Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Orleans Tournament Disappointment

I mentioned in this post here, posted while I was in Vegas, that I was very disappointed with The Orleans  Friday Night 7 PM tournament I had just played in the night before.  Here’s the details on why I was so unhappy with the tournament itself.  And no, it wasn’t because I didn’t do very well in the tournament; that’s poker. 
This was the second time I played in this Friday night Vegas tradition, the first time I played is documented here.  As I discussed in that post, this tournament is one of the most popular regular tournaments in town, if not the most popular for its price range ($125).  Back in April, they had 307 runners and now I was told they expected more.
You see, the Orleans was starting it’s “Orleans Open” the next day, a weeklong series of higher buy-in, longer structured tournaments, the kind of which most of the bigger rooms in Vegas have from time to time. I stopped by the day before because I wanted to make sure the regular Friday night tournament was going to be held.  I saw that they were already set up for the week long tournament series, with extra tables extending into the casino.  I inquired and was told that not only would the regular tournament be held the next night, but that, because they had all those extra tables ready to go, they expected a record crowd.  Frequently the alternates for this tournament don’t get seated, there are just too many people who want to play and not enough tables and dealers.  But traditionally, on the Friday before the Orleans Open begins, they use the extra tables that have already been set up, and the extra, temporary dealers they have hired, so that the regular Friday night tournament is sure to get everyone who wants to play seated.
Oh wow, I thought.  More than the 307 I encountered last month?  I knew I had to play in this one!  (BTW, I think the final count of this tournament was over 370 runners!) So on Friday night I got there early enough to buy my entry before it got too busy and have my dinner at the nearby Subway (where I had no problem getting all the fixin’s I wanted).
I wasn’t in the Orleans for five minutes before I saw two old “friends.”  Just as I had the previous time I played in this tournament, I saw both Kathy (the “cleavage poser”—see here) and of course “Poker Genius” himself (see here).  I think it’s it a pretty safe bet I will see both of them whenever I decide to play in this tournament.  Call it a hunch.  If either one saw me or recognized me, I didn’t notice.  I have some suspicion Kathy may have read about my post about her—for sure she knows about it—but am I pretty sure Poker Genius knows nothing about my post about him.  And if even if they had both read their posts, I doubt they would recognize me in person.
Anyway, I mainly want to talk about all the things I was unhappy about during this tournament. Most of my disappointment has to do with the way Orleans poker room management ran and set up the tournament, but the first complaint I have has nothing to do with the Orleans.  It had to do with the player I had the misfortune to sit next to, he was on my immediate right.  I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this guy before, a local and a regular player in Vegas poker tournaments around town.  He was an older gentlemen, yes even older than me.  The first thing that bothered me about him was that he was wearing a baseball cap backwards.
Let me explain.  I have a pet peeve about baseball caps being worn backwards.  I hate that, I really hate it.  It just strikes me as stupid to an extreme degree.  Now it’s bad enough when some young punk, I mean kid, wears his baseball cap backwards.  At least I can blame that on the sins of youth.  He just doesn’t realize that by wearing his cap that way, he might as well be wearing a huge sign that says, “Hey, look at me, I’ve got no class whatsoever.”
But when some old fart does that—some guy even older than me, even—it is beyond what I can tolerate.  And totally inexcusable.  People are supposed to get smarter as they get older, what’s your excuse, Grandpa?  So this old guy wearing his baseball cap bass-ackwards already had one big strike against him with me.
But that was the least of it. The much bigger problem was that this guy stunk.
I don’t mean he was a bad player.  He was a decent player.  No, I meant he stunk, literally.
He had really bad body odor, and I was stuck right next to him.  My guess is he hadn’t bathed since last week’s Orleans Friday night tournament, if then.  If this had been a cash game, I would have asked for a table change—or possibly a casino change—faster than you can spell “B.O.”  But no such option was available to me.  So I was stuck with this foul-smelling old geezer with the backwards baseball cap for a couple of hours.  Not fun at all.
But I can’t really blame that on the Orleans.  The rest, I can.  One issue was the extra tables they had added which were in the casino, adjacent to the poker room, where there are usually slot machines.  They really, really, really jammed them together, way too close for comfort.  This is exactly what the Bellagio is famous, or infamous, for, but it was much worse than the Bellagio.
Once the tournament started, we were totally squeezed in like sardines, and it was impossible to maneuver in or out of my chair.  Thank goodness I never needed to use the restroom before the break, because I wouldn’t have been able to get out of there if I had to!  I guess however, if I had just peed in my pants, it only would have actually improved the aroma what with Mr. B.O. constantly fouling the air.  A related issue was that those tables were located far, far away from any restrooms, so that if I had been able to leave to use the restroom while play was going on, I would have almost certainly missed a blind just from the walk.
Another problem was that, having been assigned to the extra tables in the casino, there were no TV’s to watch.  That was a problem for me because this took place during one of the NBA playoff games that the Lakers were playing—before they got unceremoniously eliminated.  As I’ve mentioned before, the NBA is my game and the Lakers are my team.  So I had to keep looking at my cell phone to check the progress. Very annoying, to say the least.
Another issue—the air conditioning.  Or lack there of.  It was stifling hot in the area where those extra tables were, and there was no air circulation. This was no doubt made worse by the fact that we were all packed together like sardines—and I was stuck next to the stinky guy.  It’s amazing I didn’t pass out.
The last big issue for me—and for everyone—was the quality of the temporary dealers they had brought in.  My goodness, some of them were just awful.  This is a hand shuffle event, and the dealers were incredibly slow and unsure of themselves shuffling.  But they were also pretty clueless as to how to deal a tournament, or poker in general.  Now I didn’t see any pots attempted to be pushed to the wrong player.  But they were just generally clueless.
One girl was so nervous and clueless she held up our game for several minutes because after a player busted out, she didn’t know whether to put out the seat card or not.  Rather than just deal the next hand while waiting for the floor to come over, she sat there waiting for an answer before dealing the next hand.  The players finally convinced her to deal the next hand.
Also, she could not keep track of the antes.  When she was one ante short, she had no idea who had shorted it and had no idea even which side of the table the shortage came from because she hadn’t paid any attention at all.  This also created a big delay, until one player just came up with the ante to get the game going again.
But the worst moment was when I managed to win a small pot.  I put my hole cards in front of me as I racked my chips.  The clueless girl shuffled the cards and started dealing the next hand from the same deck when I noticed she hadn’t retrieved my cards from the last hand, so she was dealing from an incomplete deck.  And after I pointed out my cards, she took them but kept dealing without calling back the dealt cards and reshuffling.  The players had to tell her that she couldn’t do that, that it was a misdeal since you generally play with 52 cards, not 50.
The one thing they did right was start breaking the tables from the casino area, so after a couple of hours, I was mercifully assigned another seat, this time in the poker room.  My stack was depleted, throughout the entire tournament I was as card dead as I can ever remember being, but at least I got away from Mr. B.O., into the main poker room where there was air conditioning, and there was a TV in my view that had the last few minutes of the Lakers game on (this was the only game of the series that the Lakers won, btw).  So I was now a bit happier than I had been for the past two hours.
The person to my immediate right at the new table was someone I recognized.  No, not a person I’ve ever mentioned on the blog, but a dealer I recognized from a room I play a fair amount.  He recognized me too and we chatted.  I noticed he was actually wearing his dealer’s uniform shirt from his room.  He said he had rushed over there after his shift and didn’t think he’d get into the tournament if he had stopped at his place to change.
But more interesting was a blonde girl across from me at this new table, one I barely noticed at first because I was watching the game and talking to the dealer.  But when I heard her say something about a parent being proud of her—I didn’t hear whether it was her mom or her dad—and I took a better look at her.  Was this, could it be…Crazy Marsha?  The “punch thrower” from these two posts here and here?  I wasn’t sure, I hadn’t seen her since the night of that second post.  She looked familiar but…..then I noticed she was wearing short sleeves.  I looked at her forearm and saw the bizarre tattoo I had described in my posts.
Yeah, it was her. During the break, I overheard her talking to another player and they talked about her poker bloodlines.  She even confirmed that she was indeed the daughter of “Mike McDermott”, using the name.  So it was her.
She didn’t seem to recognize me or even notice me.  I made no effort to say hello or remind her of the time we played at a limit game together many months ago. This girl had told me the story of how she—totally unprovoked—punched a guy for no reason whatsoever.  So I was fine with not letting her know I knew her.
I busted out soon thereafter, the tournament was so bad for me I have no memorable hands to report. I was just getting nothing to play all night, and every time I tried to steal a pot, I was foiled.  It was a bad night of poker, but it was mercifully over in a few hours.  But worse than the cards was the way the tournament was run on this particular night, sad to say.  Hopefully the night before the next Orleans Open, they learn from their mistakes.

