It was a totally frustrating night of poker. It looked like I was gonna be stuck three bills, but then something happened to save the night. Not totally, mind you, but enough to make a big difference in my bank roll and my demeanor.
I’ve already told you one story from this session. This is the session where the otherwise unemotional dealer took umbrage at the drunken Aussie (is that possibly redundant?) referring to the USA as “this f***ing country.” That story is here. This is the rest of the night.
When I got to the room I had my choice of three tables, each with one seat open. Since this was a Nightclub night, I picked the table that was not only closest to the front but where a seat was open facing the coming parade.
But after a few minutes, I started wondering if should move to a different table. It was a wild table full of maniacs. Every hand was raised preflop, usually with a bet of close to $20. My inclination was to go to a saner table, but I thought better of it. Sure, there’d be high variance, but I knew that if I could just hit one hand—one hand—my evening would be made.
There was no chance of making any moves at this table, no way to bluff. People were calling on the river with Ace high. You needed to make a hand. Not a great hand, maybe not even a good hand, but at least some kind of hand.
But damn, I picked an awful time to be totally, totally card dead. Calling preflop with a pair of 3’s or Ace-9 was getting costly (as I said, $20 pre). When I whiffed on the flop, I might have been tempted to stick around with those pocket 3’s if I was heads up. But there were usually four or five players and you know, at least one of them must have had a mighty pair of 7’s that crushed my 3’s.
When I got to the table there were two Aussies and two Canadians. The Aussie who was not featured in the previous post was a very nice guy but a total aggro maniac. He was always making sure it was expensive to see any flop. If he didn’t raise preflop, it was only because one of the Canadians—the same Canadian who got into with the dealer over the Aussie’s choice of words—had raised first. Now the aggro Aussie was a good player who knew when to let go of a hand. Not so the Canadian. He was almost literally an ATM.
He bought in for the $300 max and went through that in less than 20 minutes. He excused himself to hit the ATM. When he came back, he had also gone to the cashier to get his own chips. He had $500 worth of red and he put it all on the table. I nudged the dealer that the guy was attemping to bring more to the game than allowed and the dealer told him he had to put at least $200 away.
He did, but not for long. In 15 minutes the $300 was gone and out came the rest of his chips. Which were also soon gone, forcing another visit to the ATM.
I think he only came back with $200. But see what I mean? He was basically a human ATM.
And I couldn’t get any of his donations.
It was frustrating as hell. But even though it was costing me way too much to see almost any flop, how could I leave knowing that all I had to do was finally get a hand—and boy, was I due—and I’d get it all back and then some?
I never got into a showdown—heck, I barely saw a turn card—but I managed to drop $100 pretty fast. So I reloaded, adding on $100.
The two aggros were getting along fine, having a good time. But apparently the poker action wasn’t enough to amuse them. One of them said, “Where are the hookers?” The other responded, “Yeah, this is Vegas, where are the hookers?. And the cocaine?” The other summed it up. “This is Vegas, damn it! Where are the whores and the cocaine?”
Things calmed down a bit. The aggro Aussie left, taking a shitload of the Canadian’s money with him, and the Canadian finally busted out for good.
I was still card dead, though. By then I was so frustrated—especially that Canadian had given away so much money and none of it to me—that I was probably not capable of really refocusing and changing my game to adapt to the new conditions at the table.
In the meantime, the club girls started showing up. I noticed one young lady who actually caught my attention more for her hair than her outfit. I’m sure the dress was flashy, but her hair was a bright, fluorescent pink. It was rather attention-getting, to say the least.
I said to the dealer and any player nearby that heard me, “I wonder if that’s her natural hair color?”
And the dealer replied, “No, the question is, do the curtains match the drapes.”
I laughed and then did a double-take. I knew what he meant but he got the expression totally wrong.
“You mean, does the carpet match the drapes. Curtains and drapes are the same thing.”
He realized his goof. “Yeah, whatever. You got the point.”
Somebody then made a real tacky comment to the effect that it was doubtful this young lady had any carpet at all to match to the drapes. Ok, that was me, if you must know.
It was past the 10 PM drawing. I had played three plus hours without getting close to getting a ticket for the drawing. It was looking like this night was a total loss. Then I got Ace-King of clubs in late position. After a bunch of folks limped in, I made it $15. Two players called.
The flop was Jack-10-x, rainbow. It was checked to me and I made a $30 continuation bet. One player called. There was an Ace on the turn. I bet $45 and the player hesitated and finally called. I thought his hesitation might have been about whether to raise.
A meaningless looking 8 hit the river. After he checked, I decided to check behind him. I didn’t have many chips left, around $50. But by now I realized if I didn’t win this hand, I was pretty much done. I wasn’t about to put more money into this horrible night. If I lost, I could play a short stack while longer and look for a big hand or just get up and take the $50 or so with me, and start anew the next night. My thought process was that the villain was either ahead of me or he had missed his draw and wouldn’t call me if my Aces were good.
