Wednesday, November 6, 2013

"You're the Best Player at the Table"

This one goes back to late April.  And this is another of those sessions when the poker room was back in its old location, right next to the new nightclub that had just opened and had thus attracted The Slut Parade.  And yes, that comes into play.

Early on I had Ace-3 of spades in the small blind.  No one had raised, so I limped in for a buck.  Two low spades on the flop so I had my nut flush draw.  Everyone checked.  A red 2 on the turn gave me a gutshot in addition to the flush draw.  Again I checked.  I suppose with all those outs I should have bet, but I was very new at the table and didn’t have a read on anyone, so I played it chickenshit nitty.

The next guy bet $10 and the other guy made it $20.  With only one card to come, I was tempted to fold, but I had too many outs. I called and the first bettor folded.  A four of spades on the river gave me both the wheel and the flush, though not a straight flush.  Still, it was indeed the nuts. So I bet $25.  The other guy started pissing and moaning about the third spade, but reluctantly called.  He folded his hand in disgust when I showed my hand.  I’m sure it was exactly what he thought I had (although he probably didn’t think I had the straight too).

I had pocket Aces in early position and made it $8. There were two callers.  One of the callers had made a big deal about showing a bluff he had successfully pulled off (not against me) not that long ago.  That plays into this hand.  The flop was Jack high, with 2 diamonds and I did not have the Ace of diamonds.  I bet out $20 and the guy who had showed his bluff earlier made it $50.  The other guy folded. 

Always mindful—perhaps too mindful—of not losing “too much” money with just a top pair or overpair hand, I considered folding.  But I couldn’t stop thinking about the bluff the guy had shown.  I went ahead and called.

The turn was a blank, some low, black card.  I checked and he put out another $50.  He had me covered by quite a bit.  Again my inclination was to just let it go.  And you know what?  If the guy hadn’t shown the bluff, I probably would have.  And yes, yes, I know.  The reason he showed his bluff so was that he could get action when he actually had a hand.  I knew that.  I knew I could be falling into his trap.  Still, my gut told me to call, so I did.

The river was another brick and when I checked, this time he checked behind me.  He flipped over a busted flush draw.  My Aces were good.

In early position I had pocket 10’s  I raised to $10 and the young guy on my immediate left made it $30.  He had not been a particularly aggressive player.  It folded back to me.  I suppose that would have been a good place to fold there, with just the two of us.  I couldn’t recall him three-betting before.  But I called.  The flop was Queen high and missed me, I checked and he bet out $30.  I just folded.  I suppose he could have Ace-King or even a lower pocket pair, but I just didn’t think it was worth risking any more money there.  I was right, he flashed me his pocket Aces before pushing his cards to the dealer.

In early position I had Ace-King spades, I raised to $8.  Two called.  The flop was King-10-x, no spades.  I bet $20.  The first guy folded, the other guy, who was relatively new at the table, shoved for a total of $69.  I feared a set, but the guy was all in and I could lose no more than $69, I figured that calling made sense. The board blanked out and he showed a set of 10’s. 

I had to call a raise to $8 with pocket 6’s.  The raiser was an aggro Detroit Tigers fan (based on the fact that he was wearing a Tigers baseball cap).  This guy played a lot of hands and raised a lot.  I think it was just the two of us. The flop was King-6-x, two hearts.  He bet out $12 and I raised to $35.  Too much?  He grabbed his chips to call, put his hand out over the betting line….and then pulled back.  At some rooms that would be a call, but not here.  He thought about it a long time, but finally folded.  He did show a King.  I was really surprised he folded.

Then there was the hand against a Norwegian.  He seemed like kind of typical Euro aggro, tho perhaps not quite as aggro as most.  I had 8-7 offsuit in the small blind.  There were a bunch of limpers but no raise, so I came in for a buck.  There was both an 8 and a 7 on the flop, but I’m unsure about the third card.  I thought it was a King.  Based on a comment the Norwegian made, I may be wrong about that.  So I bet out $6 and the Norwegian made it $26.  When it got back to me, everyone else had folded; it was just the two of us. 

So I eyed his remaining stack and he only had $40-$50 left, a lot less than me.  So, I wasn’t all that concerned about the board.  I definitely had two pair there and I’m not going anywhere with it.  I suppose I should have put him all in, but I just called, assuming he was gonna shove the turn and that I would call.

The turn, I’m pretty sure, was a three, and he indeed shoved.  I indeed called. 

As the dealer was putting out the river card, he said to me, “You have a straight?”  I really didn’t think a straight was even possible.  I started to study the board when I saw the river card; it was another 8, filling me up.  I suddenly no longer cared about a straight.

I said, “No, I have a boat.”  And showed my cards.  He was really pissed.  He said that I hit a two-outer.  He said I got real lucky.  He said he had the nuts.

But he didn’t show his cards.  Afterwards—and the next day, even—I tried hard to think about the hand.  What did I get wrong?  The way I noted it, there was never any straight possible.  Why was he worried about me having one?  And what did he mean by the nuts?  The best hand until the river would have been a set of Kings.  And then he would have had a bigger full house than I had on the river.  Unless I was mistaken about the third flop card being a King.  I know it sounds bad that I can’t tell you with 100% certainty what the third card was, but as I said, with the amount of money he had left, I wasn’t going away even if the third card was 9 or a 6—and I am sure it was neither.  And the board was not monotone, either.