((Edited 7/21/12 to add:  Poker Grump caught the smelly guy with the backwards cap last nite at his game--picking his nose!!!!  Here's the pic Grump took, he's the old guy standing up.  He deserves the public humiliation.  See here. ))

Monday, May 28, 2012

I Paid $200 For This Blog Post (part 2)

This is part 2 of the post that appears directly below this one, you can find it here and you should read that first if you haven’t already done so, as this post picks up right after that one.

So there I was licking my wounds and feeling humiliated and a lot lighter in the wallet.  At that point if I didn’t have anyone to talk to I think I would have settled into an unrecoverable funk, but as I indicated, as long as there were conversation going on with Prudence, grrouchie and Grump, I was ok. In fact, I was enjoying it.  I suppose there was an hour or so where I wished we had all left the poker table and just went somewhere to have a drink or two together, all four of us.  But the conversation was good, and it was great to finally meet Grump (no matter what Josie says about him).  I was also flattered that he was so familiar with my blog.
He commented on a recent post where I credited him for an excessive amount of blog hits and for making a certain blog post (this one) the most popular post here, even surpassing my introduction of Prudence to the blogosphere, the previous most popular post (found here).  He mentioned that other bloggers have told him that—that their pageviews increase dramatically whenever he links to them.  He doesn’t really keep track of how many pageviews he gets, because he gets so damn many he doesn’t really care.
Sometime before he demonstrated the “the most powerful hand in poker” as he mentioned in his version of the night here, he and I discussed the word “twat” and my surprise that it was allowed to be used in a game of Words With Friends he played with Josie (see here)   I of course had told Prudence about the “Dirty Words With Friends” version that Josie & Grump had played, and she was quite interested in that particular version, so I did have to point out to her that she had just met one of the participants (creators?) of that game.
He asked me when I started blogging and I did the same.  He is a very nice guy and just like grrouchie is no grouch, Grump is no grump.  After a while—at least 15 minutes after he had arrived and we had shaken hands to meet each other—I remembered something I knew to say to him from an old post of his.  This was when he was still sitting one seat away from me.  So I got up and whispered to him (or at least I thought I had whispered to him) “You're that Internet blog guy, right?"
He was caught off guard but eventually he remembered an old post of his where he told the story of someone recognizing him from his blog at the poker table, saying that to him, and then claiming that was his preferred way of introducing yourself to him at the poker table.  He was surprised that I knew the bit since it was such an old post but I reminded him that he had actually posted a link to that particular post of his in a comment he made on this post of mine here.  The post of his where he told that story can be found on his blog hereHis post his well worth reading but I do warn you that, in addition to that story of meeting a blog reader, Grump also talks about witnessing two woman rubbing each other’s breasts right in front of him (and everyone else) at the poker table.  The warning is because I fear that most of my readers would be offended by such a story.
Oh what the heck. In that post, he links back to another story, one that actually took place at the WSOP in 2008, wherein Karina Jett went over to Heather Esquin, who was playing in the tournament, and rubbed Heather’s breasts for good luck! Yeah, that’s what I said.  You can find Grump’s version of the story here.  My main reason for mentioning it now, aside from the fact that it is a great story (and a great visual) is that I recently was introduced to Karina Jett by a regular blog reader of mind, who told Karina I was the guy who wrote the story about the cleavage photo that she had taken at the Binions tournament awhile back.  So it’s possible Karina has read my blog, at least that one post. Anyway, that regular blog reader of mine is Jeanne and the story of the cleavage photo is told here..
I hear some of you asking why I used Karina Jett and Heather Esquin’s real names.  Well, because the story has already been told on Grump’s much more popular blog and also in Poker News, so that shipped has sailed.  And Jeanne “outted” herself right here on my blog after I tried to call her Maria.
Sorry for the lengthy digression.  Back to the night at hand. It seemed the guy next to Grump had overheard me say “internet blog guy” to him and started asking him all about his blog and his poker playing.  I realized that was not what Grump wanted, why call attention to the fact that you are a good enough player to make a living at it and warn them not to get into any hands with you?  I apologized to Grump but he was cool about it…..not sensitive at all.  I don’t think they guy he was talking about his blog about stayed very long anyway, and nobody else was paying attention.
But then, this was the night of bloggers poker, and anyone paying any attention at all would have soon realized that the three of us all blogged about poker, although certainly in my case, that sure didn’t mean we were any good.  They might have been scared of grrouchie though since he was taking down pot after pot.  He was having the night of his life, poker wise.
At one point Prudence remembered it was a good time to settle an issue we had been having.  I remembered a story where someone—I thought it was grrouchie—had pocket deuces.  What was unusual about this was that as the cards were dealt, one of his cards was accidentally flipped and had to be used as a burn card.  The card was also a deuce. So this person—who I believed to be grrouchie—had pocket 2’s and knew that one of his only two outs was out of play.  Despite that, he called a raised, hit his set on the flop (literally, a one-outer), and won a nice pot.
I had told this story to Prudence once, sure that grrouchie had told me the story and also sure that I had only heard about it, not witnessed it.  But when I told her about this (weeks, or months, ago), she insisted that it happened to her, that she was the one who called a preflop raise with pocket deuces knowing one of the other two deuces was out of play.  I said that is some coincidence, it must have happened to both of you.  And the truth is, both of them are just crazy enough to have done that.  So Prudence wanted to check with grrouchie to confirm that he had pulled the same crazy stunt that she had once, or if it was just a matter of my memory being faulty.
Well, it turns out my memory was faulty to an extreme.  Grrouchie said he never did that, but he saw someone do it.  That someone was Prudence.  He was at the table when he saw Prudence pull that stunt—and so was I!  And not only that, the dealer who was currently dealing to us was in fact the dealer of that particular hand, who confirmed that I was there watching the whole time.  And all I remembered about it was hearing about it, not actually being there watching it.
It was nice to get that story straight.  I was (once again) embarrassed that I couldn’t remember witnessing such a great poker story that three people remembered happening right before my eyes!  I said something about having a terrible memory.
So Prudence said to me, “That’s what happens when you get old, Grandpa.”
Ouch.  I kinda said “oooooowwww” and I think she apologized.  But it was all in good fun.
Somehow the Crazy Pineapple game came up.  No, not the story I told about here.  A new one that had happened just a few days before.  Why haven’t you read about it yet?  Be patient, I’ll get to it.  But for now, all that’s important to know is that I started out on fire and then went like forever without winning a hand.  So someone asked me how I did and I told them exactly that.  I think I estimated I went four hours (of a total nine hour session) without winning a single hand.
I believe it was grrouchie who said, “Wow, that’s bad.  You should have taken a bathroom break.”
I said, “Well, it was like four hours.  I picked a bad time not to get diarrhea.”  That line got a few laughs, but grrouchie said I could have faked it. 
Of course, three bloggers, all with twitter accounts, couldn’t sit down together at a poker table without alerting the twitter-verse of the happenings.
Grump was ready at the start with this tweet:
“Playing at table with @grrouchie and @robvegaspoker. We are not, repeat NOT talking about @veryjosie and/or @sevencard2003.”
