Thursday, March 31, 2016

Brillo Head and The Friggin' Ace-King

This is about a single hand that happened in my very first session of my recent Vegas trip.  In fact, it was the very last hand of my first session. There was a lot from this session to write about, but at the time, this hand haunted me so much that I really wanted to isolate it into its own post so I could properly vent about it.  Originally, I was going to write this up while I was still in Vegas--a quick short post that wouldn't take me too long to write.. But I never got around to writing it up while I was up there..

Now I find myself in need of a post I can write quickly, this time due to the fact that my deadline for my next Ante Up column is breathing down my neck, and I need to finish this post tonite so I can start writing the column.  So as originally planned, I’m gonna talk about this one hand from a 4-1/2 hour session.

For reasons I will explain eventually—when I get around to talking about the rest of this session—I was down to $68 and had no intention of adding any more to my stack.  I mean from my wallet, that is.  Contributions to my stack from the other players would be most welcome.  Actually, a bit before this hand, I was down to $19.  Again, I will explain why I was playing such a small stack in a future post.

In late position I looked down at pocket Jacks.  Several people limped in and I made it $14. I thought about just open-shoving, but thought that $68 was just a bit much to try it there.  I was surprised to get three callers, including this old dude I had already decided I was calling “Brillo Head.”

It was his hair.  As I said, he was an old guy and he had this ridiculously looking mop of long, curly hair.  It was extremely blonde.  Did I mention it looked ridiculous?  Sorry, I suppose it is good that at his age, he still had so much hair.  But curly as it was, it would have looked a lot less hideous if he kept it short.  Now I suppose since it was blonde, “Brillo Head” isn’t really apt.  It certainly wasn’t the color of a Brillo pad.  And it wasn’t really coarse enough for a Brillo pad.  So, really “Brillo Head” is actually not a good name for this schmo.  Perhaps “Cotton-candy Head” would be more appropriate.  Tough.  My first thought when I saw this guy was “Brillo Head” and I’m sticking to it.


Brillo Head had been at the table for awhile when this hand took place, and had not really made an impression on me.  As far as I could tell, he was a nit.  I couldn’t recall a hand he had played.  That said, I should point out that this took place on St. Patrick’s Day, and it was a Slut Parade night.  It was in fact, a very, very good Slut Parade night.  And I had an excellent seat to view the festivities.  So it’s possible I was a little distracted.

Anyway, the flop came 6-5-2, two hearts, one diamond.  All three of the other players checked.  Well that sure looked like a great flop for pocket Jacks, right?  So I shoved (really didn’t have a big enough stack to bet less).  The first guy folded instantly, and then it was Brillo Head’s turn.

He had at least $200 in his stack. He asked for a count, and when told it was $54, he thought for a bit and started counting out chips.  Very methodically, very slowly.  But he hadn’t said anything yet, so he wasn’t committed to calling. You see that all the time of course, someone counting out the chips even before they decide what action they will take.  Sometimes they just want to see what their remaining stack will look like if they call and lose (you see this especially in tournaments).  I should mention that I noticed the guy next to him, the last player still in the hand, was obviously ready to fold.  You could tell by the way he was holding his cards that they were about to fly into the muck as soon as Brillo Head completed his action.

Finally, after Brillo Head counted out exactly $54 (because he had at least four dollar chips, of course), he said “call” and pushed the chips forward.  As expected, the next player’s cards hit the muck a nano-second later.

We were now heads up with no further betting action possible. We didn’t show.  The turn card was a black King and the river was something not relevant to this story.  I turned over my Jacks, and he turned over…Ace-King.  Ace-King!  One was a heart, one was a diamond.  He caught his card on the turn and thus ended my night of poker.  Also notice that he had originally limped in with Ace-King.  Didn’t like it enough to raise with it pre-flop.  But now, with just two cards coming, he loved it enough to risk $54 on it!  Huh?

I said, “nice call,” as sarcastically as a person can.  Really?  Really?  Does anyone like that play there?  Yeah, he had a back-door flush draw.  And yes, he did have a back-door wheel draw.  But basically, he had a pair draw.  And he hit it.  I suppose he could have decided I was c-betting a flop that missed me.  But the most likely hand I would show up with then was…Ace-King.  Was he calling $54 just to chop the pot?  Yeah, I could have had Ace-Queen or worse, sure.  Still…..he had nothing.

Now if there were some implied odds available, I could maybe see his call.  But since I was all-in, that wasn’t a factor.  And if he noticed the guy next to him, as I said, couldn’t wait to get rid of his hand, he’d have known he wasn’t getting any money from him.  And since I was all-in with a pretty big bet, you can’t consider his call a “float.”  He was calling either because he thought his Ace-King might be good or he figured he had 6 outs.  Of course I could have Aces or Kings there myself, right?  I would have played it the same way with Aces or Kings.

Anyway, I was done, and pretty pissed.  Even though the poker hadn’t been treating me kindly, I was having fun at the table and as I said, I was committed to putting no more money in play.  If I had been willing to risk more this night, I would have already topped off my stack, and not let it get to $68 (or $19 before that).

