Sunday, February 19, 2017

"What Else Are Breasts For?"

New Year's Eve, 2016
Part 2

This is the second of three parts.  Part 1 is here.  I’ll post part 3 Tuesday evening.  We continue right where we left off.  Ginger, Faith and Jennifer had been away from the table for over an hour to have dinner.

The ladies did return within the allowed time and they were in very good moods.  But then something happened that soured Faith’s disposition.  She and Jennifer were in a hand, as was a third player.  I believe it was on the flop and Jennifer went all-in.  Her bet was a bit less than $100, let’s say it was $75. Faith was next to act.  She had Jennifer covered and she had her chips stacked very high.  She put one of stacks out in front of her. She didn’t say what she intended and she hadn’t counted the stack, but it was clearly more than Jennifer’s bet—quite a bit more.  It looked like it could have been double Jennifer’s bet; if not, it was close to that.

Faith apparently didn’t realize that there was another player in the hand, she must have thought she was heads up with Jennifer.  But before the dealer could ask her to clarify her action, the third player, who had Faith covered, announced “all-in.”  This took Faith by surprise, and then she started taking chips off the stack she had put out in response to Jennifer’s shove.  The dealer said she couldn’t do that.  He was about to count her stack, insisting her bet was a raise.  Maybe only a min-raise, but definitely a raise.  She said, “No, this was just a call, I’m taking back the chips that are more than Jennifer’s bet.”  The dealer stopped her from pulling the chips back and immediately called the floor.

The problem was that since Faith never said “call,” the chips speak for themselves.  Her play would have been fine if it was just heads up but her action was unclear since there was another player to act and that player announced all-in so fast the dealer didn’t have a chance to clarify her bet.  I believe what should have happened was that the dealer should have counted out the chips she had pushed forward and if the extra chips in excess of Jennifer’s bet were more than half of Jennifer’s bet, it would be considered a min-raise (to $150).  If they were less than half, it would just be a call.  So, if it was $120 total, it would be considered a raise to $150, and if it was $100 total, it would be considered a call of the $75 and she could take the extra chips back.

At least, as I understand the rule, that’s the case.  Anyone think differently?

Well, you didn’t really need to count because it was obvious that Faith’s stack was very close to being double Jennifer’s bet, you could just eyeball it and determine that.  Anyway, the shift boss did the count and it turned out she was only $15 short of making a legitimate min-raise, even though she insisted she was only calling.  Faith put up quite the argument, insisting that it was only a call and she was only responsible for the $75.  The shift boss refused to change his ruling, and didn’t care one bit that Faith was a long-time regular in the room (nor should he have).

Here’s where it got a bit dicey for me.  I think he not only should have insisted that all the chips Faith put out remain in the pot, but he should have made her put an additional $15 in there since she, by rule, made the min-raise.  I am not 100% certain of this, but I don’t believe he did that. I think she was just on the hook for what she put out initially and not the extra $15.

But maybe, if I’m correct, it’s ok.  I think I’ve seen situations where players put out excess chips that indicate a raise (or a call of a raise they weren’t aware of) and were allowed to just leave the chips out with completing the bet.  And it was only $15. 

Anyway, Faith folded and the guy who shoved won the pot

But Faith was really pissed. And she took it out on Jennifer, for some reason.  She immediately asked for a table change to get away from Jennifer!  Although the ruling was right, I could understand her being pissed at the shift boss.  That might have encouraged her to change poker rooms—but as I’ve already explained, that would have been difficult on this night.

I couldn’t figure out why she was so pissed at Jennifer that she wanted to get away from her, but she clearly was.  She somehow blamed Jennifer for the whole problem, when all Jennifer had done was go all-in, a perfectly acceptable poker move.  Well, the three ladies were bantering and sorta playing at each other all night.  Perhaps she thought Jennifer was just making a bluff there and because she was so sure she (Faith) had caught her, she forgot about the other player and that the whole problem was somehow Jennifer’s fault.  I didn’t see the hands there, perhaps she got pissed if she found out Jennifer was shoving with air.  But why would Jennifer do that unless she too forgot about the third player in the hand, and I find that unlikely.

