Tuesday, April 9, 2013

She Had Him on a Short Leash

Finally I can start blogging about my most recent Vegas trip.  I fear I will not have all the stories posted before my next trip, which is just a couple of weeks away.  Actually, I’m afraid I won’t even have gone over all of my voice notes for the March trip before I return to Sin City.

But I’ll get to them all. eventually.
So let’s start at the beginning, my first night in time.  I was very happy that Prudence was going to join me; in fact, it initially appeared that she would be joining me most nights.  Alas, she didn’t join me for as many as either of us would have liked for reasons I don’t care to elaborate on.
Anyway, on my first night in town, Prudence and I met for dinner and then we drove over to BSC together.  Prudence had been taking a break from poker so everyone at BSC was thrilled to see her. 
We immediately got into a game together, and after a brief period we were able to sit next to each other for most of the night, so we were could exchange gossip easily.  Most of that gossip, sorry to say, will stay between us. 
Prudence got off to a bad start pokerwise when she found herself looking at the dreaded pocket Kings under-the-gun plus one.  You would think that knowing me for so long, and having read my blog, she would have known how to play them and just immediately mucked her hand.  But no, dear Prudence somehow believed the bullshit that was the second best starting hand in hold’em and led out with a strong bet of $30.  I guess the reason she made the bet so big was that the guy to her right had straddled on that hand.
The straddle called and no one else did.  Prudence made a big bet on a rather innocuous looking flop after the straddler checked  He called.  The board paired innocent looking 4’s on the turn, and while I don’t remember the betting sequence, the two of them were all in after that.  The river was a blank and Prudence’s Kings were smoked by the straddler’s mighty 10-4.
Yeah, the guy had called a $26 raise with 10-4.  Offsuit, I might add.  When Prudence questioned that strategy (as she reached into her purse for more funds), he simply shrugged and said, “I had to defend my straddle.”
As you might imagine, Prudence spent a good portion of the rest of the night grumbling about this guy.  But don’t forget about him.  He’ll be back.
At one point I went to use the Men’s Room.  As I was finishing washing my hands, I heard some commotion and saw something a bit odd.  Right outside the doorway area (there’s no actual door for these restrooms, but there’s a corner that protects it from being out in the open), there was a disagreement taking place between a guy and a girl.  It appeared the guy was trying to come in to use the Men’s Room, and the woman wouldn’t let him.  Or, perhaps more accurately, wouldn’t let him out of her sight.  The guy was telling the girl that she couldn’t come in any further—in fact, she had already come in a bit too far—but the girl would have none of it!
So the guy said, “You can’t come in here!” and she replied, “I’m not going anywhere.  I’m not leaving.  I’m staying right here.”  And she leaned up against the corner, where she was visible to any guy using the sinks, and she could at least see that part of the restroom.  She wasn’t looking in, however.  Once the guy got away from her in order to do his business, she took out her cell phone and began talking to someone.  “Yeah, she’s in the Ladies Room.  I’m in the Men’s Room.”  I didn’t hear the rest, But she was telling someone that she was in the Men’s Room, which she kinda was.
The girl was wearing one of those standard issue “going to a club” dresses that you see on virtually all young or youngish females that time of night.  It was gold lamé, extremely short and extremely tight.  Frankly, she really didn’t have the figure for a dress that tight, if you ask me (but she didn’t).  She was a bit heavy for it, and really, it wasn’t a particularly good look.  So this poor guy was not only stuck with a—dare I say it?—crazy bitch for a date that night, but one who was failing miserably in her attempt to look sexy.  I have no idea if the guy had done something to deserve this sort of treatment, of course.  But one thing was certain; the girl in the too-tight dress was keeping her guy on a very short leash.
That was the thought I had when I left the Men’s Room and when I told the story to Prudence, she had virtually the same comment about the short leash.  I should point out that the next night, I made a point to check to see what the gal could see from where she was standing.  It appeared that, if she was interested in that sort of thing, she could probably have seen a couple of guys using the urinals in the mirrors over the sinks.  
Of course, this is far from the first time I’ve seen a woman in a Men’s Room in Vegas.  My best story about that appears here, but there was a period there where it seemed like I’d encounter just that situation at least once a trip.  I’m sure if I scoured my old hand written notes I could come up with a couple of stories of that scenario for the blog. 
