Tuesday, August 21, 2012

"How Big is Your Pair, Sir?"


The title of this post was supposed to be the title of the previous post, the post about finishing 6th at the Aria tournament earlier this month (see here).  But somehow, the note about that quote wasn’t located in the right place in my notes, so I missed it when I did the post.  So I’ll lead off with it here, before going to the real guts of this post, which is going to be about the poker session I had with fellow bloggers Coach and grrouchie. I’ll get to that in a moment.

But quickly, back to the Aria tournament.  At one point during the tournament, I made a rather large preflop re-raise vs the table’s current chip leader’s original raise.  I really don’t remember the details.  But it put the guy in a quandary, because I had been paying tight and because at this moment I had enough chips to hurt him. He agonized for awhile as he considered what to do.  He was on the opposite side of the table from me.  Finally, he said to me, “How big is your pair, sir?”
This got some laughs, but also got a warning from the female dealer.  At the Aria, during tournaments at least, they take the “no talking about the hand” very seriously.  And this was considered talking about the hand.  So it was a no-no.  The guy who asked the question apparently knew the rule, because instead of questioning the warning, he said he wasn’t talking to me, he was talking to the Tournament Director, who had at that precise moment had come by to pick up an empty rack off the table.  Let’s call that Tournament Director Teddy for the sake of this story (T.D.—Teddy, get it?).
So the dealer says, “You were asking Teddy how big his pair is?”
The guy chuckled and said, “Yes, that’s right.”
Of course, no one was buying it.  But the lady dealer was going to let it slide this time.  And then she added, “Actually, I think Teddy has a pretty big pair,” with a wry smile.
Anyway, the next night I had arranged to meet Coach and grrouchie at BSC.  Now Coach has already mentioned this titanic meeting.  Please note, Coach, I am putting a link to said post here.  As best I can remember, grrouchie never posted about this session, probably because he was too embarrassed.  I know his last hand was one where he got beat by a terrible suckout on the river.  But he still had chips when he left the table.  More likely he is embarrassed that he left without saying goodbye.
Anyway, grrouchie was actually playing, but we were separated by the dealer, making conversation difficult.  But when he did speak, he was mostly, well, grouchy.  As for Coach (see link here), he didn’t even play that night, deciding to just watch grrouchie and me (hey, that sounds like a great name for a book).  I can only assume that, having read my blog for lo these many months, Coach was too afraid of my awesome poker skills to play at the same table as me.  But we did talk quite a bit.  It was a bit distracting tho, getting up to talk to him between hands.  Still it was great to meet him, and hopefully next time he’ll work up the courage to put some money down at a table with me.  For those who don’t know, Coach just moved (back) to Vegas a few weeks ago and was busy trying to find both a job and a place to live.
As for the poker, I started out very well and then cooled off a bit.  My buddy Mike was the first dealer, and the first hand he dealt me was—what else—pocket Kings.  Now not only is this my own personal hand from hell—as well documented on this blog—but it is also the hand that Mike always seemed to deal me at least once every down.  This actually goes back to when I was a 2/4 player, and he was the one to notice how often he dealt me cowboys.
But back then, in my 2/4 days, it wasn’t such a nightmare hand for me.  Sure, it got beat often, but you have to expect that in low limit.  Aces and Kings routinely get cracked, it’s almost an upset to win with them.  But at that level, it usually doesn’t cost you a lot of money to get them beat, whereas in No Limit it can prove to be quite costly, as I’ve mentioned once or twice previously. 
Anyway, I raised preflop, bet the flop when no Ace hit, and took the pot when my turn bet wasn’t called.  I whispered to Mike that I had my “usual hand” and he knew exactly what I meant.  Not too long after, he sent me pocket Aces.  I hit my set on the flop, but with a King there also, I had to bet because of possible draws. I think I bet $50 and was called.  A second King on the turn filled me up, and I guess I should have checked there.  I thought about it, but since I had led out all the way until then, I wasn’t sure checking there would get me any more value.  I have to think about that some more.  Anyway, I put out $100 and the other guy tanked for awhile before folding.
With Mike still dealing, my luck came to a sudden end.  He dealt me a couple of sevens and the pot was limped around.  Again I hit my set, but the board of 678 was scary to say the least.  First action bet $10.  I had to raise. Was $30 enough?  That’s what I put out.  And then the next guy goes all-in.
I was hoping it was a semi-bluff, and he hadn’t flopped a straight.  The guy who led out for $10 folded.  I had the guy who shoved easily covered, it was around $130.  I felt for that kind of money, it was a reasonable call.  Even if he did have the straight, I still had two chances to get my boat.  So I called.  He didn’t show, but the last two cards, an Ace and a 4, didn’t help me.  Then he took the pot showing 10/9 for the flopped straight.  Ugh.
A little while later, Michelle came to the table—as a player.  One of the neat things about meeting some of my blog readers at BSC is that I can point out to them some of the characters I write about.  So when Michelle came to the table, I told Coach that she was the dealer I could never win a pot with.  Of course, I assume everyone who reads my blog has memorized every post I’ve ever written.  He had noticed that Michelle said hello to me by name when she came to the table.
She didn’t stay at the table very long, waiting for a table change.  I won a very small pot from her when my pocket fours held up without becoming a set.  I didn’t bet the flop which included a King and Queen, but no one else did either.  Similarly, no one bet the turn or the river.  Michelle was hoping her Ace high would take the small pot, but didn’t mind losing to my lousy pocket 4’s.  She actually thanked me for no betting and said that for not betting, she owed me one more pot.  Ok, I’ll take it.
I cashed out with a decent profit, but that set of 7’s losing to a flopped straight haunted me a bit all nite.  When I was cashing out and still chatting with Coach, Jack came up to say hi, he had not dealt at my table this nite. So I introduced him to Coach and told him that he was the “Jack” featured in many of my blog stories.  By the way, Coach, the next night Jack asked me why you didn’t play that night. I told him that you had been playing a lot lately, and just felt like sitting out that night.   But I know the real reason!


  1. Nice post & session! I miss you guys. Let's arrange something next time you come into town.

    1. Thanks Stump. Yes, we will definitely have to get together soon. Perhaps if you're there, Coach will be less afraid to play at our table. :) We can see if grrouchie can join us for an extra fish.

  2. Linking to my blog 47 times in one entry is the best that you can do?! :) For those of you who don't know, Rob and I recently had a "conversation" in the comments section of my blog about links. I have never linked to anyone in my blog, and the only time that I have ever posted a photo was recently when a former student was killed in that senseless movie theater shooting in Colorado. Long story short, I basically just write, and Rob is correct about the level of ABSOLUTE TERROR in my heart at the mere thought of sitting in a game with him (you noticed how quickly Michelle left, right?)... ;)

    1. Heh heh. So glad you noticed my little joke. But you know, Coach, my blog used to be all text too. Take a look at my early posts. But I learned by doing. Just like poker.

      You're probably right about Michelle. Since she never pushes me a pot, and since I keep coming back, she no doubt figures I am win boatloads of money whenever any of her co-workers deals to me.

  3. Rob, that comment asking you "how big is your pair sir" is clearly a Prudence comment/question. My thinking is that you have your characters mixed up. Sorry

    1. Nope, Woody, although Prudence has indeed commented on the size of my testicles in the past, Prudence was nowhere near anything that happened in this anecdote.

      What's interesting is that the guy who asked the question clearly was talking about my poker hand, but that led the female dealer to start fantasizing about her boss's balls right there in the middle of her shift.