Sunday, September 30, 2012

Thinking Outside The Blog

As I mentioned here, I’ve started working for All Vegas Poker.  It’s fun, but it is taking up quite a bit of my time, as you would figure.  I have a lot less free time on my hands these days.  And that is necessarily going to affect the blog.

Obviously I have less time to write.  Further, I have less time to play poker, which is where I get my material.  As of right now, I’ve pretty much run out of “ready-made” posts.  I don’t expect to be playing poker again for a couple of weeks at least.  Now, I’m sure there are potential blog posts buried in my many, many hand-written note pads that I carry with me whenever I’m in Vegas.  And perhaps if I scour my old emails long enough, there are some stories in there as well.  But both of these activities will take time, time I don’t have right now.

So I’m now working in the poker industry and don’t have time to play poker.  Ironic, isn’t it?

Furthermore, there’s something else I’m doing now that will take time away from the blog too.  I don’t want to reveal it yet; all in good time.  But again, ironically, what I’m referring to is something that I hope will bring more attention to my blog, even as it will give me less time to do blog posts. 

The point being that until I get into settled in to everything new that’s going on with me, I really don’t want to let the blog just go unattended for days if not weeks at a time.  It would be really counterproductive for me to allow that to happen.  It would also be counterproductive to just do quickie, low-value posts just for the sake of having something new posted every few days.  

So I started thinking outside the box, as they say.  This blog is just past a year old, and for the first three or four months of it, almost no one was reading it.  Which means very few of you now reading this have seen my early posts.  Of course, in newer posts, the ones I’ve done since I’ve built a readership, I sometimes link to those old posts.  But I can tell from the stats that Google provides, very few people ever click on those links.  Which I suppose begs the question, why do I bother providing the links?  Well, because some people do check the links, and even if most don’t, I still feel it’s the right thing to do and I do want to give my readers the opportunity to find out what I’m referencing without having to search for it themselves.  It’s a service I provide even if most folks don’t choose to take advantage of it.

But what that means is, that old material is new to most of you.  And would be new to any new readers I hope to pick up.  So, I’m toying with the idea of reposting some of those early blog posts during the periods when I don’t have the time to do something brand new.  Now I realize that on a blog, you never really need to do “reprints” since the material is already there, just sitting in the archive, waiting to be viewed.  But just as most people don’t click on links embedded in a current blog post, most folks would be unlikely to click a link to an old post if I just ran a one line new post that basically said, “Don’t have time to do a post right now, so check out this old post here.”

But if I put the entire old post up again as the latest post, people would likely read it as they would read any new post.  If it was familiar to them, ok, they’d stop and move on.  But if it wasn’t familiar to them, it would be the same as if I posted a new post.  Most of my posts, especially these early ones, are “timeless”—they really don’t have an expiration date.   And a lot of the stories in these early posts were the ones that my friends found so entertaining they convinced me to start a blog to share them with the world (as explained here, and yes I know it’s rather ironic to give a link here after what I just wrote).  Another advantage of reposting is that the people would be more likely to comment.  If people are led to an old post, they are unlikely to comment because they realize hardly anyone is going to see that comment, so why bother?  If I re-post, it might get some discussion going.

If I did follow through on this idea, I would try to spruce up the old posts a bit, not only by cleaning up any weak grammar I may have missed, but by possibly relating the story to something that's happened subsequently,  and by adding an appropriate graphic or two.  When I started the blog, I didn’t even realize you could add pictures nor did it dawn on me that it would be a good idea to do so; yeah that’s how naive I was.  And I would figure out a way to clearly identify them as a reprint or a re-post or whatever I would call them.

One of the few things I like about the new Blogger interface is that it gives you the total page views for all of your old posts.  Actually, this information doesn't always match the way Google gives you the stats currently, but I think it's good as a ballpark figure.  And I can tell that some of my earliest posts have been looked at by very few people.  I would only pick posts that show a low number of page views.

My concern with doing this is that would be considered cheesy or desperate or even somehow “cheating.”  Also, I would worry that regular readers would just stop coming to the blog, just assuming everything was old stuff.  I wouldn’t want that to happen. 

So I’m asking for your input here, What do you folks think of the idea?

Saturday, September 29, 2012

New Running Thread of Search Terms

I might be the only one, but I continue to be amused by the search terms that people enter into a search engine and somehow end up on my blog.  So I started an open thread, on a separate page, where I can keep adding the fun ones whenever I come across them.  That way those of you who enjoy them can easily find them and those who couldn't give a damn about them can easily ignore them.  I'll just keep adding the new ones to the top of the list, sometimes with comment, other times without.  After this post drops off the top of the blog, I'll post a link to that page in a box on the right side of this front page.

If you enjoy the search terms, check the page periodically.  Otherwise, just ignore it.

