Thursday, March 15, 2018

A Shark in Guppy's Clothing—Revisited

I was recently reminded of this post from several years ago and when I read it, I felt nostalgic.  This is my favorite type of post to write, and I haven't really had the opportunity to write up many like this recently.  I miss these kind of stories. 

What happened was I came across something doing my real job that reminded me of this post, and at the same time made me realize that I had a follow-up to my original post that I never reported to you.  So enjoy this trip down memory lane and then be sure to check out the new epilogue to the story at end.

=  =  =  =  =  =  =  =  =  =  =  =  =  =  =

You all remember Alicia, right?  She’s the terrific poker player I ran into a few years ago at the Aria tournament.  The story of our first encounter was told here, where I used the pseudonym “Veronica,” Eventually I wrote an article about Alicia for the online magazine ADANAI which you can find here.

Well, this is the story of my encounter with another terrific female poker player.  And it has an eerily similar ending to the time I met Alicia (oops, sorry, I should have given a spoiler warning).  Maybe one day I’ll write a magazine article about this woman too.  I’d like that.

This story took place exactly one week after the big tournament score at Binion’s that I described here.  And at the same tournament, the 2PM Deepstack at Binion’s.  In fact, before the tournament started, a young bloke came over to me to say hello.  It was Leeds, the lad who took first place last week.  We chatted briefly and I asked him how many more tournaments he had won since I’d seen him last.  He said he hadn’t played another tournament since. This would not be the last time I saw Leeds before he returned to the U.K. (I assume he’s back now).  I would run into him and his father later this very day, a story I told here).  Apparently he and his dad like the same two poker rooms I do.

I was getting settled in to my seat (7) when I couldn’t help noticing an extremely attractive young woman approaching our table, seat card in hand.  I can’t say I was unhappy when she took seat 9 at my table (this tournament plays 9 handed).  She was really cute, and her figure got my attention in a way that readers of my blog might expect to get my attention.  In addition, her sweater was low-cut enough for her to be working the Jennifer Tilly effect just a bit. 

I was pretty happy about this turn of events.  I can think of worse things than sitting across of a pretty face for a couple of hours while playing poker.  I didn’t recognize her, at least not from this tournament.  As the day wore on, I started to think it was entirely possible I had seen her in other venues once or twice, but I wasn’t sure and I know we had never really played at the same table together, tho it was possible I’d seen in a poker room or two. 

I’m going to call her “Lois.”  She had a Superman bobblehead doll that she used as card protector.  So I’m naming her for Superman’s girlfriend, Lois Lane. 

I certainly wasn’t the only guy at the table to notice Lois.  Two seats to my right was an older guy I’ve played with a million times before at this very tournament.  He’s a regular so I’ll just call him Reg for short.  Reg was very interested in chatting up Lois. 

It turned out that Lois was perfectly fine with chatting with Reg.  And me too.  She soon revealed herself to be an absolute delight, a real doll, very nice, very friendly.  And from the conversations we were having about poker, a very knowledgeable and experienced player.

As the session wore on and we could all see she was really tough player, she mentioned that she had played a lot of poker all over and had some big successes.  At the WSOP, she had played only in the Ladies event, but hoped to change that this year.  She had had a few big scores at the DSE’s at the Venetian in the past.  And she had once placed 2nd in the Main Event of a WSOP circuit event held in the Midwest a few years back.  For that, she took home over 6 figures.

One of the dealers did recognize her and asked her what happened to her other card protector.  Apparently it was some kind of fish trinket.  She said a guy had stolen it.  That’s awful, a few of us noted.  Then she said that the guy claimed to have found it, but he was sure he had stolen it.

“Why would he do that?” I asked.

“Because he wanted my number.  He knew he’d run into me again in a poker room somewhere and then he could get my phone number.”

And in fact, he did run into her and told her that he had her fish.  “Did you give him your number?”

“Yes, I had to.  I wanted my fish back.”

Then I asked a question that was surely none of my business.  “And did you go out with him?”

