Tuesday, February 23, 2016

"When Was The Last Time You Saw an Asian Straddle?"

This session took place on New Years Eve, but there isn’t much to report that is really New Years Eve-ish.  The entire night I only saw two outrageous drunks.  One was a playing at my table when I got there.  He was a middle aged guy who could barely keep track of his chips or look at his cards.  It was only 7PM and there was just no way this guy was gonna make it to midnight before passing out.  Unfortunately, he managed to lose his stack to other people, not your humble scribe.  Ordinarily I might have been sad to see him leave without donating more money, but he was so smashed he was just slowing up the game, he couldn’t focus on when it was his turn, took a long time to act, and frankly, I kind of expecting him to just pass out at the table any second.  When he did bust out, he somehow managed to walk out of the poker room under his own power.  This was before 8PM.

The other outrageous drunk was a Slut Parade girl much, much later, like around 2:30AM.  She was leaving the club and could barely walk.  Actually, she couldn’t walk.  But her boyfriend was with propping her up as they walked.  No way she could have taken two steps without his support.  In fact, I think she almost took the both of them down a couple of times. 

Other than that, it was more or less an average Slut Parade night, just a lot more people than usual. Yes, there were plenty of attractive young ladies demonstrating a myriad of ways to display the female form without quite violating decency laws.

I was assigned one of the prime SP viewing tables, but the seat was one where my back was to the foot traffic.  So as soon as sat down, I asked the dealer for a seat change button.  I had a lot of time for one of the two prime viewing seats to open before the heavy traffic would start flowing. 

The fellow on my left was a young Asian man, much better dressed than the average guy you see playing poker in Vegas.  He immediately reacted to my request for a seat change.  “What’s wrong?  Do I stink?  You just got here and you want a seat change?”  I just laughed, and he continued, “Do I talk too much?  Don’t you like Asians? I took a shower today.”  He seemed to be joking around, so I just smiled and said nothing.  I wasn’t about to tell him that I wanted a better seat to enjoy the coming parade.  Actually, although I didn’t know it just then, it turned out that yes, he did talk too much.

Not long after I got there, he apparently thought he was the big blind when he was actually under-the-gun.  He put out a red chip.  The dealer asked if he was straddling, and he immediately grabbed the chip back.  “No, no, I’m not straddling.  I thought I was the big blind.  An  Asian straddling?  When was the last time you saw an Asian straddle?”  I got a good chuckle out of that.

Sometime later, he asked me, “Do you live here?”  I decided to give it back to him.  “Here?  You mean on this planet?”  You couldn’t take it as well as he could dish it out.  He seemed genuinely bothered by my witty comeback (it was a witty comeback, right?) and basically didn’t say another word to me the rest of the evening.

He wasn’t drinking a lot and didn’t appear to be drunk.  But he kind of got carried away with his schtick when a female Asian dealer pushed in.  This girl was very, very small.  First the Asian dude asked if she was Korean and she said no.  He insisted she was.  “I know you’re Korean.  You’re actually from North Korea, right?”  The poor dealer did her best to ignore him.  The more she ignored him, the more he harassed her, and this was no longer fun, at least from my perspective.  At one point he referred to her as a “midget.”  Yeesh.  She was a small girl, but not anywhere near that small. 

There was a Chinese woman at the table that he also was chatting up a lot, making jokes about—basically at her expense. She didn’t talk much and I think her English wasn’t very good.  I believe she might actually have been visiting from China rather than being a Chinese-American.  She mostly giggled to his comments, or said nothing.  Or denied whatever “playful” accusation he was making. 

There was a guy there with a much younger man—likely a father & son combination.  The older guy looked to me like Dustin Hoffman, only a bit older (or maybe what he looks like now, for all I know).  And he was bantering with the rude Asian guy and to some degree was joining in with him in harassing the poor Chinese woman.  And at one point, the Chinese woman said something which unfortunately I didn’t hear, but it prompted Dustin Hoffman to say to her, “The only person at the table I want to see naked is you.”  She didn’t react to that at all.  Seems a little inappropriate to say to a total stranger at a poker table though, right?  I suspect it was the rude Asian guy that had somehow brought the topic of “naked” into the conversation but I didn’t hear how.