The page can be found right here.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Even When I Win With Pocket Kings, I Lose

This story dates back to last year, one of the 3-day holiday weekends, back before I was regularly playing No Limit. It was also before I had developed the Dreaded Pocket Kings curse….or so I thought.
Michelle, the BSC dealer who never pushes me a pot, dealt me the dreaded pocket Kings in a 2/4 limit game.  At that time, I actually liked that, not then realizing what an awful hand that is. Amazingly enough, there were two more Kings on the flop.
Yes, my quad Kings did hold up.  I won about a $30 pot.
But here’s how I really lost.  Because of the holiday weekend, earlier in the day I had played around 4-5 hours at one of the locals poker rooms where they had a special promotion for the holiday.  Flop quads and win a $500 bonus.  If I had flopped those King’s at that casino instead of BSC, where they have no jackpots/promotions, I would have gotten $500, plus the pot, for hitting it.  Instead, I won $30.  Needless to say, while playing at the locals place during the promo, I didn’t see quads, and for that matter, I never even hit a set.
Timing is everything in life.  And thus, somehow, I figured out a way to lose with pocket Kings and flopping quads!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

How Much Cleavage Is Appropriate?

Well, the question answers itself, doesn’t it?  Is it even possible for any cleavage to be inappropriate?  Or for there to me too much of it?  It’s like being too rich, or too lucky, or two happy.  So the answer is simply, all cleavage is appropriate.

Still, not long ago, someone Googled that very question and it took them to this very blog.  I am honored that Google considers me an expert on cleavage.  And on the appropriateness of it.  I mean, if the biggest internet search engine in the world considers me an expert on cleavage, who am I to argue?

So ladies, you can now come to me with all your cleavage questions.  So says Google.
Definitely NOT Inappropriate
(BTW, the post that was referenced was this one.  They were actually doing an image search.  Take a look at the post and you’ll see why)

One of the things that is fun about doing a blog is seeing what people Googled (or Yahoo’d, or Bing’ed) that landed them on your blog.  I did a very long post (shocking, I know) back in May about this once already, see here.  And in fact, recently, my pals grrouchie and Josie also did posts about the very same thing, see here and here.  I keep getting amused by the searches, I’ve considered doing sort of a running page just listing the funny search terms, and maybe someday I will. (NOTE:  I have now set up that running page of search terms, and you can find it here.)

Sometimes, it’s just the weird things people search for that are funny.  I’m too lazy to look, but there must be places on the web you can go just to see funny searches.  But some of the things that people search for that somehow gets them here is also something that tickles me.

And by the way, I hadn’t planned this a “special event” post, but I just noticed that my blog just passed its first birthday.  Yeah, the first post hit the web on September 20, 2011.  Actually I had four posts up in the first two days (just to prove to myself that I could write more than a paragraph or two—I guess I didn’t really have to worry about that).

The other most amusing search term recently was, “red sox pussy hair.”


I mean, seriously, WTF?

If someone can explain to me what the hell they were really looking for, I’d appreciate it.  I don’t see the connect between the Red Sox and well, you know.  Maybe it was a typo and the meant to leave the “sox” out of it?  Auto fill?  Does Google automatically put “sox” after “red”?  Josie would like that.

As to how that got them here, I have no freakin’ clue.  I’m pretty sure I’ve never mentioned the Red Sox on the blog, because there’s really not much I care less about than them.  But maybe in some comments?  I guess maybe.  But the closest thing I came to talking about hair down there was in this post here and I didn’t use that term.  Unfortunately, I’m not sure what post that got them to, because I didn’t make a note of it (also, sometimes I can’t figure it out anyway).

But I was able to determine that the searcher was from Saskatchewan, Canada.  Why anyone in Canada even cares about the Red Sox is beyond me.  But perhaps this whole search is a Canadian thing.  Maybe I just don't get it because of the vast cultural differences between our two countries.  Or perhaps, "red sox pussy hair" is actually Canadian for "great poker blog."

Now here’s one I know exactly how they found me:  how big are the dicks at the palomino male dancers fully naked?”  It seems that question led them to this post.  Of course, in that post, I never made any mention of the size of the dancer who, shall we say, exposed himself, or his other profession, anyway, at the poker table.  It never came up (so-to-speak).  But I’m guessing the Midwest housewife of the title was dying to find out.  And also, in that post, I never used the word “dick.”  But there was enough in that phrase to land them here.

By the way, that post recently got a sudden burst in popularity.  It seems that a website/forum that is dedicated to interracial sex put a link to it not long ago.  A guy apparently found my post because he was looking for a club where he could take his (white) wife to where she could interact with naked black guys!  His research led him to my post, even though I never mentioned the ethnicity of anyone in the story.  Anyway, after he linked my post in their forum, I got almost 100 new hits on that old post.  Thank you for your um, interesting, predilections, sir!

How about “big Russian breasts”?  Him, I don’t think I’ve ever discussed the country or origins of breasts on this sight.  I do have a surprising number of readers from Russia, however.

“Motorboating girls”  That’s too easy.  See here.

“cleavage poker tournament”  No idea what that is, but I’m in favor of it.  Hmm….perhaps starting stacks are determined by how much cleavage is exposed?

“biggest tits in Hollywood”  Not sure why this got them here.  It’s an interesting topic, just not one I’ve addressed here. 

“bears playing poker”  That’s a “huh’?  I mean, everyone knows about the dogs playing poker, but bears?  I’ve surely never discussed bears here.  Do they mean the Chicago Bears?  Do bears play poker in the woods?

