Monday, February 6, 2012

A Straight Flush? What's a Straight Flush?

This story happened on my most recent Vegas trip.  Brand new 1/2 No Limit game opened up.  I was in Seat 6, over in seats 2 & 3  there was a couple, it sounded like they had Eastern European accents.  The woman got my attention immediately.  She was wearing a very low cut dress, and it appeared that she wasn’t wearing a bra.  As she moved in her seat, and stretched, yeah, it was pretty obvious she was bra-less.  I didn’t quite see anything that would have caused an uproar if it was an accidental part of a Super Bowl half-time show, but it came pretty close.
It was a nice view. This was, I think, the first time I could remember a woman showing significant cleavage at a 1/2 game since I’d started playing it.  I mean at a table where I was playing, that is.  As I lamented here, there seemed to be fewer women, fewer attractive women, and less exposed flesh from women, at the 1/2  game than I had gotten used to playing my normal 2/4 limit game. 
While settling in I noted the cleavage and the nice view and I thought to myself, “Finally, some ‘no limit cleavage!’”  When I made this comment to a friend of mine, who is not a poker player (but is a fan of cleavage), he came back to me with, “What’s the fun of ‘no limit cleavage’ if they stay all-in?”  I had to admit that was a pretty good line and reference, especially considering he doesn’t play poker.
Now, the cleavage has nothing to do with the story I’m about to tell.  I just mention it because, well, I like bosoms, I like writing about bosoms, and I fear if I keep playing No Limit, I may not get a lot of opportunities to write about bosoms, so I have to squeeze them in (so-to-speak) wherever I can. 
For you ladies out there who might be offended, I apologize.  But if your beef is that there is nothing for you of interest in a discussion about bosoms, I offer you this link from TBC's blog. There you can check out his story of the guy who felt the need to demonstrate exactly how big his cojones were by taking them out and showing them at the poker table.  Apparently at least one girl encouraged him to do so.  Funny, if a guy encouraged a woman to show her ta-ta's at a poker table, he'd get arrested.  And slapped.
And let me add that I realize that perhaps I’m being too hasty in judging the players at No Limit.  I’m sure there a lot of women out there who play it, and a lot of them are young and attractive, or not-so young and attractive.  And I’m sure a lot of these attractive women are only too eager to flaunt their assets, thus either intentionally or accidentally demonstrating the "Jennifer Tilly Effect." After all, said effect would be a lot more +EV at NL than limit. I apologize again if any attractive woman out there feels they’ve been slighted by my comments. Feel free to prove me wrong by joining me at a No Limit game some time wearing your best "Jennifer Tilly Effect" outfit.
Cleavage lady and her husband were totally clueless about poker, as it turns out.  Exactly how much they knew about poker is not clear, but they made every newbie mistake you can make, and a lot of mistakes even your average newbie wouldn’t make.  The husband—oh, what the hell, let’s call him Mr. Cleavage since I have no idea what his name actual is—kept trying to check pre-flop when he wasn’t the Big Blind and thus had to bet something to stay in the hand.  It wasn’t that it was raised and he missed it, it was more like he didn’t grasp the concept that you had to pay the two bucks minimum even if it there wasn’t a raise.
The two best examples of this couple’s cluelessness are as follows.  One time, when he was the BB, it was limped back to Mr. Cleavage.  Mrs. Cleavage was the small blind and added her buck to the bet.  Mr. Cleavage started to reach for chips to bet.  Mrs. Cleavage told him no, he didn’t have to bet, he was already in.  He grabbed some chips and said he wanted to bet.  They fought about it for a bit until the dealer said, “One player to a hand” and told Mr. Cleavage it was ok to bet.  He bet $10 I think.  Not really sure if Mrs. Cleavage didn’t understand or maybe she was just really trying hard to convince her husband not to raise (something strictly forbidden, of course), but either way it was a newbie move to say the least.
A better example happened very early during play.  Mr. Cleavage bet the flop and the turn, and had one caller each time, a guy who know what he was doing.  When the river card was drawn, the guy immediately exposed his cards!  Now he was first to act but of course if he was gonna check it would be the other player’s option to act.  In fact the good player said he was going to bet!  But here’s the best part.  The guy turned over J/3 and said, “I have Jack high.” 
The other player though saw that the 3 actually made a straight for Mr. Cleavage!  He commented on it and mucked his hand, even though he was pissed he didn’t get to bet.  The dealer confirmed that Mr. Cleavage had a straight, the other player said he couldn’t believe he lost a hand to a guy who didn’t know he had a straight!  We tried to console him by saying he saved himself a bet by the guy exposing his hand too soon.  But he said no….he was going to bet.  And if the guy thought he only had Jack high, he’d probably fold.  But with this guy, he might have called anyway.  It was hard to say.
Not too long after we come to the part that involves me.  I was dealt K/6 off suit in the Big Blind.  No one raised so I saw the flop for free.  There were three medium clubs on the flop and my King was a club.  I had flopped the 2nd nut flush draw.  I probably should have bet there but I checked instead.  Mr. Cleavage made a small bet and I called.  No other callers.  Turn was a blank.  I called another bet from Mr. Cleavage.  River was a club, giving me a flush.  But I had no idea where I was in the hand.  Yes, I should have bet before, I blew it.  But once I realized I was in the hand with this totally clueless guy, I just kind of froze, because he quite literally could have had anything.  He could have had a straight and not known it again (8, 9 and 10 were out there—all clubs).  He could have the Ace high flush, which was what I was really concerned about, especially with four clubs on the board.  He could have had absolutely nothing, or just a pair, two pair, or maybe even a set.  The way the guy was playing I was really in the dark.
I checked again and he bet $50.  It was a bet I thought I could call.  I was thinking there was a good chance he had the Ace of clubs and would take it down, but at that price I thought it was a decent call to make.  I’d never forgive myself if I folded the 2nd nut flush to a pair of 10’s!  Not at that price (the pot was about $60 before his bet).  I called and even though I didn’t have to show my hand first, I did.  “King high flush” I announced.
Mr. Cleavage said, “Oh, I only have a Queen high flush.”  But he did turn over both cards.  Indeed, the highest card in his hand was the Queen of clubs.  But the other card in his hand was the Jack of clubs.  The dealer corrects him.  “You have a straight-flush, sir!” 
Mr. Cleavage says, “I do? Oh, I always wanted one of those.  Thank you.”  And claimed the pot.
So I lost a pot to a clueless guy who had absolutely no clue he had a freakin’ straight flush!  Good thing I was worried about his having the Ace, otherwise I could have lost a lot more money.  Would he have folded his "Queen high flush" to an all in move by me?  It's possible but I doubt it.


