Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The King of Pocket Kings

Blogging may be problematic for me for the rest of the year and then some. My Thanksgiving Vegas trip ran long so I could attend the latest WPBT bloggers tournament on December 7.  That story will be told eventually and it has a happy ending (no, not that kind), but you can read about last year’s epic event here. Then, I had to return to Vegas this week for business reasons.  And I’ll be here through New Years.  So I was only back in L.A. for barely a week.  I wasn’t home long enough to make any kind of a dent in writing up all the tales I have to tell from the last two trips.  And I have stories from earlier trips left over too. But when I’m in Vegas, I spend most of my “free” time playing poker and not writing.  So I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep posting fresh material here until I get back home and have more time to write.  We’ll see. 

This post is about a fun night a bunch of us degenerates had at the Quad a couple of weeks ago.  The wonderful AlaskaGal, who I’m going to call “Kristi” the rest of the way (hey, it’s on her Twitter profile) had been tweeting about getting a game together for a particular Wednesday evening.  It would be a 50c/$1 No Limit game at the Quad, the only place on the Strip where you could get a game like that going.  I believe they used to spread it at O’Sheas and at Bill’s before they tore those places down.  I also recall them offering it for about a year at MGM.  In fact, I played it there once or twice while I was still mostly a 2/4 player.  The problem with the game at MGM was that they referred to it as the “beginner’s No Limit” game, which I always thought was somewhat demeaning.

I figured a game with Kristi’s poker pals at such low stakes had to be fun, and I was right.  There were plenty of familiar faces and some new ones.  Former blogger Stump was there, and I sat immediately to his left.  A couple of nice folks I had first met at February’s “Grumpament” (see here) , Steve and Michelle were there.  Another one of my Twitter peeps, Bill, was there as well, and I met him for the first time. Mitzula showed up, but not to play, just to kibitz.  Early in the evening, The King of Pocket Kings (aka Nick, aka Cokeboy) showed up.  This took place two nights after my first meeting with Nick, told here.

And then there was “Gwen.”  I’m going to give this wonderful woman a phony name because I’d never met her before, she doesn’t know about the blog, and because she’s not on Twitter. I don’t know how open she would be to my revealing some of her comments under her real name.  So better to be safe than sorry.  Gwen’s boyfriend was also there, and the two of them both work in the poker industry (shocking, I know).  I’ll call him Jerry and he’s a good guy too.

The low stakes and the group we had pretty much insured that no serious poker was going to be played, but also that we all were going to have a great time.  And we did.  There was almost a constant roar of laughter from our table.  Unfortunately, there were too many funny things said, and too many disparate conversations going on for me to keep track of.  I wish I had an audio recording of the entire session.

Gwen kept me laughing the entire night.  Now, she is not a small woman.  One area where she is not small is in the chestal region.  And she was wearing a low-cut top to emphasize it.  At one point, the topic of strip clubs came up.  She joked that she used to be a stripper, but had to give it up when they closed the “Curvy Girl Strip Club.”

Another time we were discussing the Mega Beat Bad Beat Jackpot at Caesars’ properties, and discussing what we might do if the call came in while we were playing at the Quad that it had been hit.  We’d all got some share of the prize pool.  Someone said we should all go to a Strip Club.  Kristi said, “Rob would like.  He likes boobies.”

Ahem.  But that reminds me of something I overheard  a few nights earlier at the MGM, while I was over by the Slut Parade.  Not sure where else I can report this line so I’ll throw it in here while I’m thinking of it.  There was a girl talking to two guys over by the line to get in the club, but they were not in line.  The girl was a little older than the average age of the club goers, and was dressed way too modestly for the club.  In other words, she was dressed.  As I passed this group, I heard the girl exclaim, “I thought we were going to a titty bar.”

The amusing part of this was the tone in her voice.  I swear I could hear a great deal of disappointment in it.  It sure sounded like this woman really, really wanted to go to a titty bar.