She said she did not.  I expressed relief.  “Good. He sounds sleezy.”

She still uses the Superman bobblehead even tho she has her fish back. I said to her, “You know, I’m not sure that, as a poker player, you want to be associated with a fish.”

But she disagreed.  “No, no…that’s exactly what I want.  I want people to think I’m a fish.”

By this time I knew that she was definitely not a fish.  I conceded that this was not a bad image at all.

Then she said that one time on the 2+2 forums someone described her as a “shark in guppy’s clothing.”  She explained that she was wearing a summer dress at that event.

It was because of Reg that I learned her name.  After the first break, he came back and claimed that he was sitting next to a woman at a slot machine that was her spitting image.  He thought it was her.  So he asked her name and the woman was surprised. “What?”  So Reg said, “Wasn’t I just playing poker with you?”  The woman assured him he was not.   So Reg told Lois that her twin was out there playing slots.  She laughed and then said, “It’s Lois, by the way.”  Except instead of Lois, she gave us her real first name.

Reg had ordered a “Virgin Mary” from the waitress.  When she came back, she apparently had both a Virgin Mary and a Bloody Mary on her tray.  She picked up one to examine and said, “Let’s see… this your virgin?”  Lois said, “Yeah….that’s the only virgin you’ll find in this town.”

I had a blast talking with Lois—about her life and about poker.  She would comment on the hands that other people were in (after the fact, of course) and even guess as to what the odds were for a particular player.  Then she would look at her poker odds calculator to check and she was always within a few points. 

She would even give me a little free after-the-fact-advice from time to time.  I found this most interesting because helping out other players is not usually something a good player wants to do. Lessons are extra.

She wasn’t giving tips to any of the other players.  And all her advice was sound, it wasn’t like she was trying to hurt my game.  So I can only assume either she didn’t consider me any kind of threat to her getting into the money, or….she liked me.  Actually, I think that was it, really.  We were having quite the nice conversation all through the tournament.

And once again people had noticed me taking notes and were starting to comment about it.  At one point, Lois also gave me a poker hint to put in my book. Something like, “Put this in your book….don’t shove against a guy who’s running super hot.”  Earlier, she had asked me what I was writing in my book about her!  I kind of shrugged and then was about to say “Until I learned your name, I was referring to you as ‘Beautiful Girl’ in my notes.”  However, either I chickened out or something distracted me right as I was about to say that, and then the moment was gone.

Early in the tournament, who should join the tournament and be assigned to our table by none other than The Bubble Bitch (see here).  This was now just a week after her dramatic exit scene.  No one mentioned anything about that—at least while she was still there. 

And speaking of The Bubble Bitch, on a more recent visit to Binion’s, Audrey came over to discuss that post.  When she read it, she was dying to know who The Bubble Bitch was.  She had a very strong hunch as to the identity but wanted to be sure.  I hadn’t been back in awhile so she finally realized who the T.D. on duty would have been and asked him to confirm her suspicions.  She had totally nailed it.  She had identified The Bubble Bitch from my description of her behavior.

For brevity’s sake (since I’m so good at brevity), I’ll refer to The Bubble Bitch as BB from now on.  BB wasted no time in making more friends.  As last time, she was an aggro maniac.  And so she shoved on a flop even though she had plenty of chips if she had wanted to play it safer.  But the guy next to her called.  He was another regular and of course had some experience playing with BB before.

It turned out that BB had 10-9 and there was a 10 on the board.  That was it.  She had top pair, weak kicker and had gone all in.  But the other player only had Ace-King and had nothing on the board….no pair, no draw.  By the way, it was actually a third player who had raised preflop, neither one of them had.  So BB had called a raise with 10-9.  Anyway, BB was ahead until the other player hit a King on the river.

We all found that hand very interesting.  BB didn’t say anything to other guy at first, but she was shooting daggers at him with her eyes.  You could see the faint hint of smoke coming out of ears.