  1. When a WPT event came to Tunica, I played in a ca$h game against a tournament dealer who was off-duty. Somebody asked him if he had ever dealt to anyone famous. He named some names including Tilly. "How does she look in person?" he was asked. He told us she was dressed down (jeans, etc.), but still looked like a million bucks.

    1. I too have third hand knowledge of Ms. Tilly. In my case, it is from a female poker dealer who I've played with several times...she's also on AVP. The only reason I'm not going to reveal her identity is that I'm just not sure how she would feel about being mentioned on this blog.

      Anyway, this dealer happened to be playing next to Tilly at a Ladies event several years ago and said she was a really a nice person. And a good player, she didn't fall for a trap the dealer/player telling me the story set for her.

      So...nice person, good poker player, easy on the eyes, but I'm sure that being mentioned prominently on my blog is what she is the most proudest of!

  2. I can't believe a woman would do such a thing. I. Am. Shocked.

    1. LOL! But it was a man who didn't know he had the straight flush, not the woman.

      Oh, maybe that's not what you meant. :)

  3. You might enjoy this story of playing against a similarly clueless newbie a couple of years ago:

    1. Great post, Grump....definitely sounds like what I was facing in my post. Good read.

      I also followed the link within the link to the guy who you thought may be putting on a act. I tend to agree that he was pretending to be clueless for effect.