Sunday, September 2, 2012

"How Can You Not Have Pocket Jacks There?"

As I explained in this post, I played in three tournaments during my August Vegas visit.  It took me three posts to cover the first two, so see also here and here.  So here’s the story of the last of the three and, alas, it is not a happy one.
This was the Saturday 2PM deepstack at Binions.  Of course, before the tournament began, I had a nice chat with the ol’ Devil Woman herself, Heather. And later, she was even at the last table I was at when things got interesting.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but I was card dead.  Just as I was starting to get desperate, I had one nice double up when I got it all in with AQ (I had raised preflop) on a Queen high board.  The guy who called me had me covered and flipped over KQ.  He had enough chips there that I thought it was probably not a good play on his part, but I wasn’t complaining one bit.
Now, this tournament took place back when the Olympics was going on and there were various sports events on the TV’s around the room.  Some older guy, a regular, made a request for a particular event.  I have no idea what it was he wanted to watch; it doesn’t matter.  What’s important was that one of the floor people was desperately searching for the event with the remote and couldn’t find it.  So he asked the guy if he knew what channel it was on.  He gave the number, and apparently, it was then obvious that this event was only on a premium channel, not a “basic cable” channel.  So the floorman told the guy they didn’t get that channel.  The guy said, “but you have cable here.”  The floorman said, “Yeah, we have basic cable. This is Binions, John.  Where did you think you were?”
Somehow, I made it to one of the three last tables, very short-stacked.  I think there were only around 80 runners, a bad tournout for them. Anyway, when I got to this table, it soon became obvious that my new table was kind of interesting to say the least.  I recognized one of the players as a local lady, very nice, that I had played with at this tournament and also at the Aria tournament many times.  During a pause in the action, I commented on one of the players to her, and she told me that pretty much every hand someone—different people—was making big raises with total air.  The thing I noticed was that there was a aggressive young guy there who seemed to raise preflop most of the time.  Also, when it was his turn to act after the flop, he took a ridiculously long time to think over his decision.  Although I hadn’t met him yet, he was sort of like the guy in Seat 2 at the Bike that I described in this post. 
After I was there a few hands, the guy to my immediate right shoved on a board with 10-9-x.  The other player was the aggro guy who needed a long time to decide.  Well, on this hand, he really took a long time.  He went over—aloud, mind you—every move, every play, he could remember this guy making.  I mean he was explaining how he three bet with certain hands, didn’t three bet him with other hands, raised with certain hands, etc.  He seemed to have good mental notes of every move this guy had made, and was announcing to the table every one of them as he was trying to figure out whether to call or not.  Note, the guy who shoved had him covered, so a call would risk his tournament life.
He finally announced, with absolute certitude, the guy who shoved had pocket Jacks.  He was sure of it.  And thus, having convinced himself that pocket Jacks was the only hand the guy could possibly have, he called the shove even though when he turned over his cards he was behind pocket Jacks!  Yeah, he had A-10 for top pair, top kicker.  And even though he was sure the guy had him beat, he called anyway.  Trust me, the guy wasn’t kidding or trying to confuse anyone with a misdirect.  This guy absolutely “knew” the guy had pocket Jacks and called anyway.
As it turned out, what he “knew” was wrong.  The guy didn’t have pocket Jacks at all.  He had 10/9 for two pair.  The A-10 couldn’t believe.  He was still behind of course, but he was just totally astonished that his read had been wrong.  “No, no….you have pocket Jacks.  How could you not have pocket Jacks there?  I put you on pocket Jacks.  How could you have 10/9 there?  You have pocket Jacks.  I put you on pocket Jacks.  How can you not have pocket Jacks?  How can you have 10/9 there.  How?”  Really it was like that.  BTW, the A-10 guy had  raised preflop and the 10/9 had called.  But since he didn’t three-bet, the A-10 ruled out Queens, Kings or Aces, because. in his audible recap, he stated the guy would have three bet with any of those hands.  That’s how he came up with pocket Jacks.  He clearly failed to take into account the guy could call his raise with anything less than Jacks either.  I think he actually did consider pocket 10’s for a set, but he dismissed it—presumably because he knew one of the 10’s was in his hand.
