Tuesday, August 13, 2013

"You Have a Movie Star Face"

You would think that if I’m going to play poker with a famous celebrity, it would be in Vegas right?  I mean as opposed to The Bike, in luxurious Bell Gardens, CA? 

And I have had a few celebrity sightings in Vegas.  Although they weren’t playing poker, I did see, from the poker room, that cheap bastard Neil Patrick Harris along with Beau Bridges and Liev Shreiber, a story I told here.  And I played about one hand of poker with Steve Martin (see here).  And in a never told story, I did one night see then-Lakers forward Metta World Peace (formerly known as Ron Artest) playing poker right in the MGM poker room.  I never tried to play with him.  Although I am a huge Lakers fan, from the moment he signed with the team, he was always pretty much my least favorite Laker (of all time, perhaps).  So I passed on the experience of trying to play with him.  Besides, based on some of his past on court behavior, it occurred to me that sucking out on him might not be beneficial to my health.
But this past weekend, I played poker with someone who appeared weekly in one of the most popular TV shows of all time, and certainly of the 1970’s.  I wonder how many of my readers know Bill Macy?  No, not William H. Macy, the star of Fargo (and a great Vegas movie, The Cooler).  Bill Macy played Maude’s husband Walter in the sitcom Maude.  Maude was spin-off the great Norman Lear show All in the Family.  Back in the day, I watched both shows regularly (I watched a lot of TV back then).
Macy is now 91 years old and he looks it.  But he doesn’t act it.  His voice is strong and he moves around like a man much younger.  And apparently he goes to The Bike every day and plays a lot of poker.  On this day, when I sat two spots away from him, I soon figured out that this elderly gentleman was someone who had been in my living room on a regular basis in the 70’s.
I had a hint.  I remembered seeing this guy two weeks ago at the Bike, at another table.  And I heard someone joking about Norman Lear at the table he was at, but I didn’t recognize anyone over there.  That’s because of his age. He doesn’t really resemble the guy from Maude.  Unless you got close and took a really good look.  Then you could see it.  Plus, his voice is exactly the same as when he was yelling at Bea Arthur, “Maude, sit!”
All the dealers knew him and the floor people kept saying hello to him, and when a new floor person took over, he shook his hand.
He still has a good sense of humor.  One of the other players at the table identified him as one of the two “rocks” at the table.  Believe it or not, I wasn’t the other one.  The other one was another older gentleman, who I later found out, was also in show business.  Supposedly that guy had been in musical theater and even starred in Man of La Mancha at the Music Center in L.A.  That’s a big time gig.  Funny, that guy looked like he could play Don Quixote right now without any makeup at all.  He had the white hair and white beard.
But I digress.  The guy said those two rocks, Macy and Don Quixote, only play Aces and Kings.  The very next hand, the guy who made that statement raised preflop, and Macy called, as did one or two others.  Macy called the guy down (not huge bets) to the river.  The raiser showed Ace-King and had nothing hit him on the board. Macy showed pocket 7’s to take down the pot.
He told the guy he only called because he had made the crack about him being a rock only playing Aces and Kings.
Macy made jokes about not living much longer, and one of the players suggested he had many years left.  He said, “Why should I even want to live any longer?  Look at the cards I’m getting.”
I said to him, “Well, if you live long enough, the cards are bound to change.”
Macy wasn’t quite the rock the other guy suggested.  I had Ace-Queen in late position and raised.  Two callers, including Macy (about a $50 pot at that point).  The flop missed me and it checked to me.  I made a $40 c-bet, only Macy called.  The turn and river blanked and I didn’t really want to risk any more money on a hand where I had zilch, so we checked both streets.  I flipped over my Ace-high and he had 5-4 suited.  He had a gut shot on the flop and missed, but he caught a 4 on the river to take down the pot.  He pointed to the guy who called him a rock and said, “A four, did you see that, I won the pot with a four!”  And with that, he racked up and said goodbye. 
I’m pretty sure those Maude residuals have dried up, so I guess I’m glad I could help him out in his retirement.
I thought about finding a picture of Macy for this post, but I have a feeling that most of my readers would prefer looking at Maude co-star Adrienne Barbeau, who played Macy’s character's step-daughter on the show.  Let me know if I’ve misjudged my audience.

