Wednesday, August 15, 2018

How Not to Come in After Missing the Blinds

Saturday I was at PC Ventura and saw a player do something so dumb I couldn't believe it.  Maybe there's an angle here I'm missing, but I don't get it.

This guy had been table for awhile, at least an hour that I had seen.  I know I have seen this guy before so he was no novice. He certainly understood the basic rules of the game. He wasn't a particularly noticeable player.  He was neither a maniac nor a nit.  H didn't seem like the type of player who couldn't wait to get his gamble on, just your pretty average 2/3 player there to for an afternoon of poker, hoping to hit a big hand or two and walk away with some profit.

Anyway, he left the table for awhile and missed his blinds.  By the time he got back, he would have naturally been under-the-gun. As the dealer readied the shuffle, he put a $5 chip in front of his stack.  The dealer started to say something, then stopped himself for a second.  I could tell the dealer was wondering if he should say something.  I actually heard him mutter to himself that he shouldn't speak up, but then realized there was no harm in saying something, this wasn't giving him advice.  Note: I didn't recognize the dealer and I tend to think he was a new dealer, that's why he hesitated.

But speak up he did and he told the guy, "You can wait one hand and just post the big blind then."  That's exactly what I was thinking, of course.  Then the dealer added, "Or you could straddle for $6 if you want to come in now."  Again, that's what I was thinking.  I've seen many players come in after missing their blinds by straddling in that exact same situation.  The player looked at him like he was nuts, as if to say, "Is there anything wrong with coming now, and not straddling?"  I guess he didn't see the problem.

The guy actually said, "No, this is fine. I can come in now for $5, right?"  The dealer acknowledged he could do that so he broke his $5 chip into ones and put three in front of him and put two in the pot as dead money.

Of course it's not a lot of money but how does this make sense?  Why not wait one hand and just come in on your natural big blind and save the five bucks?  The way they do comps at this place, he wasn't losing anything (they come around once an hour to scan your card, he wouldn't be losing a few cents of comps).  And two of those five bucks is just dead money you're giving to whoever wins the pot, it's not even a bet anyone has to cover.

Conversely, if he was so eager to get back into the game that he couldn't wait one more hand to see some cards, might as well toss another buck on the $5 chip and straddle, that way you have last action preflop.   Now I'm not a fan of straddling, but in this situation, if you want a hand that badly, this makes more sense than posting $5 just for an UTG hand, right?  You know, I think one time at MGM I straddled in that type of situation so that I would be eligible for a drawing that was about to take place, I didn't want to be disqualified by having a missed blind button.  But again, there was no penalty for this here.

It's hard for me to believe the guy didn't understand what he was doing was making no sense, he surely had played enough casino poker to get it, I would have thought.  I suppose he may possibly have been trying to make sure he was eligible for the bad beat jackpot if it hit that hand.  It was up to $35K. 

But that too would have been stupid.  Say he sat out that one hand, and that was the hand where the jackpot hit at our table.  And he'd be beating himself up something silly for not getting a table share.  Except that simple logic dictates that if he had decided to play that hand instead of sitting it out, everyone at the table would have gotten different cards and the jackpot wouldn't have hit then.  Right?  In fact if he had made the choice to sit out the hand and that's when the jackpot hit, I'm sure the other players would have given him some money, especially since someone would have pointed that if he taken a hand there it wouldn't have hit and he was actually responsible for the rest of us getting some nice jackpot money.

I have no idea if he was thinking about the jackpot when he decided to come in for $5 or not.  I'm just throwing it out there as a possibility.

As for the poker for me, it wasn't anything to write home about.  I didn't win a pot for about 1-1/2 hours.  No, I take that back.  There was one pot where I had limped in with a suited Ace and there was no raise and it was five-handed and no one bet any street and by the river there was a straight on the board. All five of us played the board and got $2 back, so a net loss of a buck.  Actually, the player in earliest position got an extra buck and it must have been that the small blind folded because that's the only way the math adds up.

Finally I won a hand, completing from the small blind with Queen-9 off.  It was mult-way and the flop was Queen-5-4.  I bet $6 and had one caller. The turn was a Jack and my $10 bet was not called.  Monster pot there.

I limped with Ace-6 of clubs and it was five ways.  The flop was Ace-6-3, two spades.  I bet $10 and it was 4 ways.  The turn was the third spade and it checked around.  The river paired the 3 and this time I went against my nitty nature and put out a $20 value bet.  One player called but she didn't show after I flipped my cards over.

I called $17 with 8-7 of hearts.  I expected other callers but it was heads up.  The flop was 9-7-2, one heart (the 9).  I called $15.  The turn was another heart and it checked around.  The river was another heart.  This time I bet $25 but he mucked right away.

I had been down about $150 and ended up losing only around $30, so it was a decent comeback.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

He Had a Horseshoe Implanted Up His...

This was a fun session from the beginning of my second week in Vegas in June.  And by "fun" I mean I had a profitable session (even if ever so slightly).  But it was also fun because Lightning was there.  This was the early part of his week long Vegas visit and the first time I'd seen him during it.  You can read about this session and his entire trip beginning here.  At least, that's his version.  Wherever our stories overlap and possibly conflict, you can always count on my version to be the accurate one.  Also making an appearance was Lightning's pal Mike an old-time poker blogger.  I ran into Mike a number of times during that week but I think we only played one hand against each other the entire time.