I don’t remember exactly how he said it, but he somehow made it clear that he thought I was a bad player.  OK, fine.  But I didn’t bother to point out to him that if he had a bigger stack behind him, I might indeed have played it differently.

With my pal Mike dealing, aka the guy who always cracks my Kings (as if that’s a challenge), I got the dreaded hand and raised to $8.  Only one called.  The flop was Ace high and I put out $12.  The other guy tanked a long time, then folded.  See, it is possible for Mike to not crack my Kings.

Then an early position player raised to $10, another guy called and in late position, I decided to call with Ace-Queen offsuit.  Now that I think about it, that’s a bad play, I should have folded.  But I did have position.

But I did like the flop.  It was King-Jack-10.  Nice to flop Broadway.  The preflop raiser and the other player both checked.  There were two hearts on the board, and I had no hearts, so I wasn’t about to slow play that.  I bet $20.  They both folded.

I got pocket Queens in early position and bet $8.  Four players called.  That was scary.   The flop was 10-8-5, rainbow.  So I led out for $35.  Only one guy called.  The turn was a 3.  I put out $50.  The other player tanked for awhile and then folded. 

That’s about it for the poker.  There was one player at the table I want to mention.  He came to our table and sat next to me for the second half of my session.  He was from Boston.  I knew that the second he opened his mouth, it was the accent.  He was a friendly fellow, chatty but not excessively so.  Nice guy.  For awhile he was a regular in the room, though this was the first time I can recall seeing him.  He must have seen me before though, based on a comment he had made.  I haven’t seen him lately, though.

In keeping with a tradition I started here,  I’ll give this guy a blog name based on something Boston is famous for.  So let’s call him Clam Chowder.  The one thing I didn’t like about Clam Chowder was that he almost immediately expressed his love for all of the Boston sports team.  Yes, that would include a certain basketball team which will go unmentioned here, since I try to avoid using either the F-word or the C-word on this blog (the c-word, in this case, is the name of said Boston basketball team).  So he kind of lost me there.  He was actually talking quite a bit about the Boston teams and found a guy across the table who was also a fan of that basketball team.  They were having a good time talking about the glory days and I stayed out of it.  Insisting that the Lakers are superior to said team from Boston would only get me into trouble.  It would be like getting in a discussion of politics at the poker table.  Best to stay out.  I remained totally silent the whole time hoops were being discussed.  But unlike the guy from Philly in the story I just linked to, this guy was not at all obnoxious, as I said, he was a nice guy.

We didn’t really get into any hands together.  I believe there was one time I had raised preflop and he called.  I made a c-bet on a flop that missed me, and he folded and made a comment about giving me respect.  That was about it.

But at one point during the game, he grabbed my arm—yes, he actually grabbed my arm—and said, “You know what?  You know what I think?  I’m gonna say this.  My impression is, you’re the best player at this table.”

That was a shock.  “Really, oh thank you,” I said.

He continued, “Yeah, you sit here every night, and you don’t play like a tourist.”

I said, “Well, the Norwegian doesn’t think so.”

He just laughed.

Now Clam Chowder was definitely noticing the girls who had started to assemble for the club.  He didn’t make a lot of comments, at least, he wasn’t using actual words.  But he was kind of making some kind of sounds as he would notice some of the girls.  Whispered shrieks, groans, and a lot of head shaking.

But at one point we were chatting and suddenly I missed something he said.  I believe I was suddenly distracted by a girl—or a group of girls—wearing a short dress.  Or a tight dress.  Or a low-cut dress.  Or all three.

I apologized and asked him to repeat what he had said.

“That’s ok.  You were looking at the pussy.”

In fact, regrettably, that was the rather improper term he used for the young ladies who were gathering to get into the night club.

Such vulgarity.  Totally uncalled for.  Doesn’t he know there’s a much nice, more appropriate word to use for the ladies who go to the club wearing the least amount of clothing the law will allow?

It’s "sluts", of course.

Anyway, when I left, after having a profitable night, I said goodbye, nice playing with you, that sort of thing.

Then I added, “You’re a real nice guy for a Celtics fan.”

He just laughed.  Although I hadn’t discussed the Lakers the entire night, and hadn’t said one word while that offensive basketball team was being discussed, he knew exactly what I meant.

And yes, I know I just violated my own rule with the use of a vulgarity.  It’s my blog and I’ll swear if I want to.

Ok, one Red Sox pic.  They did win the World Series, after all.  At least it wasn't that damn basketball team.


  1. sweet post,dude.awesome pics. HOME RUN. hopefully i will b in vegas in march 4 the madness, so hope to buy u a beer if u drink

    1. Heh, heh. Thanks, anger. I was waiting for your comment, I kind of had you in mind when I found those pics. Originally I had something a lot less "interesting" selected, but I thought these illustrations might spice up the post.

      I will most likely be in Vegas for March Madness, not sure which weekend that is but the first weekend of it is one of the best times to be in Vegas for poker--or anything else.

    2. sweet. yeah i was checking the travel sites from denver. looks likes 350 for roundtrip and 3 hights at 4 queens and the like

    3. 4 Queens, huh? See if you can get Tony's old room.