Well, that stinking hand—the interesting call by Brillo Head—put a damper on the rest of my evening.  Of course it would have really nice if he had made the call and missed.  That would have given me a decent stack to play with.  But I would have been very happy with him folding there and taking the pot as is (especially in light of how it played out).

At the time, I didn’t realize it, but now, a few weeks later, in retrospect, I think it’s fair to trace all my poker woes for the trip back to this single hand.  It started me on the downward spiral from which I never recovered.  If only Brillo Head had folded there, my whole trip would have been different.  I would have won at every session I played.  I would have come home several thousand dollars ahead.  It wall goes back to that one stinking hand.

Brillo Head and his friggin’ Ace-King ruined my trip.

22 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Not sure what that means, anger. B minus, TH? Too hairy?

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  2. i see ak chase to river against QQ and lose
    or win

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    1. Thanks, Nick. I guess I've seen that too, sucks when they hit.

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  3. Very entertaining as usual! It might calm you in future to know that he is making the right call vs. a short stack's 5% opening range getting 2.2 to 1 on the flop. His mistake was not getting this all in pre, and then you lose the coin flip anyway: just the usual run bad. Good luck and run better!

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    1. Thanks....I did think about that and actually thought...well, if a guy isn't raising preflop with Ace-King, he's not going to call on the flop with nothing. That didn't make sense. If he raises in front of me, I probably shove and he calls (depending on the action of the other players) and yeah I lose the flip and that's poker. This seemed so much more annoying cuz there were only two cards to come when we got it in.

      Of course, I pointed out that thought of shoving pre anyway, Obviously he would have called (and it would have been correct to do so), that just would have been a less frustrating way to lose.

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    2. Sure, he didn't play it great, but I've seen worse calls a million times. And he was getting 2 to one.

      The fact that you let a bad call and a suckout in a $150 pot "ruin your trip" is kind of on you.
      Assuming you aren't exaggerating for blogging tale purposes, of course.

      You have played enough 1-2 to know that the only proper response to suckouts is a big smile and "nice hand, my friend!"

      The last time I played in Vegas I was against a maniac $10 button straddler.
      TWICE I had AK, I limp $10 EP, there are a bunch of callers, and maniac button straddler makes it $45 as I knew he would.
      Both times I ship $200 pre. Both times he calls.
      He has pocket deuces, and 52s.
      Of course he wins both and I'm down $400 in just over 2 orbits.

      All you can do is laugh and acknowledge it isn't your day. I literally fist bumped him, "nice hand" as I left to get some breakfast.
      You want these guys making these plays, even when it doesn't work out in your favor.

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    3. Thanks, Dave. Heh. Yeah, of course I was just being funny (I hope) by saying this hand was the one that set me down the road to ruin for the trip. That's silly and I assumed everyone could tell that my tongue was firmly in my cheek.

      The real reason I had a bad trip was that I stopped for lunch at the Victorville In-N-Out Burger on the way to Vegas. Yeah, that's what brought me all the bad luck.

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  4. If he gives you 99+,AQs+,AQo+ he has to call; 99+,AKs,AKo he's taking slightly the worst of it, but it's close. Nut no-pair with an SPR of 1 is a decent hand. Not saying that's how he is thinking, but it's not a bad call.

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    1. Thanks, Kat. I see your point (and trust your math), but it seemed to me like a real odd play from someone who initially limped in with AK. He could have saved me some aggravation (but not money) if he had raised pre as he should have.

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    2. Oh he mangled the hand completely, but that's why we play $1/2

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    3. I KNEW there had to be a reason!

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  5. Maybe he knows who you are, reads the blog and was just trying to donate.

    Steve007

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    1. OMG....was that you? No, wait, I've met you and it wasn't you, unless you were wearing a heck of a disguise. where did you get that Brillo wig?

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    2. Lol I wonder how easily I could pull off a disguise. The people working there easily recognize me these days and I would be familiar to some of the regulars.

      Steve007

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    3. Well, you might have to get creative!

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  6. Lol this reminds me of the time I played against you a while back. I was totally card dead and looked really nitty. I would have raised the AK though.

    Maybe this guy is one of those nits who waits forever for good cards, and then hates to throw them away when he gets them. But who knows.

    Steve007

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    Replies
    1. Yeah....good point. But AK after the flop? Not exactly the same as being married to Aces.

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  7. Remember where you were on a semi-holiday. You should be happy to be in a game with players like that. Vegas and Slut Parade ftw! Just bad results; whats the correct terminology-variance?
    Better luck sir,
    B+ -need more info on SP.

    Big L

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    1. Thanks, Big L....I wish I had a video of the S.P. but I don't. It was a pretty awesome and the table talk about it will be reported in a future post.

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  8. Pocket jacks blah blah, ace king blah blah, and then hello hello Miss in yellow! Good post, Rob! haha

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    1. blah blah blah thanks blah blah blah

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