Back at the table, Prudence was making a comeback with her favorite trick, pulling a Jack out of her ass at the last possible instant (hmmm, that sounds a lot dirtier than it really it is).  I know there are one or two posts on this blog about how she got it all in with pocket Jacks vs pocket Aces, and managed to river the needed Jack to complete the suck out.  Last time I checked, though I couldn’t locate those posts, dammit.  (Edited to Add:  Fellow Blogger FlushDraww came through and actually located the two posts I was talking about and put them in his comments below.  You can find them here and here.  Thanks, FD!)  Anyway, this time she got it all in with JJ against a guy who had Ace-King.  A king on the flop put her stack in jeopardy, but sure enough, she got the set she needed on the river. 
This led Prudence to tweet out, “I am considering a new tattoo where two jacks are sailing in a canoe on a big blue river.”  I tweeted back, asking for the proposed location of this tat.  She responded “On one of my cheeks.  Can you guess which one?”  I of course replied, “The left one?”
Yes, we were sitting right next to each other and could have just had this conversation between us, but it was so much more fun to share it with the twitterverse.
Prudence began indulging in adult beverages at some point.  The alcohol may have been kicking in when someone asked if she was professional player.  She said, “No, I’m just f***ing one.”  Then she caught herself.  “Actually, no, we got married, so I’m not f***ing him anymore.”
Later in the evening, a guy sat next to her and immediately starting chatting her up.  And by chatting her up, I mean, trying to get her to do to him what she claimed she was no longer doing to her husband.  Prudence showed off her wedding ring and told the guy she had very recently gotten married and was quite in love with her husband.  The guy persisted.  He tried to get her phone number so he could text her a flier for his business—a business she had no interest in.  She then said, rather loudly so that everyone at the table could hear it, “Listen to this guy.  He’s trying to get into my pants.  I just got married and he’s trying to get into my pants!”  That inhibited his pathetic attempts at seduction only slightly.
This guy was a bit of a character.  Later he ordered a sandwich.  At BSC, they will deliver food to you while you play from the nearby deli.  It is ordered and picked up by chip-runner or a dealer on brush. 
He ordered the sandwich and then was very upset when they didn’t give him any barbeque sauce for it.  He hadn’t asked for it, but he either knew or assumed they had some.  He actually called the shift supervisor over and asked him to “radio the deli” to send over some barbeque sauce.  Prudence and I had a good laugh over that.  Somehow, he got his barbeque sauce (I’m guessing they actually sent a dealer or a chip runner back over there to get it).  “Don’t forget the barbeque sauce” became a running gag between Prudence and I the rest of the trip.
I suppose at this point you must be wondering if I myself actually played any poker this night.  Yes, yes I did.  And rather successfully, as it happens.  The night started out slowly for me, as I was completely card dead for well more than an hour.  I managed to win one small pot and was otherwise playing so few hands that I was actually slightly in the black when I finally got a hand.
With a little more than my $200 buy-in in front of me, I was dealt pocket Aces in early position.  Of course I raised. I only got one caller, an aggro guy wearing a New York Mets cap.  He and Prudence had been battling all night, it seemed like he was in every hand she was in, and she was commenting about that fact, as she is wont to do.  The guy had been raising quite a bit preflop, and never seemed to limp.  If he got into a pot, he either called a raise or entered with a raise.
The flop came King high, two diamonds.  The other two cards were fairly low.  I guess I bet out about $15 and he came over the top with a bet of $30 or so.  Hmm.  I’m fairly adverse to losing a lot of chips with just an overpair, even the best overpair there is, but I had to consider the source.  He was such an aggro player that I had to believe there was a good chance I was comfortably ahead.  He might do that with Ace-King, or any King.  Sure he could have hit a set, but I felt should call and see another card.
I liked the next card, which was an Ace, and not the Ace of diamonds.  So with my set of Aces I led out with a bet of $35.  I’m kind of guessing at that, I didn’t write it down and wasn’t sure the next morning when I did my notes.  Seems like too small a bet.  Anyway, he raised to something like $80 or so, which was fine with me.
With the stack I had left and the size of the pot, a shove was my only option and I was more than happy to do it.  I stopped myself from insta-shoving there.  I decided to Hollywood it up just a bit.  I wanted him to call.  So I waited and acted like I was thinking it over.  I even looked at my cards to make it look like I wasn’t sure what I had.
