Thursday, January 15, 2015

Getting Paid for Quads

It took me three tries to get to the right table on this night at the MGM, but it was worth it.

When I got to the table they first sent me to, there were two actual open seats, and I picked one.  But to my immediate right, there were three seats that had stacks unattended.  I noticed that all three of those seats had “missed blind” buttons.”  I asked Jack, the dealer, if he was all out of “missed blind” buttons.”  He said “almost.”  The other players were not happy about playing so short-handed.  In fact, one guy there, a Brit, was saying, “I don’t get these people who take off.  Do they want to play poker or not?”

I said to Jack, “That sounds like the title of one of my blog posts.”  I was referring to the post here.  I said to him, “This is like the Bike.  If you go three complete orbits at the Bike without missing a hand, they should give you a prize.” You rarely see this at the MGM.

Then we noticed a new player being sent to a different game, and the Brit spoke up.  The problem was that that table had two open seats, and our table had only one seat open—technically, that is.  After another hand or two, a few of the players refused to continue and they checked and were able to seat all of us then at the table at other games.  The “walkers” would be out of luck when they returned.

To further frustrate things, at the new table, there were also a few walkers. Then a few of those who had moved to my new table from my old table decided to hit the restroom.  And now at the new table, we were down to about 5 or so players.  The Brit who had joined me at the new table was exasperated. But fortunately the walkers returned fairly quickly and we actually had a real game going.

But there was a much bigger problem at this table.  I was in seat 3.  The guy in seat 8 was talking when I got to the table.  He was talking when we started complaining about the walkers.  He was talking between every hand.  He was talking during the hand.

I’ve complained about overly talkative players before, but this guy was the worst I’d ever seen—or heard.  I heard what he was saying but little of it registered.  I was pretty sure that he was saying nothing of importance. The only thing I could remember him talking about the next morning was that he asked all of the new players who had joined the game where we were from.  I don’t think he was talking about the hands—except by accident since he was probably talking about everything during this time.  He might have actually babbled out a solution for world hunger at some point.  He talked enough so that, if he had been reading my blog aloud from the beginning, he would have gone through it three times in 10 minutes.

The guy next to me had been playing with him awhile.  I came in on the end of this discussion, but apparently this guy next to me had referred to the talker as “garrulous.”  The talker wasn’t familiar with the word and he had to Google it.  He was not offended by this.  The guy next to me assured the garrulous fellow that it had absolutely no negative connotation whatsoever.

Really?  According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary online, garrulous means, “given to prosy, rambling, or tedious loquacity: pointlessly or annoyingly talkative.”  “Tedious,” “pointlessly,” and “annoyingly” sound pretty negative to me.  I guess the guy wasn’t all that bright.  Probably too busy talking to ever have learned much.

Garrulous was actually too generous for this guy.  Although I didn’t hear him say one offensive thing, this guy was pretty much the most annoying person  that I had played with in months. After only 10-15 minutes or so, I had had enough.  I knew I had to either change tables or kill the guy.  Changing tables seemed a tad easier.

I got up and asked for a new table, and was accommodated right away.  I had been in the room less than 20 minutes and was already at my third table, probably a record.

I recognized one of the players at the newest table.  I was in seat 1 and in seat 7 was a guy I’d played with a few times before.  Bob.  Bob from Bloomington, IN.  Somehow, I knew that Bob was in textiles. He made those red rags you see in the machine shops.  Doesn’t sell them.  He leases them.

The other thing I knew about Bob was that he was a tough player.  He was tight and aggressive.  Very hard to get him to pay you off.  The good thing was that I couldn’t remember ever losing a significant pot to him.  Of course, I couldn’t remember winning a significant pot from him, either.

I was down to about $155-$160 from my $200 buy-in when I looked down at two lowly deuces.  Bob raised to $12 from Under-the-gun +1 after UTG had limped in.  He had me covered. The two players between us folded.  Based on how the table was playing—and based on the average Vegas 1/2 game, I was confident that with several players behind me, plus the blinds and the limper, at least one or two others would call the raise if I did.  So I called.

Everyone else folded.  Damn.  If I had known that, I never would have called.  I was thinking, “If I hit my set, Bob is never gonna pay me off.”  Yeah, that thought actually went through my head.

I didn’t exactly hit a set.  It was more like quads.  The flop came 2-Ace-2.  Yeah.  Now, if only I could get paid for it.  I assumed that Bob would make the dutiful c-bet.  And I figured that would be it.

Sure enough, Bob put out $16.  I noticed there were two diamonds on the flop, and I guess I was hoping maybe Bob had raised with Ace-x of diamonds or maybe suited connectors that were diamonds.  I figured that would be the only way to get paid more. Of course,  I just called.

The turn was a Queen and not a diamond.  To my delight, Bob thought and then bet again.  This time $45.  Nice.

At this point, before deciding exactly what to do, I looked at my hole cards just to be sure.  I knew my stack was going in if I could get it in there, and I figured I should make extra sure that I had the monster I thought I had.  In hindsight, I suppose this could have appeared to have been Hollywooding, but honestly, I just wanted to make damn sure.  And yes, those two beautiful deuces were still there.

I suppose a case could be made for shoving right then; after all, if Bob was on the flush draw, he might call then, but if he missed, he wouldn’t call the shove on the river.  But I assumed now he really liked his hand and that he might just bet the river too.  So I just called.

The river was a 7, not a diamond, and there was no flush or straight possible. Bob took his time deciding what to do.  He took a long time—which was not unusual for him.  He was a deliberate player.  Finally he did indeed check, much to my disappointment.

