Sunday, March 2, 2014

"I Love You More Than My Luggage"

A couple of months ago I did a post about the guy who kept asking “Will you show if I fold?”  As I mentioned in that post, which you can find here, I isolated that one hand for that post and intended to do a post about the rest of tournament later.  Well, later is now.  Note, that same day was also when the story I told here took place, but there are no breasts in this post, ginormous or otherwise.

As usual, it was the Saturday, 2PM at Binion’s, $125 buy-in, $20K starting stack. I started the tournament completely card dead.  In a deepstack tournament, that’s not necessarily the worst thing.  You don’t need to play hands at this point if you don’t have a good reason to.  Not getting playable cards keeps you out of trouble.

Early in the tournament I overheard a guy at a nearby table talking about a blind woman playing poker.  Her husband was helping her by whispering the cards to her, but not giving any advice.  At first I thought he was talking about seeing this woman in a different tournament but then I noticed the blind woman myself.  And I recognized her.  She was actually the woman I had written about in one of my earliest blog posts, (see here).  It’s a cute story and a lot of my current readers have probably never read it, you should check it out. 

I was going to say hello and possibly remind her of our intimate initial meeting (see, this is why you should read that post) but she busted out before the first break.

First level, blinds 50/100.  I had Ace-Queen of clubs in the small blind.  It was raised to $200.  I don’t normally three-bet with that hand but I thought the raise was too small, so I decided to make it $600.  Preflop raiser called.  One club on the flop, nothing else.  I bet $800, he called.  There was a Queen on the turn, I bet $1K and he folded.

And I went the rest of that level and the next two without dragging a pot.  I had a couple of playable hands, but nothing that progressed past the flop.  On the fourth level (200/400) I had Ace-Queen of clubs again.  There was a limper in front of me, I made it $1,500 and got two callers.  Whiffed on the flop, I made a $4,000 c-bet and they both folded.

As the fifth level (300/600) began, I had basically my original starting stack of $20K.  Second hand of the level, I had Ace-Queen of hearts.  Ace-Queen had been good to me thus far.  First in, I made $1,500.  One caller and then an older gentleman made it $4K.  So I folded, the other player folded and the three-bettor showed us two Aces.

I lost chips raising with Queen-Jack of hearts.  I missed the flop, and when a player led out, I folded and at least didn’t lose any more with a c-bet.  I lost chips calling a normal raise with pocket 7’s and missed.

Same level, I got Ace-Queen of clubs yet again.  There were two limpers in front of me and I made it $3,000.  Everyone folded.  This was only the third pot I’d taken down, and every single time I had won, it was Ace-Queen of clubs.  Not just Ace-Queen, not even Ace-Queen suited, but exactly Ace-Queen of clubs.  That was apparently the only hand I could win with on this day. Very strange.

By the sixth level (400/800) I was down to $13K chips.  That’s close to an “M” of 10, about the spot I start thinking about open-shoving.   Under the guy I raised to $2,400 with Queen-10 of spades, no one called.   I had a pair of Jacks, first in I made it $2,500, no one called.  Ace-10 off, first in, I made it $2,500, one player called.  Ace-King-x flop.  I shoved.  The other guy said, “pocket pair no good?” and folded.  Then I got pocket Queens.  Two people limped, the guy to my right made it $3K.  I shoved.  No one called.

I started level 7 (500/1000) with $21,500.  In late position with Jack-10 of hearts and, first in, I made it $3,000.  The guy behind me thought for a second and folded but said, “I’m not gonna take this much longer.”  He had started commenting about the fact that I seemed to be raising a lot all of a sudden, and he took it personally.  This guy was kind of weird too….he couldn’t stay in his seat.  He got up and took a little walk after almost every hand he folded.    The dealer said he must have a thumbtack in his seat.

I three bet with AK, no call.   I raised first in with K-10, no call.  Again first in, I raised with A-4 hearts, no call.  Thumbtack guy warns me again.  “That’s three times in a row, I’m gonna defend my blind next time.”  But he busted out before he had a chance to keep his word.

Started level 8 (100/600/1200) with $27,600.  Didn’t play a hand at this level until the last hand of it.  I had King-Queen of hearts and shoved.   I was snap-called by a guy with pocket Aces.  Ugh.  I saw his Aces before I had flipped over my hand and said, “As they say….you have me crushed.”  But the flop had a Queen and two hearts and neither of the guy’s Aces were heart-shaped.  The next card was as black as the King of spades…in fact, it was the King of spades, giving me two pair.  The river card was a blank and I had gotten a huge suckout.  His stack was exactly $500 less than mine so I had damn nice double up there.