It was the right move. He flipped over Jack-10 for a flopped two-pair. He must have been worried that I had a straight. But I’m sure he would have called me on the river if I had shoved.
I should have left then if I didn’t want to add chips, but I figured I’d see another orbit and hope to get something good. I was only going to play premium cards, or see if I could limp in with a pocket pair. Otherwise, I’d call it a night when the big blind came back to me.
Well, that was the plan. I folded time and again until I was UTG+1. My second to last hand.
I had exactly $46 in front of me. I looked down at Queen-10 of hearts (as it turns out, I now know that ~Coach refers to Q-10 as “the evil hand”—but what does he know?)
This should have been an easy fold, but knowing I had but one more hand to play after this and that it likely wasn’t going to be a decent one, I said to myself, “What the heck, throw in two bucks and see what happens.” After all, it was sooooooted.
But the guy right after me raised to $12. Damn. Well, I’m done with this hand, I thought. But then one, two, three players all called the $12. Huh.
That made things interesting. With all that money in the pot, I figured I had to at least call. Should I have shoved instead? I thought about it, but I realized my stack wasn’t enough to get everyone—or perhaps anyone—out of the pot. My remaining stack was actually less than the pot already was. I didn’t see that I had a lot of fold equity there.
Looking back at it now, I realize I probably should have shoved even if I didn’t get anyone out—especially if I didn’t anyone out. I’m basically rolling the dice there with my crappy hand. Walking away with $36 or zero is that much of a difference, and if I could build a big pot in case I hit it, why not?
But I wasn’t thinking that way at the time. So, knowing I would close the action, I threw in two red chips and we saw the flop. It was Jack-8-4, two spades, one heart. I had a gut-shot and the back-door flush draw. Not much. The big blind checked, I checked. The preflop raiser put out $40. The next guy called.
The action is now on the obnoxious Aussie who was featured in that previous post. He had once had a huge stack, but his luck had run out, and the fact that he was stinkin’ drunk hadn’t helped him either. He went all for less than $40 (I think it was around $20.) Actually, before the flop, in his drunken state, he intended to go all in instead of just calling the $12, but he screwed up. Before he put his chips in, he said, “Call…..all-in.” His all-in was disallowed of course because he had said “call” first. That screw up was probably a very good thing for me. I dunno if the other two players would have come in if he had shoved, and then I might have folded.
Then the big blind called. Even though I wasn’t getting the right odds to call with my gut-shot, at this point I couldn’t possibly fold. The pot (my share of it) was quite large, and I had a shot at it. So of course I moved all in my last $34.
The turn card was beautiful. Beautiful? It was freaking gorgeous. It was sexy, it was smokin’ hot.
It was awesome.
I wanted to marry that turn card.
Let’s face it, it was the Emily Ratajkowski of turn cards.
Nine of clubs.
So now I had the nuts, at least right then and there. One river card to dodge.
The big blind checked and the preflop raiser put out a big bet, something like $70.
The next player took forever to decide what to do. Seriously, he took like an hour and a half.
At least it seemed that way to me. I know he took longer than “the Minister” ever took to make a decision. I dare say it took him longer than it takes to read one of my blog posts.
I was dying. I just couldn’t wait to see how this was going to end. Did it have a happy ending or not? The suspense was killing me. It was like being engrossed in a “who-done-it?” and dying to know the murderer.
I almost called the clock on him. Finally, he called. The big blind said, “I have to call” and thus he did.
I wanted to see a card as beautiful as the turn card on the river. The lowest, reddest card in the deck was what I was praying for. No spade, and don’t pair the board. I was almost afraid to look.
It was red. It was a King. I did a quick calculation in my mind and realized that it couldn’t give anyone a higher straight than mine. My straight was now King-high but it was still the nuts. The worst possible scenario was that someone else had Queen-10 and we’d chop it.
When the preflop raiser put out a river bet, the other two players still with chips folded instantly. I showed my nut straight. The preflop raiser showed Ace-Jack offsuit, just top pair, top kicker that he had played very aggressively.
The drunk Aussie took forever to expose his hand. I couldn’t see it when he finally did, other than he had a Jack. So the preflop raiser won the side pot. The big blind told me he had Ace-10 of spades, so he not only flopped the nut flush draw, but turned an open ended straight draw. I assume the guy who took forever to call also had a flush draw and took so long to call on the turn because it wasn’t to the nuts. Or maybe a straight draw. He didn’t say anything.
Wow. That was some nice pot I had won for starting out with only $46 when the cards were dealt.
When I counted my chips, I had $218 in front of me. I was still down for the night, but what a difference that one hand had made.
I did stay one more orbit—I hate the ol’ “hit and run”—but didn’t play another hand (I only threw out AA, KK, once each and AK twice—just kidding). I left in pretty good spirits. To quote ~Coach quoting me, “It's amazing how much winning a big hand can improve one's disposition...”
And speaking of Ms. Ratajkowski, here’s a link to a cute blog post from a woman talking about how Emily’s boobs are perfect. I would be hard-pressed to argue.