The rest of us couldn’t understand the hand at all.  Well, I understood the shove—that’s BB.  I had seen her play like that just the week before.  But the guy calling her shove with nothing?  WTF?  He had a shorter stack and so he didn’t bust BB out, but of course, if he hadn’t gotten lucky on the river he would have out of the tournament.

BB and the other guy were in seats 1 & 2, on the other side of the table from Lois and me.  And everyone on our side of the table was quietly expressing our disbelief.  Somebody said, “I don’t understand the call.”  And Lois said, “I don’t understand the shove or the call.”

Well BB and Seat 2 started overhearing our conversation so finally BB started commenting on the guy’s call herself.   And the two of them started arguing for a bit.

This caused a reaction from another woman at the table, a mature woman who was from New York originally—complete with NY accent and NY attitude.  While the other two were bickering, New York Lady (NYL) turned to our side of the table and said, “Oh, she’s so mad at him.  She wants to pull down his pants, take him over her knee and spank him.”

Someone said “He might like that.”  I think it was me. 

Everyone was laughing about NYL’s line about the spanking and Lois said to me, “Put that in your book.”  Of course, I did.

Anyway, her own comment about the spanking got NYL started.  “When she’d pull down his pants, he’d be wearing….what is it…..not briefs….not Speedos….”

“Tidy Whities?”  I was trying to help her out.

“Yes, that’s it.  Tidy Whities!”

She did not look like the kind of woman who would be talking about spanking men or men’s underwear.  But she was just getting started.

This got NYL telling the story of how she took her granddaughter to “Thunder from Down Under” for her 21st birthday.  That’s a Chippendales-type show at the Excalibur where male dancers get almost completely naked (for a post about a show where there’s no almost about it, check here).  I did find that a bit strange. I’m thinking that, when I was 21, it sure would have been weird and more than a bit uncomfortable to see a strip show with my grandfather.  But times have changed, I guess.

Anyway, NYL took her granddaughter and her granddaughter’s best friend to the show to celebrate her big day.  Then she went on to explain that the girl’s best friend was in fact a guy.  But as she said about him, “He likes men.”  She went on to declare that gay guys make the best friends.

Of course she described the finale of the show. “At the very end, with their backs to the audience, they all pull their bottoms off.  But they don’t turn around…..damn it.

She went on for at least a minute complaining about the fact that the guys didn’t turn around and reveal their…well, their true personalities.  She felt cheated. What a randy grandmother!  We were all laughing at her kvetching.

I’m not going to discuss many hands because I didn’t cash. But one I want to mention was in the 5th level with the blinds at (300/600).  My initial $20K stack was down to $18K or so. I raised to $1,800 with Ace-10 of hearts.  Good ol’ BB shoved for $6,500.  Assuming it folded back to me, it would have been an easy call for me, knowing BB was almost definitely shoving light.  And if she happened to have woken up with a good hand, well, I’d still have almost 2/3’s my stack.

But it folded to Reg, who was the big blind.  He thought and thought and thought for a long time and finally called.  Damn.  At the start of this hand his stack was similar to mine.  If I shoved, he’d likely call, feeling pot committed.  I considered him a fairly tight player, not a maniac. 

I didn’t want to put my tournament life in play against two players, one of whom (Reg) could easily have a better hand than I did.  I never really considered calling.  It was either fold or shove, but I just didn’t want to shove against Reg with only Ace-10.  My stack was about an M of 20.  I decided to play it safe and fold.

So they flipped over their hands.  BB showed Ace-5 offsuit, which was actually better than I thought it would be.  But Reg flipped over Queen-Jack offsuit.  WTF?  How the hell could he call $6,500 with Queen-Jack?  I thought he was a much better player than that.

The flop made me ill.  It was Ace-10-x.  Ugh.  Nothing else of consequence hit the board.  BB took it with a pair of Aces, 5 kicker.  If Reg had folded like he should have, I would have won with 2 pair.  If I had called or shoved, I would have gotten a lot of chips.  Ugh.