Now Lightning had been tweeting and texting about his good fortune ever since he had arrived in town. He seemed to dragging monster pots every few minutes. I heard a rumor that Bally's had to send out for more bills when he cashed out after his last session. One of his stories was that he had flopped a set of Aces and had two aggros push all-in against him.

Now I had gotten to the Mirage before him and he was sent to a different table but transferred over to mine before he had played much at the other one.  In fact I'm not sure if he had even taken a hand.  So on his first hand at the table, after the guy on my left opened to $15 and another player called, Lightning three-bet.  In his blog post he said he made it $40 but my voice notes say $60, so not sure how much but the guy called.  The flop was 10-high, he checked, Lightning bet $60, the guy check-shoved, Lightning confidently called and flipped over pocket Aces, only to see the guy flip over pocket 10's for top set.  Lightning said, "That's not good."

But of course, the turn was an Ace!  And the river was a blank and Lightning had a double up on his very first hand.

Seriously, who gets Aces on his very first hand of a session?  And then, who turns a set of Aces after getting all the money when he's behind on the flop?  And who gets a double-up on his very first hand?

As he was stacking his chips, I tweeted, "Playing @MiragePoker with @Lightning36. Since I last saw him, he's had a horseshoe implanted up his ass."

It was kind of a wild table, especially at the beginning.  There were these two guys  who I think were from England, both extremely aggro.  They appeared to be buddies and they liked to play at each other.  If they were both in a hand the pot would get huge.  Also the guy who hit the set of 10's against Lighting was aggro.  As such there were a lot of big pots and all lot of all-in pots.  I was mostly a spectator for this as I was card-dead.  And the big raises and re-raises kept me from playing more marginal hands that maybe I would have played at a different table. 

One hand that got my attention before Lightning joined me was a hand where the two Brits got it all in on the flop (maybe it was the turn) and all they each had was top pair, which was an Ace.  One guy had a King kicker to win it, the other guy showed an Ace but didn't show his other card.  There were no good draws and the two stacks were both $200 or more.

I had pocket Jacks and one of the aggros made it $10, I called and four of us saw the flop. It was Ace-Queen-x and it checked around.  The turn was a blank and this time I bet $20, only the aggro who raised preflop called.  The river was another blank, I checked and he checked.  My Jacks were good and he said he missed his draw.

I limped with pocket 6's, there was no raise and four of us saw the flop, which was 6-4-2.  I bet $8 and someone made it $16.  I just called not wanting to scare him off. It was now heads up.  The turn was a deuce giving me a boat.  I checked, expecting him to bet so I could check-raise but he checked behind.  I bet $25 on a blank river but he folded.

I called $12 with pocket 7's and it was heads up.  The flop was Jack-7-x, two clubs.  He c-bet $15 and I made it $40.  He folded pocket 9's face up.

By the way, although these last two hands were one right after the other in my notes, I'm pretty sure there was a fairly long time between them.  I didn't flop sets that close together..

I limped in from late position with 7-6 clubs.  The flop was 10-7-6.  Lightning led out for $5 and Mike called.  I made it $20 and they both folded.

I raised to $8 with Ace-Queen and saw a pretty favorable but scary flop, Ace-Queen-Jack.  I bet $20 and nobody called.

There was one good hand—probably my favorite hand of the night—that got lost in my notes.  When I was recording my voice notes the next day, I realized most of the details were missing.  Haven't had that happen in awhile, I am thinking that somehow I highlighted my notes for it and wrote over them. This was one of the early hands at the table. So I don't have the details but I called a raise from one of the aggros with pocket Jacks, it was multi-way (including Lightning).  The flop was Queen-Queen-x and there was no betting.  No betting on a King turn either.  On the river I think there were three spades or three clubs in addition to the overcards.  This time the aggro bet $27 and my inclination was to fold since there were so many ways I could be beat.  Lightning folded and I started thinking more and more about it.  I realized he didn't have a Queen, he would have bet earlier streets. I decided there was a decent chance my Jacks were good and I called.  He said, "I hope you have nothing, Ace-high."  He showed an Ace.  I showed my Jacks to take the pot and got a few "nice calls" from various players.  I wish I had complete details because as I am recreating it now it doesn't seem like such a tough call.

Anyway, I had to take off and call it a night.  I ended up booking a $50 win, not much but it broke a losing streak.  It was only $50 because the aggros made it expensive to play drawing cards. So I was happy grinding out the small win, unlike Lightning who had the horseshoe right where he needed it.

Friday, August 10, 2018

It Makes You Wonder, Doesn't It?

My friend Don texted me this tale the other night, something he had just witnessed while attending a Stevie Wonder concert at Park MGM (yes, he doesn't spend all of his free time playing poker).  He thought my readers, particularly those of you who are fans of a particular kind of popular post, would find it of interest.  So thank you Don, and I'll let Don tell you what he saw at the concert.

Directly in front of me are two "older" Indian gentlemen (late 40s-early 50s) and two attractive, twenty-something ladies, one African-American, one Asian.  I'm sure the show cost the Indian gentlemen quite a bit since they weren't just paying for the tickets but also for their companions' time.  So, all show the guys are clearly into the music and the ladies are sitting there bored, posting on Instagram, not clapping, not singing, not dancing, nothing.  Then the last song starts and they both start rocking out.  What song did Stevie Wonder play to elicit that reaction from two "escorts" you ask???

I can't make this shit up.