Friday, June 8, 2012

"And That's How You Win With Pocket Jacks!"

Another night of poker from my most recent Vegas visit.  Grrouchie has already written his version of the night here. This took place two nights after blogger’s poker, which I first wrote about here. This was also a night of blogger’s poker, a bit more impromptu than the previous one.
As I was walking to my assigned table at the BSC, I am stopped by someone I don’t recognize calling me by name.  He was getting up from his table to shake my hand.  Huh?
“Rob.  Hi, I’m Stump.”  I said hello.  Stump has been a blog follower or mine (and all the rest of our blogging community) for some time, and had just started his own blog.  He had tweeted two nights ago that he was at an adjacent table when blogger’s poker was taking place two nites before.  He rudely didn’t say hello even though he figured out who we were from Grump’s Twitter picture.  Now he was making up for it by practically tackling me to greet me.
Turns out we were playing at the same table and as I took my seat, I got a text from grrouchie indicating he was coming to join us.  Cool.  Before he showed up, I noticed something at the next table that I never expected to see, a dog playing poker.
Ok, it wasn’t quite a dog playing poker.  It was a small white dog being held by a man playing poker.  Apparently the dog is a service dog for his or her own and that’s why the dog is allowed in the poker room.  I recall that one time at a local’s casino, I saw a cute little Maltese dog sitting on a chair in a bar, and I made friends with that dog and their owners.  That dog was a service dog.  The last time I had a story about a dog in a casino was posted here, my friend’s Maltese totally scoring with a Rio cocktail waitress.  
Of course we are all familiar with that famous “dogs playing poker” painting.  But what I told some of the dealers and Stump and later grrouchie when he arrived was that back in my hotel room was a t-shirt with this very painting on it! I had just gotten it as a birthday gift the month before from the “parents” of the dog in the Rio story referenced above.  Too bad I had no idea I would run into a dog in the poker room that night, as I had already worn that shirt to the Crazy Pineapple game.
Just as grrouchie spotted us and came over to say hello, I was losing my stack when my nut flush was beaten by a full house on the river.  Grrr….I rebought and grrouchie got assigned to our table and before too long Stump, grrouchie and I were sitting all next to each other.  We were having a good time chatting and bullshitting, and sadly, I don’t recall much of the conversation.  But we were all having fun, laughing and playing poker.
What I do recall is a guy I’m going to call Gary.  Now, I am not calling him Gary to keep in line with my normal practice of keeping identities secret.  I have no idea what this guy’s name is.  If I did know it, I would have no qualms about using his real name.  In fact, if I knew his last name, I would publish that as well.  Furthermore, if I knew his address, telephone number, his social security number and his ATM PIN Number I would gladly publish all of that as well.
No, I’m calling him Gary simply because I remember him saying he was originally from Rhode Island, and I know my blogger pal Gary  of The Crafty Southpaw blog, lives there.  So it is an easy association for me to make, even though this guy mentioned that he now lives in Virginia, not the Ocean State.  If any of my readers in Virginia are offended that I didn’t name him after you, please let me know and I’ll try to use your name in the future.  But when you see what I say about this particular “Gary” you may be glad I didn’t use your name.  And I guess I should apologize in advance to my blogger buddy Gary for associating this guy with you, but at least you got a link out of it!
Anyway, this Gary, the one at our poker table, was very chatty and seemed like a nice enough fellow at first.  He chatted enough for me to find out about his birthplace, his current state of residence and the fact that he had a 6AM flight back to Virginia the very next morning.  He didn’t strike me as a particularly good poker player, but he wasn’t awful either.
Anyway, he was losing and from whatever his buy-in was he was down to $69.  In early position I found myself looking at pocket jacks.  I raised to $10.  There was a caller or two when it got to Gary, who announced, “all in.”
Really?  Well, he was down to $69, so only $59 more to me.  I thought since he was short stacked he might be shoving light.  Of course, even guys with short-stacks sometimes get dealt pocket aces.  But I assumed his shoving range there was pretty wide.  And he wasn’t a tight player, it wasn’t like he’d been sitting on his hands all night waiting for a monster. 
I thought that with his small stack, calling would be a reasonable risk.  But there were players behind me to act, and I sure didn’t want to go up against someone with Ace-something with only jacks.  So I shoved myself to make sure it was heads up against Gary.
That worked in the sense that everyone behind me folded, so indeed, I only had $69 invested in this hand; no more.  We agreed to show our cards.  Against my JJ, I was facing….Ace Jack!
Wow, I thought.  That’s just great.  I mean, AK or AQ would have given him two “live” cards, but instead, he had only one.  True he had one of my “outs” but I didn’t need any outs as long as an Ace didn’t hit the board.
So I was feeling pretty good until the flop was dealt.  Instead of one Ace, there were two.  Yes, two freaking Aces hit the damn board on the flop.  Two freaking aces! Had one hit, I would have had a one-outer.  Now, I had a no-outer. There was basically no card or no two cards that could win me the pot.  I was drawing dead.
I muttered a totally insincere “nice hand” to Gary, who was laughing it up.  He said he was glad he found a “donkey” to call his shove.  Then he added that he was kidding.  I guess he was, because of I was 70% to 30% to win the hand pre-flop.  Yeah he was kidding, but calling me a donkey even as a joke was rubbing it in if you ask me.  Actually, two Aces hitting the board was rubbing it in.  One would have been sufficient, poker gods!  Suddenly I found myself disliking this guy.
I’m pretty sure he was planning to rebuy if he had lost there. I think that’s why he shoved with such a relatively weak hand.  He figured, “I’ll either double up here or rebuy.”  He acted resigned to losing when he saw my hand.  But this hand started him on his way back.  He started winning from that point on.  Soon he had many stacks of chips in front of him.  All from the nice seed money I had given him.
OK, I had put it out of my mine and had gone back to enjoying the conversation with Stump and grrouchie.  Then, all of a sudden, in a hand I wasn’t involved in, Gary took in another big pot.  I hadn’t followed the action too closely, but he won the pot without a fight, his last bet wasn’t called and he didn’t need to show his cards.
But instead of just sliding his cards face down to the dealer, he flamboyantly threw his cards face up on the table, right in front of me.  They were two jacks.
“And that’s how you win with pocket jacks!”
Oh my god.  Now this guy was a certifiable asshole.  No two ways about it.  He was just totally rubbing it in my face. 
Now that I think about it, I’m being too kind just calling him an asshole. He didn’t have to show his cards, and throw his hand down right in front of me, the same hand he sucked out on me on, just to rub it in!
To say I was livid would be an understatement.  There’s no excuse for this type of behavior at a friendly game of poker.  I had been relative gracious when he hit his lucky double Ace flop to beat me.  Now he was just purposely being an asshole.  Jesus.
What I said to him then totally shocked grrouchie.  As he reported on his blog comments, I said something like, “You’re lucky I’ve got good self-control because if I didn’t….(insert the funny here).’ 
Yeah, he didn’t remember what I said.  He claims that I uttered a “phrase so out of character for him that I can’t remember it but I thought it was funny as hell.”
Trouble is, I didn’t remember it the next day either.  I don’t think I said something that outrageous.  My thought was I said, “You’re lucky I’ve got good self-control because if I didn’t, I’d do something that would get my ass kicked out of here.”  But that doesn’t sound like something that grrouchie would find all that amusing…unless it was in the tone of my voice, which I’m sure was really nasty. 
Now I suppose it is possible, although very unlikely, that I said something like, “You’re lucky I’ve got good self-control or I’d beat the shit out of you.”  I can’t see myself saying that, but it would have been memorable, and totally out of character for me, and I was probably mad enough right then to have let that come out of my mouth—but I don’t think I said that.
But I’m pretty sure you could iron a shirt with the steam that was coming out of my ears.
I know I did say something else to him….something like, “Shouldn’t you be getting back to Virginia now?”  I think I may have said to him, “I know why you live in Virginia.  You were kicked out of Rhode Island because it was too small a state for an asshole as big as you.”
Actually, I’m pretty sure I didn’t say that.  I thought of that just now, writing this blog post.
Anyway, that’s really it for the only memorable hands for the night.  I ended up more or less breaking even after the losing the first buy-in (nut flush to the rivered full house) and I had a great time with Stump and grrouchie despite the asshole from Virginia via Rhode Island.
But the final insult was that I was right behind Gary when he was cashing out.  He had almost a rack full of red chips, all of which started for him when he shoved with his AJ against my pocket Jacks.  It don’t think I lost anything other to the original $69 to this dick, but it got him started and it was incredibly galling to see him walk away such a winner.
Lucky, undeserving Asshole.