“nude gigolos en las vegas”  Hmm….again, not a topic I’ve ever discussed, or ever will.

“OKAY TITS”  Why does he only want to see tits that are just ok?  That’s setting the bar low, isn’t it?  If you’re looking for tits on the internet, don’t you want them to be better than just OK?

“colleg tits”  Geez, man, if you want a college girl, you’re gonna have to learn how to spell!

“jennifer tilly naked” and “jennifer tilly nude”  Miss Tilly has been discussed on the blog, but never in that condition.  Those searchers who were looking for pics of her without clothes must have been disappointed when they got here, although I understand that pictures of her in that state do exist.  Shocking, I know. 

“hottest female poker players”  No doubt they were brought here because of all the times I’ve talked about Prudence. 

And finally,

“poker tournaments las vegas”  Now how in the world did that lead anyone here?  Go figure.

Again, if you like the search terms, check out the running thread here.

Friday, September 21, 2012

"I Did The Math"

I am proud to present the first guest-post in this blog's history.  My good friend Prudence is here to tell us of a night of poker that I missed.  Take it away, Prudence....

(Prudence here. I am honored to make an appearance in Rob's special little corner of the blogosphere, and I hope this story generates some thoughtful debate—even if my opinion is clearly the right one.)

This hand, henceforth known as the Worst Call Ever, went down recently at BSC. 

Of course I have to preface this tale with the hands that took place leading up to it. For starters, I was on massive tilt because an aggressive young Asian—let's just call him SELFISH PIG—had busted me 20 minutes into my evening. SELFISH PIG played 80% of his hands, raising every time, and ordered two drinks at a time so that he could save his tip money for making retarded moves. The blow to my ego and bank account forced me to switch tables and resolve to play uber tight for the rest of the evening. After waiting forty minutes to finally get QQ in the big blind, I raised to $15 with a $100 stack. A gentleman in middle position called, and an Ace showed up on the flop.  I checked, he bet $45, I mucked, and then asked myself where the nearest tall bridge might be located.

Future starting hands looked just as good—suited connectors, AJ, AQ, pocket pairs etc—but I couldn't hit a flop or find myself in the right position to save my life. Two hours into the session, in a fit frustration, I raised 27h in late position to $20. This being my biggest bet of the evening, there were instafolds all around …except for one.  An older British gentleman called. 

Shit. It was time to check/fold.

But the flop came 2 with two hearts, Q high, giving me a (shitty) pair and flush draw. Not the end of the world.

He checked, I bet, he raised. Hmm. I gambled and pushed the rest of my short stack across the line. Flush on the river. I showed, everyone's eyes bugged out, and he made a face which indicated that he might have a stroke. I believe he had AQ. He paid me and laughed like a good sport. However, it was obvious that he was very conservative, as he spent the rest of the evening rehashing this beat to every new player who sat at the table.

I told him not to worry— I would only play Kings and Aces from then on. 

This was a half-truth.  An hour later, a young man who bore a striking resemblance to Lewis Skolnick from Revenge of the Nerds sat at the table. I limped in the big blind with 79d, and the flop came 8, 10, diamond. I bet, Skolnick called. Another diamond on the turn. I now had an open ended straight PLUS a flush draw. I bet, he went all in, I called. He flips over an already made straight but again, I hit a flush on the river. (I can hear Rob asking himself as he proofreads this, "Jesus, how does she always get it on the river?!?!")

It's hard to say if I made a bad decision there. I definitely didn't put him on a straight because he had just sat down. And anyway, I was too busy replaying the Revenge of the Nerds panty raid scene in my head to think straight. In any case, Skolnick seemed furious and reloaded to $200.

A few hands later, I found myself with KK UTG. I raised to $15 when it came back around to me, and only Mr. Tight Brit called. After losing $100 to my 27h, he worked his way up to $400+. I proceeded with caution. Of course, a dreaded Ace showed up on the flop. I bet $35 to see where I was at, and he called without hesitation.  

We checked the turn and another Ace came on the river. I checked and he bet. I folded face up and smiled. Easy. He showed me his Ace for the trips—not out of courtesy, but because he was so happy to have a strong hand.

NOW… let's get to the Worst Call Ever.

This hand is only a moment later and involves Sklonick in the small blind, a fellow who spent 12 hours earning himself a $1000+, and Mr. Tight Brit in late position. Six players limp in and flop comes:

A Q rag, rainbow.

The table checks around and a Jack of spades comes on the turn.

Skolnick checked and Big Stack made it $30. Mr. Tight Brit called, others folded, and it was up to Skolnick.

"Re-raise. $110."

Oohs and ahhs from the peanut gallery. Big Stack folded and later told me he had AJ for two pair. But Mr. Brit looked down at his $400+, smiled, and said, "All in."

Let's be real. I folded Kings face up to the man while Skolnick watched. He only played strong hands, and this was his first all-in. This guy clearly had the NUTS. But Skolnick tanked. "Do you think I should call?" he asked. He exposed 2/3 spades to the table, giving him a flush draw. 