Soon after Macy left, a very attractive, probably not quite middle-aged woman came and sat one seat away from me to my left.  She had a nice figure—and by that, I mean she was the opposite of flat-chested.  She was wearing a nice dress that showed more than a hint of cleavage.  I only mention this because if there’s anything less likely to happen at the Bike than seeing a former TV star, it would be seeing an attractive woman at the table.  OK, that’s unfair, I have seen attractive women at the Bike before.  But they are a lot less common than they are in Vegas, by a mile or two.
From across the table, one of the older guys said to her, “You have a movie star face.”  She was about to thank him for the compliment when he quickly added, “And the rest of you’s not bad either.”
She cracked up.  She said, “Oh, I thought you were going to say, “and the rest of you is bleeh.”  We all laughed at that.  The guy explained that he was worried that she might interpret his remark as implying that she had a nice face but her body was not great. Honestly, I can’t imagine a woman taking it that way.  I even asked her if she would have taken it wrong if he hadn’t added the second comment.
She said no, not at all.  She was thrilled with all of it.  She said it brightened her day because she had just busted out of the $260 tournament they had going on there.  So she was quite happy to accept any and all compliments.
Anyway, she said she was killing time until she could play in the next flight of the same tournament at 6PM.
The game I was playing is $2/$3 NL (although they refer to it as “$100-$300” which are the min/max buy-ins).  It is the lowest level NL game they have where you can buy in for at least 100 big blinds.  I buy in for the max.  I was having a tough day, not losing any big hands but not winning much of anything.  My raises were either uncalled or called by calling stations who wouldn’t fold to my c-bets.  I could never hit a flop. I kept getting low pocket pairs and missing my sets.
I was down to a bit over $100 and trying to decide if/when to buy more chips.  Before I did, I got Ace-Queen again and made it $12, two guys called, including the guy who accused Macy of being a rock.  Queen high flop, but the other two cards were spades.  I had zero spades in my hand.  The aforementioned player led out with a $20 bet. The other player folded. I made it $50.  He was a loose player and I expected him to call.  I expected him to shove if he had the flush draw.  But he went into the tank and then folded.
A few hands later, in late position, I got a couple of Aces (I managed to last the entire session without once getting dealt the dreaded pocket Kings).  I was very happy when a player in front of me made it $35.  He was first in the pot but there was a $6 straddle.  This guy hadn’t played very many hands since sitting down about 45 minutes before.  He took over Macy’s seat and seemed like more of a rock than Macy.
I made it $85 and he shoved.  He had me covered by a few yellow chips (at the Bike, the $5 chips are yellow).  Of course I snap-called.
I of course assumed he had Kings—if not the other two Aces—but neither of us showed.  I was not at all happy to see a King high flop, but since he didn’t smile, jump and down, or flip over his cards, I had to think that maybe he didn’t have Kings after all.  The other two cards seemed harmless and I showed my bullets.  He flipped over pocket Queens.  Considering how tight he had played, I was a little surprisedhe did that with Queens. 
It was a nice double up and put me slightly ahead for the session.  A little bit later I had Ace-King in middle position.  One limper, the guy to my immediate right, so I made it $15.  Five callers, including the guy who limped. 
The flop missed me completely.  It checked to me, and I wasn’t sure whether or not to make the continuation bet.  With five players, I had to figure one of them would call me with some kind of pair or maybe a draw.  But I went ahead and put out $40.  Fold, fold, fold…..but the guy to my right called.  The turn and the river were both blanks, he checked both streets, and I checked behind him.  This guy too had been tight, and I didn’t think I could steal the pot without risking too many chips.
So we had checked it down and we both showed….Ace-King!  But his was suited and he flopped the flush draw.  Lucky for me, he missed, and we chopped the pot. 
I was really surprised he had limped in with Ace-King suited.  I would have bet there wasn’t a player at the Bike who do that!
We both did make a little bit of money on the pot from the three folks who called my preflop raise and I was pretty happy about that, since he had a big draw that missed.
I got nothing to play for the next orbit or two and figured it was getting late, so I picked up my chips and left with a very small profit.  But I got a free meal out of it, I played poker with a former TV star and I met a woman with a “movie star face.”  Not a bad day.


  1. Replies
    1. Tony, for one thing, I always seem to get better treatment (by the staff) at Bike than Commerce. But now that I'm playing $2/$3 NL, I would never play that at Commerce, where the maximum buy-in is $100. At the Bike I can buy in for $300, 100 BB's, which I think is the right amount to buy in for.

      Also, for playing $2/$3, they give me free food.

  2. This is the first that I've read about this (although I could have missed it). You should write an entry about why you've made the jump from 1/2 to 2/3...

    1. I did write about it, Coach! It's here:


      Basically, it has to do with the ridiculous limits they have in the L.A. clubs. The $2/$3 game is the smallest game where you can buy in for 100 big blinds.

      If I play $1/$3, the most you can buy in for is $120. If you play $1/$2, the most you can buy in for is $60, which is really absurd. Although it does seem to be working for TBC.

  3. I looked at recent pictures of Bill Macy. When he smiles he looks more recognizable. Of course, I wasn't staring at him most of the time when I watched Maude.

    1. I know what you mean. Man, that Bea Arthur was HOT!