So Faith moved to another table, leaving her good friend Ginger behind. I don’t think Faith was mad at Ginger too but then, I really don’t understand women, so who knows?

I’m happy to report that before the evening was over, Faith returned to the table in her original seat, and seemed to have forgiven Jennifer for whatever crime she had committed.

Now, before the three of them had gone to dinner, another person I recognized showed up at the table.  It was Rick, a reg in the room.  Rick almost always plays 2/5 when it’s running, so I hadn’t had much experience playing with him.  Maybe once or twice over the years he was at the 1/2 table with me.  And I’m pretty sure he was the guy who busted me the last time I played in the MGM Invitation (freeroll).  But I knew by reputation he was a really tough player.

Oh, there’s one other thing I should tell you about Rick.  And I tell you this only because it’s relevant to the story.  Rick is a “little person.”

So when Rick came to our table, Jennifer was almost ecstatic to greet him, it had been a long time since she’d seen him.  Rick initially was sitting in the seat to my immediate left. Not too long after Faith left the table, the guy who won that pot left the game.  Rick moved over to take his seat, which was right next to Jennifer. 

But before Rick moved, the salaciousness began.  At one point, Rick and Jennifer were in a hand together.  I’m sure Jennifer has real respect for Rick’s game.  Rick, who was sitting across the table from the ladies at the time, had made a big bet and Jennifer went into the tank.  Then she spoke to Rick from across the table, “If I fold, are you gonna show me your nuts?”  I cracked up but Rick didn’t hear what she said and asked her to repeat it.  I tried to repeat it for him, but at the same time, Ginger also respnded but with a slight variation.  She shouted, “She said, ‘How big are your nuts?’”  Rick was unfazed, and he kind of balled up his fingers and his thumb to approximate the size.  “And that’s only one,” he emphasized.  Remember, Rick is a “little person.”

And there was a question about the size of a related part of his anatomy.  I didn’t catch the context, but Jennifer said something about “six inches.”  “That’s six inches,” or something. Rick responded, “I don’t know if it’s six inches.  I know when I walk, I get carpet burn.  Is that six inches?  Or is that eight inches?”

During this back-and-forth, Jennifer said something which Rick took as a slight on his ability to, um, get a woman.  I didn’t hear the set up, but I heard Rick say, “What? You think I can’t get laid?  I’ll have you know I’m getting laid tonight!”

Now to explain this next part, I have to discuss something I don’t like talking about—cleavage.  OK, that was silly—no one would believe that.  Well, in the entire history of cleavage, there was never more of it to talk about than this night.  Even better, there was never more to see than on this night.

Seriously, the eye candy was noticeable at 4PM when I got there, and even early in the evening, long before the club goers usually show up, they were out in force.  From the time I got the preferred viewing seat right after dinner, there was almost a non-stop stream of girls, dressed to the nines (or perhaps more aptly, barely dressed to the nines), walking by. 

As I’ve explained before, there are three elements to a Slut Parade dress, which is pretty amazing, because there’s barely enough material in those dresses for one element. The dresses are generally very short, very tight, and very low-cut. Most dresses emphasize two of those three elements.  Often, the girls wearing tight, short dresses aren’t showing much (if anything) on top—except perhaps due to the tightness of the dress.  So, some nights, there isn’t that much cleavage to admire, and also, on some nights, the ladies that show up are not as great looking as on other nights.

This night was something else.  It seemed like virtually every woman who walked by had picked an outfit out that really showed off her boobs.  There was cleavage, there was side-boob, there was under-boob.  There was just a lot of boobs. And a ridiculously high percentage of the ladies were smoking hot.  Sizzling, in fact.  The average wait time to see at least two really gorgeous women walk by was 1.7 seconds.  Ok, I might be exaggerating a bit.  But not by much.  I’ve heard that there are men with an above average interest in women’s breasts (not that I know anybody like that).  This was in incredible night for any such man.