And then I softly said, “all in.”  The guy took his time.  He asked the dealer for a count.  I seem to recall the amount being $138 which seems about right.  The guy had me covered by just a small amount of chips.  He finally called.
The river was a blank and I flipped over my Aces.    Mets Cap Guy just mucked. He said, “You dodged a lot of bullets.”  As I started stacking my chips, I said, “I liked the turn.”  I didn’t expect a response but he said, “I liked the turn too.  Like I said, you dodged a lot of bullets.”
I didn’t pursue it, but the dealer said, “So, you had like 12-14 outs huh?”  The guy nodded.
Hmm…..well, assuming he had Queen-Jack of diamonds, the Ace would have given him the gut shot in addition to a flopped flush draw.  That would make 12 outs.  I couldn’t account for more than that.  I didn’t see an open-ender on the board at any time.
Whatever, he had played his draw very aggressively and it didn’t work out.  He might have gotten me to fold on the flop with his raise….except I had him pegged as an aggressive player who wasn’t necessarily betting the best hand. 
Anyway, it was a damn nice double up for me.
A little later I won a little pot against one of the regulars.  I’ve played with this guy many times before and I know he is a professional grinder who hangs out a lot on Two Plus Two.  He’s usually friendly but can get a bit grumpy when he’s losing.  In the big blind I had 5-3 spades and no one raised, a number of players had limped, I got to see a free flop.
Two spades on the flop, the 6 and the 2.  So not only did I have a flush draw, but I had the gut-shot straight draw and even the gut-shot straight flush draw.  When the 2+2 guy led out with an $8 or $10 bet, it was easy to call (I had checked at first) with so many cards out there that would help me.  I think one other guy called.  The turn was a blank and I wasn’t sure how much of a bet I’d call with only one more card to come.  I checked, the other guy checked and then, to my surprise, 2+2 guy checked behind us.  So I was lucky, I got to see a free card.
I missed my straight flush but the 9 of spades gave me the baby flush.  I’m always a little worried in that situation that someone has a better flush, but I led out with a bet ($20 or $30?).  The other guy insta-folded and 2+2 guy thought about it for awhile.  Then, in disgust, he mucked and started muttering to himself.  Prudence heard him saying, “I shoulda bet the turn.”
I had a couple of hands against Prudence’s 10-4 offsuit buddy.  In early position I raised to $8 or $10 with Ace-Jack offsuit.  He was the only caller. Flop was Queen-Jack-10, two of a suit that I didn’t have.  I probably would have made a continuation bet no matter what, but I actually had something—middle pair and a gutshot draw to Broadway.   I bet $15 and he raised to $40.  Hmm…..did he have a draw?  Had he somehow already made a straight?  King-nine was possible but I suspected this guy would have re-raised my preflop raise with Ace King.  I knew this guy was also aggro so I called.
The turn was a King, and not of the flush suit.  I had the nuts at that point.  I put out $100.  I was surprised when he called.  I thought the King would scare him into folding, and if not, it would mean he had the same hand and we’d chop.  In which case he might have re-raised just to be sure.  But he just called.
The river blanked, no pair, no flush card.  Nothing could beat my hand.  I shoved.  Probably not the smartest play.  He folded, but was there a bet I could have made that he might have called?  I doubt it in this case.  He said something about missing his draw when he mucked.  So he likely wasn’t calling any bet there.  Still, I should have been more thoughtful and tried to make a bet he would have called if he had something beyond a missed draw.
One more nice hand against this guy (I guess I was getting Prudence’s revenge for her—not that I offered any of the money I won from him, which was once hers, back).  Pocket Aces again.   Again, he was one of two callers to my preflop raise.  King high flop, with another paint card and a low card, rainbow.  First to act, I bet $30.  He was immediately to my left so raised to $100!
The other player folded.  I thought he might be making a move or betting a draw.  I just didn’t feel like he was ahead of me.   But if he was on a draw, I didn’t want him to have good odds.  So I shoved.  I had him well covered, he had about $200 or so left after his bet.  He folded fairly quickly, saying “I guess pocket 10’s weren’t good there?”  I guess not.
After these hands I was up over $450 for the night.  That was great, but I knew I had to monitor myself to see if I was afraid to play right because I was overly eager to “book the win” (see here).  At first I was ok, mostly because I wasn’t getting any cards to play in almost any situation.  And when I did get some playable hands, I played them the way I normally would.  This got my profit down to close to $400. 