I was so surprised and more than a bit pissed.  I did something I don’t normally do—I told everyone what I folded.  I explained that I couldn’t call with Reg calling, assuming he had a much better hand than he did.  I came thisclose, I mean really close to saying, “I would have called but I had no idea Reg was such a bad player.”  Knowing Reg’s sense of humor, I know he would have enjoyed that, and laughed.  But I thought better of it.

But thinking about it later, the next day, I kind of figured out maybe why he called.  He knew that BB was a maniac and that Q-J was beating her shove-range there.  But that doesn’t explain why he did that in a pot where I had raised.  He’s played with me enough to know I’m not raising with a hand nearly as crappy as BB’s range.  I guess he was rolling the dice.  He figured I’d likely fold, and if I had a big pair or AK, so be it.

Sometime soon after this, BB did indeed bust-out.  This was much earlier in the tournament than the previous week, a long ways from the money, and she managed to leave without making a scene this time.  But we started talking about her inasmuch as her aggressive play and her verbal jousts with Seat 2 had made an impression on everyone. 

The dealer confirmed that she was a dealer somewhere in town, or at least had tried to be.  He claimed that one time, she had an audition at one of the bigger rooms on the Strip.  The manager ended it within 5 minutes.  She spent the entire five minutes ordering everyone around, so the manager told her, “This audition’s over.  You don’t have the right attitude.”  Shocking!

After that, I decided to tell everyone at our table the story of her exit last week, which of course everyone thoroughly enjoyed. 

By level 9, I was more than a little bit desperate. I shoved with Queen-Jack and the player to my left snap called.  He had me covered but not by that much.  He flipped over pocket Aces. Ugh.  Blank flop.  Jack on the turn.  Queen on the river.  Nice suckout for me.  The guy was now talking about being dead, but both Lois and I gave him the old “chip and a chair” speech.  In fact, this guy had a decent chip stack back by the time I busted.

And then something bad happened.  Lois was moved to balance tables.  As she got up, she told me she enjoyed playing with me and asked my name.  I not only told her but gave her a card with the blog’s URL on it and whispered that this was the real reason I was using the notebook.  She said she would check it out.  I told her she was a delight.

Anyway, I ended up helping the guy whose Aces I cracked make his comeback.  We were both all-in, I had shoved with Ace-Jack, he had called with Ace-8.  And he hit an 8 on the river.  I guess I had that coming.  And I doubled him up again when I shoved with Queen-10 and he called with Ace-Queen, which held.

My table broke and I was sent to the table where Lois had been moved to.  With an M of less than 5, I had Queen-Jack of diamonds.  First in, I shoved.  Lois was the big blind and called, turning over Ace-10.  A Queen hit the flop.  But then an Ace hit the river.  I was done.  Just like with Alicia, I met a terrific female poker player in a tournament and got busted by her.

As I got up, she said, in maybe the sweetest voice I’ve ever heard, “You’re not mad at me, are you?”  I said of course not, she had made the right move.  I told her again what a delight she was.

I hope I run into her again. 

=  =  =  =  =  =  =  =  =  =  =  =  =  =  =  =  =   =

Epilogue (new):

Well, just a few months after I published this post, PokerAtlas received an email with some minor corrections to our listings for a couple of Vegas rooms.  That email was forwarded to me since that's my responsibility.

I noticed the name on the email.  It was the real name of the Lois that is the subject of this post.  Now, her real name is a rather common name, so it wasn't definite that the writer was the same person I played with a few months earlier.  So, I timidly emailed her back, and after thanking her for the corrections (which I confirmed were correct), I asked if she was the same "Lois" that I had played with at Binion's that time and described enough of the interaction so that she'd remember.  I knew it was a long-shot that even if it was her, she'd respond, but in fact, she responded almost immediately and confirmed that she was that enchanting young lady I met back then.  She said she hoped to run into at the tables again some day.

Well, of course, I decided to tell her that I had written about our memorable encounter and sent her the link to the post about her.

