Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Reminiscences About 2/4 Limit

The other day I received an email from the MGM poker room.  It was work related, and it informed me that the MGM would no longer be offering a 2/4 limit game.  Instead, it would offer a 2/6 spread limit game. 

As I was making the corrections on AVP’s listings, I started to feel sad and nostalgic.  So I thought I’d do a post recalling those 2/4 games, which now I couldn’t go back to even if I wanted to!  Only a few locals places spread the game anymore, with just a couple of exceptions on the Strip. 

I’d spent a lot of time playing 2/4 limit before I switched to NL less than 2 years ago.  When I started this blog, I was a 2/4 player.  Most of the stories I had to tell then—the ones that originated from a poker table, anyway—came out of my playing 2/4 (and mostly at MGM).  I assumed that would continue to be the case if I kept up blogging.

But that’s not what happened, I switched to NL and started producing more poker content—actually talking about hands and strategy—than I ever anticipated.  That’s not to say that there’s no strategy in 2/4 it’s just that….ok, there isn’t really that much strategy in 2/4.  But it was a great place to gather the kind of stories I liked to blog about….the “woman saids”, the “boobsmentionings,” the “obnoxious jerks,” “woman touching their boobsstories.”

Fortunately, switching to NL didn’t eliminate stories with those labels, and I was even able to add “vagina mentionings” and of course,  the dreaded pocket Kings.”  But every now and then, I think back to those 2/4 days fondly, and also realize that there are blog-worthy stories from those days that I never got around to writing up.

In fact, not long ago, I was thinking of one specific night of 2/4 that I remembered fondly and had never blogged about.  I went to one of my old notebooks to see if I could still compose a post about that night.

Sadly, I could not.  Almost of all of my early blog posts from that era were basically written originally as emails to my friends, as I explained here.  The few that weren’t, especially the really old stories, were basically stories I had told and retold so many times over the years they were still fresh in my mind.

But the way I took my notes back then—mostly before I knew I was ever gonna do a blog—doesn’t really lend itself to doing stories from years back.  Knowing I would soon be telling these stories to just a few friends, I just jotted down a key word here or there, reasoning that this would be enough to trigger the entire memory so I could relate a good story a few days or even a few weeks later.

But a few years later?  Not so much.  It doesn’t help that my memory is getting worse and worse as time goes on.  I use to be able to remember hand histories the next morning.  Now, if I don’t write them down at the table, within a few minutes of the hand, forget it.  They say that the memory is the second thing to go, and I can’t remember what the first thing is.

So sadly, that very memorable, very fun 2/4 session I tried to research recently from two years ago is mostly lost forever.  I do recall that there was this family reunion taking place right before Christmas.  There were three people from the family at the table, a mother, a daughter and a niece.  The mom had an unusual occupation.  She was a Prison Warden.  She was about to be transferred from one federal penitentiary to another one.  I think the new state was West Virginia, so, as she said, she was being transferred to “Bum F***, W.Va.”

I remember that she was incredibly talkative and very funny, cracking jokes, many at the expense of her daughter and her niece.  As I recall, the daughter was rather average looking, modestly dressed, and was talking about never being married, and in fact having broken off a long engagement right before the wedding (she was in her late 20’s).   He cousin was quite a bit hotter, and dressed quite sexily.  I definitely recall cleavage—and the fact that her pants were too low. In other words, she was showing “cleavage” front and back. She was bickering with her aunt, the Prison Warden, about cash that had missing from their suite’s safe.  The aunt thought that the niece either lost or stolen the money, but she replaced it anyway.  It was constantly being brought up throughout the nite.  

Pretty much everything in the previous two paragraphs I remembered on my own.  When I dug out my book of notes, the only readable words from this night were “Bum F***” (which I hadn’t remembered) and Chippendale’s.

Ah yes, Chippendale’s.  That’s all I wrote.  I’m sure at the time, there was probably much discussion about the two younger girls going to Chippendale’s, and whether or not the Prison Warden would go with them or not.  I’m sure there was a lot of funny stuff there, that was probably a key reason I thought this night so memorable.  But I don’t remember it, dammit.