Gwen mentioned some guy she was dealing to once who insisted on calling pocket Queens “boobies.”  No one had ever heard that one before.  Then the guy took it a step further and started calling Gwen “boobies.”  She didn’t appreciate that at all.   She said she knows she is “blessed,” but that was uncalled for. (Note: she might have said “gifted” instead of “blessed”, not sure)

Kristi was eating some trail mix and it spilled on the poker table.  I think she was sharing it with Nick and he was debating whether it was still safe to eat.  So Kristi told him, “Well, I’ve had meningitis.”

Jerry misheard this and said, “What?  She’s had men in her vagina?”  I think he may have purposely mis-pronounced “vagina” to make it rhyme with “meningitis.”  Kristi didn’t hear why everyone was laughing, so she asked him to repeat it.  Reluctantly, he did. “Oh that too,” was her reply.  “Everyone knows that.”  Well, the fact that she has a kid is kind of a tip off.

Kristi and Stump are good pals, and though they are just friends, they sort of bicker and carry on like a married couple when they get together.  It’s pretty funny to watch them go at it, although I can’t remember anything specific

Michelle came specifically to get her revenge on me, and she did.  She tweeted that she wanted to get back at me for a hand we had together in the Grumpament (which I linked to above).  I busted her out when her JJ wouldn’t hold up against my King-Queen.  I had completely forgotten about it (except that it was in the blog post) but she has been holding this grudge all this time.  Typical poker player—it’s the hands you lose that stick with you, not the ones you win.  She said that I had a great expression on my face when I saw her Jacks, assuming she was shoving with a lot less. 

Anyway, I raised in early position with Ace-Queen and she was the only caller.  I don’t remember the flop; it missed me completely.  I dutifully put out a continuation bet and she just called.  I checked the turn, which also missed me, and this time she bet out. I folded, as I had nothing.  She didn’t show, but she told me she flopped a boat on me.  Glad that turn didn’t hit me!

And speaking of the turn hitting me, that brings us to the hand of the night, starring Mr. Cokeboy, aka, the King of Pocket Kings.  As I mentioned, Nick kept getting pocket Kings in that first session I played with him, and won every time.  Now again, at the Quad, he was getting them almost every other hand, and showing me (and everyone else) that he was winning with them.  It was starting to piss me off.  I hadn’t seen a decent hand all night, and Nick was getting cowboys—and proving to me that it was a good hand—more often than Tony Romo throws a game losing interception (OK, guess what Cowboys game I’m watching as I write this?  Answer:  All of them).

So I had Ace-Queen and made it $3 (remember, the blinds are $.50 & $1).  Nick came over the top and made it $9.  Folded back to me.  I should have folded right then and there.  But what the hell, I thought, it’s only six more bucks and I should see a flop.  So I called.

The flop was King high, nothing for me.  I checked and Nick checked behind me.  Now, I did consider that he had three-bet with pocket Kings.  So I wondered if he had actually hit his set of Kings there.  But I thought, no, no, he wouldn’t slow play it like that.  I guess I was assuming he was me.  I’m the one who has a rule against slow playing flopped sets.  Although on this particular trip, I modified that a few times.  But then I thought no, it looks real suspicious to three bet and then check the flop.  He’d make the continuation-bet almost every time, no?

I wondered if he had pocket Queens and if the King had scared him (putting me on Ace-King).  So a damn Ace hit the turn and now I have to bet, right?  I put out $10. 

And Nick promptly raised to $25.  Shit.  He did indeed have a set of Kings.  I was sure of it.

But….did you ever have two completely contradictory thoughts in your head at the same time?  As sure as I was that he did have a set of Kings, I was equally sure he didn’t have a set of Kings.  I mean, I’d seen him have pocket Kings a hundred thousand times by now.  How could he have them again?  Nobody ever gets one particular hand—even 7-deuce—as often as Nick had gotten KK.  It defied the law of probability.

The more sure I was he did have pocket Kings, the more sure I was he couldn’t possible have them.  And that there was a decent chance my Ace was good.