Of course, Josie responded right away, talking about how she wished she was there to get all that “easy money” and demanded to know what grrouchie and I look like.  So Grump asked if it was ok to take my picture to send to Josie.  I can only assume that she has seen the pic and as a result, is now absolutely dying to meet me in person to see if I can possibly be that good looking in person.  And if so, she will forget all about James Woods. He also took a pic of grrouchie for her, which I assume is currently hanging on her dartboard.
Speaking of pictures, although we did not discuss Josie, as Grump tweeted, we did discuss her blog and her cleavage.That’s because on this very day, Josie had posted cleavage pics  of herself on her blog.  So how could we not discuss that?  I am too much of a gentleman to repeat what we said about her cleavage, but it was juicy, you can be sure of that!
That led to an idea—I think it was grrouchie’s—that since Josie wanted pics of us, or at least of grrouchie and me, the two she had never met—we should all pose together, the three of us, pulling down our shirts, showing off our “man cleavage” and making sure there was a roll of toilet paper in the background of the picture. You have to read Josie’s post, linked above, to understand the toilet paper reference.
Unfortunately, we forgot to do it.  If we had remembered, who would we have gotten to take the pic?  Especially since it should ideally have been taken in the nearest Men’s Room since we needed the toilet paper in the shot?  I’m guessing Prudence would have loved to have taken the picture.  And it wouldn’t have been the first time I got a story about a woman in the Men’s Room, you can be sure of that.  Check out this post here.
Oddly enough, we never heard from Tony.
But we did get tweets from other friends/bloggers.  Damn, I am pissed at Twitter.  Sometimes I don’t get emails telling me when I have tweets mentioning me, and this was one of those times.  So I didn’t see tweets from Carmel, LightNing, and Stump.  Stump wanted us to know that although he identified us he was keeping his distance.  LightNing was curious was to why grrouchie was bragging about his man boobs instead of the size of his dick. And Carmel volunteered to judge the three of us in that particular department.  But I never saw their tweets until the next day when I looked at Twitter from my PC.
Because I was having so much fun chatting with everyone, the memory of the nightmare hand faded.  I was able to put it out of my mind.  And I started having some better success at the game itself.  There is only one hand I remember, and that was because I didn’t play it.  Grrouchie already mentioned it in his version of this nite.  I was in the big blind and was dealt absolute garbage.  I honestly don’t remember what it was but it was somehow worse than even 7-2 offsuit.  Someone in early position made it $7 and everybody with a five mile radius called—including several people playing blackjack and one person playing the slots.  Back to me and I thought about calling with my crapola because there were so many in the hand but I looked over at grrouchie, who was just begging me to call.  He pointed out that I had pot odds to call with anything, anything at all.  Hell, even if my hand had been mucked and I had no cards, it would have been worth calling just to see if the board played and I would get a chop.
But I knew what he was doing.  The way his night was running, he was gonna win that pot no matter what. Why not? He won every other pot that night.  They were bringing him pots from three tables over, for gods sakes.  I figured that if I called with this crap, I would flop second best hand, he would flop the nuts and once again stack me.  That was clearly his plan, and he knew it would work.
You see by now I had worked up my second $200 buy in and I had enough chips in front of me to make it worth his while to take me down again.  So, it was a case of “Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on me.”  I folded.  To my utter surprise, the flop missed me completely (despite how grrouchie reported it) and I don’t even think grrouchie won this pot (probably only the third pot all night he didn’t win).  So all my calling would have cost me was five bucks, not my entire stack.
Of course, grrouchie had a field day with this, saying it was such a bad play on my part that he couldn’t wait to go home and make fun of me for it! And Grump heard that and of course he tweeted about it.  To grrouchie’s credit, he made a bigger issue out of my so-called bad play on this hand—which cost me nothing—than the hand where I contributed mightily to his retirement fund. Grrouchie's version of this can be found here.
But somehow, someway, without really having any hands that I can remember being memorable, I managed to chip up and chip up and chip up. I suddenly remembered how to play decent poker again, after that early disaster.  Eventually, I had won back all the money I lost to grrouchie and then some.  I actually left the room $40 ahead for the nite.  That’s nothing to brag about, but considering the night started with me playing the worst hand of my life and just handing a full buy-in to my blogger buddy, that was a great turn around.
Let’s see, I seem to forgetting something.  Oh yes, I almost forgot something big.  Ok, two somethings big.  Two really big somethings.
At one point during the evening I was minding my own business, trying to concentrate on the poker and the pleasant conversation, trying to see if I could actually see grrouchie under the huge stacks of chips in front of him, when I suddenly felt an elbow jabbed into my side.
Wha?  It was from Prudence and she saying, “Rob!  Big breasts alert!”
Huh?  I looked up and just barely over the top of grrouchie’s stack of chips I did notice a girl in a purple and black dress.  She was just turning away from us as I noticed her but I managed to get a quick glimpse of what appeared to be a huge chest and a lot of of cleavage.
Is it any wonder I like Prudence so much?  Imagine your average woman pointing out another girl’s enormous juggs to a guy.
The woman in question was headed to a table a few rows down and a row over from us.  So Prudence quipped, “Table change for Rob.”
I realized the woman was headed for the 2/4 limit game, my old haunt.  “No, she’s playing 2/4, I’ll stay here.”  Of course, we were both kidding.  But it did remind me of the fact that I do sometimes miss the higher percentage of women that seem to play limit as opposed to the 1/2 no limit games I play these days.  Of course, I wrote about that here in my lead up to introducing you to the very same delightful young lady I was sitting next to and who had kindly called my attention to the big tits woman with the rather large breasts.
I actually didn’t get a good look at her at first, so I said, in total ignorance, “Oh, she’s not that big.”  But when she took her seat at the 2/4 game, I usually had a pretty good look at her, she was facing Prudence and I and only rarely was she obscured by another player. She was indeed quite big in the breastal region.  Never did I get a close enough look to make any judgment of the possible organic or synthetic nature of her huge bosom.  This despite the fact that there was an extreme amount of cleavage on display.
Now there was a time when I saw her walking away from the table and I got a slightly better look. I pointed this out to Prudence and said something, “My god, you were right.  She’s got tits out the wazoo.”  She laughed and agreed.
I kept glancing over there and finally noticed that Prudence’s boyfriend Tom was dealing at her table.  I pointed this out to Prudence who seemed totally unconcerned.  But as luck would have it, Tom’s next table was ours.  Of course I had to take advantage of such good fortune.
But I think it was actually Prudence who first mentioned the large breasted woman to Tom.  She just made some off hand comment, and of course Tom had to pretend that he hadn’t even noticed.  But I pursued it.  “While you were there, did you do a rack check on seat 10?”
He was stone-faced.  “You mean a rack count?  There were two.  They were pretty big.  They were…..magnetic.”
That was pretty much the end of it. Her game broke and when she moved to another table, she was pretty much out of sight.  And soon thereafter, the game started breaking up.  First Grump left, then grrouchie, and I don’t recall whether I outlasted Prudence or vice-versa.  But all in all, it was a very fun night, and not that bad after all, poker wise.  Great conversation, fun company, met a blogging legend, actually left with more in my poker bankroll than I came in with, and got a blogpost for the bargain price of $200.  A fun night indeed.
And despite everything, I’m still speaking to grrouchie.