I for one almost spit my drink all over the table. But with table talk forbidden, we all sat silent—mouths hanging open—until he finally made the call. (He had $105 left at the time)

BAM! A six of spades on the river for the win. The Brit sighed with resignation and showed his K10 for the straight. The entire table whooped and hollered. One player remarked with a laugh, "That's the world's biggest suck out if I've ever seen one."

"A suck out?" asked Skolnick. "I don't think so. I did the math."

Despite being Asian, my math abilities are as bad my driving skills. So can someone explain what-the-eff kind of math involves risking your life against an obvious, tight, older man with THREE HIGH? I can understand the bold re-raise on the turn—he had outs and this was one way to possibly get anyone with two pair or a set off his/her hand. (And at BSC, you probably couldn't get them off of it anyway! For instance, a SELFISH PIG would never fold.)

And yes, I've just given two previous examples of putting all of my own chips on the line, but both involved a combo of straight and flush draws, pairs, a short stack, and/or little information on my opponent.  Once the Brit pushed and had him covered, I'd say it was time to lay down and eat a slice of humble pie. At the very least, he could have 'fessed up to taking a big risk and getting lucky.

But just as it went in the movie, it looks like the nerd got the last laugh. Cue Queen's "We are the Champions" and... end scene.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Big News: I've Joined the Team!!!

I am very happy to announce that I have just officially joined the AllVegasPoker team!  Please see the announcement here.   

I will be responsible for keeping all the information on the Vegas poker rooms accurate and up-to-date.  

Very excited to have a job in an industry I love, at long last.

I suppose this means I might have to take a few more trips to Vegas than I have been in order to make sure all the information is right.  Oh well, I guess I can live with that. :)

Thanks to to Jon Friedberg, Brian Easterling and all the great folks at AVP for this exciting opportunity.  