So I called and heard Nick say, “You were supposed to fold there.”  Whatever that meant.

The river was a blank and I checked.  Nick put out $30 and I tanked.  Again, I held two diametrically opposed thoughts.  He both did and did not have a set of Kings.

I folded in my mind an infinite number of times….but not in reality.  The more I became convinced he had those Kings, the more I became convinced he didn’t have them.  Does that make any sense?

And then finally, I thought, well, it’s a low stakes game, it’s only $30.  I started thinking that Nick, having shown me pocket Kings a zillion times by now, could easily be trying to bluff me there, knowing I’d be putting him the one hand that was my worst nightmare.  He was taking advantage not only of my irrational fear of the dreaded hand, but also of the fact that he’d shown me it over and over again for the past two sessions and always seemed to win with them.

At least that’s what I talked myself into when I decided it was only $30 and I should call.  So that’s why I called.  Either that, or I’m not a very good player.

Of course, of course, the King of Pocket Kings did absolutely have KK once again, for a flopped set of Kings.  And made me look a total fool as a bonus.  I swear he won more times with pocket Kings in those two sessions I played with him than I have in my entire life.

Everyone had a good laugh at my misfortune and my bad play.  I took great pains to immediately whip out my notebook to write down the hand.  The King of Pocket Kings of course made a comment about it, “Rob, are you writing down the hand?”  Of course I was.

I said, “Yes.  How do you spell your name?  A-S-S-H-O…..”  I was just kidding.  The asshole in that hand was yours truly.

And of course I had to live tweet that epic event, so I sent out this missive:  “So @nickg_96 can't seem to lose with #thedreadedpocketkings. Especially when he flops a set with them against me. I see a future blog post.”

I had to add chips a couple of times, but there was one nice hand for me that involved a player who was not part of our little group.  I had pocket 8’s and had to call a small raise.  The flop was Jack-8-x.  So I led out with a $6 bet and the pre-flop raiser made it $12.  I decided to just call.  I checked the turn, now convinced the lady who raised would bet, which she did.  It was $30, I think.  I didn’t have much more than that so I went all in.  She promptly called. 

The river was a blank and she turned over pocket Queens.  My set of 8’s was good.  It was one of my few good hands of the night.  Having to work in the morning, I had to leave when I was down around $100.  It was a fun night, full of laughs, and definitely worth it.

And yes…Nick is The King of Pocket Kings.


  1. The only time I played poker with Nick his big hand was A-K. I believe he three bet and got some (two?) callers. The flop: K-K-rag. I thought "Day-um, that boy knows how to play." Or maybe he just gets two or three Kings every hand. Maybe.

  2. Rob--Here are my thoughts on that hand. I checked the flop as it was K-3-2 rainbow and I was sure you had a big Ace. If you had AA, you would have either 4bet me preflop or bet the flop. AK and you bet the flop. So I needed to let you catch up. Thankfully, the A on the turn did what I expected, and gave you the pair. When I raised your turn bet, my intentions were 2-fold. Get more money in the pot, and hopefully tell you I was ahead. That's why i said you were supposed to fold there after you called. I forget exactly what the river was, but it didn't change the fact that I was sure I was ahead. I figured the $30 was a good value bet. I knew there was a good chance you put me on KK, but I also knew that you couldn't put me solely on that hand. There wasn't much you could do once you hit your A, the hand played itself after that.

    All in all, I greatly enjoyed playing another session with you and Kristi, as well as meeting Mitzula, Stump, Michelle, Bill, Steve, "Jerry" and "Gwen". If only we could have hit the Mega Bad Beat while playing....lol

    1. That was a fun session and I hope you can make more of hem in Vegas some day. Seriously though, did you or did you not get KK an unusual number of times in my presence?

    2. I did. I also had AA a few times at the Quad. I was definitely running way above expectations in terms of how often I got premium hands, especially KK. I have no idea when I'll get back to vegas but I'll definitely let you know when it happens!