((Edited to add:  Maybe not on that last line.  It was written before I saw grrouchie's latest post, which can be found here.)) 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

I Paid $200 For This Blog Post (part 1)

Now that I'm home and can get back to some serious blogging, I want to tell the full version of what happened on the night of "Blogger's Poker" last week.  But despite my best intentions, I will have to do this in two parts because what I've already written is long enough and I believe what I have left to cover from this day is probably of equal size to this post.  I should warn you that in the two lengthy posts, I will cover a variety of incidents that took place on one day--all somehow (or somewhat) related to poker.  Also I will be discussing two women with large bosoms.  I just want to mention that up front (so-to-speak) since no one would come to my blog expecting a discussion of breasts.  So those of you who would never be caught dead reading a blog post discussing this robust topic have been cautioned.

Anyway folks, here I am finally getting a chance to blog the full details of the night we played “Blogger’s Poker” about a week back.  Who’s we?  Well, there was grrouchie  and Poker Grump and of course yours truly.  Unbeknownst to us at the time, a brand new blogger, Stump,was also in the poker room that night, but he apparently was too upset over a bad beat to introduce himself to us.  I can relate to that.  He had never met any of us before but he recognized Grump from his twitter pic.  He probably overheard us too (I’m sure we were loud) and could have easily figured out who we were from that.  He doesn’t really fit into this story but he will fit in a story to be told some time in the near future, but I am mentioning him because he’s a nice guy and why not give him a little plug?  Especially since he admitted (confessed is more like it) to reading my blog for some time now, as well as those of grrouchie and Grump and probably most of the other blogs to your right on the blog roll.
And of course, also at the table was the truly delightful Prudence, who doesn’t blog about poker (yet) but has been responsible for quite a few of my most popular and outrageous blog posts with her uninhibited and extremely witty table talk.  Needless to say, she was the best-looking (and best smelling) character in this little tale, and which is pretty much the leading contender for “understatement of the year.”
For those trying to keep up with all this at home, many of these anecdotes I am about to reveal have been covered previously, but what I present now will be the honest truth.  My own first “quick and dirty” take on the evening, can be found here. Poker Grump told his version of the night’s events here. Grrouchie had two posts about this night, which can be found here and here.