And then occurred the two hands that I isolated in the previous blog post about this tournament.  Both of those hands involved my having the dreaded pocket Kings, within just a few hands of each other.  To briefly recap, in the first one, I three-bet with them and the short stack called my three-bet, then shoved with Ace-Queen on a flop that missed him.  I of course called and took all his chips.  The second time it was against the player I’m now calling Mickey (see here and here).  Mickey took forever to finally fold what he said was a couple of Jacks.  For more details, see the very first link I gave you in the opening paragraph of this post.

I didn’t make another note until level 11 (300/1200/2400) with a stack of $78K.  The blinds and the antes were eating away at me, although I must have also lost some chips in hands I played, but obviously nothing dramatic enough to get me to get my notebook out.  I must not have won anything during this time because the next note I have is when I had 10-9 off in the cut-off seat and, first in, I raised to $6K and no one called.  Same thing happened when I had Jack-8 of hearts.

I stole enough blinds and antes (never getting called) to be up to $92K at start of level 13(400/2000/4000).   At some point I wrote down this line a guy had.  “Viagra is like a ride at Disneyland.  A one hour wait for a two-minute ride.”  Despite a few preflop raises that took down pots without a call, I only increased my stack to $95K at the start of the next level.  That’s just a little over an “M” of 5 (blinds are 500/3000/6000).

I took some chips by shoving with Ace-10 and no one called.  Then I raised to $20K with Queen-10 off.  A guy folded pocket deuces face up and said, “I’m probably ahead.”

By the time level 15 started, we were down to 2 tables.  And there was drama as we approached the bubble.  They were paying 13 and when it was down to 15, things got really tight, as everyone was trying to hang on and cash (I think 1st place was around $3,400).  One of the players suggested giving the last two places their buy-ins back so we’d all be in the money.  Before he even could suggest where this money would come from, one of the guys I had been playing with all day said no.  He said he was fine with paying one bubble, but not two.  And he even said, “I know that the guy who vetoes paying the bubble is always the next to bust out, but I just don’t believe in paying two bubbles.”

Ok, end of discussion.  But then, when the next player did bust out, and we were down to 14, someone actually suggested that we chop the whole prize pool 14 ways.  Really?  It wasn’t that late (10PM, I’m gonna guess).  I wasn’t sure if he was serious or not.  I thought it was a joke but it got some discussion, which I found odd.  I couldn’t imagine this ever flying.  I suppose if it had gotten to be 2AM or so, and there were less players remaining, you might talk about a big chop.  But at this point?  No way.

But the person who officially vetoed it was a guy I recognized.  In fact, I was certain he was playing in the very first Binion’s tournament that I cashed in—a 6 way chop (see here).  He was the guy who nixed the idea of paying the bubble in that tournament over 2 years ago. And then proceeded to bust out in 7th or 8th place.  I haven’t seen this guy regularly, just a few more times at Binion’s and even once or twice at MGM playing cash. 

Anyway, he said he would never agree to any kind of chop.  I certainly don’t blame him for not agreeing to a 14 way chop at that point but he made it sound like no deal was ever possible as long as he was alive. 

The funny thing was, the guy who had objected to paying two bubbles just a few minutes earlier was thinking it was a serious suggestion and saying, “We can deal, I’ll take less.”  He had been doing real well early in the tournament but he had started to bully the table and it caught up with him.  He was now one of the shorter stacks. 

But the kid who said he’d never chop it had a big stack and he said, “This is how I make my money.  I don’t go to your job and ask you to chop your paycheck.”

Once I realized who the guy who nixed the 14-way chop was, I was totally surprised when he agreed to paying one bubble when we were down to 14.  All the last player got was his $125 buy-in back, which I think came from 1st place ($100) and 2nd place ($25).  But whoever that min casher was, when he busted, presumably to the guy who wouldn’t chop it 14 ways, he called him a “dick.”  Since this happened at the other table, I dunno if this had more to do with the play of the hand that busted him, or some other run in they had at the table—or because of the guy’s refusal to consider a 14-way chop!  Apparently that guy wasn’t a regular since the T.D. didn’t recognize him but said he would talk to him about his name-calling when he paid him off.

