Friday, August 3, 2012

Devil Woman

As I mentioned back in this post here, I decided to cut back by tournament a bit on my Vegas trips. So this past visit to Vegas, I only played in two tournaments, and sadly, did not do well either time.  Here’s the story.
First up was the Aria 1PM tournament, midweek.  For a story about this tournament with a happy ending (no, no that kind), see here.  Last time I played in this, it was in a temporary location and hand shuffled; now it was back in the main room with automatic shufflers.  I much prefer that.
Early in the tournament there was a rather amusing hand that didn’t involve me.  With both players have close to starting stacks, a guy shoved on the turn, and was called by a guy who had him slightly covered.  The first guy had 7-9 and thus had two pair.  The guy who called had Ace-10, which meant top pair, top kicker.  The guy with the two pair couldn’t believe the other guy would call with only that.  He was somewhat vocal in his disbelief.
But even moreso when an Ace hit on the river, and the guy who shoved with 7-9 was busted.  He then really expressed how he felt.  To the guy who was stacking the chips he had just lost, as he got up (to re-enter), he said, “I can’t believe you called.  How could you call there?  You suck.”  I’m not sure, but I think he also said the guy was a bad player.
Of course, someone else at the table pointed out that the guy playing 7-9 hadn’t limped in preflop.  He called a raise, and then a reraise before the flop.  So calling 2 preflop raises with 7-9 is good playing, but calling his turn shove with TPTK is a bad play?  O.K.
As for me, I didn’t have much going for me.  I called a raise with a pair of 7’s, and hit my set but with a board of 6,7,8, two of a suit, I had to be worried about all the draws.  I put out a pot sized bet and got no callers.  That was all for the good hands.
After bleeding chips for a few levels, I raised with AQ offsuit.  The guy to my immediate left went all in.  He was fairly short-stacked, but it was a pretty big raise from mine.  When it folded back to me I thought I should call.  He was probably shoving light, and at that point, I had been card dead for so long I needed chips.  When I called, the guy says, “good call” and flipped over a pair of 3’s.  But it wasn’t such a good call, as it turned out.  Nothing hit, and his 3’s held up to take down the pot.
This put me in a position where I was pretty much looking for a hand to shove with.  For a couple of orbits I saw no pair, no ace and few paint cards.  Finally in early position I looked down at A-9.  It wasn’t suited, but I thought this was as good as I was likely to get.  I had actually won about 2 or 3 pots by shoving with less, but getting no callers, I hadn’t picked up a lot of chips.  I would have been happy to have that happen again.
But no, some guy who was fairly new to the table and had yet to see a hand he didn’t want to raise with, went all-in.  He had me covered.  The guy next was shorter-stacked than me, and he too went all in.  Gulp.  The button was the big stack at the table, and then he shoved as well!
I dunno why, but I had my doubts my A-9 was the best hand!  And indeed, as we turned over the cards, the 1st guy to shove (the super aggro guy) had a couple of Queens.  The real short stack had a couple of Kings, and the big stack only had two Aces.
You could say I was behind.
The only thing that hit was King.  So sure, other people can win with pocket Kings, just not me.  The short stack tripled up and the guy with the Aces took the side pot, and I gathered up my things and headed for my car.
On Sunday, I headed downtown to play in the 2PM at Binion’s for the first time in awhile.  That’s because their regular tournament had been suspended while they had the Binions Classic going on.  I really like the tournament, the structure, the dealers and almost all of the players who are mostly regulars.  In fact, some of the dealers, who don’t even know my name because they don’t use players cards there, went out of their way to say hi to me before the tournament.  One cute Asian dealer said to me, “Oh you’re back!  Good to see you again.”  A male dealer saw me in the casino and shook my hand.
My favorite dealer at Binion’s is an extremely attractive blonde I’m going to call Heather.  I really could use her real name, because what I will tell you about her in this post might give away who she is anyway.  Besides, I have nothing but good things to say about her, and I can’t imagine ever getting an embarrassing story about her.  But in keeping with the tradition of this blog, I will use the pseudonym.  If only to aggravate a few of my loyal readers.
Heather isn’t my favorite Binion’s dealer because she’s extremely attractive, although, that doesn’t hurt.  Mostly, it’s because she an absolute doll.  She is super-nice, and extremely friendly.  Whenever I see her, we always have a nice chat.  And I see her a lot because in addition to working at Binions’s on the weekends, she works (or has worked) part time in a couple of other rooms, one of which happens to be BSC. So we had a nice chat before the tournament began.
Since I last played in this tournament, they made one major change.  They now allow re-entries (first hour, I think).  They never used to.  That’s sort of a good news/bad news type of deal.  Good news is it makes the prize pool bigger.  Bad news is it encourages some loose play, as players are more willing to shove early knowing they can get back in.
Anyway, I wasn’t completely card dead, but I couldn’t catch a flop to save my life.  And all my preflop raises proved costly.  There was older Asian gentlemen who seemed to play any two cards.  He never folded to my continuation bets, and then would make his hand on the turn or the river.  It cost me a lot of chips.
Then I did go card dead, and couldn’t pull off a move to safe my life.  I found myself getting close to shove or fold mode when Heather finally made it over to my table to deal.  So in the big blind I was dealt King/Jack of spades.  By this time my stack was low enough that I knew this was my last orbit if I didn’t make some kind of score.  Yeah, a double up would sure be nice.  I started thinking that this might the time to make my move, depending on the action in front of me.
The guy next to me, UTG, was short stacked and he moved all in.  It wasn’t going to be much more for me to call.  It folded around to the small blind, a lady who had a medium sized stack; in other words, a lot more chips than I had.  She was quite reluctant, asked for a count, checked her own stack and reluctantly called.  If she didn’t already have the small blind posted (I don’t recall what the blinds were), I’m sure she would have folded.  Watching her play for awhile, I don’t think she was hollywooding at all; this was a very reluctant call for her.
Under the circumstances, I went ahead and shoved.  I was sure the short stack was shoving light, and I thought the small blind was calling light, only because it wasn’t that much to call.  I actually thought that my shove might be a little too much for her to call; that’s what I was hoping for.  And if she did call, I might be in decent shape anway.
But she did indeed call, somewhat resigned.  “I’m in this far, I may as well call,” she said.  We showed our cards.  Short stack had Q-8 hearts.  Not bad.  The lady had Ace-rag, but the Ace was a spade (the rag wasn’t a spade).  Well, at least I had two live cards.
Heather put out the flop.  There was a red Ace—ouch—but, there were two spades. I had a shot.  So then Heather put out the turn card, an extremely beautiful spade.  Bang!  I now had the 2nd nut flush.  All Heather had to do was put out any red card, any one at all—or even a club—and I was alive and kicking with more than a double up.
Of course, Heather put out another god damn spade.  The lady to my right had the nuts, and I had been set packing.  Now there’s a thousand ways I could have lost that hand, but this was the absolute cruelest.  Giving me hope like that, only to pull the rug right out from under me at the last second.  Poker is a cruel game.
Of course, Heather and I had been chatting up a storm during her down, and now she had just kicked me in the gut.  After I said ouch or something like that, I turned to Heather and said, “And I used to like you.”  She seemed genuinely unhappy at the turn of events.  “I know, I know.  I’m sorry.”  So I said, “I know, it’s not your fault.”  And I laughed a little and patted her shoulder as I headed to the exit.
There’s a bit of post script to this.  A few days later Heather was indeed dealing at BSC.  She never dealt to me but we did run into each other as we were heading to our respective rest rooms.  She saw me and before she could say anything, I pointed to her and exclaimed, “Devil Woman!”  
I was laughing when I said it.  She said, “I know, I know.  It was terrible.  I’m sorry.  I put that flush out there and then took it away from you.  That sucked.”
I just laughed and said it was ok, “that’s poker.”  This time she patted me on the shoulder.
And that was my tournament experience in July.