Actually, this guy made a number of insults to both the dealer and the player.  Some of them seemed a bit vulgar to me, and some were just Asian ethnic slurs.  I guess he’s “allowed” to do that because he himself was Asian? The thing is, by the time I did my voice notes very late the next day, I had forgotten them.  Just as well, I suspect they would not have been appropriate for the blog (not that usually stops me).

By the time the small Asian dealer had completed her down, I had moved into the stinking drunk’s chair after he busted—one of the two prime SP viewing seats next to the dealer.  So I said to her, whispering, that she really shouldn’t have taken that abuse from the rude Asian guy.  I told her she should have said something to him or called the floor.  But she said it was no big deal and she hadn’t even heard most of it. 

As for the poker, I had noticed the Dustin Hoffman guy was fairly aggressive.  I saw one hand where he raised preflop and bet all three streets like he had a big hand.  He was called on the river and showed a lowly pair of deuces.  However, the river was actually a deuce, and he took the pot.  Until then, he was betting with the worst hand each time. I noticed he was showing down other hands with fairly marginal holdings  So I kept that in mind on the first hand I went up against him.

I had 7-6 offsuit in the small blind and completed.  Seven of us saw the flop, including Dustin Hoffman.  The flop was King-7-6, rainbow.  I led out for $10.  Only Dustin Hoffman called.  I bet $20 on the turn, which was a 10.  He called.  The river was a deuce.  I bet out $50.  He tanked forever.  He started talking.  “How good is your kicker?.....There’s no way you have two pair….you got a good kicker? I got a good kicker….you can’t have two pair.”  At one point he asked if I would show if he folded.  I said, “No….I never show.”

He finally called and I proved to him that I indeed did have two pair.  He mucked without showing, but he later claimed he had Ace-King.  Highly doubtful.  He would have raised preflop with that, and also, why was he asking me about my kicker when he had the best possible one? Boy did he howl though.  “7-6?  You played 7-6?  I can’t believe you played 7-6.”  Well, I was the small blind, which I didn’t bother reminding of.  With all those limpers it would have been criminal not to throw a buck in with a connected hand there.  But he kept fuming the rest of the time at the table that I had played 7-6.  Of course, that was a premium hand compared to most of the hands he was playing.  For some reason, the more he bitched about my play, the sweeter the victory became.

After a crapload of limpers, I made it $18 from the big blind with pocket Aces, no call.

I raised to $8 with Ace-King, three called.  The flop was King-Queen-9, I bet $20, two called.  I checked a Jack turn, as did the others.  The river was a blank, I bet $30 and didn’t get a call.

After the rude Asian kid left, followed soon thereafter by Dustin Hoffman and his younger companion, the table filled up with some of the worst poker players I’d ever seen. Actually it would be unfair to call them bad poker players. They weren’t really poker players at all.  They were obviously very new to the game.  I’m not sure how well they understood the basics of the game, let alone any strategy.  But it made it extremely difficult to play against them.  The would sometimes play garbage hands like they were monsters, and could play monsters like they were bottom pairs.  And I think it was mostly because they didn’t really know what they were doing.  Two of these players were Asians themselves, but they couldn’t have been more different from the typical stereotypical Asian player.  It did strike me as very odd that three or four people who knew very little about poker would decide to play the game on New Year’s Eve.  Hmm….maybe it was because the minimum bet at any blackjack table was probably $100.

By the time I had Ace-King again, the bad players had arrived.  After a few limpers, I raised to $16.  It was four ways, including the worst of newbies.  The flop was King-high and I bet $40, getting called only by the worst player at the table.  It was scary because he could have easily had a set of Kings—or 7-high.  There was another King on the turn and I bet $60 and he called.  The river was a blank and I really had no idea what the guy could have had.  I decided to just check behind him.  He had an unimproved pair of 4’s.

Unfortunately, a hand or two later I gave it back to him.  I had Ace-9 in the small blind and just completed.  The flop was Ace-King-4.  The newbie led out for $10, the other player folded, and I just called.  I called $20 on a blank turn.  The river was another blank and he shoved his last $52.  I should have folded, but I thought it was at least 50/50 he either had a lower pair or a worse Ace than mine, so I did call. He showed King-4 to take it.

I called $6 with Ace-King and it was four-ways.  The flop was King-high, and the preflop raiser checked.  I bet $20 and she called, it was heads up.  I bet $30 on a blank turn and she called.  I checked the river, which paired a 7.  She had King-Queen and I dragged the pot.

