Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Pocket Kings to the Rescue

(Before I get started with your regularly scheduled blog post, I want to mention that Hollywood Poker has just put my blog on their list of Top 25 poker blogs/poker sites of 2013!  Thanks very much, guys!  I truly appreciate it.  You can check out the full list here. They were quite complimentary too. Amazingly, they managed to describe my blog with out mentioning how long-winded I tend to me.  They also managed to avoid mentioning breasts.)

This goes back to September 15, a Sunday night.  The day and date are important because of the Sunday NFL game.  You see, right before the season, MGM started their first ever football promo in their poker room.  It only runs twice a week, during the Sunday and Monday night games.  Every time a team scores, someone playing a cash game in the room is randomly selected to pick a mini-football out of a drum, which can be worth between $100 and $500 dollars (there’s only one $500, a couple of $400 and so on down to $100, which have the most chances).  And if a team scores a safety, two names would be randomly drawn, instead of one.

I would have played there anyway, but it did give me a little extra incentive to get there early enough to get settled into a game before the football game started, which I did.  But remember the game?  It was the Seattle-San Francisco game that was interrupted for an hour by a lightning storm.

So there I am playing there, hoping to maybe get lucky with the football promo.  Poker had not been kind to me since I arrived in town a couple of days before. 

So the first bad beat was that they delayed the game because of rain.  Since when do they have rain delays in football?  When did that happen?  Back in the day, you played football in any kind of weather.  It’s not baseball, for crissakes!  I remember watching the famous Ice Bowl between the Packers and the Cowboys back in 1967, which was played in temperatures below 0 degrees (that’s Fahrenheit) ,  When did it become the National Pussy League?

Anyway, the way my luck had been running, I wasn’t sure my bankroll would last until they finally restarted the game.  And sure enough, although I won a few small pots, my stack was dwindling and I was down to about $120-$130 when I was dealt pocket Aces in the big blind. There had been a bunch of limpers, so I made it $20.  Only one guy called, one of the limpers.

This guy had just gotten to the table a few minutes earlier with his buddy.  Both he and his pal were wearing New York Yankee caps, and they both had thick New Yawk accents.  The flop was King-9-x, x being a small card.  I believe it was rainbow.   I bet $30 and the New Yawker called.

A Jack was the turn card, but considering my starting stack and what I’d already put in the pot, I was committed.  I figured he probably had a King and hopefully he didn’t have King-Jack.  I thought Queen-10 for the straight was pretty unlikely.  So I went all in for the rest of my chips.

The New Yawker snap called.  Another Jack hit the river, but that wasn’t important.  He did indeed have Queen-10 for the straight.  So he called my $20 raise preflop with Queen-10 (off suit, I might add).  Then he called my flop bet with nothing but a gut-shot.  Which of course, he hit.  You want to play against players who play like that, right?  Right?

So that was bad beat #2.  The football game hadn’t resumed, so I just left and went to get some dinner.  My original plan had been to pick up some food at half time and eat during the game, so I wouldn’t miss my chance at the football drawing, but hell, the game wasn’t been played anyway.

The game resumed quite soon after I busted out, while I was sitting down to eat.  That was bad beat #3.  Then when the game resumed, does anyone remember what the first score was?  It was a damn safety!  Yes, a safety.  So that was bad beat #4—that they scored a safety, so if I had been logged into a poker game, I would have two chances to win the promo, not just one!  But since I wasn’t playing, I wasn’t eligible of course.

I made it back to the poker room soon thereafter, but while I was waiting to get into a game, they were was another score (a field goal, leading to a baseball score of 5-0—but hey, if they’re gonna have rain delays like they do in baseball, why not?).  And since I hadn’t gotten into a game yet, I missed out on a chance to be picked for the promo then, too.  Call that bad beat #5.

The new table I got into proved to be a wild one, featuring some crazy aggro action.  But I hadn’t quite figured that out the first or second hand, when I was dealt pocket 7’s.  I was in late position.  An early position player made it $15, and I was certainly prepared to call that.  Another guy called, and then the guy to my immediate right made it $45.  Ugh.

At this point, I had no idea how any of these people played.  I had no reads on any of them.  So I did the math.  According the Ed Miller book I had recently read (see here), you need to expect to win 12 times the bet you call preflop in order to justify set-mining.  I couldn’t expect to win $540 if I hit my set of 7’s.  But then, I didn’t really know, because I had no idea how these clowns played.  But I played it safe and folded.

