But earlier this week, while playing at BSC, I played with a woman who made Prudence—and I mean the early, inebriated Prudence of say, this post here—look like the school librarian who would give you the big “shush” if you ever even whispered.
I have no idea this lady’s name, but we’ll need to give her one. So I’ll call her Natalee for reasons which will be explained later.
I had only been at the table for an orbit or two and was still trying to get a feel for the players and the action when a seat opened up and a thin, middle aged woman was escorted to the empty seat. To say she changed the dynamic at the table would be a gross understatement.
As she took her seat and bought in for $100, she was given the option of coming on the next hand or waiting two hands and come in behind the button. She chose to wait. As the dealer tossed a “reserve” button in her spot to indicate that she wouldn’t be getting a card this hand, she asked if that meant she did something wrong. And she sorta fixated on that.
“Did I do something wrong? What did I do wrong? You know, I’ve been playing blackjack all day.” She said that as if it was going to explain her actions. It struck me as odd, but she was merely getting started.
She saw a floor person walk by and asked if she had done anything wrong, and repeated that she had been playing blackjack all day. The floor insisted she had done nothing wrong. Yet, anyway.
Her first hand, someone raised to $15. She looked at her cards and said, “I’m suited, so I’m gonna call.” I don’t remember the exact play of the hand, but she either called or made some fairly large bets, and won the pot with 2 pair, Jacks & 8’s. But she hadn’t lied. Her Jack-8 were both hearts.
She was still somewhat fixated on what she had done wrong, and when she asked the dealer a question about the next hand, she then said, “I’m sorry I ask a lot of questions. I’m a Jewish woman.” I really didn’t see the connection, but one of the guys who was about to go on tilt responded, “You don’t look that Jewish. You look more Vegas.”
I guess I was a bit put off by that comment (see here). But I sensed something well out of the ordinary poker session was about to happen, so I didn’t say anything.
She wouldn’t stop talking. If I had a dime for every time she told us she’d spent all day playing blackjack, I would be able to play in Bobby’s Room. Once or twice she also mentioned that she had lost a lot of money playing the blackjack.
But she was also talking about the poker. And every hand she had. “I got a piece of that, so I’ll call.” “I have a good hand, so I’ll raise.” “I’m suited, so I’ll raise.” With every decision, she would comment. I think she pretty much crossed over the line of talking about the hand, but I guess she didn’t go quite far enough past it to get warned about it. She verbally reacted to any bet or any raise someone else made, asking what they could possibly have, or revealing that she had a pair, or two pair, or whatever.
And when she wasn’t telling us about her day of playing blackjack, she took to telling us she was in “relapse.” I thought at first she meant “rehab” but no, she kept saying she was in relapse.
Her non-stop chatter of course got some reactions from the other players. She was in seat 7, I was in Seat 1. The three guys to my immediate left had all seemed friendly enough before Natalee showed up, and were getting along swimmingly with each other. Suddenly seats 2 & 4 were headed for tilt, as was an older gentleman in seat 9. Truth be told, I have never in my poker life seen a player put so many other players on tilt so fast. Within 5 minutes these guys were already tilting.
Some of that had to do with the poker, which I’ll get to shortly. But a lot of it had to do with her overbearing personality, her non-stop talking, the nature of her comments, and frankly, her rather unpleasant voice. The guy in seat 2, who was from Wyoming, in particular got into verbally jousting with her from across the table. Her dress had stripes, so he asked if she was a leopard, then realized his error and said, “I mean tiger, I guess it would be a tiger.”
She replied, “Tiger? No, I’m a cougar.” Then, just to make sure we knew that wasn’t an unintentional joke, she added, “I like younger men.” Wyoming said she was too young to be a cougar, but she indicated that she was older than he apparently thought.
By now, only one thought was going through my mind.
Truly, a “woman said” blog post was happening before my eyes.
She was wearing ear buds and frequently would ask questions saying she couldn’t hear what was said, and then would tell us she had ear buds in her ears. But she rarely took them out. And when she started getting some hostility from some of the players, she would tell us she was going to tune us out and that she was listening to Eminem. She didn’t really look like an Eminem fan, if you know what I mean. One time she told us she was now listening to Frank Sinatra, causing me to comment that Eminem and Sinatra were an unusual combination. But the guy in seat 3 said it sounded like his play list, so maybe it wasn’t that strange.