And this story actually took place after I started the blog.  I remember thinking at the time, boy I can’t wait to blog this.  But before I had a chance to write the blog post, I ran into this young lady I decided to call “Prudence” and, suddenly, a Prison Warden talking about going to Chippendale’s didn’t seem so sensational any more.

And then I made a quick turnaround trip back to Vegas and by then I was playing NL and so, I never got back to those last of the 2/4 stories from the month before.

Another night on this trip I played poker with tennis great Roger Federer.  Ok, it wasn’t really Roger Federer playing 2/4.  Just a guy who looked like him.  Turns he was visiting all the way from Germany for his bachelor party.  A three-day visit, as I recall.  That’s a long way to go for three days, isn’t it?  They didn’t even have anything planned—it was a last minute trip.  But I guess even if you live in Germany, you know that the best place on the planet to come to for a bachelor party is Vegas.

When I told the guy he looked like Roger Federer, he mentioned that the part of Germany he was from was just across the border from Federer’s hometown in Switzerland.  And then he thanked me for the compliment.  He was very flattered I had told him he looked like Federer because after all, Federer is such a great tennis player.


If I said he looked like Federer when he was playing tennis, that would be a nice compliment indeed.  But I just said he looked like him facially.  “You bear a physical resemblance to someone who plays tennis really well.”  OK, I suppose Federer is a good looking guy.  But I’m thinking the best looking thing about him is either his one-handed backhand, his trophy case, or his bank account.

Many months before, I played 2/4 with a rather crazy woman from Wisconsin.  I seem to recall that when she took off her jacket, she revealed a rather large chest and a rather low-cut top.  Or maybe she was revealing that to start and then put on the jacket.  I can’t remember which.  But I do recall the cleavage.

Anyway, she was there with some platonic guy friend for his or her birthday, I can’t recall which.  Her actual boyfriend was serving overseas in the military.  She was a non-stop talker and a non-stop drinker.  I’m sure she was a fountain of woman saids, if only I had properly taken notes.  Damn. 

I do recall her telling the story of her male friend actually getting so drunk and getting so mad at her for some reason that he actually threw several plates at her at some fancy restaurant they had eaten at the night before.  He’ d gotten thrown out of the place, yet somehow, she forgave him before the night was over and she let him sleep in their hotel room that nite.  She said it was ok because he only got that way when he was drunk.

I also recall that she got all excited when a male dealer who had the same first name as one of her ex-boyfriends came to the table.  She asked the dealer for his last name and to my surprise, he told her.  Apparently that name had some significance to her as well.  So did the dealer’s middle name.  She started speculating about all the trouble she and the dealer could get into just because he had a name similar to one of her ex’s. I think her excessive alcohol consumption might have had something to do with that.

One time there was this very fun woman from Seattle who entertained us one evening.  I can’t really remember anything she said, but I do recall this one bit she did.  Whenever she ordered a drink—and trust me, it was always an adult beverage—she would also order a bottle of water.  She would take the bottle of water and stuff it in her huge purse, which she had just for this purpose.  She said the hotel was charging way too much for water, and this was her way of getting back at them.

There was another trip where I played three or four nights in a row with a really nice young couple from Dallas.  In those three or four nights, I learned pretty much their entire life story—how they met, how she got him into poker, how he had to move to Dallas to marry her, etc.  I believe he was a teacher and she was a nurse.  Boy did they love poker.  They were there every morning from 11:00 AM to the wee hours of the morning.  They would take a two hour dinner break, that was about it! 

At one point, the guy, being a history teacher, mentioned how fascinating it was for him to visit the famed Texas School Book Depository and the museum there, memorializing the JFK assassination.  Of course, he was way too young to have been around for the actual historical event.  But I’m not.  He was very interested in my recollections.

On their last night, as I got up to leave, I said goodbye and he got up to shake my hand.  She got up to give me a hug.  You don’t see that at a 1/2 game!