She responded within a day, saying, "Very interesting read!  I'm flattered."  She went on to say that she had recently played a few Venetian Deepstack events, finally tabling two of them.  Also, she was planning to play in a few big events that summer, including the WSOP main event for the first time.  Then she added, "if do make it deep in the Main, you are certainly welcome to write an article about me :)"

I told her if she made a deep run in the Main, I could write about her in Ante Up (though now that I think about it, I probably couldn't do that).  Sadly, I have not heard from her since then, nor have I run into at a poker table anywhere.  According to Hendon Mob, she last cashed in a tournament in late 2017, but that wasn't in Vegas.

Well, who knows....maybe this summer will be the time I see her again. 

Sunday, March 11, 2018

"I've Never Played Poker Before"

This was from late in my Xmas Vegas trip.  I was at the end of a losing session when a guy took the empty seat immediately to my left. He bought in for the $100 minimum. He was dealt his first two cards and the action came to him.  He didn't do anything.  The dealer said something like, "It's on you."

The guy said, "I've never played poker before.  You're going to kind of have to walk me through it."

Wow.  I'd never heard that one before.  I decided that I could stay a little bit longer after all.

The dealer said something like, "Well, look at your cards.  If you have good cards, you can call or raise."  So the guy looked at his cards and called the $2. 

The action got to the guy in seat 8 (the "never played poker before" guy was in seat 2), he started talking to the newbie.  "I don't know what to do here.  I don't know if this guy's legit.  You really never played before?"

The guy said, "Well, I just play on my phone."

Seat 8 was still baffled.  "I don't know…he could have a good hand and not know it.  He could have a bad hand a not know it."

Newbie agreed. "That's right."

He played a few hands and didn't win.  He tended to call preflop and maybe the flop.  Sometimes if the betting wasn't too big he'd get to showdown with very marginal hands—or total garbage. 

Sometimes he'd show his garbage hand and said, "Well, I thought I might get something."  He called once or twice with less than nothing and said, "I wanted to see what he was doing."  Well that almost sounded like he might have known what he was doing, but he didn't.  A few more times seat 8 asked him if he really never played before, and he always said he'd only played on his phone.

But he started getting talkative, especially with seat 8—and another fellow who wasn't saying anything (seat 9).  But he decided seat 9 was always bluffing (perhaps because he was Asian?).  In fact though, seat 9 never seemed to bluff at all.

He almost never took an aggressive action.  I think I saw him raise one time.  Oh he would sometimes make a opening bet, but he would never raise in response to a bet.  Once, he limped in, called a flop bet and maybe a small river bet.  At showdown, he showed—pocket Kings!  There was no Ace on the board and it was very dry.  Even I would have won more money with pocket Kings.  He played them like deuces.

So he would start telling the other players, "You can't call me….I got you beat, you should fold."  Sometimes that meant he had a hand, sometimes it meant he had nothing.  Or, in response to a bet, he'd say, "You don't have anything.  You're bluffing."  And he would call.  But then he would show up with nothing himself (and the other guy wasn't bluffing).  One time he called with something like 10-high.  He called a guy with two pair.  "I had to call you cuz I knew you had nothing."  Apparently he hadn't learned that 10-high isn't a good bluff-catcher.  He almost never called quietly.  It was like, "I gotta call you, you got nothing."

And sometimes he'd talk when he didn't have a hand.  Once or twice he would say, "Oh you have to call him, he doesn't have anything," when he wasn't in the hand.  Of course the dealer did warn him not to do that.  But they were going easy on him since he obviously didn't know what he was doing.

At one point when he wasn't in the hand (or maybe he was and there were multiple players) he said, "I think he's going for a straight."  The dealer didn't hear that but I think one of the other players told him he couldn't do that  Eventually he did get warned about saying too much about the hand again.

I did consider the possibility that this was all an act, and that he really knew what he was doing.  For what it's worth, I was pretty sure that wasn't the case.  Even though he kept winning the occasional small pot that kept him from busting.

Unfortunately, I remained card dead through all this, and there was enough action from the other players to prevent me from mixing in.  I finally had to leave as it was getting late, down about 3/4's of a buy-in.

