As I discussed in the post here, I played in a bunch of tournaments In Vegas this last time. And that post explains why I played the tournaments I did.
The first one I entered was the Planet Hollywood 7PM, for $100, my first Monday in town. I’d been in Vegas a few days but had stuck to cash games up until then. The tournament was called the “Value Deepstack” and it had a $10K starting stack and 30-minute levels.
This was part of their big summer series, Goliath, and it was held on the hotel’s mezzanine. It’s a pretty decent place to play, although the lighting could be a bit better and the proximity to the restrooms isn’t great.
Soon after the tournament started, I was reminded of one the advantages of cash games over tournaments that you don’t usually think about—the ability to ask for a table change. And I don’t mean because the players were too good or too nitty. There were two players at my table sitting near me that I would have preferred be playing in a tournament in another casino, Preferably in another city.
One was a distinguished looking older gentleman, nice enough fellow. But he could not stop coughing. He had a high collared shirt, and he was constantly pulling the front of it to cover his mouth to cough. Aside from that being extremely annoying, I was concerned that I might catch whatever terrible disease he had.
But what I really feared was that I might catch the disease the other player had. This guy was a young fellow who sounded like he was from England. And there was something odd about his eyes, or at least one of them. It was quite red, and it looked to me like he had pinkeye. Great. He was sitting one seat away from me, and with him touching the cards and the chips…well you get the idea.
That said, I’m relieved to report I didn’t come down with either a respiratory condition or conjunctivitis after the tournament.
As it turned out, I didn’t play with those two guys all that long. In the middle of the third level, I was about to be the big blind when someone came by and moved me to another table. It turned out I was moved to a new table they were starting. It was a mix of a few other players who moved from existing tables and some players who had just bought in (or were alternates). The problem was that it took quite a few minutes for enough players to show up for the dealer to begin dealing. I’d say I went nearly 10-minutes of this level without being dealt a hand. It was a bit frustrating, since time is so important in a tournament. I guess it can’t be helped, and it was just luck of the draw, but still annoying.
And speaking of annoying, I should mention the issue with the chips we were using. I’ve seen this before and I saw it again the very next night (different location), but two denominations of the chipset we were using were almost indistinguishable from each other. The $100 chips were black (or gray, or maybe black that had faded to gray), and the $500 chips were dark purple. From any kind of distance, they pretty much looked the same. Even right in front of me, I noticed I had stacked them wrong a few times, mistaking one for the other. It wasn’t that big a deal I suppose, you just had to be real careful to check what the bet was. I know I asked every single time whenever one (or, shudder, both) were bet.
And while still on the subject of annoying, the last player to join our newly assembled table made me wish I was back at my original table with The Hacker and Pinkeye (hmm, that sounds like a great name for a buddy cop movie). Let’s call this player Roy. Roy was a youngish Asian fellow. I didn’t have to even look at him to know he was Asian. He told us. Repeatedly.
Seriously, Roy told us he was Asian about every 15 seconds. No matter what the subject, he somehow found a way to mention his Asian heritage. Or he’d just bring it up out of the blue, as in, “I’m definitely the cutest Asian at this table.” Needless to say, he was the only Asian at the table.
He made a lot of jokes. Or at least attempts at jokes. By the next morning, I couldn’t remember most of them, which is lucky for you because otherwise I might be tempted to repeat them here.
When another player tried to top his jokes with better ones (which weren’t really better), Roy called the guy a “dickfore.”
The guy asked, “What’s a dick for….” Ooops.
When he first arrived at the table, as the dealer was finally getting ready to deal us our first hand, he announced, “I want you to know….I hope you won’t hate me for this, but I hope you all lose and I win. I’m sorry. I hope you can deal with that.”
Then he added, “But what’s really important about tonight is that we all have this quality time to spend together.”
That was actually amusing and it got a bit of a laugh and he repeated that line quite a few times. And other people started repeating it.
His other bit of schtick was to fold by sending one card at a time back to the dealer. And then he’d say, “Oh look, a string fold.”
Roy came to the table with a bag full of Chinese take-out and proceeded to eat it while playing. To be fair to Roy, he did offer to share. It was annoying for me because I just didn’t like the smell of it, and it was right next to me.
There were two things that Roy did incessantly. Talk and raise. If he wasn’t talking, he was raising. If he wasn’t raising, he was talking. Oh yes, just for good measure, there were plenty of times when he talked and raised simultaneously.
If you want to know what Roy looks like, just look up “Crazian” in the Urban Dictionary.
After we had been playing together for awhile, Roy turned to me and said, “I know you. I’ve played with you before. A lot. Like 40 times.” There was a pause, I tried to rack my brain, but came up empty. Then he added, “Do you play a MGM? I used to live here, used to play at MGM like four nights a week.” I acknowledged that if he recognized me that was likely where he saw me.
I still didn’t recognize him. So I said to him, “Funny….you’d think I’d remember a guy as quiet as you.” He replied that he isn’t usually this talkative. I found that hard to believe.
Roy was impressed with one of the cocktail waitresses. I should explain how they were doing cocktail service. They had two waitresses working as a team, using a pretty large cart to serve the drinks. I guess there was no bar on the mezzanine so after taking orders from everyone in the room, they’d go downstairs to the bar, fill that large cart with the drinks and take the elevator upstairs.