Honestly, since I’ve observing the Slut Parade, this was without question the most girls I’d ever seen.  And the highest percentage of really hot girls.  And the highest percentage of really revealing, really low-cut dresses.  What was there not to like?

It would have been a great night to have hidden about a dozen (or maybe 100) video cameras at various locations in the casino to record the lovely young ladies there to celebrate the new year.  Unfortunately, doing so would be extremely illegal.

At one point during the evening, I tweeted out the following:  “The cleavage on display tonight is unreal. Of course, I mean that in both senses of the word.”

I don’t want to imply that on this night there only eye-candy for the tit-men.  Not at all.  Leg-men and ass-men were also extremely well served.  As were fans of virtually all body-types.  There was something for everyone—and a whole lot of it.

The one problem with the view from the poker room was that, at various times during the evening, passersby would decide to stop at the rail of the poker room, right in front of our table, and just park themselves there, watching us play.  I doubt most of these folks were poker players and I have no idea what they found so fascinating about watching us.  But they did.  And thus, they were partially or mostly blocking my view of the foot traffic.  Often, there would be only a small window to peak thru to enjoy the ladies as they passed by.  It was frustrating.  Frequently I didn’t get a chance to admire the short dress, or the tight dress.  I so wanted to shout at those looky loos, “Get the f*** out of the way, you’re blocking the view!”  But I managed to avoid doing that.

So, it was in that context that Jennifer started complaining about the traffic.  It wasn’t that she objected to the girls in their revealing outfits.  It was that it was just unfair.  She couldn’t help but notice how distracted all the guys at the table were by ladies.  So she said, “There’s nothing for us to look at.  Look at the guys, there’s no guys worth looking at. It’s only the girls.  Only the girls are worth looking at.”

“And they’re all fake.”

Ginger disputed that there was nothing for them to look at.  “I like looking at good-looking people of either sex.”

Then Jennifer, noticing all the boobage on display, stated flatly, “Anything more than a mouthful is a waste.”

The dealer at the time, a male and a long time co-worker of both Jennifer and Ginger responded, “Is that true for men, too?”

Jennifer replied, “No, your equipment has multiple functions.  Breasts are just for two things—babies use them, and for sex play….What else are they for?  Milk and sex play.  That’s it.”

I dunno…..I think they’re also nice to look at.  When properly displayed, they tend to turn men into blithering idiots.  When properly displayed at a poker table, they can distract male poker players from playing well.  This is known (by readers of this blog, anyway), as the Jennifer Tilly Effect.

But that was all Jennifer had to say about breasts and their usefulness, and we moved onto other topics.

And thus ends part 2.  The final chapter will see two dealers having quite the argument, and a “delayed” celebrity sighting.  Stay tuned.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

"Don't Talk About My Ass—It's a Nice Ass"

New Year's Eve, 2016
Part 1

This is the first of a three-part post—my attempt to tell the story of my most recent New Year’s Eve in Vegas.  It was one of the most unusual nights since I started the blog.  It had a little bit of everything.  There were “woman saids,” controversial floor rulings, a celebrity sighting, an almost infinite amount of extremely hot, extremely scantily clad young ladies, dealers almost coming to blows with each other, and, oh yeah, a “little person.”  That’s the political correct term for a person who is genetically height-challenged, right?  I wouldn’t want to offend anyone.  Although, if these posts doesn’t offend pretty much everyone who reads them, I haven’t done my job.

As you may recall, I had celebrated the new year in Vegas the previous three years.  The first year I got a great three-part blog post out of it (see here).  The next two years I also had a great time, but the blogging material was somewhat disappointing (see here and here).  In fact, the second year I never actually blogged about the NY’s Eve session!  I see my notes say there’s stuff to talk about, so maybe one of these days when I need a post I’ll check my voice notes and remind myself how the year 2014 ended and the year 2015 began.