  1. My goodness. You keep passing out human traits to your characters and we may start thinking all your friends aren't of the inflatable variety. Excluding Harvey of course.

    1. Harvey is totally real, Ken. Honest. But he's not quite 6 feet tall as has been reported; he's closer to 5'8".

      But he still eats a ton of carrots.

    2. Looks like you were stuck with Harvey's little brother Bruce. He is a joker like that.

    3. Hmm...actually Harvey told me his little brother's name was Ken.

  2. "But in keeping with the tradition of this blog, I will use the pseudonym. If only to aggravate a few of my loyal readers."

    Hey -- the heck with those people!

    1. Should the loyal readers meet for lunch, I doubt the Maitre De won't need to ask if they want a 6-top.

    2. @Lightning--And yet, they keep coming back!

      @KenP--I have to admit, I don't know what you mean by a "6-top." WTF? I even Googled it and I still have no idea.

      Do you mean a 6-pack? I don't know how that would fit into whatever dig you're trying to throw at me, but at least I know what a 6 pack is.

    3. Tops are seats in a restaurant. A 6-top provides seating for 6. What a sheltered life.

  3. To the guy who was stacking the chips he had just lost, as he got up (to re-enter), he said, “I can’t believe you called. How could you call there? You suck.”

    I've found that the good players don't say anything. It's the wanna-bees who whine.

    1. Yep. You're so right MOJO, I've never seen a good player criticize a bad player. Just one bad player criticize a fellow bad player.

  4. When I saw the title of the post I assumed it was about me.