Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Pink Shirt Bluff

Every now and then, you pick up a read on someone for no obvious reason.  Or at least I do, or did, on this night.  I didn’t have enough information to make the right decision, but my gut told me what to do, and for once, my gut was right.

I got into this game and was seated to the left of a reg I’ve played with many, many times.  We exchanged some pleasantries, but I immediately noticed the guy to the reg’s right in seat 2.  There was something about him.  Pink shirt, baseball cap (worn the proper way) and ear buds.  I guess it was the ear buds.  No hoodie, no sunglasses.  But he was youngish and he just looked like he should have been wearing the hoodie and the shades.  He was giving off a vibe….I just felt like he was going to be the kind of player who would try to make some moves.

In a hand the reg and I were both out of, a guy had flopped the nut straight on a board with 2 diamonds and never bet it.  He called a small bet on the flop, then on the turn, when the pot was about $50, he just called a $15 bet.  The river paired the board and no one bet it.  His straight was good.  He had the nuts on the flop and the turn and didn’t raise.  The reg and I were both shaking our heads in disbelief.  He said to me, “Do you ever sometimes wonder how you ever have a losing session?”  I laughed and said yes.  Then we traded a few bad beat stories to remind ourselves why we sometimes do have losing sessions.  He told me that the other day, he was this one bad player’s personal ATM, kept giving chips to the guy as he hit his one or two outers.  Then when his luck turned, he gave all the money away, but never back to the reg.

Very early, I limped in with 10-9 diamonds and turned a flush.  I won a small pot so that I had about $220 when the big hand happened.  I had Pink shirt covered by maybe $10.  On the button I had pocket Queens, but Pink shirt raised to $15 first.  I just called.  I had no real read on his game at that point, just the gut feeling.  A few orbits later, I likely would have three-bet there.  Two others called. 

The flop was Jack-high, two clubs (neither of my Queens was the club).  Pink shirt put out $25 and I just called.  I suppose I could have raised with my overpair, but that early in my session I was being cautious. It was now heads up. The turn was a blank and he bet $45.  I almost folded.  I was thinking he had Aces or Kings.  But my hand had showdown value so I called.

The river was the third club.  He shoved for $125.  I came pretty close to folding almost immediately.  But I caught myself.  I started paying attention to that vibe I’d picked up from him.  And did he really have a flush?  I thought it was unlikely.  But he wasn’t afraid that I had the flush (which, the way I had played it, I easily could have).  Hmm.

I thought long and hard.  I think I might have folded if the flush card hadn’t hit, as odd as that sounds.  It just felt like the flush card had given him the perfect opportunity to bluff.  With the insta-read I had picked up, I shrugged and said “call.”  He turned over King-Queen offsuit.  In other words, nothing.  My read was good this time.  I had a nice double up, after less than 15 minutes at the table.  I probably didn’t play the hand well on the earlier streets, but in the end, I may have clumsily played it the best way possible.  

Pink shirt rebought, but then soon moved to another table.  A little bit later I got pocket Queens again.  It had folded to me on the button so I only raised to $6.  The small blind called and the big blind, an aggro German who had recently come to that table, made it $20, and I called, as did the small blind.  The flop was King-Queen-x.  It was checked to me and I bet $40, they both folded.  That was my only set of the night.

The German’s friend was sitting next to me, and he kind of freaked me out a bit.  Like the German, he had a German accent.  Unlike the German, this guy was Asian.  Yeah, an Asian guy with a German accent.  I couldn’t tell if the Asian guy was Japanese or something else, but all I could think of was that I was sitting next to a human representation of World War II. 

From my experience, totally stereotyping here, the only ethnicity comparable with Asians in terms of aggressive poker play are Germans. This guy definitely lived up to that, very much the aggro.  But I only got into a couple of hands with him.

I got pocket Queens again and the Germasian next to me raised to $15.  Since he had just sat down and I was still trying to figure out if this guy was going to carpet bomb the poker room, I just called.  It was heads up.  He bet $20 on all three streets, my Queens were an over pair the whole way.  I called him down and he showed pocket Jacks.  He said, “I was hoping you had 10’s.”

Then he raised to $16 on the button, and in the small blind I finally saw the dreaded pocket Kings for the first time all night.  I made it $46 and he folded. 

That was the last hand of note.  I didn’t lose any big pots, just lost chips here and there in unmemorable hands.  I ended up winning $220.  Because I had a good read on the guy with the pink shirt. Note: The lady below doesn't look anything like the guy in the pink shirt.  They just have the pink shirt in common--although he was wearing a pink long-sleeve dress shirt, not low-cut like the top below (thank goodness).


19 comments:

  1. baseball cap (worn the proper way)

    Oh, so he had it on backwards like it was supposed to be?

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, if you're behind the plate.

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    2. Note to self....when playing at a table with Rob, wear a backwards hat, hoody, ear phones, and button straddle his big blind if at a Caesars property. :-)

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    3. and steal his water bottle and tip the waitress xtra not to refill his diet coke and when she does no ice

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    4. @Nick...nah, the backwards cap doesn't tilt me at all. I just immediately think the wearer of it is uncouth. And therefore, I would not use my comps to treat anyone to a meal who wore their cap backwards. Just so you know.

      You tried the button straddle thing on me at Bally's and it didn't tilt me, in fact, I had a nice session. But it did lower my respect for you. :)

      @anger No more boobies for you!

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    5. dammmmm that is savage LOL A++++++ on the pic and donk/hero call in yr post

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  2. Your first mistake was having any respect for me at all at the poker table, possibly even in general. Not sure what I did to deserve it. Lol

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    1. You have made an excellent point, Nick,

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  3. I mean, just because I know how to play and win with the dreaded pocket kings doesn't make me better than you, right? ;-)

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    Replies
    1. Does the word "luckbox" mean anything to you?

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  4. Replies
    1. Queen-10 suited. yeah.

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    2. One of these days you boys are going to have to face the fact that your games are just inferior. I would be happy to provide some coaching IF you pony up enough money. It would sort of be like creating a majestic palace out of twigs and stones, but I think I am up for the challenge.

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    3. If I ever come across a unit of exchange worth LESS than a penny, I'll consider it.

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  5. You wouldn't have been able to think straight if she had been sitting at your table... :)

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, that's probably true.

      But I would have loved to give it the old college try.

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  6. A double-plus for the boobage. I have to go back to Japan again next week ... very little boobage there. It's your blog that keeps me going.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks...I tried to find a girl in a pink shirt with smaller boobs, but I just didn't see one.

      No boobage in Japan? That's surprising.

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