Wednesday, March 20, 2019 Pocket Kings?

This was a recent session in Ventura.  It was a new table and even before the game got going, there was this one guy, fairly young, who started to annoy the piss out me.  He was jabbering non-stop.  At first he was talking about wanting to have fun.  And also raise.  "I'm gonna raise."  This was before we'd even dealt for the button.  And he said he wanted a beer.  I think he might have already had a few already.  This was early on a Saturday afternoon by the way.  Then he said he'd buy anyone else at the table a beer if they wanted one. He repeated the offer several times before the waitress showed up.  Remember, in L.A., the alcohol is not free.  No one took him up on his offer.  When the waitress finally came by, I held off ordering my diet coke.  I didn't want the guy to either, 1) try to convince me to order a beer at his expense, or 2) try to pay for my diet coke (also not fee at this venue) and thus make me somehow obligated to him for anything.  He kept yapping away about wanting to have fun and wanting a beer and wanting to raise.  Sometimes he said he was gonna check-raise.  It didn't matter whether there were cards in front of anyone or not.  He just could not shut up.

Once the cards were in the air, he kept up the chatter and also played, predictably, like a total maniac.  Well, he never open shoved, but he raised more often or not, and usually a lot more than you typically see at this game at this venue.  When you finally saw his cards, you could see that he wasn't very particular about what hands he opened with.  The phrase "any two cards" came to mind.  I knew this was a ripe opportunity to make some money but the cards I was getting weren't cooperating.  And he gave no indication that any bet would get him to fold, so bluffing him was not really an option.

In fact, he soon developed a rather bizarre relationship with the only female player at the table, an older Asian woman.  I had played with her a number of times before.  The noisy kid was new to me.  A few times when she clearly had him beat and bet, he even said, "Well, I know you have me beat, but I'm just having fun and I like you, so I call."  He gave her a lot of money but at least once he hit like a two or four outer on the river to get some of his money back.

Then it got weirder.  He started saying things like, "I'm just here having fun.  It's not like we're gonna make out in the parking lot."  This was when he was betting or facing a bet from her.  Then he started saying, "Maybe we should make out in the parking lot.  You wanna meet in the parking lot and make out?"  At first she demurred,  saying she was married.  Then she pointed out that he was way too young for her.  Then she said he was younger than her son.

It seemed inappropriate, but she didn't seem at all bothered by his bullshit. Perhaps it was because he was dumping a lot of money to her. In fact, at one point, from across the table, he said to her, "Can't we at least hug?" and she reached out her arms as if to hug him (I guess you'd call it an "air hug" since they were separated by the length of the table).

The game was just crazy from the beginning because of the chatty maniac and everyone could see he was playing anything.  I recall one hand that will illustrate.  The lady made a reasonable raise, the maniac shoved for $79.  The guy next to him called for his last $77.  Another guy shoved as well, he had like $40-$50 left.  The lady, who had at least $300-$400 by now called. There was an Ace on the flop and then a King on the river, which made the lady very happy as she happened to have pocket Kings.  The $77 guy had Ace-10 and thus was screwed over the by the river card. But I don't think he puts $77 in the pot preflop against the average player.  Anyway, the short stack mucked without showing and the maniac showed Jack-10!

He actually confessed to inappropriate behavior. The first dealer was a middle-aged Asian woman.  After he won a nice size pot (probably one of the ones where he sucked out on the river), he said to her, "Do you wanna make out?  I mean, you're kind of cute."  Whoa.  That was out of line, especially the "kind of cute" part, no?  I mean that borders on the insulting, right?  Just kind of cute?  I think this was the dealer he admitted to being inappropriate with.  I'm not sure if he apologized to her per se or not, but at one point he did ask her if she wanted to call the floor on him.  She scoffed, "Why should I call the floor?"  Frankly, I think it would have perfectly within her right to call the floor given the comments he was making. Either she wasn't bothered by his patter or she was enjoying his fairly generous tips whenever he did manage to win a pot.

When she said she wouldn't call the floor, he said he would.  "I want to call the floor.  I want him to come over.  He's a friend of mine."  He did raise his voice a bit and say, "Floor, floor!" but no one heard and no one came over.  Or maybe they just ignored him cuz they knew his schtick.

I recognized this dealer from many sessions, but she was replaced by a new female dealer I don't think I'd ever seen before.  She was much younger, also Asian.  Now I have to be a bit careful here but….well, she was what you would likely call a "Plain Jane" type.  Plain Jane, Asian version.  I guess you might say "mousy."  This is not bad at all.  At least one of my pals has an absolute thing for mousy looking women. 

Well this chatty maniac must have an eye for Asian women, and maybe mousy is his thing, cuz he almost immediately started telling this young woman how beautiful she was.  I dunno if he was crazy, drunk, sincere or just perhaps being somewhat cruel, but he kept saying things like, "You're so beautiful.  You're just so beautiful."  Then he would add things like, "Why are you so beautiful?  Stop being so beautiful.  Why are you so beautiful?  You're killing me you're so beautiful."  It was kind of ridiculous, I mean even if this girl was a slam dunk winner for the Miss Universe contest it was way over the top.  She didn't say anything.  She didn't seem to react at all, but to me, she appeared quite uncomfortable with all the attention he was giving her.  I was thinking she must have been really embarrassed.  To the extent this woman doesn't think she is beautiful, I think she might have thought the guy was teasing her cruelly.  But you know, the guy could have been sincere for all I know.

