Thursday, November 14, 2013

I Did Have Ace-Queen, Dammit!

The Sunday before Halloween was my first real poker session of my most recent Vegas trip.  I played about 8 hours, with about ½ hour off for dinner.

I was warmly greeted by many of my MGM buddies who obviously had missed me.  It had actually been over a month since I was there.

Abe was one of those who came over to say hi.  He had a few nice stories for me.  As I mentioned in the post here, they started having a football promo in the room Sundays and Monday nights.  In addition, they have a “Progressive Power Hour” promo, where every hour there’s a specific high hand you have to get in order to win a progressive jackpot.  That promo had started near the end of my previous trip, and there were some hands that had never been hit, meaning the jackpots for 6-7 and 8-9 hours were over $2,000 by the time I returned.  So, if you caught quad 6’s or a 6-high straight flush between 6 & 7 (am or pm, actually) or quad 8’s or an 8-high straight flush between 8 & 9, you’d get a nice reward.

Now when the football promo started, Abe laughed at the idea of every getting picked.  He said he simply doesn’t win those things.  Ever. And though I had hit the football promo once on my last session in town the previous trip, Abe, good to his word, had come up empty last I had heard. 

But he told me that he actually won it twice on the same night on a previous Sunday.  One prize was $100 (the minimum) but he actually managed to select the one $500 prize (the maximum) the other time.  Furthermore, that particular nite he had a winning poker session (even not counting the promo winnings), which was unusual because he has told me repeatedly that he never wins on Sundays.

Finally he told me on that particular night, he came thisclose to winning the 8-9 promo hour jackpot.  He said he had the draw to the 8-high straight flush. A one-outer, of course.  He actually did get the 8 for his straight—but it was the wrong 8, so he won the pot but missed out on the promo money.

But then he said that the dealer of that hand was Michelle, and I got a real kick out of that.  Of course, Michelle is the dealer who “never pushes me a pot,” who I win with so rarely that I keep a mental count of all the pots she owes me (see here, for example).  Abe of course knows exactly who the “Michelle” on my blog is, but he didn’t use her real name when he told the story.  No, he actually called her “Michelle.”

Heh heh. It’s sort of like the phrase, the dreaded pocket Kings.”  I feel I should get a royalty whenever someone refers to one of my blog characters by their blog name.

And of course he was pointing out it was Michelle because he knows she’s my jinx dealer.  I don’t think she’s Abe’s jinx dealer.  I believe that would be Mike.  I run hot and cold with Mike, depending on whether or not he cracks my Kings (see here).  But Abe never seems to win with him.  It’s kind of funny, if you play in a room a lot, it seems there’s always one or two dealers who you always seem to lose with, and another one or two who seem to be your own personal “lucky” dealer.

They have one more promo I’ll mention.  It’s a cash giveaway thing, where, for the month of October, they were holding drawings every three hours to give away a total of $100K for the month.  To qualify for the drawing, you needed a flush or better to get a drawing ticket.  The prizes were between $100 and $5,000.  This promo started just after I left town last time, and by some fluke, almost all of the big prizes were picked early.  By the time I got back there were only smaller prizes ($300 and under, I believe) available. 

These promos will figure into many of the blog posts about this trip I’ll be doing about this trip.  And I have to say—and this is kind of bad to admit—I think the thought of catching some of these promos affected my play a bit.  I know I played more suited cards than normal just trying to get a ticket for the cash drawing.  And I played anything that could conceivable get me an 8 or 6 hi straight flush at the appropriate hours.  One time I had pocket 8’s when quad 8’s was the high hand, and after I blanked on the flop, I thought I would probably call a flop bet just in case I could hit runner runner quads.  I lucked out, no one bet the flop.  I folded on a blank turn.

At the table early in my session was Warren, who I wrote about in this post here.  He’s the guy who shocked me by calling me “Rob” even though we’d never exchanged names.  He had recognized me from my pic in Ante Up.  I suspected in that post that he was a blog reader but I found out this trip he had never read it.  It’s ok, I’m sure he’ll be reading this post!

Early in the session I had Ace-Queen of spades, raised to $10 and had two or three callers, including Warren.  The flop was Ace-10-8 and Warren, who was the big blind, bet $16.  It folded to me.  I immediately flashed back to the last hand I had played against him, which, conveniently, I had blogged about in that post I just linked to, so it was fresh in my mind.

Just as in that previous hand, I had raised, and Warren, first to act on the flop, had led out on an Ace high flop.  It was déjà-vu all over again.  Except that that time, I had pocket Jacks, and the Ace was bad card.  This time, I had top pair, second best kicker. 

