Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Walking With Kings

I’m back in L.A. now, and it may be awhile before I’m back in Vegas.  Two rather long visits in a short period of time have taken their toll on me.  I needed to be in Vegas a lot because of the WSOP, AVP events, and visitors coming to town that I wanted to see.  Now it’s time to return to some sort of normalcy for awhile.  Hopefully this will allow me to get caught up here.  I actually have leftover adventures, stories, anecdotes, tales and yarns from my past four visits that I can finally get to.  (Note: I know that “adventures, stories, anecdotes and yarns” is redundant.  Basically they are all the same thing.  But I have been getting complaints from readers complaining about my posts being too short, so I need to pad this)

This yarn is just a snippet out of the last tournament I played in Vegas, last Saturday.  The entire story of that tournament is quite remarkable and worthy of a blog post all its own (maybe even a two-parter!), but for now I want to isolate one hand from that tournament because it so well fits into one of the main themes of this blog—the dreaded pocket Kings.  No, I didn’t bust with them.  I won with them.  And it was awful.  Huh?  Read on…..
I was doing well in the Binions 2PM tournament, and then suddenly I wasn’t.  Details to follow.  For now, all you need to know is that at the level where the blinds 100/600/1200, I had around 5k-6k in chips left.  Maybe a little more, but not much.  The big blind came to me, and I was pretty much in a situation where I almost had to go all in there, especially if no one raised first. 
I looked at my cards as the action started next to me (normally, I don’t wait until the action’s on me to look).  For the first time since this cursed hand started becoming—well, a curse—I was actually happy to see a pair of Kings.  Happy?  More like ecstatic. 
I thought, finally I would get some chips! I probably didn’t have enough chips to get anyone to fold, which was fine by me. Maybe a couple of players would give me some chips.  And…if I had my usual bad luck with them, well, at least I’d bust out with a so-called “premium hand” and not some junk hand like Jack-7.  I could live with that.
I was hoping to see maybe a raise and a re-raise before it came to me.  More chips for me.  Let everyone else fight for a big side pot, just give me the little main pot, a double up, a triple up….dare I hope for it?  A quadruple up?
But what happened was that one player after another folded.  It folded to the small blind.  WTF???  The small blind was short-stacked too, and was Donna, a friend of mine (she was the inspiration for the title of this post here).  I was going to feel bad about busting her, but hey, all’s fair in poker, right?
She folded too, giving me a walk.

Yeah, I got a walk with pocket Kings.  In a situation where I really, really, really needed to chip up!
So I swept in the small blind and some antes.  That’s it.  It was probably worse than losing with those damn Kings, winning with them that way.
Of course, that may be the only way I can win with them, but damn, I really needed some chips there.  And since I was on life-support anyway, if I had had my usual luck with them, at least it would have been a quiet, quick, relatively painless mercy killing. Instead, it just prolonged my seemingly inevitable demise without helping me in the significant way I needed.
Instead, I was in no better position than I was before the hand.  Not put out of my misery, but not in any way closer to being alive and well.
Those damn Kings had let me down yet again!
A few hands later, Audrey pushed in to deal.  Audrey is the dealer who let me know that she read my blog by mentioning “the dreaded pocket Kings” when we sat next to each other at a tournament at the Venetian (see here).  Which reminds me.  In that post, I was bewildered by why Audrey was being so coy in how she revealed that she knew about my blog, rather than coming right out and telling me.  Audrey actually explained it to me the next time she saw me after I published the post I just linked to.  She said she wasn’t sure I wanted to be “outed” as a blogger in public; she didn’t know how I felt about that.  She thought I might want to keep a lower profile, so she left it up to me to reveal my identity (as a blogger).  It was a simple as that.  I appreciated her discretion!  The truth is, I never really know how I feel about being exposed as a blogger (or as a poker columnist) at a poker table.
Then she said, “Of course, afterwards, I saw a pile of issues of Ante Up in the front of the room, with your picture in there!”
I laughed.  At that time, no one had ever recognized me from my Ante Up picture, and I told her that.
Anyway, when she pushed in, I was going to tell her right then and there about my bad luck with the Kings but something incredible started happening that distracted me.  But that “incredible something” will have to wait until I tell the full story of this tournament.
However, on the next break I did tell her the story of my Kings getting a walk.  She laughed and then told me her own worst-beat-ever-with-pocket-Kings story.  I hope I remember the details correctly.  She was playing a cash game and was the big blind.  It folded to the small blind who didn’t want to chop.  Instead, he raised.  She looked down at KK and said okay and raised back.  Before she knew it, they were both all in preflop.
They both showed their cards and he had, not Aces, not Queens, not AK. but….pocket 6’s.  Yeah, he got all his money in heads up preflop with pocket 6’s.  But wait, it gets worse.  It seems that a card had been exposed during the deal and was known to be in the muck. 
That dead card was a 6!  The guy got all his money in preflop with 6-6 knowing that he had only one card left that could improve his hand—he had a one outer.
Of so Audrey thought.  The guy caught a four-card straight and took Audrey’s stack.
And know you know why she hates pocket Kings as much as I do.

(Edited to add:  The story or the rest of this tournament is told here).


  1. "Those damn Kings had let me down yet again!"

    Really? At this point, it's hardly the fault of the Pocket Kings that you are continually disappointed. As the old saying goes, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me 666 times, shame on me."

    1. I promise once they get me an even 1,000 times, I'll stop ranting about them.

      Or not.

  2. Haha, just got into the whole blogging thing and somehow found your blog via google - although not using some of those hilarious google searches, lol - i love it..insta followed !!
    My blog is mostly in german, so won´t be too entertaining for you, sadly ^^
    Keep up the good working..this is good stuff

    1. Thanks Kevin and welcome. Good luck with your blog. As soon as I complete three years of German, I'm there! :)