Regardless of the quality of the blogging material, the reason for being in Vegas for New Year’s Eve is obvious.  It is the best Slut Parade of the year.  It really is in a class by itself both in terms of quality and quantity.  It seems that pretty much every female on the planet who looks sensational wearing a dress that covers less than 13% of her body goes to Vegas for NY’s Eve. The only thing that can possibly compete with it is the Halloween Slut Parade.  But, as you may remember, I couldn’t catch the Halloween Slut Parade this past year because I had just had my chest ripped opened.

So of course I was looking forward to the New Year’s edition.  When I arrived in Vegas, I could only hope my health and my stamina would hold up and allow me to stay for New Year’s.  I had only been cleared to drive and travel barely a week before my arrival in Vegas.  But I’m happy to report that my strength and overall well-being actually improved the entire time I was in Vegas, and by NY’s eve, I wasn’t worried about lasting in the casino the 10 hours or so required to fully enjoy the experience.

The poker room on New Year’s Eve is a bit different than any other day.  Actually, I can only speak for the MGM because that’s the only poker room I’ve been in for the celebration.  Maybe others are different.  But the MGM poker room is very busy early during the day, then starts to thin out early in the evening—just when the room gets busier on a normal day.  As midnite approaches, the room is virtually empty, as even those folks who wanted to play poker New Year’s Eve desert the room for a while to watch the fireworks on the Strip.  Then, after the fireworks are over, they all file back in and for the first couple of hours of the new year and the room is absolutely packed—they can’t start games fast enough.

I arrived at MGM around 3:30 PM.  I wanted to make sure I got there before they started closing down all the roads.  Unlike past years, I didn’t mind getting into a game right away.  I figured I’d play a few hours, take a dinner break, and then get into a new game.  My hope was I’d do well in the first game and have to consider “ratholing” to keep my profits from it.  I was prepared to wait the two hours necessary (over a dinner break) to get back in a game if I made a big score in the first game and wanted to protect my winnings.  Sadly, it never came to that.

That first game I was in was just terrible.  For one thing, it was freezing.  There are certain tables at MGM that are naturally colder than others and this was one of the cold tables, in the back of the room.  The tables near the front (which also have close proximity to the Slut Parade) are generally warmer (or should I say, less cold).  Although the weather had been pretty cold during most of my stay, this was one of the milder days, so there was really no excuse for it. 

Also, the table was never full for very long.  This was the last 1/2 game they opened before things started quieting down and after it opened, there was never much (or any) of a list for it.  When I first got to the room, they were starting a second 2/5 game, and they actually had a 4/8 limit game going.  That was pretty amazing.  It was the first time I’d seen them spread a limit game in a few years.

Two of our players (who were a couple) were actually waiting for seats at the 2/5 game.  And they played like it.  They were making opening raises like it was a 2/5 game--$20, $25. And raising a lot of pots preflop and betting all the streets.  When they got called to the 2/5 game, the game remained short-handed the rest of the time I was there, and was a terrible game.

I didn’t ask for an immediate seat change to get to one of the preferred parade viewing tables because I knew I was going to take the dinner break and start anew.  It was a bit early for the parade.  Although, I must admit, the casino was full as soon as I entered it and the young ladies in their club attire had already started to appear.  Once the game got short-handed I knew there was no way I could table-change out of there and at this point my main reason for wanting to get away from that table was the temperature.

I only made a note of one hand from this session.  I called a $12 raise from one of the 2/5 players with King-Jack of clubs from the big blind.  The flop was Jack-Jack-x and I check called $15.  It was now heads up.  The turn was a Queen and I intended to check-raise, but the aggro fooled me and checked behind.  I bet $25 on a blank river and didn’t get a call.