Once again, I was unable to find an appropriate picture to go with this blog post, the pic above again has nothing to do with this post.  However, the site I stole borrowed it from had the headline for this pic as "Fitness model from Russia with ample bosom was the star of Instagram."  I'd like to think that a fitness model from Russia with ample bosom will always have a place on this blog.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

A Nice Little Session

My most recent poker session in Ventura was short and sweet.  We had a bit of rare (for Southern California) inclement weather and as such I got to the poker room later than usual.  I had some things to do after playing so I knew it wasn't going to be a very long session.

I bought into the 1/2 game for the $100 max.  I was down about $20 when I got pocket 5's in the small blind.  It was raised to $5, which I called.  Five of us saw a flop of Ace-5-3, rainbow.  I checked, fairly certain the preflop raiser would bet.  Indeed she did—$13.  One player folded, another called.  I looked at the player behind me and she sure looked like she was going to at least call, maybe raise.  I decided to take a chance and make sure I didn't scare her off with a raise.  I flatted and indeed the last player called.

The turn was a blank and I checked again.  This time I planned on a check-raise.  The same player bet $15.  The next player folded and I made it $36.  That was a few chips more than the last player had and I couldn't see the original bettor folding for that amount.  Well, I was right that the last player shoved for a less, but the original bettor went into the tank before finally folding.

The river was another brick and she flipped over Ace-3 for two pair.  I dragged a nice pot of over $100.  Pretty good for this game.

I went card dead for a long time, then got a pair of 6's.  It was a limped pot and multi-way.  The flop was King-Queen-6 for my second set of the day.  I led out for $6 and got two callers.  But on a blank turn, my $15 bet didn't get any action.

There was a straddle and I was dealt a couple of Jacks.  I made it $12 and only the straddler called.  The flop was King-King-5.  He checked.  He was short stacked and I thought he'd only call me if he had a King.  But I suspected if I checked behind he might bet his stack on the turn.  No way he had enough to get me to fold.  So I checked and indeed on a blank turn he shoved.  It was like $12 or $14.  I called  The river was a blank and he said he didn't have anything.  I didn't bother to make him show…I showed my Jacks and took the pot.

I was in the cutoff and woke up with pocket Kings.  It folded to me.  I'd already heard one of the blinds talking about chopping.  Well the hell with that.  I only raised to $6, but the three players behind me all called. The flop was 10-10-x and it checked to me.  I bet $12 and no one called.

Ace-Jack in the small blind, a bunch of limpers and I just completed.  I bet $8 on a Jack-high flop.  One call.  Blank on the turn and I bet $15. No call.

It was time to go and I cashed out $220….for a $100 buy-in.  I'll always take a double-up.

The picture above doesn't have anything to do with this post.  If that bothers you, let me know.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Mystery Woman

This is one goes back to my October trip, taking place a few days before Halloween. I had taken the day off to play the Aria tournament. I played the tournament for about five hours, busted out 26th and didn't cash. There's nothing really to report from the tournament, I only mention it because some the people I ran into there turned up later in the evening.

After a quick dinner, I ended up at MGM for the evening. This was a Thursday night and they had their then current football promotion going on. This version was the poker parlay card where you had to fill up a card with five different hands in order to get paid.

I recognized Pokerkraut at the table I was sent to and said hello. This incident took place a few days after I had met him (see here) and recorded the opening for his vlog. But he had not used my opening yet and I had not written about our meeting yet either. He had been there for some time and had most of his card filled out. While I was there he got his fourth stamp and the football game was still going so he had a chance to fill his card out and get $400. If he completed the card after the football game was over he would only get $200. And if he didn't get his final stamp before midnight, he'd get nothing.

Well the game was winding down and Kraut made his final hand to complete the card. When he showed his hand to get the final stamp I looked up at the football game and it appeared to be over. The players were walking off the field and shaking hands. But it turned out there was still five seconds left to go in the game; it was one of those situations where there were no timeouts left, no way to stop the clock, so there was no need to run another play even though there was still time on the clock. Kraut completed his card with about five seconds to spare and got a well-deserved $400 promo payout.  He cut it about as close as you possibly could.