Finally the dealer button came around to her. She said, “Oh goody! I’ve got the button.” Then she asked the dealer, “Can I spread my legs around the button?”
That got everyone’s attention, and then she added something about liking to straddle. So it was her rather unique way of asking if she could button straddle.
Wyoming had already had his fill of her, so he said, possibly loud enough for her to hear, “Ugh, that button would be so sticky, and so stinky, it would be disgusting.”
She had a beer in front of her and I don’t remember if she brought it with her when she took her seat or if she ordered it once she got there. But when the waitress came around to take orders, the waitress told her that wouldn’t bring her another drink. She was certainly acting like she might be drunk, but I couldn’t rule out just plain crazy as a viable alternative. The Shift Manager came over and told her that she wouldn’t be getting another alcoholic beverage until the bottom of the hour, which was a bit over 30 minutes away. Besides, as he correctly pointed out, she still had more than half of her beer remaining. She gave some explanation of why she wanted another beer brought to her now, which I couldn’t hear, but essentially, she was cut off for at least the next half an hour.
Let’s talk about the poker. Before she showed up, I sensed that this was a rather aggressive, action table. But her presence really upped the ante in that regard, almost immediately. She played almost every hand, called almost every preflop raise, and made a lot of raises herself. Seeing the hands she was playing, I can tell you two things for sure. One, she was a terrible player, calling raises she had no business calling time and time again. And two, she was a major, major luckbox. She was having the run of her life. In less than a half an hour, she had run up that $100 buy in to $500, and she was just getting started.
It was the combination of her refusal to ever shut up, along with her amazing ability to suck out on the other players, that put so many of the players on tilt so fast. She would keep calling bets and raises when way behind, and would somehow, some way, catch the exact card she needed to win the pot. The original guy in seat 4 was a nice guy who was pleasantly chatting with seat 3 and Wyoming when I got to the table. Suddenly, he was in a hand with her and raised her on the flop. It was something like 10-5-4. She said, “What are doing that for? What, you got a set of 4’s, is that it? What if I’ve got a set of 5’s? Did you think about that?” And she shoved. This was early in her run and Seat 4 had her covered. He called. She said, “Well, I don’t have a set of 5’s, but I’ve got something.”
Yeah, she had 5-something, so a pair of 5’s. And of course she caught her second pair on the river and the guy just gave her a look of total hatred and mucked. I assume he had at least a pair of 10’s, or an overpair.
This put seat 4 totally on tilt, and he didn’t say another word while there—to anybody. Even as his new pals in seats 2 & 3 tried to console him, he sat there in total silence and just stared at Natalee. He got into it with her two more times, giving her stoned cold silence and a total death stare as she babbled on about her hand and speculated on his. And she took all his money, playing crap cards and hitting whatever she needed to take the pot.
Natalee definitely noticed the “if looks could kill” expression on this guy’s face. So she said to him, “I know you want to Van der Sloot me right now.”
Seat 4 said nothing. I honestly don’t think he was capable of speech right then. But a bunch of us laughed, and a couple of guys asked or wondered what the hell that meant. It seems Van der Sloot is old news and nobody but me could remember the guy who was accused of murdering poor Natalee Holloway. I knew the reference and knew what she meant, but I couldn’t recall his apparent victim’s name until I looked it up later. But seeing as how she was using Van der Sloot’s name as a verb to accuse seat 4 of wanting to kill her, I decided to give the star of this post the pseudonym “Natalee”, spelled the same way the victim did.
Here’s the thing. With both this guy and a couple of other guys, even with her incredible luck, the hands she was hitting weren’t that good, generally. Guys were betting big with pretty mediocre hands apparently (they never showed), playing right into her hands. What a stupid plan. It was clear that she was pretty much going to call every bet, so trying to bet her off a hand was like pissing into the wind. And seeing how lucky she was at the moment, these guys were just throwing money at Natalee as if she was the world’s sexiest stripper, which she was so very clearly not.
Speaking of strippers, at one point, after taking a boatload of money from one of the guys on tilt by hitting some ridiculous draw, she said, “Sorry about that. I guess I should buy you a lapdance.” She did say “buy” and not “give.” Phew.
As for me, well, within a few minutes of Natalee coming to the table, I knew that I was not going to be able to concentrate on the poker while she was there. You may be wondering why, if I knew that to be the case, I didn’t ask for a table change. Isn’t the reason obvious? I didn’t move for you, my dear readers. I did it for this blog post. So what if I was giving up on a chance to play real poker and win real money. I knew I would get a good blog post out of this session. Nothing is too good for my loyal readers.
