Tuesday, June 12, 2012

"I Play Better When I'm Drunk" (part 2)

This is part 2 to the previous post, which was entitled "Unicorns & Rainbows.".  It struck me that it would be a good idea to change the title for part 2, Since part 2 continues directly from where I left off in part 1, you should make sure you have  read part 1 (here)  before reading this post.  Oh, and here’s the only unicorn you’ll see in this part.
Now, I was starting to get a bit worried about her.  Of course the totally uninhibited Prudence, made even more so by excessive amounts of spirits, was fun to be around.  She was cracking me up with her outrageous comments and I knew she was giving me plenty to blog about.  And she had a ride home, her boyfriend Tom, who was actually dealing (and not playing) this nite, so there were no worries there.  But I had no idea how much alcohol this girl could comfortably consume.  Was the end result of this evening merely going to be a dreadful hangover or would it be something worse—if so, what?  I actually started worrying about her tossing her cookies on the poker table.  I was also looking at the clock and realizing that Tom’s shift would soon be over and he’d be able to take her home. So while I probably should have suggested she skip a round or two of drinks, I don’t believe I did.  Does such a suggestion ever work anyway?
Meanwhile the cards were abusing her much more than the booze was.  While I was having a good nite after that big win with Deuce-four, she was losing steadily, and had to re-buy a time or two.  She blamed it on getting no respect because she was female, or the pigtails, or some Japanese kid who she blamed for abusing her people during WWII, but not on her play.  Truth be told, I didn’t really see any noticeably bad play from her….until the hand I’m about to describe (yes folks, I’m actually getting back to poker).
While she was out hitting the ATM for more money to buy chips with, some young guy took a seat across the table from us.  He had almost a full rack of red chips, close to $500 it looked like.  Knowing the maximum buy-in was only $300, I immediately asked him if he was a new player or if he came from another table.  Both the player and the dealer assured me that it was a table change.  Ok.  The position he came into would have been the big blind, so rather than waiting one hand and “come in for free” he choose to “buy the button.”
I found it noteworthy that this guy couldn’t wait one hand to play a hand and had no reservations about throwing three bucks into the pot blindly and having absolutely no reads on any of the players there.  I pegged him as a Loose Aggressive that I need to keep an eye.
When Prudence returned and bought more chips, I immediately told her about this guy and to watch out for him.  It wasn’t very long before Prudence and the LAG guy got into a big pot together, which made me very nervous.  Just from the way she was acting, I kind of got the impression that she was playing way too loose on this hand; my gut feeling.  It was almost like, at least in my mind, she was playing this latest buy-in without any consideration for how good her hand actually was.
I can’t recall the exact betting action, but I believe Prudence had been the aggressor the whole time, and LAG guy was calling.  Except he raised her on the turn and she called.  Anyway, at the river, the board showed four diamonds and a pair of 9’s. ***(see edit at end of this post)  I was absolute convinced that Prudence’s opponent had a boat, especially when she showed me her hand.  She had the Ace of diamonds for the nut flush.  Nice, but if I was right about the guy having the boat, her flush was no good.
The action was on Prudence first, and she just grabbed a bunch of chips, without counting them, without really knowing how much she was betting, and just kind of flung them forward, in front of her.  It was like she had no idea what she was doing, the way she made the bet. Oh my god.  My worst fears were realized, I thought.  She has no friggin’ clue what she is doing!  She just grabbed a bunch a chips and bet without really knowing what she bet, or if that was a good bet based on the size of the pot!  She was incompetent to play poker any more, I thought.
The dealer stacked up her bet so the guy would know how much she had bet (I’m sure she didn’t have clue herself).  When told, he thought for awhile, sized up the stack of chips she had left and raised her all-in.
It had been hours since we had discussed my “safe word” so I didn’t think yelling “bosoms!” at the top of my lungs would mean anything to her, I doubt she would remember it in her current state.  I wanted to kick her under the table but didn’t.  I’m not sure why.
Oh I know why.  It’s because she said “call” so fast I didn’t have a chance.  Damn.
At that moment, I knew what I was gonna do. Prudence was going to lose another buy in to his full house, and I was going to tell her—no, I was going to beg
Well that’s what I was going to tell her if she had lost the pot.  But to my absolute astonishment, the guy turns over two diamonds—I think the highest was a 7 or a 10, and says “I’ve got a flush.”  He certainly did.  But that was it.  No boat.  His flush was worthless because the fourth diamond on the river gave Prudence the nut flush.  Prudence had just doubled up!