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Donkey That Saved My Ass

This is a follow up to my last post here, where I talked about one memorable hand from my recent experience at the 7PM, Friday night Orleans Tournament.  Now here’s the full scoop on this rather incredible (for me) tournament result.
Even the best poker players in the world will surely acknowledge that there’s a strong element of luck in tournament poker (cash games too, but I think it’s much more enhanced in tournaments).  Some of the luck you need is obvious:  getting good cards, getting good flops, hitting the occasional suckout yourself while avoided them from your opponents.  It never hurts to have the river card that gives you the nuts give your opponent the second best hand either.
Some luck is less obvious: what table you get assigned to, who is sitting next to you, when you get sent to a new table, when a new player comes to your table, all these things have an effect on your success. 
Of course, having your opponents make mistakes is critical, and the timing of those mistakes is even more critical.  So it was absolutely incredibly wonderful dumb luck that one of the players at my table made probably the dumbest move I’ve ever seen in a poker game, at a time when no other play could have saved my tournament life. If, instead of doing what he did, he had made a play that 99.9% of all poker players on the planet would have made (including the really bad ones), I would have a much shorter post to write, indeed, I might not even have found the tournament blogworthy at all.
That’s the kind of luck I had.  I had a lot of other luck too, and we’ll get to all of that.  But I should start at the beginning, because this is my blog and my readers demand really long posts.
I might have played in the tournament anyway, as I’ve played it a few times before (see here and here).  It’s a great tournament with a huge turnout and there’s always a great chance I’ll run into people I know and people who have appeared in previous blog entries of mine.  But once it was announced that this night was going to be that week’s “All Vegas Poker Weekly Showdown” event (see my post here and AVP’s thread here), I knew I was going to participate.  AVP is a great site and I try to support it wherever and whenever I can.
So I showed up early and even before buying my entry, I saw a familiar face, none other than Poker Grump who was final tabling the noon tournament at the same venue (I believe it was a HORSE tournament).  I think Grump cashed in that event.  He had had enough poker for the day and didn’t stick around for the evening event.  Probably just as well, as he likely would have been assigned to my table and then busted me out early with his favorite hand, the mighty deuce-four.
Anyway, I purchased my entry directly from the Orleans tournament Director, the inimitable Suzie McBaine.  Yes, that’s her real name.  When I first mentioned Suzie on the blog (see here), I dutifully assigned her a fake name.  But subsequently, Suzie exposed herself (and I mean that literally, see a picture of her exposing herself in this post) on my blog, so there’s no point in trying to cover her up now.
Despite the intimate nature of our relationship, I am fairly certain that Suzie didn’t and doesn’t recognize me.  No problem, it is actually her pal Jeanne who knows me and reads my blog and who roped Suzie and their teammate Judy into posing for the picture you see in that post.
So I considered reminding Suzie of who I was when she was writing down my name on her log for the tournament.  I figured I’d say, “Don’t you recognize me?  I’ll give you a hint.  Picture me holding up a cell phone camera and you lowering your shirt for me.”  But I decided not to do that, mostly because she was pretty busy taking registrants and also because there was one of her male co-workers right next to her and I didn’t want to embarrass her.
Although, it is pretty obvious that she doesn’t embarrass easily.
Immediately thereafter, I noticed some familiar faces sitting at an otherwise empty table, about half hour before tournament start time.  Along with Jon Friedberg, the President & CEO of AVP, and my blogger pal Stump, who also is an AVP forum member, there was Poker Genius himself, chatting with both of them (and Jon’s lovely female companion). Ugh. I thought about moving on but the fact was, I had to talk with Jon, for reasons that will become apparent within the next week or two.  So I ignored PG and had a nice chat with Jon. After PG took off—looking for someone to stake him in the tournament, it turns out—I learned that both Jon & Stump were quite familiar with PG, which isn’t surprising at all.  I’m pretty sure that anyone even remotely familiar with the Vegas poker scene has a story about PG.  Stump even mentioned that he had given him a small stake a few days earlier. For the first few levels of the tournament, I saw PG roaming around, looking for a sugar daddy.  He finally found one, but didn’t last nearly as long in the tournament as I did.  What a damn shame. Anyway, Stump will figure more into this story later, I assure you.
There was one other person there I eventually met from AVP.  I had been noticing a guy walking around—apparently not playing in the tournament—wearing a shirt that said “Get Naked” on the front of it.  This naturally caught my eye, but I have to admit that it would have been a lot more interesting if it was being worn by a female. (See below)  It turns out that this t-shirt promotes a local pizza place, “Naked City Pizza”–a pizza place I haven’t tried yet but now know I must soon check out.  Anyway, the guy wearing the shirt was introduced to me as the AVP’er Minton, who tweets under another name, Mitzula. His tweets almost never fail to crack me up.   By the time I met him, I was deeply involved in the tournament—to my amazement—and didn’t get a chance to say more than “hi.”
Finally, we get to the tournament itself.  As I usually report, I started out card dead.  But there was one hand that I seemed to be getting over and over again.  It was Ace/Jack.  I wanted to play it aggressively, because you really need to play a hand like that in a tournament when you can’t wait around forever for a better hand.  But it seemed that every single time I got it, and I got it a lot, there was a raise in front of me.  Suddenly A/J doesn’t look so good then.  And the one time it wasn’t raised in front of me with that hand, my raise was re-raised.  By a player who was fairly tight, so I had to think I was behind.  It was too early to take a risk, so I folded.
Up until the first break (which is 4 levels, 90 minutes), I had exactly one pocket pair.  It was Aces and I got one caller on my raise.  I bet again into a flop that featured 2 10’s and an 8.  I bet again on a blank turn and he still called.  The river was another 8.
Now he had first action and had been checking and then calling.  This time on the river, he again checked.  I checked behind him.  With a double paired board, and with him calling me on the flop and the river, I was very happy to get to a showdown without putting anything more into the pot.
