Wednesday, August 21, 2013

"We'll Give You $1,000 if You Take Your Top Off to Deal"

To quote that famous poker blogger, Charles Dickens, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”  Well, Dickens never could make up his mind.

But the poker tournament up for discussion was basically a Tale of Two Cities.  Or two tournaments, at least for me.  There was the tournament before the first break, and the one after that break.  Very different indeed.
Also, there was a big ruckus over whether a guy had folded, and as usual, there was a woman talking about dealing poker with her shirt off.  Ho hum.
This was my last day of the trip that started in May and ended in June.  I decided to play in the Noon Mega Stack tournament at Caesars, $130 buy-in.  And for the first four levels I was running like god, as they say. 
First level, with King-Jack hearts, I raised to $250 (blinds were 50/100) and only the big blind called.  Jack-10-5, two hearts on the flop.  I bet $500 and he called.  Ace of spades on the turn and I bet $700.  He made it $2K.  I called.  Heart on the river gave me the flush.  I bet $4k and he called.  He had King-Queen for the straight on the turn and I sucked out on him.
An aggro raised to $550 and I made it $1500 with pocket Jacks.  He folded pocket 10’s face up.  A few hands later I had pocket Queens and faced a raise and a call.  I three-bet and they both folded.
Third level, the blinds were 150/300.  I raised to $1000 with Ace-Queen off.  One caller, a short stack.  Jack high flop, I made a $1500 c-bet.  He called.  Queen on the turn, I bet $2K, he shoved for $6100 more.  I think about it and realize I would still have a decent stack if I called and lost, so I called.  He flipped over Ace-Queen for a chopped pot.
I raised with Ace-10 and had one caller.   Queen-10-x on the flop and I bet out.  He shoved for not much more than my bet.  I snap called.  He had pocket 9’s.  The turn was a Jack, the river was a King, giving us both straights but I had the bigger straight and he was done.
Towards the end of this run, a new dealer pushed in, a woman who was probably approaching middle-age  Rather ordinary looking lady.  She corrected the older guy to my right about betting out of turn or putting out his blind out at the wrong time, something like that.  He apologized and she said, “It’s ok this time, but next time we’re gonna take you in the back and beat you.”
The guy said, “At my age, that’s actually a good offer.  I’ll take that offer.”
She said, “Oh, they don’t let me do that anymore.  They don’t let me do anything. They don’t let me beat people.  They don’t let me take my top off.”
That got my attention, though it seemed like a total non- sequitur to me.  Nobody asked her about it but that didn’t stop her from telling us what she was talking about.
It seems that when they were filming the movie The Hangover at Caesars, the cast and crew would regularly play poker after shooting, late into the night.  And during one graveyard shift, around 4AM, there was only one table going, and everyone at the table was with the film.  So they offered her $1,000 if she would take her top off and deal to them with her top off.  She said, “$1,000?” and she looked around, no one was there, so she said, “Why not?” and took her top off.
I think we were all wondering if she meant she had truly gotten topless when she added, “Why not?  I was a bra model for 15 years.  So it was no big deal and I got $1,000 for it.” 
After not too long, a supervisor came along and insisted she put her shirt back on and told her not to do that again.

(Edited to add: actually, considering how I started out this blog post, with the reference to Charles Dickens's most famous work, you will see that we are now talking about, "A Sale of Two Titties").  Thanks to my pal Norm who came up with this--see the very first comment to this post below).
I want to make it clear, I had nothing to do with her telling that story.  I didn’t say anything to her to prompt it, I hadn’t said a word to her when she started telling us this.  As I’ve said, these women just seem to find me. 

