While waiting, I started reading my Twitter feed on my celphone. I noticed that someone I followed was playing in said charity tournament. I mean someone other than Prudence and Jeanne. In breaking with my usual pattern, I will use his real name, Dave, because I don’t yet have anything embarrassing to say about him (and if I ever do, I can always give him a phony name then—I’m thinking “David” if it comes to that).
Dave is my fellow poker journalist (if I may so presumptuous as to refer to myself in that manner). I knew him to be a friend of Stump’s, and that he wrote for Pokerati and Pokerfuse and possibly other sites. I’d been following his Twitter feed for some time and he was following me, but we’d never met. I think I saw him out of the corner of my eye at Green Valley Ranch, the night that this post took place, when he was talking to Stump.
Anyway, while I was waiting to be called to a game, I followed his tweets from the tournament and then noticed he had busted out. I think he tweeted that he was going to play cash at the same venue. So I went to look at his Twitter photo, hoping I could recognize him if I saw him, in order to introduce myself. I even blew it up, so I had a better idea of what he looked like.
Next thing I know, I look up from where I’m sitting and see a reasonable facsimile of the photo I was looking at standing very nearby. He was talking to someone and I didn’t want to interrupt, but I was pretty sure it was him and if I saw him alone I planned to go over to him and say, “Excuse me, is this you?” and show him the picture I had from his Twitter profile that was now up on my phone. Well, I thought it was clever, anyway.But before I could do that, I got called to a game at a new table they were opening. I hurried over there to see if I could secure one of my preferred seats (in the center, across from the dealer). Lo and behold, I heard them page a “Dave” too and he and I both ended up at the new table, and he took the seat directly to my left. I was fumbling for my player’s card and my buy in money, and then I was about to grab my phone and take it out of sleep mode when he beat me to it.
Somehow, he recognized me as well, and said to me, “Aren’t I following you on Twitter?” I laughed and said, “Yes, I believe you are. Dave, right? I’m Rob.” And we started going through all the connections we had. We had a very nice chat about our respective jobs and such before the game started.
The main subject of this entry will be some of the unusual, and very bad play I saw at this table that night. On the very first hand of the table, Dave was dealt the dreaded pocket Kings. He won a small pot with them—I don’t think anyone called his flop bet.
The very next hand, the guy to my immediate right went all on in the flop—he was relatively short stacked—a flop with an Ace on it. The short stacked guy who shoved had called a preflop raise, and the original preflop raiser snap-called the guy’s all in. He may have bet first on the flop, I don’t recall. Anyway, come showdown, the guy who shoved first, with a short stack, had pocket Aces. The other guy had raised preflop with Ace-Queen.
Two things here. One, the guy who won the hand with pocket Aces did not three-bet preflop. That was my first indication that there were some bad players at this table. It didn’t cost him, but just smooth-calling there with your Aces strikes me as a horrible play.
And then, I couldn’t help noticing that the first two hands at this table, we had pocket Kings followed by pocket Aces (and both held up). I commented, “Boy, only Aces and Kings are good at this table. If you get anything less than that, just throw it away.”
It also occurred to me that those two hands hit the players directly on either side of me. Was my turn next?
Yes. Yes, it was. On the third hand of the table, I was dealt…..you guessed it…..the dreaded pocket Kings. I could only hope a big starting hand like that could hold up in this game three straight times. I was in one of the blinds, and after a bunch of limpers, the guy to my right—the guy who didn’t three-bet with pocket Aces the hand before—raised to $12.
I immediately folded.
Just kidding. I didn’t do that. Of course, I re-raised. I mean, what are the odds of the guy getting dealt Aces back-to-back? Although, since he hadn’t three-bet the hand before with Aces, I did consider the possibility that he had Super Aces since he raised preflop this time.. With all the limpers money, I thought I needed to raise big to not make it easy for everyone to come along, so I made it $40. It folded to one guy in the corner who thought a bit and then called. Original raiser to my right also called.
There was an Ace on the flop, which I didn’t like at all. Still, I made the continuation bet. Sometimes when you have Kings and there’s an Ace on the flop, nobody has an Ace. I had to see where I stood.
I put out $50 and the guy in the corner basically told me had an Ace. I don’t remember exactly how, but it was something like, “Oh, you got two Aces?” I think it’s possible he followed that up with, “I’ve got one,” but I’m not sure. Maybe it was just the way he said the word “two” that made it pretty obvious he had one in his hand. I think the dealer made a low-key comment, warning him not to talk about the hand. It appeared calling was a tough decision for him, but call he did. The original preflop raiser folded.
I figured I was done with the hand, but then I noticed that the guy who called only had a few dollar chips left, no red chips. Yeah, he must have only bought in for $100. He had less than $10 behind him, so if he was gonna call, why he didn’t just put those few extra bucks in, I dunno. OK, now I do know. As I was learning, he was a terrible player who had no business playing No Limit. In fact, a short time later, his name was paged for the 2/4 game. That’s what he really wanted to play, and he initially took the seat to kill time until a 2/4 seat opened up.
The flopped was a second 7. I checked, though I assumed he would put his last few chips in there. Of course, for the size of the pot, I would call, even though I was convinced I was way behind. But if he didn’t want me to pay a few extra bucks to see his Ace, I’d be happy with that.
But he checked behind me As I was wondering if he was gonna put his last few chips in on the river, an absolutely beautiful King hit on the river. So unless he had pocket Aces (which I would have bet the farm he didn’t have) or pocket 7’s (unlikely, but not impossible), I was now good.
I bet out $15, because I knew it was more than he had left. He called I showed my boat and he flipped over Ace-10, not suited. Of course, he got very unlucky there, no doubt about it. I had sucked out on him. On the other hand, what the hell was he doing calling a preflop three-bet with Ace-10? In that sense, he got what he deserved. And thus I dragged a very nice pot, on just the third hand of the table, and with the dreaded pocket kings!
There were other bad players at the table. One guy had pocket Aces twice, didn’t raise with them either time. Then a few hands later, he raised preflop. I leaned over to Dave and said, “Well, he doesn’t raise with Aces, what the hell does he raise with?” Turns out it was Ace-7 offsuit. Yeah, definitely a better hand to raise with than AA!
But the weirdest hand—and perhaps the dumbest play I’ve ever seen—belonged to the guy to my right, the guy who didn’t 3-bet with pocket Aces on the second hand. Sometime later, I had pocket 6’s and a bunch of us limped in, I think. I may have had to call a small raise, but it’s not really important
A bunch of us saw a flop of Ace-Ace-Ace. Yeah. Three Aces on the flop. Nobody bet, it checked around. I guess I should have bet my full house there (?). The turn was yet another Ace, so there are now quads on the board. Someone bet out, and the guy to my right called. The rest of us folded.
The river was a low card. This time, the guy who bet the turn checked. The guy next to me checked also. Actually, he didn’t check, he just turned over his hand, which was King-something. The something didn’t matter, he had the nuts. He couldn’t possibly lose there, the worst he could do was chop the pot if the first guy also had a King. Otherwise, he was good.
Dave and I looked at each other in disbelief. Dave said, “How could he not bet there?” Indeed. How could he not? He had an unbeatable hand. Of course, depending on what the other guy held, he might not have gotten a call, but still, he had to bet something to try to get some value for his hand. Actually, there was no reason for him not to raise on the turn. Apparently, he had no idea he had the best possible hand. I wonder if he would have folded if the other guy had bet?
After the big hand I described, I was mostly unable to take advantage of the bad players before they left, one by one. Then I started feeling a little under the weather and left myself. I won some money, but with all the bad play I saw, I felt like I should have won more.