Sure enough, the guy says, “You were supposed to bet” and shows an 8/something for a full house.  I just smirked.  I was born, but I wasn’t born yesterday.  Not about to bet into a double paired board with my lousy Aces.  So he was pissed at me for not giving him a chance to check raise me!
But let’s see…..he called my flop and turn bets with bottom pair!?!  Sometimes bad play is rewarded.  Here was such a time.  And it cost me a fair amount of chips.  So much so that it was beginning to look like I might not last until the first break.  I did last, but I was, by my standards at least, pretty close to just being in “fold or shove” mode as soon as the blinds were to go up after the break.  I used to delay that determination too long, now I usually get to that place before the book says I need to.  Having shown that I can cash in tournaments, I try to play more aggressively in these deep stack (12,500 starting chips) tournaments.  I’d rather not play for hours and hours with nothing to show for it.  So I start thinking shove as soon as I get to an “M” of 10 or even higher, rather than 5 (see here).  That gives me a lot more fold equity and if I bust out, I haven’t invested a lot of time.
But after the break, I started getting a new set of cards.  Gone was the old familiar Ace/Jack.  Instead, almost every hand I got had a frickin’ deuce in it!  Seriously, all I saw was 7/2, 8/2, J/2, K/2, etc.  Yes, I did get the mighty deuce-four, aka “The Grump”, once, but it was raised in front of me and sorry, Grump, I just didn’t want to risk my tournament life with it.  Turned out it was a good thing.  The raised was called and the board would have completely missed me.  My four high would have ended my evening.
It was during this round—before the second break—that I was moved to a new table when ours broke.  But the cards remained the same….everything I got had a deuce in it.  My plan had now long been to shove with any two paint cards, any Ace, any pair, and the damn cards were just not cooperating. 
I got my second pair of the night soon after I got to the new table.  It was fives, and my shove was not called, so I picked up some chips.  I was actually disappointed.  I was so low on chips I almost wanted to bust out there.  And if I got called and lucked out and got a double up, well that would give me a fighting chance, something I didn’t seem to have at the moment.
That’s what led to the Ace/Jack hand I described here, That A/J suddenly looked like flopped quads after all the hands with deuces I’d been folding.  But I had no choice but to accept the walk, pick up some antes and the big blind from the guy who had thrown his cards into the muck, mistakenly thinking the hand was dead.
As indicated in the last post, this guy (seat 3, the BB in that hand) was not having a good night.  I wasn’t sitting next to him for more than two minutes before I started hearing him kvetching.  He had two main gripes, as far as I could tell.  One was the usual, getting sucked out on.  The other, though, was playing too cautiously.  Apparently he kept seeing hands he’d folded preflop hit the flop big.  I heard him mutter to himself—or perhaps to me—“I’m playing like a pussy tonite.  I gotta stop playing like a pussy.”  One example that I saw was when he folded A/10 to a raise and a shove.  The two hands that were shown were A/J and Q/Q.  That was of no consolation to him when there were two 10’s on the flop.  He cursed rather loudly, pissed and moaned, but the truth was, given his chip position, he made the right call, even though he would have tripled up if he had made the bad call.  Then I heard him say, “Every time…..every time.”  At that point, I don’t know if he had put an expletive in front of the word “time” or not.  He might have.
Not long after, he got the hand he wanted, and he didn’t play it “like a pussy.”   It was the dreaded pocket Kings and he got it all in preflop, to someone who had him covered.  Unfortunately for him, that someone not only had him covered, but also had a pair of Aces!  I shoulda told him, right?  He didn’t get the miracle he needed, and his tournament life was over.  Tough break.
This time, he totally erupted.  Shouting so loud they could probably hear him on the Strip, he screamed, “Every f****ing time!  Every f***ing time!”  he repeated this quite a few times and no doubt would have been warned about his language and/or asked to leave, if he wasn’t, you know, already leaving.  When he left his seat, I noticed that at the next table over, having been blocked from my view by this poor guy, was Stump himself.  Like everyone else in the room, he heard the guy’s cry.  And he looked at me and said (or more like mouthed, without really verbalizing it), “Every f***ing time!  Every f***ing time!”  I mouthed the same thing back to him.  It became a running gang between the two of us, every time we ran into each other, we’d say to each other, “Every f***ing time!  Every f***ing time!” 
Meanwhile I was desperate enough for chips that I shoved with 10/9 suited…and got no callers.  A few hands later, I myself was dealt the dreaded pocket kings.  So I shoved and got no callers.  Finally figured out a way to win with those suckers!  Since this was my second shove in about four hands (both taken down without a call), I did something I almost never do—I showed my hand.  I wanted to make sure they knew I wasn’t shoving light just because of my chip situation.  I told Stump—from across the two tables we were at—that I won with pocket Kings by not having anyone call my preflop raise and he said to me “The dreaded pocket Kings!”  Heh heh.  Someone’s been reading my blog!
Our table was a bit away from breaking, so when we lost another player, they had to move a new player to the table in seat 3.  I immediately recognized him.  I had to think a bit as to who he was, but fortunately, my brain was working this night (at least in this case) and I suddenly remembered this guy from the one time this year I had played at Planet Hollywood (see here).  He was the guy I referenced who claimed to have shaved points as a college basketball player back east.  My goodness, the Vegas poker world is a small one indeed.
He didn’t seem to recognize me at all, which is not surprising.  I’m shocked I remembered him, since it was only one time I played with him and he was a guy, and not a really hot chick.  A really hot chick I could be expected to remember.  A guy?  Not so much.
But remember him I did. He was one of those guys who gave a lot of commentary on the hands, how they were being played, what players might do.  Sorta like Poker Genius but a lot less annoying.  He was actually pleasant about it and I tried to use his commentary to help my game.  So finally I asked him if he usually plays at Planet Hollywood.  He said he’s played there a bit.  Then I asked him if he played college basketball back east.  He was kind of stunned, and said, “It was some time ago but yeah.  I guess we have played together!”  He proceeded to tell me a totally different version of the point shaving scenario he had told us at Planet Hollywood.  As I said at the time….a player lying at a poker table?  Who’da thunk it?