And I recalled his comment at the time, that he figured I didn’t like the Ace.  And of course, I did have some doubt that he had Ace back in that earlier hand.  Now, he had seen that leading out against me (when I was the preflop raiser) had worked before.  So I wondered if he was just trying the same move again.  Did he put me on a big pair and feel I would fold to his bet with the Ace showing?

You see, I might otherwise have only called there, not wanting to bloat the pot too much with just a top pair hand.  But thinking about the previous hand, I couldn’t help thinking he was testing me.  He might not have an Ace, or if he did, it was likely weaker than mine.  So I decided to test him back.

Instead of calling, I raised to $40.  I really thought that would change his mind that I didn’t like the Ace, and he would likely fold.  But no, he smooth called.

The turn was a blank.  He checked and I decided to check behind him for pot control.  It was a pretty dry board.  But I knew that by checking, he was probably going to bet the river and I’d probably have a tough decision to make.

Except that the river was a Queen.  A very nice looking card, if you ask me.  Warren checked again and I put out a bet of $55.  He tanked for a bit and then started talking about not liking the Queen.  He didn’t like it a lot.  “I didn’t want that Queen to come……I put you on Ace-Queen… I fold.”  He meant to fold face up, but only card was exposed, a King.

He said he meant to show both cards and that he had Ace-King.

Shit.  It always bugs me when someone guesses what I had and they’re right.  Of course, I’m putting people on hands all the time, but I never verbalize it (except as a joke).  But when people do that to me, I wonder if I’m too predictable.  Did you know I was going to write that?

Another player made a comment, expressing surprise that he folded top pair/top kicker.  And Warren said, “It’s not like I haven’t played with him before.”

Then he mentioned something about my checking the turn making him think his Ace was likely better than mine.

Humph.  I of course would neither confirm nor deny his guess.  Instead I said, “Ace-King, huh?  You don’t three-bet with Ace-King?”

He said, “No, not usually.”  To which I replied, “Good to know.”

He said, “I said usually.”  And I said, “I know, I know…..I don’t usually three-bet with 7-deuce, but sometimes I do.” 

Who says I can’t bluff?

Anyway, he laughed at that, but he was clearly bothered by the hand.  If I hadn’t been way across the table from him, I would have whispered to him, “Hey, eventually, you’ll be able to find out what I had by reading my blog.”  But this hand made me think that, although he knew I blogged, he hadn’t read the blog, because if he had, he likely would have said something like, “I guess I’ll find out what you had when I read about on your blog.”  But he didn’t mention the blog.

I’ll flash forward a couple of nights.  I was once again playing at the same table with Warren.  At one point, out of the clear blue, he said to me, “I was thinking about that hand last night.  I still think you had Ace-Queen.  I still think it was a good fold.  But…I can’t get it out of my mind.”

I just laughed.  As a poker player, I know it’s the hands you lay down—when you don’t know whether it was a good lay down or not—that haunt you the most.

Warren is a good guy.  Very likeable.  So when I left for the night, as I walked away from the table, I went over to him and whispered something like, “It’s not there yet, but if you read my blog, I’ll eventually talk about that hand you laid down.”

Yeah, I could have just said to him, “Yes, I had Ace-Queen, you bastard,” but hey, I could always use another blog reader.

A couple of days after that, while I was playing at a table where Mike was dealing, Warren came over to me and said, “I read your blog.  Very entertaining.  I have a lot of the same thoughts as you do while playing.”

As I was thanking him for the compliment, Mike—who loves to rib me about my blog posts being too long—said, “How many naps did you have to take to get through it?”

My usual self-restraint was missing in action.  Without any hesitation whatsoever, I blurted out to Mike, “F*** you!”  I think I said it loud enough to possibly have gotten myself in trouble—but I didn’t.

Mike cracked up, but it was mostly because he was so damn proud of his own joke.  After Warren left, he even said to me, “That was really funny, what I said.”

I said yes, it would definitely make it into the blog.

Before that though, I told Warren that he had been mentioned here already.  He hadn’t read that far back, so I gave him the name of the blog entry where I introduced him (already linked to, above).  I haven’t seen him since, so I don’t yet know his reaction to being immortalized here with a phony name.

There’s a lot more from that night to talk about—I played for 8 hours, after all (plus it was the Sunday before Halloween)—but I figure if I stop here, maybe this post will be short enough for Mike to get through without having to take a nap.

More to come...... 

No comments:

Post a Comment