Before having dinner on this Sunday, and thus before the poker game that will take up the bulk of the post, I played in another poker room in Vegas.  I have played in this room before but in keeping with my own mysterious ways, I will not identify the room now, nor will I even give it a phony name.  The reason for this will be explained shortly.
At this room I saw a very attractive female dealer that I don’t remember seeing before, which I found surprising because I am no stranger to this room and I find it hard to believe a woman this attention-getting would escape my notice.  But she didn’t seem like she was new to the room.  How was it I could not have noticed this lady before?  I don’t know.  Perhaps she never worked on the days I come into this room, though it was not unusual for me to be there on this particular day of the week.
You see in addition to her just being generally attractive, what I couldn’t help noticing about her was her chest.  It was impressive, to say the least.  She had the largest breasts of any poker dealer I can remember seeing, with the possible exception of the woman I described here as “a very heavy set female poker dealer” in the third paragraph of the post (and not my buddies at BSC).  But that woman was, as I said, heavy….she was large in every sense.  The poker dealer I am now talking about had a very nice figure, she could have been a model.  Actually, she could have been a Playboy model, at least on the basis of how she looked with her clothes on.
And her clothes are really the reason I’m even mentioning her.  For some reason, in this room on this day, the dealers were allowed, perhaps even encouraged, to not wear their regular, boring, dealing uniforms.  They were allowed to wear “Western” wear.  So they had jeans and cowboy type shirts, perhaps cowboy boots but I didn’t notice.  But instead of wearing a “western” shirt, said dealer had just a white, long-sleeved shirt that was open to the waist.
Ok, it wasn’t quite as shocking as that makes it sound.  She was wearing something underneath the white shirt (in addition to a bra, I’m mean).  It was a pink top, that appeared to be strapless,but that was both extremely tight and extremely low cut.  And I do mean extreme in both cases. I don’t recall ever seeing a cleavage-revealing poker dealer before, I mean while dealing.  And this was a rather abundant amount of cleavage being revealed, to be sure.  It was quite attention getting, to say the least.  And for those who have an interest in this type of thing, I would say there was enough cleavage exposed to make me fairly certain that her assets were factory-installed, not after market.  Since this was Vegas, I would give 4-1 odds that she her chest was entirely organic.
This was definitely a dealer I would love to be facing pitching me cards, you can be sure of that.  But my luck was bad both in poker and in dealers.  The lady never made it to my table to deal.  Oh well, I was able to enjoy the view from afar.  And it would have been a bit of a test of my powers of concentration (more on that topic to come) to be able to concentrate the poker when facing those ta-ta’s in all (well, most) of their glory.
Oh, and a quick story about her...before sitting down at a table, she somehow noticed that the zipper on her jeans was undone.  She somehow blamed the dealer at the next table (another attractive female, tho not as provocatively dressed) for not noticing this.  “Thanks for telling me my zipper was open!”  The dealer she was speaking to just shrugged, but a middle aged woman at the table, probably a regular who knows the busty dealer, said, “What’s the big deal?  What’s gonna fall out?” Busty dealer didn’t seem to appreciate that comment but said nothing.  Middle-aged woman added, “Unless there’s something about you we don’t know.”
Now the reason I don’t want to say anything at all about where this was is this.  As I have explained in several posts, most recently here (and implied in many others), the poker community is a very small world and the Vegas poker community even more so.  I keep running into characters I’ve blogged about and who I have no idea are reading my blog.  I don’t want to make it too obvious who this lovely lady dealer is.  I’ve probably already said too much.
I know I have said nothing to insult her, quite the contrary.  And I’m sure this lady knows she has large breasts.  And I also realize that she chose that outfit that morning knowing she would be showing anyone who got in front of her (or to the side of her, for that matter) that she is the opposite of flat-chested.  But all that said, she might be embarrassed; she might not appreciate finding out that some blogger was blogging about how big her tits are. 
So why am I doing exactly that, you ask?  If you are asking that, I have to assume it is a rhetorical question.  How could I not?
Which brings us to the blogger’s poker game.  Prudence was already there when I arrived, and I had to kill some time at another table before being allowed to move to Prudence’s table where I was able to sit directly to her left, because the very nice gentleman who was sitting there voluntarily moved over one seat so I could “sit with my friend.”  Grrouchie showed up then and took my seat at the table I was leaving but soon was able to move across from me at our table.  Grump was last to show up, introducing himself to me and taking a seat one away from my left, but moved directly next to me soon thereafter.
Now I have to confess something about myself as a poker player.  I am too easily distracted.  When I play with friends and am talking and having a good time, I sometimes don’t notice everything that is going on poker wise that I need to keep track of in order to be a winning player.  So on this nite, what with Prudence and grrouchie and Poker Grump--all of us having a great time chatting, I was somewhat distracted. Plus I was also chatting with many of the dealers about the NBA playoffs.  So, I wasn’t paying as much attention to as I needed to get a read on the other players.  Even grrouchie.  Especially grrouchie. I’ve played with him before and know he has a rather wide range for open-raising and starting hands.  The phrase “any two cards” comes to mind.  But I should have really noticed from the get-go exactly how hot he was this nite and how he was taking down pot after pot.