After the break, my cards and my luck totally changed.  I couldn’t get a hand to save my life.  I tried to make a few moves with weak hands, and usually only ended up losing chips.  Nothing too dramatic, just a steady drip drip drip.  Combined with blinds and antes creeping up and suddenly I was no longer playing with a full deck, I mean a big stack.  When our table broke and I was moved, I was struggling with a tournament “M” of around 10, usually the place where I start thinking of making shoves instead of raises. 
The last good hand I hand was with pocket 6’s.  I put out a big raise, one lady called.  A-10-3 flop.  She checked, and I nervously put out about half my stack.  She tanked for awhile and then folded.  I figure she either had a 10 or a weak Ace.  Phew.
The new table I was at had a decidedly European flavor.  There was a Brit, an Irishman and a German.  The German got into quit a snit with an ugly American.  I kind of mean that literally.  He was a big, mean looking dude, and extremely unfriendly.  He also had a massive amount of chips.
So he got into a hand with the German and by the river, there was both a straight and a flush possible.  The German bet $15K.  I didn’t note the size of the pot, but I remember thinking it was a pretty small bet for that pot.  The big guy didn’t say a word and just flipped over his hand. Note, he didn’t push his cards forward, he flipped the cards over right in front of his stack.  But the German and the dealer both thought that was a fold.  The dealer went to grab his cards and the German started sliding his hand toward the dealer (he was sitting right next to the dealer).
Now I should point out that during these summer series all over town, including the WSOP, you see a lot of less than experienced dealers.  I had already figured out that this particular dealer wasn’t a regular dealer, he had difficulty making change and keeping the antes straight.  But he clearly thought the guy had folded as did the other player.
Before the dealer touched the exposed cards, the player who flipped them over grabbed them and said, “No, no, I’m not folding.  I’ve got two pair.  I call.”
The German says, “No, that’s a muck.”  The other guy insisted it was not a muck.  “Why would I fold, I have two pair.”  Well, here’s a thought: both a straight and a flush look very possible, sir.
While they were arguing, he put out chips to call the bet.  The dealer seemed to think it was a fold, and I think he even said that to the player, who said, “No, that’s not a fold, I just turned my cards over to see his reaction.”
Either the German or the dealer said, “Well, you’re not supposed to do that.”
He said, “Fine, penalize me but don’t kill the hand.”
So they called the floor over and explained it to him.  The floor ruled it wasn’t a fold, the cards never touched the muck.  His cards were live.
That really infuriated the German who just mucked his cards without showing.  He said, “Anywhere in the world that’s a muck, you turn over your cards like that.”  But the ruling stood.
As an aside, I already noted that his bet on the river was small compared to the pot.  If he wanted to pull off a bluff there, he needed to make a bigger bet, in my opinion.
Meanwhile, the Irishman at the table had started criticizing the guy who turned his cards over.  That got the other guy really pissed and he told him, in a loud, nasty voice, to shut the f up.  “This has nothing to do with you, stay out of it.”  I wondered if fisticuffs were about to break out.
This turned out to be the last hand before the break, and during the break the floor did penalize the player for exposing his cards.  I thought he’d have to sit an orbit, but no, it was only three hands.  And since he had been the small blind on that hand, all he lost were three antes.
With Queen-10 clubs in early position, at 200/800/1600 I made it $5K.  I had around $32K in chips.   I think I should have just shoved instead.  One guy called.  Flop was Jack-10-4.  So with middle pair, my continuation bet was a shove.  The other player had me well covered and snap called.  He had Ace-Queen for the gut shot.  He picked up a flush draw on the turn and then got a King on the river for a straight.  And I was done. 
What had started so promisingly ended rather early.  No big disaster hands, either.  Just the way tournaments run sometimes.
At least I got to meet a dealer who claimed she’d been paid a grand to deal poker with shirt off.


  1. So, was this "A Tale of Two Cities" or "A Sale of Two Titties"?

    1. In the words of someone we've known for longer than we care to admit, "Norm, I hate it when you're funnier than me."

      GREAT line, perfect use of the old joke. I should have thought of it myself. You will note above that I did add it into the body of the post--and gave you credit--so that readers won't miss it.


  2. Psychotherapy definitely needed for your obsession, Rob. We'll get you the breast therapist we can find.

    1. Wow, do you really think that I'm that obsessed with poker that I need treatment? I just play for fun, really. I can stop any time. Like right now, for instance, I'm not playing poker.

      BTW, you spelled "best" wrong.