And I started thinking this was getting out of hand.  I wanted to say something but I wasn't sure I should get involved. Should I go over to the floor and tell him?  It was tough. Especially since I suspected she was a new dealer.  The previous dealer had experience with rude players, this one maybe not.  And you hear all the time complaints from female players about guys treating them rudely (and in a lascivious way) at the poker table, and how that keeps women from playing live poker.  Shouldn't male players help police that?  But this was a bit different because it was a dealer, not another player.  I suppose this might have been the first male player who gave this woman such treatment, but sadly, it won't be the last.  I really was torn.

On the other hand, if the guy was being sincere—and/or especially if the woman actually thought he was being sincere—would my saying anything about it be the real insult to her, implying that I didn't think she was beautiful?

I suppose I took the coward's way out and didn't say anything.  And to be honest, I really didn't want the guy sent away from the table. I wanted to get some of the money he was spewing.  A bad reason to keep quiet though.  I dunno, I still wonder if I did the right thing but keeping my mouth shut.  Of course, no one else said anything either. 

Anyway, before the dealer finished her down, the guy busted for like the fourth or fifth time (one time he had gone to the ATM for more money) and finally left.  Boy did the game change.  Not only did it become a tableful of nits, but it became so, so quiet.  I think there was a half hour or more when no one said anything.  We were also shorthanded for awhile.  It really was a totally different game than the one that we started.

As for the poker, I only played one or two hands while the maniac was there, just card dead.  I did get pocket Aces.  The Asian woman opened to $5, I made it $17, the maniac called and the lady called.  The flop was Ace-Jack-6, rainbow. I checked but it checked around.  Maniac picked a fine time to reign in his game a little.  I led out for just $20 on a blank turn, but no call.  The lady showed pocket 10's and the maniac claimed he had a pocket pair also, but didn't show it.

Then I limped in with Ace-8 of spades.  I called a small raise and it was three-way.  The flop was Ace-Jack-x, one spade. The preflop raiser, who was new to the table and on my direct left, bet $15, the other guy called and I called.  The turn was the second spade.  This time the third player bet, but only $5.  I called and the preflop raiser made it $25.  The first guy folded and I called with top pair and the nut flush draw.  The river was a second Jack, no spade.  I checked, the other guy shoved, about $50. But I had less than $30 left.  I couldn't see folding based on the size of the pot.  I called and he showed King-Jack.  Damn.  I was ahead of him all the way until the river.  I was out of chips and bought in for another $100 (remember, that's the max).

I kept bleeding chips from the new stack and the maniac left. A guy raised to $10, the lady (still sitting behind $400+) called, so I thought it was worth a call from the button with 9-8 clubs.  The flop was King-9-x, two clubs.  The preflop raiser shoved his last $23.  The lady folded, so I called.  A red King on the turn but a club hit the river giving me the flush.  The other guy had pocket Queens.

Then I got my old friends, the dreaded pocket Kings.  There was a $4 straddle and a whole bunch of players called the straddle.  I made it $24 and thought I'd likely just take it down there.  But two players called.  The flop was 6-5-3 rainbow.  It checked to me and I bet $40.  One player folded but the other guy called.  It turned out he had exactly $40 left.  Board bricked out and he mucked when I saw my Kings.  He said he had put too much money into the pot to fold his open-ender on the flop.  Open-ender?  So he called my $24 preflop bet with 8-7 (at best)?  Nice to know.

That got me a lot of chips, and I was now close to even for the day. 

Then I called a $4 raise with pocket 8's.  There were a few other callers. The flop was 8-7-2, rainbow. The guy on my right bet $4.  I decided to slow play it a bit and see how many others would call, or better yet, raise.  But  everyone else folded.  The turn was another 7 and this time the guy bet $8.  I made it $20 and he called immediately.  The turn was a King and he checked.  I bet $35 and he snap called.  I showed my boat and he flipped over one card, a 7.

So that was a good pot.  I didn't get anything else to play and I was able to leave with a $30 profit.  Considering I was down earlier I was pretty happy with that.  And I owed the turnaround to pocket Kings, of all things.  Go figure.


  1. Good explanation of the maniac and his nonsense … from what you said, it didn't appear to be over-the-top although I can imagine it was annoying. You probably did the best thing by not saying anything - I probably would have stayed quiet as well, trying to get some of the maniac's money.

    1. Thank you, sir. Yeah, it was a close call. I guess it worked out ok...

  2. There can be a deep conflict when a yapper is spewing money. Anyone goes with STFU and that can be a tap on the glass to scare a fish away. But to be unfortunate enough to not get into many hands with the guy is a whole nuther level of the pain he brings to the table!

  3. Yeah you never want to be the guy that taps on the glass and scares away the fish spewing money to the table. I guess I would probably never say anything if he was just being annoying, but if I felt like he was being inappropriate with ladies at the table (players or dealers) to the point where they were clearly uncomfortable I would probably speak up or discreetly ask the floor to do something about it. I want to win money as much as the next guy, but I think it's more important to help out somebody that might be too scared or intimidated to speak for themselves. I've had several female friends recount stories of similar situations where they just kind of grin and bear it because they're afraid they'll anger or incite a man (especially a drunk one) into something more sinister.

    1. Thanks Jeff. I just wasn't sure how much it was bothering them. I think the older woman, the player, was actually fine with it, especially when she started raking in his chips. The younger dealer, I'm not so sure. She was getting good tips from him, so maybe that was ok--and I don't think he ever was OBVIOUSLY out of line, just really really close. And maybe she was eating up the compliments. No way to know.