Anyway, it was soon after Planet Hollywood Guy showed up that the hand I alluded to at the beginning of this post came down.  The hand that saved my sorry ass.  The hand of the tournament—for me, at least.
Despite my best efforts to chip up, or to shove and got lucky, I had let my stack get ridiculously low (the A/J, 5/5 and K/K hands described above were not double ups and that were my only playable hands for like forever).  I knew that this orbit, when the big blind came to me, I was going all in no matter what.  After seeing hand after hand like K/2, Q/2, 6/2—not even Ace/2, which I would have shoved with—I had no choice when it was my big blind.  The blind bet itself, plus the ante, had me pot committed.  I don’t remember if the amount I had left after posting the ante and the blind was a little more or a little less than the blind, but it didn’t matter, this was my last hand, barring a miracle.
I looked at my cards and was relieved to see King/Queen, both black, unsuited.  This was an absolute monster considering my previous hands, and since I was going to shove even with 7/2 there, I felt I had at least a fighting chance. 
As it turned out, no one raised in front of me.  It didn’t really matter, I would have shoved if there had been all-ins in front of me.  I was actually glad I didn’t get a walk this time.  It wasn’t that late, I had been hanging by a thread for a long time, and if I busted out right then, I still had time to do something else that night.  And hanging by a thread for all that time, seeing nothing but hands with deuces in it, was no fun at all.
Anyway, there were three limpers in front of me, no raisers.  I could conceivable had seen the flop for no more chips, and then decided what to do, but that would have been pointless, especially now that my K/Q was looking pretty good in the absence of a raise.
The three limpers all called my raise of course—pot odds dictated they should—and no one re-raised.  So there was no side pot—that is critical—and thus the four of us saw the flop.  It was Jack high and all hearts (no pair).  Since my King and Queen were both black, and no card was close enough to the Jack to make a straight draw, the flop missed me about as much as it possibly could.  The three players still with chips checked around.  The turn card was a low black card that didn’t change a thing.  Again, checked around.
The river was low heart.  Yeah, there were now four hearts on the board, and again, my two cards were all black.  I had King high.  I had mentally checked out of the tournament when I saw the flop, but now I was starting to gather my things to take off.  I was pretty much the picture of “dead man walking.”
After the river card, the first guy—seat 4, the same guy in seat 4 in the previous post about this tournament—checked.  But the next guy actually bet.  He bet about the size of the pot.  It seemed like a weird move.  No one would call him unless they had a heart, and a high one at that.  He was representing a high heart, who would want to challenge him with anything less?
The next guy folded, and the first guy—seat 4—folded as well.  So that was it, his bet was pulled back since no one who had chips left called him.  No side pot, it was all for the main pot, which of course, I was a part of.
I stood up to leave as I flipped over my cards.  The guy who bet the river looked long and hard at my two cards.  I had King high, that was it.  He looked at the board, he looked at his own two cards.  He took a few seconds, maybe half a minute looked at all the cards a second, a third time….and mucked his cards face down!  He couldn’t even beat King high!
Huh?????  I couldn’t believe it, but I sat down and gathered up the chips the dealer was now pushing me.  I hadn’t just doubled up, I hadn’t just tripled up….I had managed to quadruple up!
No one could believe how dumb a move the guy had just made.  Planet Hollywood Guy—who wasn’t in the hand—had commented to me on it being a bonehead move even before there was any further action (since I was all-in, that was ok).  Everyone else at the table was shaking their heads in disbelief.  Seat 4 was muttering something like, “Why do that there, we’re at the point where you want to bust people out.”  Yeah, and besides, what did he think his move would get him?
I mean, any heart, any pair—even any Ace—had me beat there!  Since he couldn’t beat King high, his only way to get chips there would be for someone to raise him, then he’d shove all in and get them to fold to his bluff.  That’s it. There was no side pot to bluff at. Oh, I guess he felt that his what—queen high?—might beat my what—jack high—thinking I was shoving really, really light there?  And by getting the other two to fold with his bluff there, he had a shot at taking the pot with a higher card than I had?  I guess that’s it, but if he couldn’t beat King high, that’s a really lame move to make.
More likely, he forgot that I was all in, or that there was no side pot at that point, and was thinking a bluff would actually work there.  Incredible.
Planet Hollywood Guy told me how incredibly lucky I was, and I couldn’t disagree.  Never in my tournament poker career have I ever benefited so greatly from such a monumentally stupid play before.  Thank you, donkey, wherever, whoever you are.
I didn’t ask at the time, but I was thinking that one of the two players he got to fold—most likely both of them—had hands that would have won the pot if they hadn’t been coerced to fold by the big bet the guy made.  And it turned out, many hours later, I found out for a fact.  After our table broke, the donkey and seat 4 and I were all separated.  I ended up at one of the three final tables (yeah, I’m getting ahead of myself) and Seat 4 came to the table I’d been at for awhile (the donkey was still alive too, amazingly enough, at another table).  As soon as he saw me, he said to me, “You should be long gone.  You shouldn’t be here.”  I laughed.  “Did you have me beat there?” knowing exactly what he was talking about.
“Yeah, I had a Jack.  I can’t believe that stupid move.  I folded a Jack, if he doesn’t bet, you’re gone.  You’re living on borrowed time!  You should be long gone.”  He actually started to explain to the guy next to him what happened.  He pointed out the donkey at the other table, so I joked, “You mean my brother?”  He thought I might be serious for a second.  I said no, I’d never seen him before.  But you know what?  If I had just seen that happened, and not been a part of it, I might very well think that there had been some collusion there.  Of course there was not.  Just one unusual bit of luck, being in the right place to take advantage of a completely donkey move at the right time.