Anyway, as he was continuing to express his astonishment at his incorrect read—and totally ignoring the fact, that even if he had been right, he still would have needed help--he was also getting up to go, figuring the hand was lost.  And believe me, in just a few hands, I had seen enough of this character to be hoping he was indeed about to bust out.  But wouldn’t you know it, the bad hand reader lucked out with an Ace on the river, and sat back down with a very lucky double up.
But that didn’t shut him up.  Now the other guy, he was totally silent during and after all of this.  I never heard him utter a single word, or even take a gasp of breath.  But the A-10 guy kept harping about it pretty much for the rest of the time I was there.  Seriously, between hands, sometimes even during a hand, he would repeat something like “How could you not have jacks?” or “How could you have had 10/9?”  The guy never responded one time.  I’d never seen anything quite like it….especially since he won the freaking hand.  I swear, if he had seen the Pope show up at that very moment, and he floated around the room on his own accord, the guy wouldn’t have been any more astonished than he was at the guy not having pocket Jacks.  (Note, the reason the Pope showing up would have been so surprising is that, as the floorman had said, this was Binions.  I’m pretty sure when the Pope plays downtown, he plays at Golden Nugget.)
A few hands went by and this guy was in every one of them.  And kept taking forever to make a decision.  And when he was thinking, instead of playing the current hand out in his mind, he was still verbally expressing his disbelief at the guy not having those damn pocket Jacks.
Anyway, the dealer at this table when I got there was Heather.  I felt bad about that, because my dwindling stack was telling me I wasn’t much long for the tournament, and I didn’t want to have Heather bust me out again.  She’s such a sweetie, I know she’d feel bad about it.  Meanwhile, the guy who couldn’t shut up about the Jacks finally stopped long enough to start making comments to Heather about wanting to go out with her.  This was understandable.  Heather certainly is appealing to a certain type of male.  That type would be heterosexual.
I didn’t take notes on any of the specific comments.  It was pretty mild stuff, just a suggestion here or there that they get together later, or asking if she was “available.”  She was totally professional and didn’t really respond.  But since it was one more thing that was distracting him and causing to take even longer to play his hand, the older gentleman sitting next to Heather finally spoke up.  “Sir, Heather here is my daughter.  If you want to ask her out, you’ll have to go through me.”  That actually shut the guy up.  I’m not sure if he was the only guy at the table who actually believed the older gentleman (he was not her father) or if he no longer trusted his own judgment on the issue, having been so wrong about those phantom pocket Jacks.
There was more drama at the table.  One guy, not realizing it was three handed, folded to a bet face up.  Uh oh.  Although it was clear he just hadn’t noticed there was still action behind him, the floor was called and he was warned.  On the very next hand, slow deciding A-10 decided to show his hand to the player immediately to his right while thinking about whether to call the guy’s bet.  A definite no-no.  Again the floor was called over.  This time he was assessed penalty.  He had to sit out the next hand.  He wasn’t a blind, so it was just an ante that he lost.  For the current hand, the penalty was that his opponent had seen his hand—a self-assessed penalty.  The bet he was facing wasn’t an all-in, so it was helpful to the guy.  Except I believe the annoying guy folded anyway.
Luckily, Heather was pushed out while I was still in the tournament.  But not for much longer. In desperate shape, I looked down at pocket 7’s and shove.  Remember the guy earlier who called me with KQ (to my AQ)?  He called me this time too.  Unfortunately, this time he had the dreaded pocket Kings. Of course, if the hands were reversed, and I had the Kings, you know a 7 would have hit the board.  But since it was the other guy with the Kings, there was no 7 to save me.  And thus I was done with the tournament.
And thus, I managed to make a net profit (after tip) of about thirty-five bucks playing in the three tournaments I did in August.  That’s not exactly a promising hourly rate.  But it does beat losing.


  1. Where do these crazy talkers come from? I played at the Riv yesterday and I guy at the table kept asking the four of us on his side, "Are you alright?" I don't mean he asked us as a group, but individually every minute or so. He played poker ok and seemed pretty normal in every other way. People are funny!

    1. Maybe you all looked ill? :)

      Thanks, Cool One.

  2. u was in town yesterday, and didnt post it on my blog?

    1. No, Tony. I were not in town yesterday (Sunday). But I never realized that if I am in town, I have to post that on your blog.

      Can you please send me the rules so I get it right in the future?