Now, to me, the guy was pretty dumb.  He hadn’t been able to get her to laydown her draw to the nut flush, and on the river, with that fourth diamond and a paired board, how do you raise there.  I can see making a crying call in case the drunk girl is bluffing—or has a weaker flush.  But with a low flush, where any diamond paint card beats you, where a full house beats you, how do you raise there (I don’t remember the details, but it cost him at least an extra $100)?
Well, there was maybe one thing that he might have been thinking.  Maybe he noticed the way Prudence was acting, and betting, and they way she seemingly mindlessly splashed her chips there, and thought she was too drunk to know what she was doing, and that therefore he likely had a better hand that the drunk.
Hell, that’s what I thought!  So perhaps Prudence had inadvertently discovered a great way to outmaneuver your opponents.  Act so plastered that everyone will think you’re clueless and they’ll bet into you when you have them beat.  Hmmmm…
Well, since she was stacking her chips, I decided not to tell her to stop playing. What the heck do I know?  It worked, right?  I congratulated her, told her how scared I was for her, told her how happy I was for her, and just otherwise shut up about her drunken play.  Well not quite, I did tell her I was going to suggest she stop if she had lost that hand.  She just chuckled.  “I play better when I’m drunk.”
And here’s the funny thing.  That hand turned her night around, pokerwise.  She started winning.  Not big pots like that one, but a few nice medium sized pots and soon she had a nice big stack of chips in front of her. It was one of the most unlikely turnarounds I’d ever seen.
Now, since this is actually my blog, one hand I want to mention that happened after this involving me.  I want to mention it because I think it shows the progress I’ve made as a poker player, particularly a No Limit player.  In late position, I had A/Q offsuit.  It had been straddled and there were a bunch of callers on the straddle ($4).  So I raised to $20.  Prudence is very annoyed at me but folds (she was immediately to my left).  The LAG guy who lost a bundle to Prudence calls, as does a relatively new player.
The new player is a local, this I learned from the conversation he had had with Prudence.  I had seen him play just enough to peg him as a kind of tight, weak player.  The flop was 9 high, missing me completely.  Both players before me checked.  I made a continuation bet of $40 hoping to take it down right there, since it didn’t look like the board could have hit anyone too hard.
LAG guy instafolds but local thinks a bit and calls.  Damn he must have something.  Medium pocket pair?  Perhaps he had A-rag and had middle pair?  He had to have something to call me.  There were no good draws out there (maybe a baby straight).
Ten on the turn, but he checked.  I really have nothing so I check behind him.  I don’t remember the river card but it didn’t help me and looked like it probably didn’t help him.  If he bets, I’m gone.  But he checks.
I was about to check and show my Ace high but thought better of it.  He must have some kind of pair, whatever it is.  If I check there’s no way I can win the pot.  I was pretty sure from the way he was acting/thinking he had something, not a busted draw. So I decided to take a shot at it.
I carefully counted out $80 and bet it.  It was a total bluff.  I knew if he called he’d take it down.  He really thought a long time and I was sure he was leaning towards calling.  But finally, he resignedly mucked!  I’m sure he thought I had raised pre-flop with a big pocket pair which was still bigger than whatever pair he had.
So I took down a decent pot, and it was the kind of move I never would have made just a few months ago.  I almost felt like a poker player in that moment.
I didn’t want to make it too obvious that I had bluffed the guy so all I said to Prudence was “remember this hand.”  But Tom had come by at that moment and he saw what she had thrown away to my raise.  He said she would have had top two (pair) if she had stayed in.  Good thing my raise was to $20!  The next day she confirmed that she threw away 10-9 offsuit to my raise.  She said I was lucky I folded.  That’s true, but I said if she had stayed in, I would have played the hand total differently.  She would have bet her top pair on the flop (I think she was the small blind) and I would have insta-folded.
Anyway, that was when Tom had come by to take Prudence home.  His shift was over.  But she didn’t want to go home, at least initially.  Suddenly she was in the money and wanted more poker.  But he finally convinced her it was time to go.  I left not long after that. That little bluff I pulled off (sorry, local guy) was a nice little capper to a successful run at poker I had that night, more than doubling up.
On her way home, she texted me that she actually ended up the evening ahead, which was a nice turn of events considering how she was running for much of the nite.  She also reiterated that she seems to play better when drunk!
I did text to the next morning to find out how hungover she was, and she said not at all.  She felt fine.  That was nice to hear.
So….playing poker with Prudence is fun.  Winning at poker is fun.  Doing both at the same time is a real blast.