Despite that monster pot, I ended up losing about $140 at that table, before I got tired of freezing to death and took my chips and left.  I had dinner at the deli.  Having had a bad opening session, I took my sweet time eating dinner and caught up on social media.

When I was ready to return to the poker, I noticed that there was a seat available at one of the tables in the front.  Even better, the open seat was one of those next to the dealer—the preferred seat for viewing the pedestrian traffic walking by the poker room.  So I asked for a seat at the podium and the fellow there—who has known me for over 10 years now—started to send me to one of the tables in the back.  I asked about the open seat right in front.  He said that the other table had two open seats and thus he couldn’t send me to my preferred table.  I started to ask him to put me on the list for a table change.  I explained that I had been in the back of the room earlier and it was too damn cold back there.  Although that was undeniably true, that was not the real reason I wanted the seat up front, of course.

Just then, he recognized a player approaching the podium and asked him, “Are you ready to play now?”  The guy said yes and he turned to me and said, “OK Rob, you can take the seat you want, I’ll send him to the other table.”   Sweet.  Playing in your “home” room has its perks.

I was just settling into seat 1 at that preferred table in the front when I recognized the unmistakable cackle of a long time reg coming from seat 9.  It was Faith.  I’ve mentioned Faith numerous times (see here), but it has been awhile.  I haven’t seen Faith in the room in a long time—probably over a year.  Although part of the reason for that may be all the extra time I’ve been away from Vegas lately.  Faith is a good friend of Ginger, a dealer in the room who I’ve mentioned dozen of times (see here).  Faith is a total luckbox, a bit of a wild player.  But between her luck and her cackles and her nonstop talking, she can put other players on tilt.  I figured that even though she might very well suck out on me a few times, it’d be worth it for the game if she could entice a few other players to play badly.

There were a lot of players coming and going during this time, and I noticed another seat opened up immediately next to Faith.  I saw Ginger come over to talk to Faith.  I had seen Ginger dealing earlier but she hadn’t dealt to me.  Anyway, I overheard a bit of their conversation, and then saw the body language, and I put two and two together and figured out that Ginger was going to take the seat next to Faith and play.  Ginger put some money down there to hold the seat for her while she changed out of her uniform.

It appeared that she would be off the clock, which meant she could drink.  It made a difference.  When she’s not drinking, she’s a bit of an aggro but likely wouldn’t be paying that much attention to the game if she was sitting next to her pal Faith.  But when she drinks, she becomes a total maniac, splashing pots (literally) and shoving at random, with any two cards.  It would be a wild game.  And let’s see, it was New Year’s Eve.  I’m trying to think.  Do people like to drink to excess on New Year’s Eve?  I can’t remember.

Ginger soon took her seat and then a few minutes later another woman came over to greet Faith and Ginger.  It was the person I called “Jennifer” in the post here.  I hadn’t seen her in quite some time and I had heard that she had left MGM and was working at another poker room.  Thus, she was saying hello to all her former co-workers. It soon became apparent that she had just gotten off her shift at another Strip poker room, and had walked over to MGM when she learned Ginger and Faith were planning on spending the evening playing there.  She walked because by this time all the roads were closed and there was pretty much no other way to get there.

Jennifer took the seat that had just opened up next to me but then left to say hi to others in the room before playing a hand.  When she got back, a seat had opened up nearer the other ladies and she took that one.  Then a seat opened up right next to Ginger and she took that one, all before she had played a hand.

I don’t think I’d ever played with Jennifer before, but I had a strong feeling she was a good player.

The first—but by no means last—‘woman said” of the evening occurred at this point.  I didn’t hear the set up.  It was likely something like one of the other ladies telling her to sit her ass down or get “your ass over here.”  But Jennifer said, “Don’t talk about my ass. It’s a good ass.”