Grrouchie in this post described the hand where he took all of Prudence’s money with set of 8’s.  Even though I was in that hand with AJ and thus had flopped top pair/top kicker, I soon forgot the sordid details.  I got out cheaply when Prudence either bet or shoved, knowing for sure that my TPTK was no good.  But grrouchie beat her top two with his set.  She was unhappy to be sure, but that’s poker, right?  Prudence and grrouchie had met before and she often asked me if he was going to be joining us on nights when he wasn’t there.  And she does read his blog.  So I don’t think this unfortunate (for Prudence) hand changed her opinion of him—yet. 
This led to the hand from where I get the title of this blog post.    In the Big Blind I was dealt 6-4 offsuit, not a hand I would normally play.  There were a bunch of limpers, including grrouchie (he says he was the BB but I don’t think so.  With his wide range, he would have called with all those limpers),  The flop was 8-4-4 and from that moment on, I lost all reason and just assumed that trip 4’s were gonna win the pot.
I bet out and grrouchie raised me.  That should have worried me but I was unconcerned.  At this point Prudence started acting uncomfortable which also should have concerned me, but I just called, sure this pot was going to be mine.
I checked the turn, whatever the heck it was, and grrouchie put out a hefty bet.  I started wondering if maybe I was beat, but I didn’t wonder nearly hard enough.  Meanwhile, Prudence started squirming in her chair and basically telling me to look at the cards and remember what he had played when he stacked her.  Frankly, I had been having too much fun up to that point to remember.  But she was making it pretty clear that she thought I should fold.
Yes, this is pretty much in violation of the rules of etiquette in poker; one player to a hand.  She was getting to the line she shouldn’t have crossed, perhaps touching that line, and maybe about to fall over that line, but maybe not quite.  It was close.  She might have been warned to shut up except for two things.  One was that she was well known to the dealer, and two was that grrouchie was agreeing with her.
Yeah, he was actually warning me that if I called he was going to go all in on the river and that I should know that and I should probably lay down the hand.  I mean if he had said something about Prudence trying to get me to fold, it could have been issue and the dealer would have had to have warned her, but instead, he was trying to help me out, just like she was.
I have no idea why I didn’t pay attention to the warning from two of my friends.  I have no idea where my head was at this moment.  I can’t tell you what I was thinking.  I guess I wasn’t thinking.  I just couldn’t let go of the hand, and couldn’t turn my brain on at that moment to get it into my head that I was gonna lose.  I guess it was one of the all time most massive brain farts I ever had.  I called.
Prudence nearly died.  I swear the only way she could have made it more obvious that she was sure I was beat and that I should have laid down the hand was to have jumped up on the poker table, put on a grass skirt and danced the hula. 
The river card didn’t help me and grrouchie didn’t need any help so I checked and he shoved.  I had already committed in my mind to call it (I think I was pot committed anyway) but for a fleeting second there I had this thought, I swear I did:  If I lose this pot I’ll at least have a $200 blog post out of it!  So I called and he showed 8-4 for a flopped boat and my lousy trip 4’s weren’t worth a damn thing.  Next thing I know grrouchie is stacking my chips, adding them to his burgeoning massive collection and I was reaching into my pocket for two fresh hundred dollar bills to replace the approximately $200 I had just lost to my fellow blogger. 
Despite all the warnings, despite Prudence practically grabbing me and shaking me to get me to quit the hand, I had totally blown it.  At that point, grrouchie had now stacked Prudence and then me, not to mention probably a few others at the table.  He could do no wrong, he was hitting hands like there was no tomorrow.  Grrouchie is not a small fellow but by the end of the night I actually could no longer see him, he was completely hidden by all the chips he had won.
Meanwhile, worse than losing the money was the embarrassment over how badly I had played the hand.  I swear, it was like I had never played poker before in my life.  It was humiliating.  It was especially bad because it was just a bunch of strangers I had humiliated myself in front of, it was my friends.  And one of them has a blog that he will be able to use to tell the world, and all of my blog readers and friends, about what a donkey I am.  That’s what I was thinking.  Thankfully, he was fairly kind in his description of this hand.  Thankfully too, I’m pretty sure this hand occurred before Poker Grump arrived to witness it.
But what the hell. I’ve just outed myself, haven’t I?  Oh why not?  I do this blog to tell funny stories that are related to poker, or tangentially related to poker, so I might as well get some mileage out of coming clean and admitting that, for this hand, I was pretty much the worst poker player in the history of mankind.  As I said earlier, I paid $200 for this blog post, I damn well better post it and be as brutally honest as I possibly can, to come as close as possible to getting my moneys worth out of it.
So that was my $200 poker story.  You tell me.  Was it worth it?
Anyway, that hand took the wind out of my sails to say the least.  Oh, I was still having a great time talking to Prudence and grrouchie and meeting Grump and talking to him.  But whenever there was a quiet moment and the focus returned to the poker, all I could do was sit there like a fool and rehash what had happened and feel terrible about it.  To be clear, I was not upset with grrouchie, he did everything he could to save me.  I was just embarrassed about how badly I played the hand.  I mean, you play and play and think you’re getting better at this silly game, then you totally butcher a hand like that and realize you don’t know shit.
For a while there, I was so down and out that I needed Poker Grump to remind me of one the most basic rules of poker….protect your hand.  Yeah, I was actually so out of it that I was looking at my cards with only one hand, thinking that my chip stack (which, as I said, I replenished after losing with the trips) would keep anyone from seeing my cards.  Grump was kind enough to correct me and point out that I was flashing my cards to him.  Yikes, what an amateur move, as if my bad playing wasn’t bad enough.  And ironic too, as a post called “Protect Your Hand”, albeit using the term in a different sense, is the most popular post on this blog and the reason for that is that Grump himself gave a link directly to it on his ridiculously popular blog.