Suddenly having four times the chips I had started the hand with certainly helped, but I was far from out of the woods.  Then, a few hands later, I had Ace/Queen.  Still didn’t have enough chips to play with, so I shoved.  A guy who had me covered called….with Ace/Jack.  Hey, that’s my hand.  Lucky for me, he didn’t hit anything, I think I even caught a queen for good measure.  A double up and this time I actually had some chips in front of me, for pretty much the first time all night.
This got me to another break, where I again chatted with Stump.  Unlike me, he was having a good night, from the get-go he seemed to have more chips than Lays has potato chips, while I was chip starved all night.  Of course, we greating each other with the now traditional, “Every f****ing time!  Every f***ing time!”  But by this time, he was reporting that his attempt to use his huge stack of chips to bully the table was backfiring a bit and he was starting to chip down, instead of up.
After that break, the table broke and I found a new bunch of players.  One I was surprised to see was an Italian guy.  I was surprised to see him because I thought he was gone.  When at the previous table, a little before Seat 3 busted out with his Kings vs Aces (“Every f****ing time!  Every f***ing time!”) This Italian guy screamed almost as loud and almost as profanely as Seat 3 was about to.  He was over at a table diagonally across from mine.  I don’t know what happened, other than the his opponent must have hit something like a one or two outer against him.  The way he bitched and moaned and swore, I assumed he had busted out, but I guess not, because there he was across from me when I got to his table.
He was a loud guy, and found it necessary to react loudly to the cards—good or bad.  And he wasn’t shy about voicing his opinions on how people played, as I’m about to report.
By now I had somehow gotten about 70K in chips, and for the first time since like the third level I was out of my own self-imposed “fold or shove” zone.  I think the levels were like 300/800/1600, so there was a little room for play.  It was still a long way from the money though.  There were 235 runners and the top 25 would get paid.  I still wanted to be aggressive and if I busted out, the night was still, well, if not quite young, not quite old, either.
In early position I got K-10 of spades.  I made a decent size raised.  Italian guy—who has more than twice as many chips as I had—shoves.  I think for quite a while.  I was new at the table and all I really knew about him was that he make a ruckus a few hours earlier when he got sucked out on.  I almost folded, but then figured, what the hell, I still have time to hit BSC if I bust out here.  I needed a double up if I hoped to cash.  And I had already committed a fair percentage of my stack with my original raise.  So I called.
Italian guy turns over 7/7 and is shocked that I called so light.  Whatever, I knew my reasoning.  The flop and the turn had nothing for either of us, but the river was an absolutely gorgeous 10, handing me the pot.  Of course, the Italian guy cursed like a longshoreman. He pissed and moan.  And he made it clear that he thought I made the stupidest call in the history of poker.  “How could you call there with King-10?  King-10???  How could you call there with 70K in chips with a lousy King-10?”  I just chuckled.  These comments no longer bother me, and, as I said, I knew what my thinking was.  And I resisted the temptation to respond with, “How could you shove there with a lousy pair of 7’s?”
But he kept bitching and moaning, and swearing just a bit.  And I believe he used the word “stupid” several times to describe my play.  No matter.  As it happens, soon after I moved to this table, Stump joined us, and we of course greeted each other with our new catch phrase, “Every f****ing time!  Every f***ing time!”  So as soon as Italian guy starting bitching about his luck and my bad play, we looked at each other and mouthed, “Every f****ing time!  Every f***ing time!” back and forth to each other.
Finally, and mostly for Stump’s benefit, when the guy kept bitching about how I could possibly risk my tournament life with King-10, I said to him, in the most sarcastic voice I could possibly muster, “But it was sooooooooooted.”  He didn’t react, he just kept bitching.  But Stump cracked up.
For the first time in like forever, I actually had a decent stack in front of me, and for the first time actually thought there was a decent chance for me to cash in this thing.  So soon thereafter, I had a setback.  With my stack of about 140K I raised with Ace/Queen.  A guy I have covered shoves, and I call.  Ooops. He had two Aces.  No miracles, and I lose half my stack, back to where I was before my K-10 soooooted paid off.  Actually, a little less. 
But I continue to hang on.  Suddenly my table is one of the last three, and suddenly we are down to 26 players.  Someone suggests paying the bubble.  Our table agrees, one of the other tables agrees, but the other table says no.  So we play hand for hand for a few hands.  As I described here, this is an excruciating experience, but this time it didn’t last long before someone busted out.  But I have to admit, that once we got close to cashing, I started playing ultra tight.  No longer looking for a place to shove unless I had Aces or Kings….or even then.  I didn’t get anything too strong then, but I did throw away a couple of hands I might have played if I was either in the money or far away from it.  Like KQ, for instance.  On the bubble, I just threw it away and watched A/K go up against two Jacks.  ‘And then threw up a little in my mouth when two Queens hit the flop.  Nice triple up I would have had there.
But finally I made the money, and then managed to watch the Italian guy bust out ahead of me.  Very satisfying, to say the least.  Less satisfying was seeing Stump bust out in front of me.  I think it was before we were in the money he managed to hit some kind of miracle flush on the river against some nice, cute gal.  But he went first.
Finally we were down to 15, assuring me of a fairly decent pay day.  By now, it was past 2 AM.  My old pal Ace/Jack was dealt to me so of course I shoved.  The big blind happened to be the guy who told me he folded a Jack when my King/Queen held up thanks to the donkey move of hours earlier.  He looked at me and said, “I think I’m supposed to call here.”  He had me well covered, a loss would have hurt, but it wouldn’t have been devastating for him.  Plus he was already in the pot and by now the blinds were really huge.  So he called and showed me Queen/6 suited.  Not bad, you would think.
But somehow he made a frigging straight on the turn—I can’t even recall if it was with the Queen or the 6—and I was done, out 15th, cashing for $405.  I had played over 7 hours of poker, and I would say I was seriously, seriously short-stacked for at least 6 of those hours.  And had benefited by the worst move I’d ever seen in a tournament.  So I was very pleased.  I know it was the luckiest tournament success I’d ever had.  But hey, that’s poker.  Right?