That guy who said this is how he makes his money had a huge stack when this was discussed.  But before we got down to one table, he busted out, so he had a pretty small cash.  He busted out to the tournament’s luckbox.  He was actually an off-duty Binion’s dealer.  I didn’t play with him until the final table but I kept hearing stories from the other table of how he was running, and he had a boatload of chips. It wasn’t like he was running like god.  It was more a case of god being jealous of him for how he was running.

But when that guy busted out to the luckbox, the player who had suggested the 14-way chop said to him, “See that’s what you get for saying no to a chop.”  The kid didn’t say anything but the TD warned the player—he was a regular—saying that was totally uncalled for.  “That’s pouring salt into the wound.  Inappropriate.”

I want to get back to the luckbox, the off duty dealer.  There was one hand that I didn’t see but heard it described afterward from a table away.  He had A-K.  Other player had KQ.  The flop was A-J-10.  That’s when the other player shoved with his nut straight and the luckbox called with TPTK (and a gut shot to a chop).  He didn’t get his Queen for a chop.  No, he got runner runner Kings for a full house!  Now that’s running good.  And he was doing similar things over and over again.  Another time a short stacked shoved with Ace-2, but the luckbox snap called with pocket Aces.

Still at level 15, a guy went all-in in front of me.  I was happy about that since I woke with pocket Aces.  He had King-10 suited.  Aces held.  His stack was just a bit less than mine.

Started level 17 (2000/6000/12000) with $110K.  I shoved with Ace-Jack and Typhoid Mary, a really short stack, called.  Typhoid Mary?  Yes.  All through the tournament, I kept hearing this woman from another table coughing every few minutes.  It got worse as the tournament progressed.  When we got to the final two tables, I was finally at the same table and it was beyond annoying.  I’m not really a germaphobe, but this was so excessive I was sure she was going to get all the rest of us deathly ill.  Anyway, she was the big blind and thus felt compelled to call my shove with her 6-4 offsuit.  Maybe she knew that a 6 was coming and nothing else, and she won the damn pot.

I busted someone out when my shove of K-Q held up against a guy shoving with K-J. I shoved with A-Q and a short stack called with 6-4, I guess because he’d seen that work out well for Typhoid Mary.  But this time there was no 6, no 4 and I busted the guy out and got a small stack added to min.

The wonderful Denise was dealing when we assembled the final table.  I had chatted with her on the previous break before she started her shift and she told me that she had changed her hours.  That’s why she’s not appearing so much here, and not because she’s toned it down at all.  I had to move one seat over at the same table and as everyone was finding their new seats, I said to Denise, “Oh, don’t you have to draw for the button?”  She replied, “I’ve already done that, sir. I’ve done this before.  I’m a professional.”  I laughed and said, “You’re awesome.”

Because it was getting towards Midnight (with still 10 players left), we started talking about how long this tournament could possibly go on.  Denise told the story of the latest tournament that she could remember.  It got down to two players—a husband and a wife.  And they refused to chop or make any kind of deal.  They said this was sort of their dream, the two of them going heads up in a tournament.  The dealers didn’t mind because they were so nice and it was something like 4:30 AM before it finally ended (the husband won).  They were very generous with the dealers at the end, according to Denise.  The funny thing was they were clearly only playing for pride since the money was all going into the same place. 

I stopped noting my stack—or even what level we were at—because it was clear my stack dictated that I could make no move other than a shove.  And when the luckbox—who I could barely see behind his stack of chips even though he is quite a large fellow—raised, I didn’t see any other choice but to shove with my Ace-Queen offsuit.  Although, I suppose I might have stopped and considered how well this guy was running all day.  My stack wasn’t big enough to get him to fold after the raise he had made.  He showed Ace-8 off.  The bad:  there was an 8 on the flop.  The good: there was a Queen on the turn.  The really bad:  another 8 fell on the river.

So that Queen was just a damn tease.  I was out, 10th place.  I said to Denise, “That was the dealer’s fault.”  She said, “I agree.”  Then I leaned in and whispered to her, “You know, there’s gonna be another write up about you for this.”

Now clearly she knows about the blog, that’s been long established.  But her response was a bit weird, “Oh, I’ve been written up so many times about so many things, what’s one more?”  Hmm….I wasn’t going to report her to H.R.!

As I walked toward the counter to collect my $225 (for 10 hours of poker), I heard her shout out to me, “I love you more than my luggage…..that’s true.”

High praise indeed. It was a fun day of poker, and a mildly profitable one.

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