I believe the two girls handled the entire room. There were at least four tournaments going on at once—an 11AM event, a 4PM event, and at least one or two that had started on previous days. So they had a lot of ground to cover. Service was a bit slow but considering the territory they had it was actually pretty good.
Unlike some rooms that bring in servers who don’t wear the casino’s traditional outfits, the girls were wearing standard PH cocktail waitress attire: Partially open blouse (that usually shows off a bit of bra in addition to the cleavage) and tight short-shorts. It’s pretty sexy.
One of the two girls was reasonably cute as you would expect. But the other girl…well, she was a bit unusual. Now, as my readers know, I pretty much never notice a woman’s breasts. But in this case, I just couldn’t help noticing this gal’s mammary glands. Hell, Stevie Wonder would have noticed them (note: is that joke too politically incorrect for the age we live in? If so, I apologize.) Her breasts were beyond huge. They were beyond gigantic. Each one deserved its own separate zip-code. I mean, they had to send her to the mezzanine to work because I’m pretty sure her breasts would not fit in the regular poker room.
Well, I had noticed those gazongas her first time through the room. By now the two gals were on their second pass, and Roy and a couple of the other guys at the table had actually been able to notice something else about the overly-endowed waitress. Her shorts were really extra tight and extra short. She was actually revealing a whole lotta butt-cheek. And in fact, it was a damn nice view at that. Truth be told, because her breasts were actually way too big for their own good, the view from behind was a lot more enjoyable. It was pretty clear that Roy had totally fallen in love with her derriere.
Anyway, when she came around to take orders, Roy added something to his order. “I’ll have a water, a Jack & Coke….and a hug.” Everyone laughed, including the waitress. But a couple of the other guys also added “and a hug” to the end of their order.
I was pretty sure she wasn’t going to give anyone a hug. But when she came back and gave Roy his drink, he stood up, said something like, “and a hug, right?” And indeed he hugged the busty waitress. One or two of the other guys got hugs from her too. I hope they tipped well for the extra service.
There are only a few hands worth discussing. When I moved to the new table, I had pretty much my starting stack. Sitting on Roy’s left made it hard to do much unless I actually had a decent hand since he raised so damn often.
I did open the pot once with the dreaded pocket Kings and didn’t get a call.
Then, after Roy made a standard opening raise, I three-bet him with Ace-King. It was my first three-bet of the night and the second time I’d raised at this table. Nevertheless, Roy complained, “You always do that to me.” I pointed out that he was full of crap (politely, of course). Then he gave me a little speech. “Oh man, my hand is so bad, you’re gonna be real mad if I hit it.” And he called. We were heads up. I totally whiffed on the flop, but I c-bet and Roy folded.
By level 5, with the blinds at 25/150/300 I had about $13K. And so once again, I looked down at pocket Kings. As he did almost always, Roy raised. Of course I three-bet. Sorry, I didn’t note the amounts, but Roy put out a normal raise and I bet more-or-less three times his bet.
It folded back to Roy who went into full Hollywood mode. He stared at my stack, he stared at his stack. (I had him covered by about $6K). He bitched and moaned. He made it sound like he was in total agony, not knowing what to do. “Oh man I don’t know….I don’t know….should I gamble? Should I gamble?” He tanked for a long, long time and then finally said, “Well, I’m gonna gamble. All-in.”
No matter how much I might have read his Hollywooding as him trying to entice me into calling, there’s just no way I’m folding my Kings there. Not against him. Not against the all-time Crazian. I certainly thought he could do that with AK, or QQ, or JJ. He might realize my three-betting range against him is wider than usual, and maybe he gets me to fold a pretty big hand. Re-entry was still open and he might very well have been willing to bust and re-buy.
So the question is….do you ever fold pocket Kings preflop? Do you ever do it against this kind of a maniac (Hollywooding or not)?
I would make that call in that situation 100 out of 100 times.
So I called and of course he flipped over two Aces. Second time this trip I ran my dreaded hand into pocket rockets (see here for the first time).
I picked up a flush draw on the turn but missed.
Although I guess I understand his little acting job, I was really pissed at him at the time. It felt like a slow-roll to me. And we were friends! I mean, we’d played together at MGM at least 40 times, right?
Now short-stacked, under $6K, I was in bad shape. Especially since before it got to me Roy would raise almost every time. I had to wait for some kind of hand to make my one move. I was never going to get the luxury of opening a pot when it folded to me.
I didn’t play a hand the rest of the level. The next level the blinds were 50/200/400 and I needed some kind of hand to shove with. Finally, in late position, Roy open limped. I was shocked that he just limped. I looked down at King-9 of hearts. In my position, it was a monster. So I shoved. It folded back to Roy who tanked and asked for a count of my chips and made another speech. He stared at me, and then said, “Well, since you’re my friend, I’ll give you action.” Gee thanks, “friend.” When I flipped over my hand he said, “Oh, you got me crushed.” He tabled King-4 of spades.
No, he didn’t beat me with a flush. The flop was Ace-5-3. And he caught a 2 on the turn to complete a straight. And I was out.
I’d played about three hours or so and by the time I was out, they were up to around 100 players. And my poker evening was over.
You know….I ended up thinking that time we had together wasn’t really very important.