I was paying more attention to Natalee’s comments and her outrageous behavior than the poker, but I was following enough about the poker to quickly figure out how to play in this situation. With Natalee being so loose-aggressive and so many players going on tilt because of her presence—playing even crazier and more aggressive than they ordinarily would—I knew that the only way to play was to be extremely tight. I’m a tight player anyway, but now I became uber-tight. I wasn’t going to play any speculative hands, any borderline hands. No, I was going to wait for a true premium hand to play. That’s the only way to play at a table full of maniacs and that’s what this table was. As it turned out, I was totally card dead anyway, and I didn’t really get a hand that I’d play under more normal circumstances, especially with a raise in front of me. And there was almost always a raise in front of me.
Wyoming was already on tilt when he got into a preflop raising war with Natalee. Now as I said, she was raising a lot preflop (but rarely, if ever, 3 betting), and with very light holdings. I believe on this hand, Natalee made the first raise, Wyoming made a big re-raise, Natalee re-raised and Wyoming shoved, she called. I may have the order backwards. Wyoming was so happy, he was sure he had trapped her, and revealed his hand. Yes, it was, of course the dreaded pocket Kings. He was sure that based on her play to that point he had her crushed.
Not this time. Of course, she turned over two Aces. Nothing on the board hit either of them, and Wyoming was stacked, about $300 lost to her. But here’s the thing. There’s no doubt in my mind that if the hands had been reversed, and she had the KK, she would have caught a king on the board (or a lucky straight or flush). That’s the way her luck was running.
Although Wyoming was still kind of joking around, even after getting stacked with his cowboys, he was demonstrating pretty blatant hostility towards Natalee. He was calling her a bitch (or “biatch”), calling her ugly, saying he hated her, loud enough for her to hear. She didn’t react, at least initially. Later she said something like, “You’re treating me this way because I’m a woman. I’m a woman. I’m an abused woman.”
Wyoming responded, “I can see why.”
I guess that may have been the reason for a comment she made a little later when they got into it again. She bet $10 on a hand and he raised it to $30. She couldn’t see how much so she asked the dealer, and before she heard the answer, she continued, “How many inches is that? Is that an inch? Is it about an inch you’ve got there?” I’m pretty sure she wasn’t asking about the dimensions of the poker chips.
Wyoming just laughed and said, “Oh, an inch is way more than I’ve got.” And then he proceeded to lose more money to Natalee.
Another time, he bet or raised and Natalee thought about it for awhile and then said, “You’re full of caca. You need a laxative. I raise.” She won that hand, too.
The guy originally in seat 4, who may still not be capable of speech yet, was replaced with a guy visiting Vegas from Germany, so let’s call him Dirk. Dirk was very much the stereotypical Aggro Euro. In other words, he was the perfect prey for Natalee. He had only been at the table for a short time when this hand happened, but that was more than long enough for any even half way observant player to figure out what kind of player Natalee was.
He raised preflop on the button after a bunch of limpers came in, and of course Natalee called. All that meant is that she had two cards. The flop came something like Q-9-4, rainbow. I think there might have been a bet and a raise, and then Dirk shoved. I guess he had about $200. Natalee, by this time sitting behind a stack of at least $1,000, thought for a bit and finally called, saying, “I need help.”
Of course, there was no doubt that she would get the help she needed. Except this time, she didn’t need it. Dirk kindly turned over his cards. King-3. Yeah, it was a stone cold bluff. Against a player who couldn’t possibly be bluffed! It may have been the single dumbest move I’ve ever seen in a poker game. Natalie showed her pocket 3’s and to the surprise of no one at the table, they held up.
Rather than realize that his own play had been monumentally stupid, he proceed to bitch and moan about Natalee’s horrible call there. True, it was a horrible call. But Natalee had run up a $100 buy in to $1000 making exactly those kind of horrible calls for the past hour. So Dirk called Natalee’s call stupid, and then asked if her name was “Stupid.” She ignored that, at least at first.
And that’s all for part 1. Despite all the complaints I get about doing posts that are too short, I’m going to stop it here and pick up the story in the following post. In the second part, you’ll get to read about what happened when crazy Natalee got into a hand with me! See here.