Somewhere along the way, my pal Abe had joined the table.  He opened a pot with 10-9 of hearts and was called by one of the clueless guys.  Abe never caught anything, and I don’t recall if there was any betting after the flop.  But Abe’s 10-high was good against the clueless guy’s 3-2 (he had a gutshot).  Abe enjoyed winning with 10-high and said to me, “In your blog, make sure you say that I thought I might be good there.”  Done.

In the big blind, I had King-Jack of diamonds and it was 6-ways. The board was all red—but all hearts, no diamonds.  The high card was a King.  It was checked around. I bet $7 on a blank turn and $15 on a blank river and was called in three spots each time.  No one showed when they saw my King.

In the small blind, I called $6 with Ace-3 of clubs.  It was four-ways.  The flop was Ace-high with one low club.  I called $20 from one of the clueless guys, and it was heads up.  The turn was a 5 of clubs, which gave me not only the nut flush draw but a gutshot straight flush draw.  I called $30.  The river was the Jack of clubs.  I was wondering if I should bet.  Clueless as this guy was, he could probably see three clubs on the board.  But he helped me out.  Before I acted, he went to grab some chips and was about to bet before the dealer stopped him and said it wasn’t his turn. OK….in that case, easy decision.  I checked.  Since he hadn’t actually made a bet, he wasn’t really committed to betting, but I wasn’t worried about that.  Sure enough, he bet $55.  Sweet.  I wasn’t sure how much to make it, I decided on slightly more than a min-raise.  I put out $120.  He tanked for awhile and I was wondering if he might re-raise (would have had to have been a shove).  He didn’t do that.  He just called.  He didn’t show when the dealer called out my flush.

That gave me a double up for the night.  Didn’t get much else to play for the rest of the night.  It was well into the new year when I quit, up $220.  A decent start to 2016 (even tho most of it took place in 2015.


  1. l@st time most of us s@w @n @si@n str@ddle w@s in the loc@l m@ss@ge p@rlor

  2. I've often wondered about people like that obviously drunk guy gambling. Does the casino have any responsibility to protect those players from themselves since they've been lubing them up with free liquor. I think it's a fine line between loosening up players so they more happily part with their hard earned cash and handicapping them so they make some truly horrific decisions.

    At my home casino if you're so obviously drunk that you're holding up the game, they'll rack you up and send you on your way.

    1. Well, I've seen guys get cut off from more booze before....and occasionally asked to leave or escorted out for being too drunk.

      But more likely to happen in casino I think. In the poker room,other players want the drunk to stay if he can function at all so he will lose his money to them. As long as not slowing up the game too much.

      In this case, the dealer didn't report the guy and the floor was very busy and unaware. I suspect tho that if he had stayed much longer, he would have been discovered and dealt with

  3. I have this problem too: not getting enough value from a hand against an unpredictable player who is unaware of the strength of their hand. I'm not sure why you slowed down with trip Kings, though.

    "By the time I had Ace-King again, the bad players had arrived. After a few limpers, I raised to $16. It was four ways, including the worst of newbies. The flop was King-high and I bet $40, getting called only by the worst player at the table. It was scary because he could have easily had a set of Kings—or 7-high. There was another King on the turn and I bet $60 and he called. The river was a blank and I really had no idea what the guy could have had. I decided to just check behind him. He had an unimproved pair of 4’s."

    There's not much beating you here despite his lack of awareness. I think you can easily pop off another $60-80 bet and get called. There aren't too many hands he can have (out of the entire universe of hands) that beat you when you have trips. There are only 3 pocket pairs that beat you, and very few Kx combos that beat you, especially since you hold a King yourself. I think you missed a value bet on the river.

    For the last hand history - nice awareness! It's so important to watch for mistakes like acting out of turn. Nicely done!

    1. Thanks....yeah that trip Kings hand was a weird one....I know I was kind of wimpy there. The thing was, I had just seen a really good play stack off to the guy. I don't remember what the good player had but the bad player had a totally disguised set that became quads on the river. It just sort of scared me and I decided to play it safe.

  4. "I suspect they would not have been appropriate for the blog".

    Rob clearly feels that his readers are easily offended. Now I actually AM offended!

    1. Well....I did add that that usually doesn't stop me!