As soon as he got paid, he decided to take the money and run, and left game. I took over his seat because it offered a better view of the crowd that would inevitably be coming for the club later that night. I happened to look over at the podium while Kraut was cashing out and I recognized the guy he was talking to. It was a tall guy in a baseball cap who I had played with earlier that day at the Aria tournament. When he joined my table at the tournament, I knew I had seen him before, but I couldn't place him anywhere. But he was definitely somebody I had seen before. Was he a dealer from another room? Was he a player I played with before? I wasn't sure. I didn't think I'd seen him at the Aria before, but honestly, I couldn't be sure. In addition to the fact that he was tall, he stood out because he had a deep booming voice and he used it a lot, if you know what I mean.

While they were talking and while I was settling into my new seat, a woman took the seat directly across from me. She looked familiar to me as well. In fact as she sat down she even said hi to me. But I wasn't sure if that was specifically directed to me, or if she was just one of those people who says hi when they sit down at a poker table—there are people like that. I guess I was staring at her a bit trying to figure out where I knew her from, so she said to me “What?” As she said that, it suddenly hit me where I knew her from. She too had been at the Aria tournament with me earlier that day—in fact she had been at the same table with me and the tall guy that Pokerkraut was talking to. At this point I had no idea she and "Tall Guy" were connected.

So I said to her, "Oh, you were at the Aria tournament with me earlier today right?" She said yeah and said it with an inflection like duh, so apparently I was remiss in not recognizing her immediately. I asked her if she cashed and she said no, she had busted out 46th. Well I had busted out 26th, so I must have seen her bust. I pointed out Tall Guy talking to Kevin and said he was at our table too. She said yes and made it clear that they were somehow connected. So I asked if he had cashed and she told me he was the stone cold bubble. I said that sucks and she agreed. For a while I kept referring to him as the tall guy and she found that somewhat amusing. I eventually asked her what his name was and she told me, but I will not reveal that here. I'll just keep referring to him as Tall Guy. I saw that this woman was talking to another woman at a different table and I was pretty sure I recognized her as also having played the Aria tournament.

Then, while Tall Guy was still at the front talking to Pokerkraut, the woman said to me, "How about that, they're vloggers and you're a blogger." That really caught me off guard, because as far as I could tell the first time I'd ever seen this woman was earlier that day at the Aria. So I asked her, "How did you know I was a blogger?” She replied, "Because I'm smart." Well that was a little too mysterious for me and a little annoying, but try as I might I couldn't get her to tell me how she knew that I was a blogger. Furthermore, for the next hour or so she kept looking at me—not really staring but just kind of looking my way a little more than I thought you should have—and I was looking back at her, I guess because she was looking at me. So every now and then she would just see me looking at it and say, "What?"  I said, "Oh nothing," but I guess I was kind of looking at her to see if I could recognize her and try to figure out how that she would know that I had a blog.

The other interesting thing was her line, "They're bloggers." I assumed at the time she meant Kraut and Tall Guy. So maybe I had seen Tall Guy in a vlog—maybe he's a vlogger? As I mentioned before though, I don't actually watch too many vlogs. But I suspected that maybe that's how I recognize Tall Guy.

Of course I knew there was a possibility that Pokerkraut had told her that I was a blogger, but for some reason I just didn't think that was the most likely scenario initially. As I mentioned earlier, I had just met Kraut a few days earlier and he hadn't known about my blog until I told him about it, and he hadn't published the vlog with my intro, so I figured he wouldn't necessarily even think much of the fact that I was a blogger.

At one point, seemingly out of the blue, she looked at me and said, "Don't write about me." I said to her, "How can I? I don't even know your name?" (as if that's ever stopped me!) She laughed and said, "Yeah, we're going to keep it that way." So any chance I of finding out who she was left the building. Actually I think this was all pretty much a game to her and she was just enjoying keeping me in the dark about how she knew what she knew. But since she was so intent on driving me crazy and also on not having me write about her, well obviously I have to write about her. That's why I'm doing this post!