I made many “temporary friends” like that playing 2/4.  Vegas visitors who came thru town for a few days and played 2/4 every night for a few days.  Some of them came through every few months, or maybe once a year, and it always seemed to coincide with my visits.

One was a woman from Ohio (I think) who came every Christmas.  She loved poker and her husband didn’t play.  He came to play golf.  She played poker while he was on the course, then he’d retire early so he could get up early for the next day’s round.  She practically lived in the poker room when she was there.  Nice lady.  She told me several times that she had never gotten quads, even though she had been playing longer than I had.  At that time, I had never gotten a straight flush, but I had gotten quads many times, I was shocked that she had not.  Weird.  And at 2/4, where you play so many hands and so many go to the river?

When I bumped into her last year—after I switched to 1/2, I told her I was no longer playing 2/4.  Although she most definitely remembered me—and even remembered my name—she did say she was glad I was no longer playing 2/4 because she never could beat me.  Funny, I don’t remember that.

Another regular I would run into was a nice guy from Arizona who came with his buddies every late summer to do their NFL Fantasy Football Draft.  He’d spend every evening at the 2/4 game. There’s a strange story about one of his buddies.  I had learned his name the night before, and he joined his buddy late and had to be put on the waiting list.  I knew he was waiting to be called but the one name on the list was “Hector”—not his name.  When they called Hector, he was indeed the person who claimed the open seat.

I asked him about the phony name (hmm, this was before my blog, maybe this is where I got the idea for fake names?).  He told me in confidence that he used a fake name because of his profession.  He was actually a pastor.  He didn’t want to use his real name in case any of his parishioners happened to be there.  He wouldn’t want them to see him engaging in such an unholy activity as gambling.

I didn’t think anything of it at the time but afterwards I thought his story was really odd.  For one thing, his real name, which I no longer recall, was a very common name, like Joe or Dan or Bill, something like that.  And it was only his first name.  No one who saw it would assume it was their pastor’s name.  And of course, the odds of any of his parishioners being there were beyond remote.

And then there was the woman from a nearby Rocky Mountain state.  We seemed to run into each other every time I played there.  The funny thing was, we both thought the other one lived in Vegas.  So did one of the dealers.  When I said something that indicated I didn’t live in Vegas, both the dealer and the woman were floored.  And I was shocked she didn’t live there, and trust me, she lived a lot further away from Vegas than I did.  But she came almost as often as I did.

We became good pals, and I think she was a little offended when I suddenly starting playing 1/2 instead of joining her at the 2/4 game.  But although I didn’t give her a name, I did mention her in this post here.  She’s the one who made the comment, “Yeah, before she started rubbing something else."

There were some local regulars I knew on sight and became friendly with, like the guy who would play 2/4 after a long, hard shift at his job.  Seriously, this guy had the worst job ever.

He worked security at the Hard Rock’s pool.  Talk about a rough gig!  Now, for a description of the Hard Rock’s pool (and my first ever hooker post), you can click here. I don’t know how much the job paid, but whatever he was paying them, it wasn’t enough.

Picture from the Hard Rock Pool (so they said)
And I’m sure you all remember the athlete who like liked to play 2/4 when he wasn’t waiving his manhood around in front of frustrated housewives from the Midwest (see here)?

Anyway, with the announcement that MGM’s 2/4 game was history, I thought it would be good time to close that chapter of the blog as well.  I wish I could do full posts (and I mean, extra, extra, extra long posts) about each of these tidbits I’ve mentioned, but sadly, I can’t.

As I said, the memory…..um, what did I say about….what was I?  Oh, never mind.


  1. 2/4 limit is fun. i like to play after i scored a couple hundred at 5/10 limit or nl.2/4 limit hi/lo omaha is super thou. just bet and pray

    1. Thanks, anger. Omaha is a whole 'nother animal.Like throwing your chips in the air and seeing how many you can catch.

    2. true but love the action. when i lived in bakersfield played 4/8 limit omaha with kill at golden west casino. very loose game. loved it