Then I got Ace-King in middle position with two limpers already.  I didn’t hesitate to raise and made it $12.  Then things got interesting.
The guy on the button re-raised to $36.  Hmmm…..Despite his ethnic background that might possibly make you think otherwise (see if you can guess, hint here), he was not at all an aggressive player.  He’d been there about an hour and hadn’t raised very often, limping into most of the pots he’d played.  And this was definitely his first three-bet that I had seen.
It folded back to me.  What do I do there?  I’m not in love with Ace-King.  And from my experience, when you see someone three-bet in a 1/2 game, and it’s the first time you’ve seen him three bet, you can pretty much put him on one of two hands.  Pocket Aces or Pocket Kings.  Yeah, Queens, Jacks or even 10’s are possible.  So is Ace-King, maybe.  But my gut tells me it’s 80%-90% AA or KK. 
The only possible hand I can put him on that I’m not behind is AK and I’m not making any money if that’s what he has, barring a flukey flush.  To me, there’s an 80%-90% chance if I hit my hand, it hits him harder. 
I never considered a call. If I like the flop, I still don’t know where I am.  What about a re-raise?  Well, he had about $150 in front of him and I had about $600.  So if he had Queens or less, or AK, I suppose I could bet enough to get him to fold.  But he’s not likely good enough to fold Kings (see here) no matter how much I bet.  And he’s not folding Aces unless he not only sees my hand but can see into the future and knows the flop is coming QJ10.
So, I thought raising was –EV.  Reluctantly I folded.
Prudence had missed that hand and I didn’t get to discuss it with her until the ride back to her place.  But I couldn’t stop thinking about, wondering if I made the right play.  And as important, I wondered if my folding there was indicative of my getting too conservative, being too cautious in trying to book the win and not giving myself a chance to win.  If I had left then, I would have started my very first session of the trip up over $400 and that was sounding pretty good.
I couldn’t convince myself that I played that hand too tight—but I wasn’t 100% sure.  Then came the hand that convinced I me should have quit.  In middle position, I had Jack-10 spades.  A bunch of limpers were already in.  It was a perfect position to make a raise there, and I had done that with a similar hands a few times earlier, stealing a few pots but having to give up on others.  I should have raised, but no, I just limped.  The button raised to $10 (too little with all the limpers, I think).  It was the same guy who three bet me when I had AK.  Everyone who had limped called, so of course I did too, the pot was really big preflop now. 
The flop was Jack high and 2 diamonds (one spade).  I felt myself almost checking there, but I figured I had to bet out to see if my top pair was any good.  Maybe the preflop raiser had a big Ace and would fold.  So I bet out $25—which was too small for the pot, which was $50-$60.  The preflop raiser counted out the call, then counted out more chips and made it $75. It folded back to me and I wasted little time in folding. 
I wasn’t concerned with the fold, I was sure that was correct.  But I realized I had played that hand not to lose, instead of to win.  I should have raised preflop.  If the button raises me again, so be it, I can easily let go of Jack-10 there.  But it showed me I was being too cautious to play right.  Prudence was making a recovery and seemed in no hurry to leave—and I was her ride—but I knew I was done.  I had a few more hands until the blinds came around, and didn’t get a hand I would have played under any circumstances.  I racked up my chips and told Prudence I was done, but that she could stay as long as she wanted.  I’d be happy to hang around as long as she wanted while she tried to make up her losses.  She played an orbit or two and was ready to go.
I cashed out slightly under $400 ahead.  Would have been a bit over that if I had folded the Jack-10 hand, which I should have done if I wasn’t prepared to play it aggressively.  Still a good night.  I just stayed one or two orbits too many.  We discussed the Ace-King hand which was still in my head—did I play it right?  She thought maybe I call there and re-evaluate on the flop.  So on the way back to drop her off, she called her ex-boyfriend (ex, because he is now her husband instead), and asked his opinion.  He said he would have played it the same way I did, inasmuch as I didn’t have position.  If I had had position, he would have called and then re-evaluated on the flop.
That made me feel a lot better, and I was already feeling pretty good with the nearly $400 extra in my wallet.  I would like to hear from my readers on that Ace-King hand—do you think I did the right thing?  Or,or course, your comments on any other hand I discussed are always welcome.. 


