in for another forty bucks. This is what I've always done because I've always felt it was crazy to be short stacked in a limit game (no-limit is an entirely different matter). I've seen countless times players having to go all-in with really good hands because they didn't have enough chips to start the hand. It's actually worked to my benefit several times--not having to call a raise that a player with a better hand than mine couldn't make because they ran out of chips. So in five years of playing, I've never been forced to go all-in in a limit game. I've never really come close....until this story.
A rather annoying, obnoxious player had recently joined the table, sitting directly to my left (I was sitting in the 7 seat). He was a buddy of the talkative nice guy in seat 3 or 4. The guy next to me will henceforth be known as "Annoying Guy" or AG for short. He was annoying for several reasons.
First, he was extremely loud, talking to his buddy across the table in a loud, deep voice. He was basically shouting in my ear. The other thing was his sense of humor. He came to the table with chips, all of which were red (ie, five dollar chips). Not what you want to see at a 2/4 game where dollar chips rule the day. And whenever he raised at first, which was quite frequently, he said "all-in." This wasn't funny the first five times he said it and got totally annoying after that. Especially since he shouted "all-in" into my ear every time he said it. Also he tried to raise more than he could and didn't seem to grasp why he wasn't allowed to do so. I assume he got the red chips from a no limit game he had been playing. I couldn't be sure if he was just clueless or obnoxious or very possibly both.
He raised a lot when he first got to the table, especially pre-flop. He didn't stick around to the river often, so I couldn't see what he was raising with but it happened enough to convince me he wasn't raising with much. I hate players like that. It's one thing to be an aggressive player who raises with a good starting hand, but it's quite another to raise almost every time because you'd rather be playing higher stakes or NL or you think you can intimidate the other players.
It happened that while in early position, I looked down at pocket 7's. I called, expecting to have to call AG's raise. I'll two bet any pocket pair at the average, loose, low limit game, which this was. To my surprise, AG didn't raise, one of the first times since he sat down that he hadn't raised pre-flop. The flop was 8-7-4, rainbow, giving me a set but making me wary of a straight. I was first to bet the flop, no one raised, only two called, including AG.
The turn was the case 7. Lucky me. I didn't pay much attention to the fact that there was now a second spade on the board. At this point, I wanted to slow play hoping someone else would bet and I could call hoping someone would hit a straight or even less likely flush. But no one bet.
The Ace of Hearts fell on the river....I would have preferred the Ace of Spades hoping someone hit a backdoor flush, but no such luck. I was pretty sure no one had flopped a straight, it would have been an awful play to slow play a flopped straight.
I bet out, disappointed. Since no one had bet the turn, I was sure neither of my opponents would call and I would take down a pretty small pot, especially disappointing with such a monster hand. To my absolute astonishment, AG raised! I couldn't believe my good fortune. The third player folded immediately. Back to me, I of course re-raised. I was certain AG would now fold, having failed at his pathetic attempt at a bluff. If I was lucky, he would call and give me an extra four bucks.
But again he raised me, with stunning alacrity. At BSC, unlike the locals casinos, limit games allow four raises (five bets). Without hesitation, I put out eight more bucks and said, "I'll cap it."
The dealer, an older guy who is a part-timer, said, "No, there's no cap when it's heads up." While I was wrapping my brain around this bit of good news, AG put in eight more bucks and said "raise." Be still my heart! I was too excited at the thought of a very small pot turning into a very big one to really analyze this at the time. I knew the rule about their being unlimited raises when there are only two players, but I'd seen it actually come into play less than half a dozen times in all the times I've played limit poker. And it never came into play when I was involved personally.
So I didn't spend a lot of time thinking that the dealer might have made an error, because my understanding was that the "no cap" rule only comes into play when the betting round starts with two players. And unless my excitement at the thought of beating this jerk really, really badly had messed with memory, this betting round had started with three players, though third player didn't put any money into the pot on this round.
Instead, my mind went to the obvious...have I missed something? Is there any possible way this jerk could beat my quads? Before calling his raise, I paused. I double checked the board. No other pair on the board, so he couldn't have better quads. A straight flush? I checked three times and there were not three cards on the board of any one suit. Sure there was straight out there, but that's not a problem for my quads.
Convinced I was unbeatable, I raised. He raised again. The speed with which both of us raised caused the dealer to tell us to stop. He counted out AG's remaining chips (he had less than I did, thanks to my rebuy) and told me how many I'd need to match them. He then said, "I assume that's what you both want to do?" We both said yes, in my case, I could barely contain my enthusiasm. He had put about $65 into the pot just on the river and I matched it. That's some action for a guy like me used to playing 2/4 Limit! I would have been at least twenty bucks short if I hadn't done the rebuy.
What the heck did this guy have? I couldn't see him flopping a straight and slowplaying it. But the other possibility....that the river Ace gave him Ace's Full didn't seem likely either. If he was dealt Ace's, I couldn't imagine him not raising preflop. Anyway, the dealer asked us both to show our hands.
AG proudly, yes proudly, said "Two pair!" The river Ace gave him Aces up, with the 7's on the board (he was playing Ace-6, he flopped a gutshot). That's it. That's all he had. He went all in with two pair, when one of the pair was on the board. I didn't even need pocket seven's to beat him. One 7 in my hand would have been enough.
I swear as I was about to turn my cards up, the rest of the players at the table, in unison, seemed to say aloud, "Four sevens!" Yeah, everyone at the table knew what I had, except AG. You see, they had all been playing with me for quite awhile and knew what a tight player I was. None of them could imagine me putting all that money into the pot unless I had the absolute nuts. (Hmmm....I probably need to work on my table image, wouldn't you say?)
AG seemed genuinely surprised, amazingly so. He got up, said something to his buddy about meeting up with him and said to me, "Enjoy my money!"
Everyone at the table was congratulating me, not only for winning a nice big pot with a nice monster hand but also for busting AG out and getting him to leave....I wasn't the only one this guy was annoying. They commented on the fact that I had paused at one point to make sure I had the nuts, and complimented me for the way I played the hand (but really, it was all AG's stupidity).
In hindsight, I think that AG didn't like me and was hoping to give me a beating (pokerwise). He let that emotion rule his actions and he clearly wasn't thinking straight to think his two pair could hold up. Why didn't he like me? Well, I never complained verbally about his obnoxiousness, but I'll bet my body language was indicating my annoyance, especially when he kept shouting in my ear. Just speculation, though.
As I told that story the rest of my visit, one thing became clear to me. The dealer made not one but two mistakes on my hand. For some reason, at BSC and at most poker rooms in Vegas, when it is heads up, they don't let you go all in (in a limit game). They insist you get there one bet and raise at a time. We should have just kept raising each other until he ran out of chips. But that's just a cosmetic error, it had no effect on the result.
His earlier mistake did. I asked my dealer pals and they confirmed that the rule was that "no cap when heads up" only took effect if the betting round starts heads up. In telling the story, I indicated that I thought therefore that the dealer might have made a very nice mistake in my favor. They say it happens, the dealer forgets that there were other players in the round at the start of it, and if no one points it out to them, so be it. I'm sure that's what happened here. The guy gave me $65 on the river when by rights, he should have only been able to have given me twenty bucks.
Do I feel guilty about getting extra money from the guy due to a dealer's screw up? I might if the guy wasn't an obnoxious jerk. As it is, I've lost zero sleep over this. Hey, the guy could have stopped raising me anytime. In fact, he never should have raised me in the first place. Yes, you clown, I did enjoy your money!