  1. This was a good fun poker session and between this one and the previous one is the de facto reason that I actually still play poker.


    1. Did you ever remember what that "out of character" comment I supposedly made was?

    2. Or I'd ....

      What a great contest. We all get to guess. Don't answer yet, Grr.

      I am going with:

      ... Or I'd shove ever card in this poker room up every orifice in you miserable body.

      I think it is safe to assume that wouldn't be one of your normal response. I could be wrong.

    3. I remember that it was a semi-violent comment and I do know that I'll probably never remember the exact phrase.

      It was just so unique to be sitting there and have Rob look up and basically tell the guy that if he wasn't such a gentleman he'd do something very unpleasant to him for being such an asshole.

    4. Ken, it would be a good contest but we'd never know the winner. If I could even remember the dealer, which I can't, perhaps I could ask him or her and if it was really that out of character for me, perhaps they'd rememeber? Anyway, I can assure what you came up with wasn't it, but it is a good idea I'll remember for the next time.

      Grrouch, if it was "semi-violent" then perhaps I have it right in my post....saying I would do something that would get my ass kicked out of there might have been it. If I said with it a strong tone, it would imply violence?

      I'm going with that.

  2. My initial thought reading this when he showed his hand and made his big declaration would have been to reply, "you don't have a CLUE, do you?..." You want to have JJ against AJ every time - sorry he caught on you...

    1. Well, of course he knew he was way behind, he knew he was lucky, he wasn't that bad of a player to think he played it well. He just took a shot cuz he was short-stacked and the gods smiled on him that time.

  3. That WAS The Crafty Southpaw that played at your table. He will be posting about it soon ...

    1. Hmm, now that you mention it, I don't recall him ever limping into a pot...

      But no, definitely not The Crafty Southpaw. Unless Gary puts totally photoshopped pics of himself on his blog, this guy was much older and much smaller.

      Besides, I can't imagine Gary pulling a stunt like that, much too nice a guy.

    2. Just to be clear, Gary, you're mad at LightNing, not me, right?

      Because it's not too late for me to change my blog post and make his name "Lightbulb", you know.

  4. Love the reference to the Maltese dog ... and yes, it was Linus who scored by licking the gal's ta-tas. He was one happy dog.

    1. And unlike a male HUMAN, he got away with it!