OK, folks, I'm gonna end part 1 right here.  If you're feeling sorry for me (as opposed to just laughing at me), rest assured the night got better, poker wise.

Part 2 can be found here

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Sexual Harrassment In The Work Place

Just got back from Vegas, so I hope to start doing some of those lengthy blog posts I'm noted for and that Josie hates.  Unfortunately. because of all the fun I was having, I got behind in taking notes, and I can only hope the notes I hastily typed tonite covered everything of importance. 

But for now, here's a quick little "woman said" story since the previous two posts were so poker heavy.  Of course it took place in the BSC poker room, on my second nite in town.  I was near the podium talking to Prudence while her boyfriend Tom was helping out there during a break.  I guess he was covering for Jane, the floor person who was one of the players in the "Rita's Rack" post which you can find here.   Jane returned to take her place behind the podium and Tom moved to come around to join Prudence and me in front.

But Prudence noticed something as Tom got off the chair.  "Dude, you just elbowed Jane in the boob."

Tom said, "I couldn't help it, they're big and they got in the way."

Jane was not bothered, either by the elbow or the comment.  "Don't worry.  They get in my way sometimes too."

Prudence commented that Tom could be charged with sexual harassment in the work place.  Jane agreed, but just laughed.  No charges will be filed.  I guess that's Vegas.  If I had said what Tom said at any place I worked, I'd be sent to H.R. or worse.

Tom was going to change out of his dealers uniform to play this nite.  Suddenly Mike (most recent story here) came by to talk to Tom.  But Tom had to go the break room to put on a normal shirt. 

Tom told Prudence he was going to change, and Mike said to her, "Yeah, and I'm gonna watch."

Prudence said to me, "Should I be jealous?"

I laughed and said, "I dunno, but I think I just got a blog post."

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Protect Your Hand--The Sequel

If you've been reading my blog for any length of time, you probably remember my Protect Your Hand post, which is here, especially since it is, to date, the most viewed post I've ever done.  That post revolved around a story that I heard third-hand, from the dealer who was involved in the hand in question.

Tonight, I encountered another example of the importance of protecting your hand, and this time I was an eyewitness.  Even more relevant, the hand involved yours truly, very directly.

Here's the situation.  Playing 1/2 at BSC, I was in late position, sitting in Seat 6 when I was dealt Ace-Queen offsuit.  There had been a couple of limpers, and I raised to $10.  It folded to Seat 9, who was either in early position and had limped or was the big blind.  In any case, he called my $10 bet.  Since the table is nine-handed, he was sitting directly on the dealer's right.  Seat 9 seemed to have a German accent, so let's call him the German.

