Note: This is going to be a two-parter. It’s not that it’s such a long post (I don’t think), it’s just that I’ve run out of time to write the rest of it. Not sure if the second part will be as long as this—it might be a lot shorter. But I want to have something for you today.
You already know how this session ended. I told you about the last hand here. (Hmm, so maybe this is really a three-parter, huh?) In that post, I promised to fill you on the rest of the session, so here we go.
It was my first nite in town, and it was not only the first real night of March Madness, it was also St. Patrick’s Day. So Vegas was a-humming. I headed over to the MGM for some poker. And yes, the thought that it was a Slut Parade night did enter my mind. I was there early but I certainly planned on trying to get a prime viewing seat for the St. Patty’s/March Madness version of the parade.
And lucky me, I was sent to one of the tables in the front. I got the wrong seat to start. Not to worry though. It wasn’t too long before I was able to change to the best seat in the house, well before the club goers started showing up en masse.
Of course, there’s a price for everything. For much of the evening, there was a massive guy directly behind, playing in the tournament. This guy was huge. He wasn’t just fat, he was wide. He was built like a linebacker. Or maybe an entire front four. So of course, his chair was sticking out and that led to many, many people bumping into me repeatedly when they walked between our chairs even though there wasn’t room to do so. But I persevered.
Another price I paid for moving into seat 9 of the 9-handed table was the fellow who soon moved into seat 8. He was a very loud fellow with an annoying, somewhat high-pitched voice. And he probably had action on every single basketball game that was still being played. He found some kindred spirits on the other side of the table, and thus kept discussing the games on TV and all his betting action (and his bracket of course) with the guys across from him. That meant he was yelling—or maybe I should say screeching—pretty much directly into my ear. It was not fun. He meant no harm though, he was a good guy, I just wish he could have kept his voice down a bit (and by a “bit” I mean a whole lot).
It was a fun table the entire night. When I first got there the table was all abuzz about the games. As part of this, the group got into a discussion of the best basketball movies of all time. And I realized something….despite the fact that I am a huge basketball fan, I had seen almost none of the movies they were talking about. I’ve definitely seen more baseball movies than basketball films. That led to a brief discussion of best football movies and then, somehow, best “stoner” movies.
At one point, someone mentioned Jared, the disgraced former Subway spokesman. I guess he had recently been roughed up pretty badly in prison. Someone commented that he was a really sick dude. Another player said, “Yeah, giving his six-inch to kids.” Another guy said, “Yeah, and he tells them it’s a foot-long.” Another guy interjected, “It ain’t no foot-long.” And then the lone female at the table had the kicker. “Yeah, and he takes it out and it’s a three-inch.”
The action at the table was wild when I got there. So I was just hoping to catch a hand or two. I pretty much didn’t get one the entire night. Little did I know that this pattern was about to repeat for the entire trip. Early on I called $12 with Ace-9 of hearts, it was four ways. The flop came 10-8-7, two spades. I called a $30 bet and then a guy shoved. He had me covered (I had pretty much my $200 starting stack). I folded but someone called. The guy who shoved won the hand with Ace-high (he had Ace-Jack of spades and missed his flush draw). The other guy didn’t show but later claimed he had King-Queen of spades. Wow it must be nice to semi-bluff shove a draw, miss the draw, and still win the hand without even a pair.
My most memorable hand from the early part of the session was pocket 3’s. I limped in, it was five-ways, and I flopped my set. I bet $6 and didn’t get a call. It was the first pot I’d won.
One of the guys at the table had the misfortune of being in one of those Aces vs. Kings situations. But I thought the hand played out a bit strange. It was opened to $7 and then this guy made it $15. Then a third player shoved. The guy shoving had over $400 in front of him and there were a few comparable stacks still in the hand. The guy who had made it $15 had about $200 or so. He called. He showed two Kings and the big stack showed two Aces. The Aces held.
Huh? You have Aces and in response to a $15 three-bet you shove $400? How does that make sense? Way to get value for your Aces. Of course, it worked out perfectly for him. The guy with the Kings said he knew the shove meant he had Aces but couldn’t fold Kings. I guess he doesn’t read my blog. I disagree. I would not interpret a shove there as Aces—as I said, that’s a bad play in my mind. The smells more like a hand he didn’t want to get called, no? Or am I wrong?
While this hand was being played out, the cash drawing was taking place. They were picking 6 $100 winners for the 8PM drawing. And they pulled a bunch of tickets that weren’t claimed. So it was taking awhile. The guy with the Kings had just busted and he stood up, saying he was done for the night. Just then, the pulled another ticket and it was that guy. Except that he was out of the game. But they checked and since he had been dealt into the last hand at the table, he qualified for the drawing. So he decided that with the $100 he was about to get, he’d stay. He also took out another $100 to play with. And then….he proceeded to go on a heater. He turned that $200 into around $500 in a relatively short period of time. What an amazing piece of great timing. Had the drawing been a few minutes (seconds?) later, he would have been gone and missed the prize, and more importantly, missed out on his heater.
So the table was fun and everyone was friendly and then one of the guys suggested that we play a hand where everyone puts in $20 preflop, and we agree to check it down. And everyone seemed to agree with that except for one nit.
My first thought was that this was collusion and shouldn’t even be allowed. Am I wrong? I mean, I think I’m technically right, but realistically, if everyone agrees, there’s really no harm done. I never really considered objecting on those grounds, but I did wonder how the powers that be would feel about this. I never asked.
But I still didn’t want to do it. I couldn’t see the point. It’s basically a lottery—or a table game. And like a table game, the odds are bad. The house is going to take out $6 for the rake, and thus it is –EV. There’s no skill involved. No one will bet post-flop, one of the players will make the best hand and take the pot. If there was no rake at least it would be a fair payoff (though you could just as easily do it for high card and save the trouble of dealing an entire hand). I was already losing a fair amount and didn’t see why I should risk $20 on a bad bet. There’s a reason I don’t play table games (or slots) any more.
In hindsight, maybe I should have gone along with it. Everyone was having a good time and I didn’t want to put on damper on the fun. I suppose I was too much of a nit there. What do you think?
Anyway, I said no and the idea was dropped but soon someone mentioned it again. The guy who originally suggested it said that they could wait until I was under-the-gun and if I folded, they’d do it that hand. Which struck me as dumb because some of the players may have already seen their hand before it was declared the “$20 per player” hand. The button had now come around to me, so I said, “No, tell you what, I’ll hit the Men’s Room after this hand so you can have your $20 hand on the next hand.”
I thought that was a pretty nice compromise, but the woman at the table said, “Why don’t you go to the Men’s Room now.” Really, bitch, really? You can’t wait one more hand so I can play my button? As it was, I was giving up the cut-off seat to accommodate them. Pretty annoying. I told her I wanted to play my button and so I did. It was garbage, I folded and headed for the Men’s Room.
It turned out the guy on the heater won that hand with a set of 7’s. I asked if anyone else had anything and was told there were flush draws and straight draws and even straight flush draws. In other words, the guy probably could have won more money if they had played that hand straight. He didn’t mind though, he said he was happy with the $154 pot.
And that’s where I’ll leave this part. Back in a few days with part 2, once I write it up. (Edited to add: It's up! See the conclusion here.)