Tis the season, as they say, so what better way to get you in the Christmas spirit than talk about my poker session from Christmas Day last year.
I know, I’m a little late. But I never have ever attempted to do this blog in chronological order, as you know. And so just the other day I looked at one of my old posts, the one from the day after Christmas, last year. You can find it here. And it was about the session from the day before, but just a real quick story about one hand from that session. And clear as day, I wrote, “The story of this night's session will be an epic post (or two, or three) that I will get to eventually, possibly mid-2017 at the rate I am racking up stories for you.”
Well, according my notes, it appeared that I had never gotten around to give you the rest of the story on that session. And after checking further, I confirmed that I never written the post for it.
I must say, I was a little upset with you, my dear readers when I realized this. I mean, I know most of my readers memorize every post I write, word-for-word. So I was wondering why I hadn’t heard clamoring from all of you, demanding that I tell you the rest of the story from this night. What’s wrong with you people? Why weren’t you complaining that I left you hanging like that? OK, to be fair, I did warn you that it might not come until mid-2017. So by that standard, it’s early. Anyway, I discovered that there were a bunch of nice sessions from that time period I never wrote up, so I will be relating them here in the possibly near future, and they will certainly be a welcome change from all the bad sessions from my most recent trip.
The night before this session, I had a a pretty rough go of it. It was definitely not worth mentioning, other than the fact that when I was done, I realized I had played 4-1/2 hours without getting a single pocket pair. Not a one. I lost about $160 and that’s all I need to say about that.
This night I did start getting pocket pairs, small ones that only cost me money. For a couple of hours it seemed like I was picking up exactly where I left it the night before, and was losing chips again.
After missing with pairs like 5’s and 7’s, I had Queen-6 in the big blind and flopped two pair. There was some betting on the flop and turn and it was mostly heads up, and it turned out that the other guy had Queen-6 too. I was the big blind, he had limped from late position. What the hell was his excuse?
I dropped to around $75 (from $200) and added $100. Still losing, I got down to $120 or so. The perfect time to get the dreaded pocket Kings. After a limper, I made it $10 and had three callers. The flop was King-6-6. I mean, you’re supposed to flop a boat when you have the dreaded hand, right? I slow-played it but no one else bet either. On a blank turn, I bet $20 and had two callers. Another blank and I bet $70. No one called this time, but I did show for a drawing ticket, which was the first of many I got this night. Keep that in the back of your mind.
Honestly, playing Kings, flopping a boat with them, and winning a respectable pot with them, I should have just retired from poker right then and there.
Sitting behind about $180, I raised to $8 with Ace-5 clubs. Only the big blind called. Flop was King-Queen-4, two clubs. I c-bet $15 and he called. The turn was the 8 of clubs, and Villain led out for $15, I made it $30 and he called. The river was the Ace of spades and Villain shoved. Our stacks were almost identical and with the stone cold nuts it was a pretty easy call. He showed King-8 off. I took the pot, got another drawing ticket, and now was sitting behind $350, so I was actually up for the session.
I raised to $11 with King-Queen offsuit, four players called. The flop was King-Jack-Jack. I bet $30 and the only caller was the Villain from the last hand. The turn was another King. This time we both checked (sorry, no explanation in my voice notes as to what I was thinking there as to why I didn’t bet with the boat). I bet $65 on the river, a low card, he called and showed Jack-x. He picked up the rest of his chips and left, declining the drawing ticket that was offered to him, saying, “No, this is not my night.” I got the pot and another ticket.
I had 7-6 of diamonds and called a raise to $12 from the fellow who had replaced the Villain from the previous two hands—he was pretty aggro. Unfortunately my voice notes are not complete, but I flopped the flush draw and no one bet (it was heads up). I called $20 on the turn, still needing a diamond. The flush came on the river and we both checked. He showed pocket Aces. I got yet another drawing ticket in addition to the pot. The guy asked me why I didn’t bet the river, and I just shrugged, but of course I was thinking I was a long way from the nut flush. I should have turned the tables on him and asked him why he didn’t bet the flop with his Aces (one of which was the diamond).
I called $10 with Ace-5 of clubs, it was four-ways and there were two clubs on the flop. No one bet. The turn was another club, the preflop raiser bet $15 and I made it $35. No one called, but I showed the hand to get another ticket.
I managed to lose most of my profit in non-spectacular fashion, and had close to $300. In the small blind, I completed with Ace-10 offsuit, there were five of us. The flop was pretty nice, King-Queen-Jack, rainbow. I bet $5. Another player made it $10. He had me covered and was prone to making overbets. The next guy called, the other two players folded, and I made it $35. The guy who raised to $10—the one who had me covered, shoved. The next guy, with about $80, shoved. Of course I called having the nuts, but having to fade who knew what.
No one showed. I was sitting there praying for two low cards that didn’t match either in rank or suit. Instead, the turn was another damn King. And to make matters worse, the river was another Jack. Broadway wasn’t looking so good.
The big stack had 10-9, which was a relief. The shorter stack had Queen-Jack. I survived the paired King, but not the paired Jack. But I still did fine, winning about $140 on the side-pot.
With pocket 4’s, I limped in along with four others. No one bet the flop or the turn. By the turn, there were three clubs out there and I had the 4 of clubs. Another club hit the river, and I checked the pot to confirm that it was at least $10. It was. So I didn’t need to bet to get a ticket, and I didn’t want to bet such a baby flush. But no one else bet, I had the only club, so I won a small pot but got yet another ticket.
As the midnight drawing approached, I had accumulated 6 drawing tickets, by far the most I have had in one drawing. And I also had a nice profit from the poker, after a bad start. Back then, the drawings were different, there had many different possibilities for how the cash was given away. I honestly don’t recall the details but I think it was possible that only $100 would be given away, or that one person would win maybe a $500 prize, or there would be multiple prizes. But regardless, for this particular drawing, they drew a prize of a total of $1,000, to be given away to 10 tickets, each worth $100. You could win multiple times if you had multiple tickets.
The graveyard shift manager started pulling tickets. Now she had already seen me and said hi to me when she came around to get the final tickets. So, the second name she called was mine, and she added, “I don’t think Robert’s here. No, he’s not here.” She was just teasing of course. Then, after a few more tickets, she pulled another one with my name on it. Again she joked that I wasn’t there.
So, I won $200 in promo money this night. Pretty cool (this was long before I decided that these promos were not necessarily good for me). My profit from the poker was $150. So it was a pretty Merry Christmas for me.