Monday, September 9, 2013

Mandalay Boobs

In July I went through a real bad run.  I did a couple of contemporaneous posts while it was happening (see here and here).  I thought maybe a change of venue was in order, maybe just the thing to snap me out of it.  As part of my job with AVP, I learned that Mandalay Bay had just remodeled their poker room, all new chairs, all new table tops.  As it happens, Mandalay Bay was one of the two existing poker rooms on the Strip that I’d never played in (the other one was Circus Circus--ooops, guess I'll never play in that one!).  Originally, I was thinking of hitting the Luxor, which I had finally played in for the very first time on my previous Vegas trip, along with fellow bloggers Lightning, Ron B, and Lucki Duck (see here).  Since I won there that time, and even won a big pot with the dreaded pocket Kings, I strongly considered it.

But I decided to check out Mandalay Bay first.  I figured if I didn’t like the action there, or had trouble getting into a game, Luxor was close enough as a backup plan.  So I went there after dinner. They had just one $1/$2 game going, but they had a list growing and were soon able to start a second game that stayed full the entire time I was there.
I ended up in seat 9, right next to the dealer, and boy do I have bad luck.  I don’t even mean the cards. Now, the poker room was indeed shiny new, the chairs were nice, the table tops were nice, the carpet was all new.  The room is not overly cramped like some poker rooms I could mention (but won’t).  But it seems the guy at the table directly behind me was insisting on sitting on the very front edge of his chair.  His chair was thus sticking out much further than it should have been.  The result of which was that whenever anyone walked behind me, like a chip runner, the floor, the next dealer, the cocktail waitress, or a player, they invariably bumped up against me.  It was annoying to say the least.  I should mention that, it seems like whenever I go to a movie in a theater, at the last minute, some clown sits behind me who keeps kicking my chair throughout the entire movie.  This was just like that.
When the game began, there was a young guy there who had just gotten into town, planning to play in the Main Event at the WSOP.  His thing was to make a min raise every single time.  Seriously, he raised to $4 every time.  I guess we were playing $1/$4 No Limit!  If it was raised in front of him. he rarely 3-bet, and he could actually fold to a raise.  But if it was limped to him, he made it $4.  And when people started getting on him about it, he started saying, “I just want to see a lot of flops.”
Really?  Really?  That’s why you’re raising every pot?  How about limping on occasion, pal?  You’ll see even more flops!  Every now and then, he would mix things up by raising huge, like $20-$30, first in.  And then once, when his buddy raised first (a normal raise, like to $10), he just shoved (over $200).  Of course no one called, and he showed Queen-10 off suit.
Unfortunately, my bad luck continued.  At least I didn’t lose any big pots.  That would require me to actually get a hand.  I was quite card dead throughout the evening.
The most interesting hand was between the woman next to me, a middle aged lady from Hawaii, and a British fellow.  The first time they had gotten into it, the lady had lost most of her stack by shoving with the bottom end of a straight.  She was completely caught off guard by the Brit having the top end.  Yet she hung in there and, without re-buying, built her stack up to about $300.  The Brit was doing even better, he had her covered.
I don’t recall all the action but there was an obvious straight on the board on the turn, but two hearts.  The river was a third heart.  On the flop the Hawaiian woman was betting, he called.  He raised her on the turn when the third straight card fell.  A third heart was the river card.  The lady bet, about ½ the pot.  The Brit raised about 2.5x.  Immediately, the lady shoved.
“Oh shit,” the Brit said.  What have I gotten myself into?  Why did I have to raise?”
Indeed.  Now the woman had been saying all night that she had lost three grand playing blackjack the night before and this was the first time she’d played poker in awhile.  She was just going to have the one buy-in and was complaining that if she lost it, she’d have to go up to her room and watch TV, which she had done the previous night after losing the 3 G’s. And thus, she had discovered that there was nothing on TV to watch!  It was so boring, she said. So she didn’t really want to have to do that again, but as I said, she wasn’t going to buy in again.
So she had said a couple of times during the evening that she was going to her room, or to bed, if she busted out.  Now the Brit was thinking about whether to call and when it looked like he might call (he was counting out chips), she said, “Oh, you’re gonna put me to bed.”
And the Brit said, “Well, that’s an entirely different proposition, isn’t it?”
And I said, “Oh, so now we’re playing for more than table stakes, huh?”
The guy still hadn’t called and now they started talking about a “side bet.”  The side bet being for, well, you know.
The guy still was in the tank.  So the woman showed one card….it was the Ace of hearts.  There had been a black Ace on the flop, so it made it look like maybe she was overplaying a pair of Aces (or two pair).  Of course, if her other card was also a heart, she had the nuts.
The Ace of hearts settled it for the Brit.  He called.  She did indeed have another heart and the Brit lost a lot of chips.  He said that seeing her Ace convinced him to call, thinking she might be overplaying top pair hand (and also trying to convince him that she was bluffing).
At one point the woman did something that I’d like some feedback on.  As I mentioned, I was card dead.  So in late position when I had 10/9 suited, it looked like a monster.  And it had limped to me.  So I raised.  Now, the lady exclaimed, quite loudly, “Oh, you must have something good, you haven’t played a hand in an hour and a half.”
Is that a breach of etiquette?  Is that like talking about the hand?  Is she really warning people not to call me?  I kind of think it is.  Should I have said something to her?  Should the dealer?  Should I have asked the dealer to say something?  I’m not really sure if this is breach or not.  I’m sure not everyone at the table was that attentive to know I’d been so inactive. 
I suppose if I had had Aces there, or even the dreaded hand, I would have been more perturbed.  But since I had a marginal hand, I wasn’t that unhappy if she was scaring people into not calling.  As it turned out, I got one caller, flopped middle pair, and took it down with a c-bet.  I guess it might have played out differently if she had kept her mouth shut, but we’ll never know.
I’ll briefly describe my last hand.  I was finally able to move away from seat 9 into seat 1 so I wouldn’t keep getting bumped.  This was the first hand I played there (also, the last).
In the small blind, I called the Hawaiian gal’s small raise with King-Queen, and it was just the two of us.  I flopped two pair, an 8 was the third card.  I should have shoved, having less than $100, but I was trying to get more value.  She called.  A 10 came on the turn, and even though that put a straight out there, I shoved, feeling I was pot committed.  She called.  An Ace on the turn gave her Broadway; she had King-Jack.  So it was runner-runner straight for her (she did have a pair on the flop).  Typical of the way my luck had been running during this period.
I decided not to re-buy.  Even though it was early, I determined I was done with poker for the night.  Since it had been a long time since I’d been in the Mandalay Bay, I just spent some time walking around, exploring the casino.  While I was walking around, I came across a mostly bare wall that had some little statues or busts embedded in the wall.  I saw the statue below, literally a bust.  It wasn’t like I went looking for this, or knew it was there.  I just randomly came across it.  There’s no explanation for why this was there, but obviously somebody in the Mandalay Bay Interior Decorating department is obsessed with bosoms.  And thus explains the title of this blog post.