With my stack and the size of the pot (approximately $75 and $150, respectively) there was no bet to make other than a shove.  I didn’t hesitate. I waited no more than a beat or two and announced “all in.” 

I expected Bob to take some time and then fold.  But no, he surprised me with a relatively quick “call.”  Amazing.

I wasted no time showing my hand.  “Quad deuces,” the dealer announced.  Bob, somewhat stunned, mucked without exposing his hand.  “I didn’t put you on one deuce, let along two.”

Note: when I showed my hand, in my mind I said to Bob, “I can’t believe you paid me off.”  At least I meant to say that only in my mind. It’s possible those words actually came out of my lips accidentally.  If so, I apologize.  Very tacky.

I won’t speculate here as to what Bob had.  Readers are welcome to give their thoughts if they so desire.

On the very next hand, while I was still trying to stack all my chips (and fill out the card for the drawing), I looked down at pocket Aces.  And Bob opened to $10 UTG.  I raised to $30 and everyone folded, including Bob. 

A while later a new dealer came in and during his down, I won three hands in a row.  Because of that, I didn’t get to write down the betting action of the first hand.  But I had pocket 9’s and raised with them.  I flopped a set.  I think I checked the flop and called a bet.  I bet the turn and then the board paired on the river giving me a boat.  I wasn’t called on the river.

Very next hand I had King-Queen of clubs and raised to $8, two callers.  The flop was Queen high and I bet $20, one caller.  Another Queen on the turn and I bet $40 and took it down.

Then in the big blind I had 9-5 offsuit and no one raised.  The flop was 5-5-2, two hearts.  I bet $10 and a player raised to $20, I called, everyone else folded.   The river was a third heart and we both checked (maybe he was afraid of the flush too, I thought).  The river was a 9, which was very nice.  I bet $30 and he called.  He actually had the flush (a low flush).  We both got drawing tickets, which surprised him.  I explained that since he called my river bet, he gets a ticket even though he lost the point.

Awhile later, I had pocket 9’s and raised to $10.  Bob had moved to just one player to my left and he made it $38.  Interesting.  That was a huge three-bet for the table and for Bob.  A short stack shoved for $30.  I just folded.  It was heads up and they both showed their hands. The short stack had Ace-4 of clubs.  Bob shocked me by showing King-Queen offsuit.  Really?  I never would have expected Bob to three-bet with that hand.  Never.  He doesn’t three-bet much anyway.  I had to consider the possibility that his action was the after effect of my quad deuces against him.  Perhaps I had put him on tilt?

Anyway, there was a King on the flop, but the short stack went runner to make a flush.  It wasn’t Bob’s night.

With a nice couple of hundred or so profit, I stuck around for the cash drawing; I had three tickets.  They drew two tickets, each worth $100.  I wasn’t picked but the guy whose flush lost to my boat was.  He told me the ticket was for the hand he lost to me, that was his only ticket.  I said I was glad it had a happy ending.

Happy ending for me too, a nice profitable session and getting paid off for my quads by a tight player.


  1. I have been reading your great/entertaining/informative/etc. blog, for quite some time now, and it's good to see that your game has elevated to the point of being able to label someone else as a "fish". Ha-Ha.
    GL, and may all your cards be live and your pots be monsters.

    1. Thanks, Anony. I dunno if my game is elevated or I'm just getting cockier.

  2. Replies
    1. With that many "+"s, you couldn't find it in your cold, cold heart to make it an "A-" huh?

  3. CHALLENGE !!!!!: "pretty much the most annoying person that I had played with in months". Really ?

    1. In the first draft it said most annoying person EVER....but I realize that was way too big a pool to choose from, so I thought I would play it safe and say "months."

  4. Nice work sir. I have just popped up a post on my recent Aria experience, and have called you out to deliver yours.


    1. I'm looking forward to reading your Aria story, Ben.

      As for mine...well, in fact, my very next post will be about a tournament that took place at the Aria....however it won't be about the Aria tournament that I'm sure you're referring to.

      No, this next next post will be about a tournament more noteworthy for such mundane things as girl-on-girl kissing and girl-on-girl motorboating than for poker.

  5. you sir are a luck box (at least on this evening)

    1. True, Anony, true. On this night, I surely was.

  6. Your play is getting better from when I started reading your blog, without a doubt (not that I'm an expert player). My only thought/advice is wondering if you ever thought about checking the turn when you made trips (to induce a bet). I don't know what the texture of the board was though...

    1. Thanks, Coach. I did check the turn, if its' the hand I'm thinking of, and he checked behind me (a bad play on his part). My thinking there was that with three flush cards out there and the fact that he had raised my flop bet, I just wanted to see the showdown cheap...until I caught the boat on the river.

      Hopefully I am getting better than when I started the blog.....I was almost exclusively a 2/4 limit player back then!

    2. Hand w/KQ clubs - you raised 8 pre, 2 callers, flop Q-high, bet 20, got a caller. Turn another Q, bet 40, they folded. If there's no danger, he might try betting there, thinking you're nervous because he had called your bet on the Q-high flop, not knowing you have it...

    3. Hmm.....good point. He might have assumed I was just making a c-bet and then was done, and especially afraid of a second Queen. Honestly, I didn't think of that.

    4. Good hand to mix it up with - bet it sometimes, check it sometimes, obviously factoring in if you think your turn bet will be called (or you want to make them pay to chase a draw) or if your check might induce a bet.