So at one point during the game, a dealer pushed in who I barely recognized. I think I've seen him maybe one other time before. But the woman obviously knew the dealer and started telling him about this home game sheet runs regularly. Apparently she has a couple of poker tables in her house and they have a regular game every week or two and they run tournaments, with the eventual prize being a Main Event seat to next year's World Series. She was really talking this guy up trying to get him to commit to being one of their dealers at the game, talking about how much money he can make and how it's a great gig and she even serves food and she's a good cook and he'd really enjoy it and make a little money. He could even drink on the job. So then the woman took out a card from her purse and handed it to him while he was dealing and said to give her a call or send her an email. But she put the card on the table face down and said to him, "Don't let him (meaning me) see this card! I don't want him to know my name." I laughed at this and said, ”I'm just going to refer to you as 'Mystery Woman', but it'll be worse than if I knew your name."  She laughed.

Mystery Woman at least gave me a really good "woman said" at one point. As I mentioned, it was a club night and it was just a few days till Halloween. I was kind of hoping that people would start showing up in costumes. A few did, but not many. But at one point Mystery Woman said to the entire table, "Did you see that?" Nobody knew she was talking about, so she explained. "There was this girl in a babydoll nightie with the back totally rolled up and you could see her entire ass." She really emphasized the word "ass." Damn, how the hell did I miss that?

During all this, did I play any poker, I hear you ask? Yes I did, but it was a pretty boring session. There weren't really any noteworthy hands, and I had a slightly losing session. I got only one stamp on the parlay card, and I hung around until midnight but didn't get called for the drawing. Sorry to disappoint those of you who love my hand histories, but I don't have any for you this post. Basically I'm telling the story because I know Mystery Woman didn't want me to.

I never officially learned Mystery Woman's name, but I did manage to see it on the Bravo screen in front of the dealer because I was sitting next to the dealer. I won't reveal the name, but it didn't really help me identify her at all. I also heard her call her female friend (at the next table over) Christin. But I left for the evening not knowing how Mystery Woman knew anything about me.

It was driving me a little crazy afterwards that I hadn't figured out how I knew Mystery Woman or Tall Guy and how this odd woman knew me, or at least knew that I was a blogger.  By now I was assuming that she did indeed get this information from Pokerkraut, but I wanted to confirm it. I did in fact email Pokerkraut sometime later and asked him for some details.

However, before I heard back from him, I watched a couple of his latest vlogs and found out some info on my own.  I saw that friend of Mystery Woman, Christin, on one or two, and Kevin identified her as a vlogger from Ireland (although she is actually German). You can find her twitter account here and her Youtube page here.  I'm using her real name because I'm sure as a vlogger, she wants all the publicity she can get.  As a result of seeing her on Pokerkraut's vlogs, I checked out some of her videos and they are well worth watching.

And that explained Mystery Woman's line, "They're vloggers, you're a blogger."  By "they" she didn't mean Kevin and Tall Guy, she meant Kevin and Christin.

And in one of Kevin's videos, I saw Tall Guy.  He was with a woman whose face Kraut took great pains to cover with an animated smiley face. I assumed it was Mystery Woman.  She really does have a fetish about keeping her identity a secret!

When I did hear back from Pokerkraut, he wouldn't say much about Mystery Woman other than that she was actually Tall Guy's wife.  But he did tell me that Tall Guy used to work as a dealer in a certain poker room in Vegas.  And that finally solved that mystery.  The room he used to work, which I won't name, is one I used to play in a lot until a few years back.  And as soon I learned that, my brain immediately placed in that room—that's why he looked familiar!

In fact, as my memory finally kicked in, I could actually remember bits and pieces of a story Tall Guy had told us back when he dealt at that room.  Don't remember the whole story, but it had something to do with him getting involved in a huge traffic jam either coming back to Vegas from L.A or vice versa.  So strange how the memory works (or doesn't).

Anyway, that's the story of Mystery Woman. Still mostly a mystery to me…but then most women are.