  1. On the 10-9, I think if you say something about it, the bigger deal it becomes. She's already said it, and if you comment on it, I think it just reinforces what she said. I've never seen it addressed (either by a dealer or a player). I've had the same comment made about myself and just kept my normal stone-face... You can probably use the tight image to your advantage afterward though, and limp with some drawing hands without getting raised as often (I'm just guessing now)... ;)

    1. Thanks, Coach. I guess nothing could be said there. I just wish people were smarter on their own. I mean, I kind of understand a novice player looking at a board and saying something like, "Oh, I wonder who has the flush." But a player who's actually paid attention enough to know I haven't played a lot of hands should be smart enough to keep her damn mouth shut.

  2. You are right it is a breach of poker to make comments especially if you are not in a hand. There is a women who does this in all the poker tournaments at this club I play at. The dealers tell all the time to not talk about possible hands or other players action. She ignores them and keeps doing this. She is such a terrible poker player everyone puts up with this because she leaks so much money.

    1. Thanks, ed. This woman was actually a decent player. I just don't think she realizes that it's similar to commenting on the board.

  3. Is that a breach of etiquette? Is that like talking about the hand?

    Yes and yes.

    1. Ok, so that begs the question, should the dealer have said something.

      Usually--but sadly, not always--if a player comments about the actual hand, the board ("Someone has a flush"), the dealer will tell them that's not acceptable.

      Should the dealer have told the woman not to make a comment like that? Perhaps after the hand was over if not when she made the comment?

  4. Most definitely a breach of etiquette and she should have been warned by the dealer at least. Just because she noticed you hadn't played a hand doesn't mean the guy to her left playin around on his Iphone would have noticed.

    Was there a Star Wars exhibit or something at Mandalay Bay. Looks like female space armor for a storm trooper to me. Leave it to "Boob Rob" to find that.

    1. Thanks, Neo.

      There was nothing Star Wars related that I saw at the place (other than maybe the Star Wars slot machine). But that's a good observation. Star Boobs?

  5. “Oh, you must have something good, you haven’t played a hand in an hour and a half.”

    Is that a breach of etiquette? YES

    It's like warning people who are not paying attention to how you are playing to fold if they do not have a really good hand. But I do not say anything about it and just hope the other people at the table were not paying attention to her when she opened her mouth.

    1. Thanks, Nappy. Yeah, I guess ignoring it was the only option. I think maybe the dealer should have said something to her AFTER the hand, or maybe, since I was sitting next to her, I could have whispered something to her afterwards.

      Of course it gave me the opportunity to three bet with 7-2 soon thereafter, maybe I should have taken advantage.

  6. I agree with you and all the others that it is bad etiquette.

    In my first couple of years I was super nitty, and got this regularly. There is nothing more annoying than getting a monster after folding for a while, only to have players say things like "Well, I'm certainly getting out of YOUR way", thus killing any chance of catching anyone out.

    There is nothing you can say during the hand to rescue it, but I would say afterwards something like "Please don't comment on hands while they are still going." The dealer should be saying this to save you the trouble.

    Great blog, by the way! I have just discovered it, and have been reading back over the last few months.

    1. Thanks very much, Alan. Appreciate the kind words.

      Yeah, nothing to say in the moment. In this particular case I think I might have been able to say something after, even whispered to her because she was sitting right next to me.

      I guess I should have taken advantage of the comment by raising the next five hands!