  1. Facing a 3-bet with AK out of position against a $1/$2nl player that you haven't seen do anything too crazy sounds like a fold to me. Best case is he has TT, JJ or QQ and the flop has an A or K on it, and he shuts down. You make no money with this hand, just fold and wait for a better spot.

  2. I agree with Todd. Out of position, this is a quick fold for me. I don't see hardly anything that you are happy with him holding there. Nice lay down.


    1. Thanks, grouse. I think if this had happened earlier in the session, I wouldn't have given it as much thought. I was just worried at the time if this was an indicator that I was playing too cautiously in order to book the win. I guess not.

  3. Rob, your analysis of the AK hand was spot on. Good fold!

  4. You're behind his 3bet range and you're out of position. Good fold. Pat on the back for yourself 'cause you made money there. Other players 'see a flop and evaluate,' which is generally a money loser. You are fairly certain you're behind, don't get the deer in headlights look, and act on the information available to you. You made $24 more (or more) than the next guy who would call and fold a non- flush or A/K high flop, or who would stack off an A- or K- high flop and be way behind.

    GG sir. You're improving by leaps and bounds.

    1. Thanks, PM. Winning by not losing, huh? I like it.

      Yeah, thanks, I think I'm betting better, but, still have much to learn.

  5. Rob,

    I agree with everybody else's opinion with your AK hand.

    I have a comment for you with regards to your AJ hand, where you turned the nuts. You bet $100 on the turn and your opponent called. I like a smaller donk bet on the river in hopes that your opponent will try to represent the nuts. I think if you would have bet $25 on the river there is a chance the player shoves or calls just to get info on your holdings.

    Keep up the good work.


    1. Thanks, Cowboy! Appreciate a comment on another hand. Interesting point too. I knew I shouldn't have shoved there. I never thought about betting so little, tho. I see your point. He may bluff (unlikely, I think) but maybe he's interested enough in what I had to pay a few bucks to see it. I'll have to think about that for bit. Good thought.

  6. Definitely a good fold. If it had been one of the two agro guys you wrote about that would be different, but you even said that you had seen him raise little and never saw him 3 bet. Hell in that situation with those observations maybe even folding those dreaded pocket kings may have been, if not technically correct, a big money saver. With the observations you had I would estimate a good 80% chance he had AA in that situation.

    1. Thanks, FlushDraww. I think he might have done the same thing with Kings, so maybe not 80% he had AA there, but either way, I'm way behind and if I do flop an Ace, knowing how likely it is he has a set of Ace's, how much money can I make there if he's got Kings?

  7. Prudence and pocket jacks and hitting a jack on the river



    1. OMG. That is so awesome that you found these posts for me, FD. Thank you so much. I can't believe anyone would do that.

      When I get a chance I'll edit the original post and put the links in.

      Funny aside (at least to me), when I reread the posts to find the stories, in the first one you listed, I made a reference to a dealer I gave the name "Ann" to. I couldn't remember who that really was. Yes, I actually keep a spreadsheet so I can keep track of the fake names I use and who's who. I pulled up the spreadsheet and there was no listing for her. I forgot to record Ann's real name. I really had to strain my brain, but eventually I could recreate the memory in my mind of who said what "Ann" said. So I can update that. Thanks for that too!

  8. No problem Rob, glad to help you out if I could. What are fellow bloggers for if we can't take a few minutes for one another here and there. :-) LOL glad it helped you give the no name dealer a name, lol. To us she will always be Little Annie, lol.

    1. Thanks again. I'm curious as to how you did it? I tried searching with the Google button and came up empty. You didn't re--read every Prudence post did you? Do you have a photographic memory?

      I'm impressed, however you did it.

  9. At the top of the blog there is the B for blogger next to a search box. The B is to the left of the search box. First I put in Prudence all in but that didn't work then I put in Prudence pocket jacks and the grabbed my boobs post showed up so I reread the post to make sure it was there.

    You had a link to another post about prudence and pocket jacks in the grab my boobs post so the second one was obviously easy to find. It was where you say something like another example of this is found here and you always use the word here when you do that. I clicked the here link reread that post to make sure what you were looking for was there and the rest, as they say, is history. :-)

    1. Damn! I had no idea that search box up at the very top worked! Seriously. I manually added a google search box over to the right, and I see it doesn't work as well as the one on top. Always learning something!

      Thanks again!

  10. you are more than welcome. The best thing about the search box with the B next to it is it only searches whatever blog you happen to have up at the time so when I put in prudence pocket jacks your blog was the only one searched.

    1. Well, that's the way the other search box is supposed to work, but it's kinda flaky.