Everyone else folded, so it was heads up.  Suddenly, just as the dealer was about to put out the flop, the German pointed out that he suddenly had only one card in front of him, not two.  Apparently, when the dealer was neatening up the mucked cards, he inadvertantly caught the top card of the German's hand and it went into the muck.  There was a card sticking out from the muck, touching it, but appearing to be a card that would likely be the German's missing hole card.

The dealer immediately called the Floor.  A couple of people out of the hand wondered why, saying that his hand was automatically dead.  But the dealer said he couldn't make that decision and that it was up to the Floor to decide.

The floorperson came over and heard the explanation.  Without talking to me, he let the German whisper something into his ear, presumably the identity of the missing card.  While he was whispering it, I took my hands and held them over my ears to make sure I didn't hear.

I was perfectly fine with whatever decision would be made.  I sure didn't want to win this guy's ten bucks due to a dealer error, and that's what this was.  The dealer had just reached too far in trying to straighten up the muck.  Of course, as I explained in the prior post linked above, it is surely the player's responsbility to "protect the hand" by having a chip or some kind of card protector covering his cards, which is especially important for anyone sitting directly on either side of the dealer.  I hadn't noticed whether the German, who had been at the table for at least an hour by now, had ever made any effort such as that to protect his hand, but I also knew that no dealer had warned him about it, either.

One of the reasons I was so willing to accept any decision they made was that both the dealer and the floorperson are well known to me and in some sense at least could be considered "pals" of mine.  I've played poker with the dealer several times, as in he was playing poker with me, not dealing to me.  The German had surely noticed that I was friendly with all the previous dealers as well, talking about things like we were old buddies.  And I remembered this post here from Grange's excellent blog talking about how dealers acting friendly with the players can lead to the appearance of impropriety. So I wanted to just stay out of it, and I trusted my "pals" to do the right thing, not even sure what that was.

But two people on the other side of the table were not so willing to accept this.  They thought it was outrageous that cards be conceivably be pulled out of the muck and restored to the hand.  What if a player said he had a certain card, an ace, for example, and lied about it, and there just happened to be an ace in the muck?  So they were expressing their concern as the floorperson was listening to the German and then starting to look for the card the German said was taken from him.  Of course, both of the players complaining were out of the hand.

Floor took the card that the German thought was his and looked at it, and it was apprerently not the card the German spoke of.  He took the next most likely card, and looked at it.....and then put the card back in the muck and declared the German's card dead, his $10 bet forfeited and the pot awarded to me.  The German was somewhat upset, saying, "So you're just taking $10 from me....I've never heard of such a thing."  But he didn't harp on it.  Once he said his piece, he said nothing further, so I guess you could say he was a reasonably good sport about it.

I felt terrible. This is not the way I want to win a pot, to be sure.  I didn't say anything, but I briefly considered giving him back his $10, not sure if they would even let me.  I mean, technically, one player is not allowed to give another player at the same table chips under any circumstances.  They didn't give me the option of just taking back our bets, which I frankly would have been fine with.  So probably the only way I could have given him back the money would be to give him $10 cash out of my wallet.  I didn't do this because I couldn't pocket $10 in chips off the table, that $10 I had "won" was in play.  So I just took the money and felt bad about.

But my guilt was somewhat lessened because not too much earlier than that, I had lost more than $10 to the German when I had--ironically enough--Ace-Queen, and had raised to $10 and he was the only caller.  The flop missed me, and he called my continuation bet.  When the turn missed me as well, I checked and folded to his bet.  He showed me he had 7-9 sooooooted and hit a pair of 7's on the flop (there were no paint cards on the board).  So for calling my raise with a 7-9 and winning more money from me than he just lost by failing to protect his hand, I wasn't feeling all that guilty about it.

Meanwhile, the two players who were griping called a different floorperson over, who explained the policy, which I didn't hear, but he did confirm that the floor made the right decision, at least in the end.

Now, as I mentioned, I hadn't noticed if the guy had ever "protected his hand" before.  After this incident, I did take note of it. While he was explaining to the guy why his hand was mucked, the Floor demonstrated to him how he should be putting a chip on his hand.  So did the German learn his lesson?  He did not.  I never saw him protect his hand in anyway whatsoever after this $10 lesson.  So that was another reason not to feel guilty.

My curiosity piqued, I had to ask my buddy, the floorperson, for a better explanation of what happened.  So I went over to him some time later. He said initially he was "trying to be nice" in finding the card.  The first card he looked at was not the right card, but the second card was the right card.  However, he realized that it would be incorrect to return the mucked card to the player, and the right thing all along was to muck his hand.  He was influenced to some degree by the constant harping of the two players on the other side of the table.  But I'm sure that the fact that I'm a regular had nothing to do with him eventually making the correct decision based on house policy.

Presumably, if he had indeed returned the card to him, I could have made a stink about it and demanded to speak to the Shift Manager (also a "pal" of mine), but I wouldn't have done that.  I mean for one thing, I thought this was a good chance to get some of my money back from the German--legitimately, I mean, and not because of dealer error, (and yes, most defnitely player error as well)

One last thing.  The floorperson told me (because I asked) that the missing card was deuce, and the German had pocket deuces.  So I would have been behind and in a race had the hand played out.  We'll never what would have happened.  I still feel that I won the ten bucks illegitimately, but I'm pretty sure I won't lose any sleep over it tonite.

But the important lesson here, one which the German didn't learn even though he paid ten bucks for that lesson is....protect your hand!

Note:  for another take on the protecting your hand theme, this one involving a tournament, you can see a follow up tale right here.