Soon after the ladies all settled into their seats, I overheard them talking about dinner.  And I realized that very soon, the three of them planned on leaving the table to go eat.  Ugh.  I’m sorry, I just find that rude.  It’s bad enough when one person leaves the table for an hour to eat.  Sometimes I’ve seen two friends or a couple do that.  That’s really bad.  But three people?  Three?  All at the same time, leaving their chips behind and leaving the table that short-handed?  That is extremely selfish.  During the time they would be gone, we would be assured of playing some hands five-handed or even four-handed.

I was pissed at the thought of it, but sure enough, after a particular dealer’s down, the three of them all took off and headed for dinner.  The rule at MGM is that you actually have one hour, 15 minutes to be away before you get picked up.  I’ve always felt that was way too long.  But that’s the rule and they used most of that hour and a quarter to eat.

The game during this time was bad, very little action.  Of course, the three ladies had been providing most of the action while they were there.  I was just kind of dealing with it, resigned to it.  They reduced the rake, but the thing that bothers me the most is that the blinds come around faster.  Combine that with the fact that the pots tend to be smaller and it’s just a bigger drain on your chips than in a full game.

The game was lousy and a few players started complaining, particularly a guy in the center of the table who was especially pissed about it.  He started complaining when they were gone for about 15 minutes and so I told him that they had gone to dinner and not to expect them back for an hour.  I believe he actually came to the table after they left so he didn’t know they all left together.  But I did tell him, “They’re probably all drinking, so when they get back, the game should be real good.”

But he was really bothered by it.  He asked the dealer, “Don’t you have a third-man walking rule?”  The dealer assured him they did not.  He wanted to know why not.  So the dealer called the shift boss over.  You know what the third-man walking rule is, right?  No?  Well if two players are already away from the table, the third person leaving the table gets a “third man walking” button and if he/she is away long enough to get a missed blind button, their chips will be picked up and a new player will be called from the waiting list to replace them (assuming there’s a list).

The dealer explained to the boss that the player was unhappy that the three seats were empty for so long.  The boss explained that they had an hour fifteen to be away from the table before getting picked up. The player said, “Well, most rooms have a third-man walking rule.  You should have a third-man walking rule.”  The shift boss apologized and said they don’t have such a rule and the only person who can make the decision to have a third-man walking rule is the manager of the room, and that he was welcome to email him about it.

The guy was not happy with that, of course.  He said, “Well, I can make a decision too.  I can decide to play in another room.”  Well, ordinarily that’s true.  By this time on New Year’s Eve, however, easier said than done.  Very hard to get around, virtually impossible by car and not easy to get a cab or Uber.  He could take the monorail or walk. The shift boss apologized again and did tell the guy that this particular evening it would be like this all night.  Actually, it only gets really bad around midnite.  The poor guy just happened to be a table where three people all decided to go to dinner together.

Actually, as I’ve pointed out before, the third-man walking rule is a bad rule. It sounds good in theory, but in actuality, it only serves to punish the innocent and let the guilty get off scott-free.  It’s the first two players who leave who are actually the culprits.  If player #3 just needs to take a break for a quick bathroom break and somehow gets picked up for missing his blind, that would be ridiculously unfair.  However, in this case, since all three were going off together at the same time, the third-man walking rule would have worked well, as one of the three would have been picked up.  But generally, the only way to reduce the problem is greatly shorten the time players are allowed to be away from the table for before getting picked up.  The hour and 15 minutes that MGM allows is ridiculous.

The complaining player stayed for about 10-15 minutes more, and then left in disgust.  Fortunately, there was a small list and the seat was filled right away so we weren’t even more short-handed.

And that’s where part one ends.  Come back Sunday evening for part two, where the question will be asked, “What are breasts for?”

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Eventually, Even I Can Win With Pocket Kings

Saturday I returned to Ventura for the first time in several weeks. It was kind of a brutal session.

I got into a 2/3 game with a $300 buy-in and at first, I really only recognized one player.  It was the guy who looks like Stan Lee (see here). Eventually I decided that the nice looking British lady on my left looked familiar as well, especially when she mentioned where she lived. I knew what city she was going to say before she said it, so I guess I have played with her before.  She was quite aggressive and did a good job of annoying me by straddling my big blind.  She eventually stopped straddling me. 