The original raiser folded but the limper called, saying, “I don’t have a very good hand, but let’s gamble.”  So the two of them saw the flop, which of course had a 7 on it.  Also an 8 and a 9.  Also a flush draw.  There was big betting on the flop and they both went all in on the turn, which was a 6.  Note: both of these characters had me covered.  I was almost relieved to see the 6, thinking for sure someone has a straight and thus my set of 7’s were no good anyway.

But after they went all in on the turn, the river paired the 6, giving me a boat.  Except for the fact that my hand was in the muck, that is.  Anyway, the three-bettor showed his hand.  Ace-King.  The other guy looked at his hand, looked at the guy’s Ace-King and then….mucked.  He couldn’t even beat Ace high.  I guess he had the flush draw and missed.  I couldn’t believe it.  Not only would I have won a huge pot, but….I didn’t even need to hit my set of 7’s to win.  Yikes.  Call that bad beat #6.

I know you can’t think about that, especially since I made the right play.  Still, when you’re in the middle of a slump like I was, and you see some clown drag a huge pot with Ace high when you would have had a boat….well, it’s hard not to think about it a bit.

I didn’t get any cards to play for some time, and I was down to about $180 when I looked down and saw my old friends, the dreaded pocket Kings.  The guy who went all in with less than Ace-King in the previous hand I described made it $8 in front of me.  I made it $24.

It folded to the aggro who had initially raised to $15 in that previous hand.  By now I knew this guy was a total maniac.  So I wasn’t really surprised when he raised me, but the amount was a bit shocking.  He made it $100 (he had me covered).  The initial raiser folded, and it was back to me.

I’ve never folded pocket Kings preflop.  And of all the players I might conceivable fold pocket Kings to, this guy was none of them.  It didn’t make any sense to just call, I’d be committed anyway.  So I shoved.  For another $80 or so it was an easy call for him.

We didn’t show.  The highest card on the board was a 10.  More importantly (I assumed) there was no Ace on it.  I showed my Kings and he just mucked.

It was easily the biggest pot I’d won since I had gotten back in town.  And it felt good.  It felt really, really good.

I was thinking when I got back to my room I would edit the blog and change the tag “the dreaded pocket Kings” to the “welcome pocket Kings.”  Or the “wonderful pocket Kings.”  Or maybe the “awesome pocket Kings.”

Except I knew how fickle they could be and I knew it was only a matter of time before they’d kick me in the nuts again.

Anyway, didn’t get much else to play the rest of the night, and didn’t find any opportunities to make plays either.  I came close to getting back all the money I lost in the first session, but it felt like a win to me.  So I picked up my chips and booked a winning session to follow the losing session earlier in the evening (but hey, as they say, it’s all one session).

And by the way, the NFL game was a low scoring dud and of course I didn’t get picked.  But the following Sunday, my last night in town, I did get picked on the last score of the game.  I picked a football worth $200.



  1. Congratulations on the extra blog recognition! Okay, and the $200.00 football. OKAY, and on winning with pocket kings... ;)

    1. Thanks Coach.

      Since your a football expert, I expected you to tell me when the NFL starting having rain delays.

      What happened to that league? Pete Rozelle must be turning over in his grave.

    2. Yeah, what Lightning said - they will stop games for lightning. Lightning always being dangerous, especially in poker - awesome quote... :)

    3. Lightning's been around for longer than the NFL, I believe. They didn't used to stop games for lightning.


  2. The NFL game was delayed due to lightning, not rain. Safety is usually the reason why, alhough I am sure the word "liability" fits in here. And didn't you know that lightning is dangerous, especially in poker?

    Nice to see you booked a winning session. You must be taking some poker lessons from TBC. Your sockroll might grow, too.

    1. My sockroll is a lot bigger than my bankroll, but only because I have a boatload of socks.

  3. Congrats on the shout-out from Hollywood Poker. Well deserved.

  4. Got a bail bonds buddy that plays poker in Las Vegas 100+ hours a month. Never makes a killing...just steady income almost like a decent job. I wonder if that's normal out here? Seemed unbelievable until I saw him always coming in with a steady money after playing. Either that or he's a good panhandler.

    1. Thanks for the comment.

      Maybe your buddy is really the guy who charges people to kick him in the nuts?

    2. congrats on the recognition. still no BOOBIES so i think u have been cloned or found GOD. LMAO

    3. Thanks, anger. Hang tight. The very next post will have some boobies. RECYCLED boobies, to be sure, but boobies none-the-less.