***Edited to add:  If you read Prudence's comments below, she maintains that there were 2 Aces on the board, not 2 9's, and thus she had trip Aces until she hit the nut flush on the river.  Despite her comment about losing her brainpower, we've had a conversation about this hand and it turns out that she keeps records and is pretty sure she has it basically right, and thus, my original recap is in error.

Although my notes are pretty clear, I am willing to concede that since she was in the hand and I wasn't, she is likely right.  Although she did have a lot to drink that nite.  Perhaps I got a contact high and had lost my bearings just from watching her consume all that booze (I had no drinks that nite, as usual).  Her recollection is that she had two diamonds in her hand, including the Ace, and there were only 3 diamonds on the board, no pair of 9's on the board, only the aces.  

Even assuming her recollection is clearer than mine (a scary thought for me), what I said about how she was acting while playing the hand is still accurate and valid, again, leading me to the conclusion that she was incapable of playing poker in her current state.

Until she won the hand.  My apologies to my readers for (apparently) getting it wrong and to Prudence for reporting her hand erroneously.


  1. Congrats on the nice session, and you ended your entry making a great point - often you will play pots differently depending on who is in the hand...

    1. Well, especially if the "who" would have had the board hit her and then bet. So that's an easy fold there.

  2. Isn't it cheating to kick someone under the table when they are in a hand to try and get them to stop betting even if you were wrong?

    1. Yes, it is. So that's the other reason I didn't kick her.

      Seriously, I was just saying that to kinda embellish the story. Especially with the "safe word" reference in the first part of the story.

  3. Waffles beat me to the punch. No kicking! Let her make her own decisions - discuss the hand afterwards but you can't effect her play.

    1. Yes, JOE-ZEE, I was just kidding, see above response to your boy, Waffles. That would be totally illegal and if discovered would have deserved a warning if not an expulsion from the poker room. As tempted as I might have been, I wouldn't have helped her play her hand.

      I was just really prepared to physically restrain from playing any more if she had lost that hand.

      Turns out Prudence is a better poker player drunk than I am sober! See below.......

  4. Rob, you miss an important detail. I was holding Ax diamonds and there were two aces on the board. The guy chased his diamond flush either a) not believing that I had the ace or b) not caring that I had the ace. If he stopped to think about it, which fucking suit of ace would I have been holding when I pushed all in?

    1. Pru, I believe you have misremembered the hand. Which is understandable. It's also possible I got some of the details wrong because I wasn't in the hand. I concede that possibility.

      BUT....if I'm right about their being two 9's on the board, and there were also two aces there, you would have a boat, not the nut flush.

      Also, if I'm right about there being four diamonds on the board, you couldn't have had the Ace of diamonds (which I know you had) because one of the Aces would have had to have been the Ace of diamonds.

      Perhaps there was ONE Ace on the board, which explains why you played the hand aggressively, flopping top pair and the back door flush draw.

      Also, you didn't really push all in, you bet, he raised you enough to put you all in and you called. That was the moment I would have kicked you if it wasn't totally illegal and unethical to do so.

      Hmm.....if you think I'm wrong, perhaps you can have Tom get them to pull the tapes for that nite? I'm sure it's no problem. :)

      Lastly, another great link, even if I'm pretty sure you meant "granT" and not "granD".

      See you very soon!

    2. Oh my God it's official: alcohol has turned my brain to a pile of dog shit.

    3. LOL. I don;'t think so, but if so, at least it's not permanent. All it takes is a few hours of abstinence to return your brain to full function, right?

    4. Alcohol - making life better since 1976

    5. Alcohol wasn't discovered until 1976? What was that whole "prohibition" thing about?

    6. I don't believe that life existed prior to 76. It's just a bunch of memories built into existence to keep up the lie by our alien overlords.

    7. So you're telling me you were born in '76, huh?