She was quite the aggro, doing a lot of preflop raising and stayed in most hands to the river if she couldn’t bet everyone out.  Her chip stack was up and down, getting over $600 for awhile and dropping below $300 sometimes too.  Actually, I realized almost immediately this was a fairly wild game, despite the fact that there were only two people at the table I would actually consider “young.”  Mid-30’s is young, right? Some of those old-timers were not shy about putting chips in play.

I figured this was going to be a pretty high variance game and that I would need to make a hand or two to come out ahead.  I widened my calling range somewhat and tried to catch a flop. But it didn’t work out too well.  I was losing chips and then I looked down at two red Aces in the big blind.  The British lady on my left had straddled.  There were a bunch of callers to her straddle, so when it got to me I added $40 to my $3 big blind.  There was only caller, a white-haired guy who was wearing one of those white, sleeveless muscle-shirts.  Note: they are often referred to as “wife-beaters” but I really hate that term, it’s so offensive. Although he was in good shape for his age, I’m not really sure anyone wanted to see him exposing that much flesh—or that many tats. 

The flop was low and had two diamonds on it.  I led out for $75 and he tanked and then shoved.  I didn’t even ask for a count, I could tell it was only about $30 or so more than my bet.  I snap called.  We didn’t show.  Of course a third diamond hit the river and he flipped over Jack-10 of diamonds for the flush.  I needed one more diamond.

There was something unusual about what this guy did much later in the day…and what the dealer allowed.  He was about to be the big blind, he put out his $3, said something to the dealer (who he was sitting next to) and left the table.  This hand there was no raise.  So the dealer had his cards remain in front of his stack.  Even after he put the flop out.  The lady next to me asked and the dealer said since there was no raise, his hand was still alive.  No one bet the flop or the turn.  When someone bet the river, he took the guy’s cards and mucked them.

The dealer explained that until there was a bet, his hand was not dead.  I asked and he confirmed—if the player had returned to the table before a bet was made, his hand would still be alive.  He also said that this was a cash game rule only.  Of course, in a tournament, his hand would have been long dead.  It must be a unique house rule, I’ve never seen that one before.  Also, the dealer posted the small blind for him.  This time his hand was dead before the flop since he wasn’t there to call the big blind.  The dealer said this guy does this (and they bet for him) all the time, he doesn’t like to miss the blinds.

We jokingly asked if he ever has the dealer put out a straddle for him when he‘s away from the table.

Seriously, anyone ever see that before?

I finally won a hand—with deuce-four.  I was the big blind, there was no raise, and 4 was bottom pair.  No one bet until the river, which was another 4.  I bet $5, got called by two players and took it.

Eventually my stack got low enough that I added $100 to it. 

I raised with Ace-9 of clubs and had four callers.  There was an Ace on the flop and no clubs.  One of the tight players at the table (there were some) donked out $15.  The tatted guy called and so did I.  Same guy led out for another $15 on the turn, but tatted guy made a big raise and I folded.  It turned out that first guy had Ace-Queen and the tatted guy turned a straight.

Then I got pocket Kings. I really should leave the rest of this paragraph blank—you can write it yourself, can’t you?  I raised to $15 and Stan Lee was the only caller.  Now to this point Stan had been playing like a typical Vegas nit.  He saw a lot of flops—most of them—but never made an aggressive move either before or after the flop.  I recalled that the earlier time I played with him he was having an incredible rush and hitting everything so I didn’t think that was a good indicator of how he played.  Anyway, he checked dark and the flop came something like 10-7-5, two hearts. My Kings were both black.

I bet $25 and he announced raise immediately and put out $100.  I couldn’t see his stack, if he had one, his hands were in the way.  I asked the dealer if he had more chips behind.  Yes, he did. In addition to a few $1 chips he had three white chips.  In this casino, white chips are $100.  Based on his play to this point today, I felt there was no way he had anything less than a set.  I didn’t think it was possible he was betting like that with just a 10 or even a good draw.  He had me beat, I was sure.  I folded.  He didn’t show, but I felt it was a good laydown.

By this time, I had folded two gut-shots on the flop to big bets.  In both cases, I would have caught the straight and won the pot.  But I wasn’t getting anywhere close to good odds to chase the gut-shots.  Also, whenever I had two suited cards, the flop would almost always come out monotone in the color I needed, but not the right suit.  I’ve noticed this before.  It seems so often when you have two hearts, for example, the flop is all diamonds.  Anyone else notice this?  Or am I crazy?

Then, I got pocket Queens.  It had been raised to $10, there were a couple of a callers and I just called.  I was recently admonished by a reader about not three-betting Queens.  And I did consider it this time.  But having been burned with Aces and Kings, I just couldn’t find the intestinal fortitude to do it.  It was five ways to the flop, which had a big shiny Ace on it.  When Stan made a pot sized bet, I let it go.

Now at this point, in addition to the Aces, Kings, and Queens, I had only had one other pocket pair—4’s, which was the first one I’d gotten (and totally whiffed the flop). So, having seen Aces, Kings and Queens in order, I was waiting to get Jacks.  And of course, lose with them.  But I never saw Jacks the entire session.

My stack got low enough to add yet another $100 to it.  In the big blind, I had 9-5 offsuit and no one raised.  The flop came 6-7-8, two hearts.  I bet $12 and got two callers (I think there were six in pre).  The turn was a black 4 and I bet $40 and took the pot.

My stack continued to dwindle to low enough where I should have added another $100.  But by this time I was getting close to wrapping it up.  It sure wasn’t my day.  And I felt I’d lost enough for this session.  So, under $100, I didn’t buy more chips.  I finally got another pocket pair.  It was the dreaded Kings again.  This time, the tatted guy had straddled. By this time, that guy had used the double-up he got from me to grow his stack to about $500-$600. I raised to $25.  Honestly, I probably should have just shoved there.  The British lady called and so did the tatted guy.  The flop was Jack-9-x.  The lady checked, and the tatted guy made a donk bet.  I wasn’t sure the amount, looked like $30 or $40.  Actually, he made a point of putting two dollar chips on top of his bet.  I thought it was a little less than I had left.  It didn’t matter.  With my stack, I had already decided I was gonna live or die with those Kings, unless the flop had been a lot scarier than it was.  I shoved.  The lady folded.  When asked, the dealer counted my bet and told the guy it was $15 more to call.

Of course he called.  As he was about to put his chips out, I said, “Are you sure you don’t want to take some time to think about it?”  I was obviously joking but the guy was oblivious to it.

I just assumed that I was already beat, or that if he needed to hit something he would hit it.  I was totally resigned to busting out there and leaving.  So I didn’t even really pay attention to the next two cards.  I just showed my Kings when it was over and to my surprise, he said, “I missed.”  Now, I know that one of his cards was a 9 for middle pair and the other one was—I thought—a 5.  So I dunno what kind of draw he could have had.  It wasn’t a flush draw, the flop was all red (but not monotone) and his 9 was black.  Whatever—maybe he expected to hit his other card or a 9.  But I was shocked that I actually won the pot.  Not because it was Kings—well, ok, yes, because it was Kings—but mostly because of the luck I was having this day.

That gave me some chips to work with for awhile, and after a few more orbits where I hadn’t seen another hand to play, I called it a day.  But at least I actually won a hand with pocket Kings.

The pic below serves a dual purpose.  The shirt is (sorta) like the tatted guy’s shirt.  The girl here is wearing it a helluva lot better than he did.  Also, it says “England” on it, representing the lady on my left.  She didn't resemble this girl either, but, to be fair, she wasn't wearing a shirt like this, unfortunately.