Tuesday, May 13, 2014

"Jack-Ball Me!"

I wrote a post on my birthday last month (see here).  It was written after I was awakened around 5AM by a fire alarm. I mentioned in that post that the previous night I had played in a “crazy dealer’s game at BSC.  The game was actually organized by my buddy Mike to celebrate his birthday, which is the day before mine.  Mike usually does this on birthday and that was just one more reason for me to be in Vegas on that day.

This year, Mike was kind enough to actually add my name to the official Birthday event on the Facebook invitations.  Many of the people invited saw my name and had the same reaction.  “Who the hell is ‘Rob’?”  It was actually very touching.

No seriously, it was really nice of Mike to put my name on there. It makes up for all the times he’s bitched about how my blog posts are too long to read (preposterous!) or all the times he’s cracked my pocket Kings.  True, every dealer in Vegas has (or will) cracked my Kings, that’s no great accomplishment.  But Mike’s been doing it longer and more consistently than anyone else.  And honestly, he was cracking my Kings before it was even a thing.

So in an attempt to thank Mike for his courtesy, I am going to start the story of this game off with Mike’s finest moment of the affair. Sadly, I didn’t witness it; it happened after I had left.  So I have to rely on second-hand sources, and I don’t have all the details because I didn’t take notes on it (since I wasn’t there).  But I have three reliable sources for it.  Well, make that two.  Mike was quite drunk and he could easily have been hallucinating.  But both Brent and Abe insist it really happened.

It seems that after I left the game, Brent pushed into deal and pushed Mike the very first pot of his down.  And the next one.  And the next one.  And at least six or seven more.  Seriously, Brent told me the next night that Mike had won an incredible number of pots in a row, from the very first one he dealt.  Mike could do no wrong.  Sometimes he had monsters and sometimes he had weak hands but he won with them all.  Apparently he even won an Omaha hand with nothing more than a pocket pair—it seems everyone else missed their draws.  It was quite amazing.  And since this game had a ½ kill, after the second one, they were all kill pots.

Next time I saw Mike, he had been too drunk to recall if I had been there to witness this incredible hot streak of his.  I informed him that Brent had informed me but I hadn’t seen it myself.  Mike was disappointed.  He wanted his epic run to be immortalized on this very blog.  You see, Mike only reads my blog when he appears in the story.

But I said I would work it in to the post as a personal favor to him.  And so I have.

As with last year, the game was going to rotate Crazy Pineapple and Omaha High.  No stupid “Reverse Hold’em” (as covered in this post).  It was 2/4 limit with the aforementioned half-kill.

The turn-out was quite a bit down from the previous year (when we had three games going).  Not sure why but a lot of folks you’d expect to show up didn’t.  We were never able to start a second table.  One disappointing no-show was Prudence, for example.  In fact, most of the wild, crazy ladies who’ve attended previous such events were absent.  As such, this will almost be a salacious-free post, sad to report.

What salaciousness there was was supplied by Angela, one of the truly wonderful people who works at BSC.  She’s not a dealer and I’ll just leave it at that.  She’s always incredibly nice to me and I suspect she treats people who she doesn’t see as often as me just as well.  I’ve never seen her play poker, but while she was wearing her BSC uniform, she came by the table once or twice to check in on us and say hello (she was on duty).  At one point, of the players in her game ask to see her “ink.”  Until that moment, I didn’t know she had any ink.  And her response was intriguing.  “Well, I’ll have to take my shirt off.”  I don’t think anybody would have objected to that.  Well ok, perhaps her boss.

In fact, later, she did come by with her shirt off.  Her uniform shirt.  She was of course completely covered by a sleeveless t-shirt.  And the ink she was showing off was all on her arm.  At least, the ink that we could see.

And Mike again had his South Park character figurine with the huge balls that I discussed in last year’s birthday post (here).  He was again asking random women he works with if they would like to lick his balls.  Angela wasn’t interested.  Mike said, “I’ll shave them for you.”  As Angela left the table, she shouted, “You’ll have to wax them.”

One potentially wild, crazy lady who did show up, albeit briefly, was Didi (see here).  I haven’t mentioned her in awhile.  She hasn’t been in the room very often lately.  And the last few times I saw her, she was quite restrained, I witnessed none of the antics that I had described in my posts about her.  She didn’t even call me “Patch Adams” when she saw me.  But on those occasions, she was with her boyfriend (a regular player in the room as it happens) and that may have had something to do with her more ladylike behavior.

Didi had some news; she is moving away from Las Vegas. There are poker rooms in the state she is moving to; I wonder how her act will play there?  She also brought us all some cupcakes, which were much appreciated.  But again, she was quite subdued when she said hello to me—and wished me a happy birthday.  She did ask if I would miss her and I said of course I would.

Didi and her boyfriend did not stick around long enough to play, however. I dunno if they would have if there had been spots for them, or if they had to get somewhere anyway.

One person who was there was a regular I’m going to call “Kevin.”  He’s in the room playing a lot, and is pals with all the dealers.  For some reason, I haven’t actually played with him more than once or twice.  I do recall him once seeing me and saying “Hi, Rob” and wondering how he knew my name. 

He’s quite nice guy and certainly didn’t deserve what I did to him on a particular hand.

For awhile, I was just losing chips like crazy.  This despite the fact the game had started out a lot tamer (less raising, three-betting and capped betting rounds) than usual for a game of this nature.  I just couldn’t hit anything and when that happens, you’d be surprised at how fast you can bleed chips even in a 2/4 game.

The only way I could win hand, it seemed, was to get quads.  Which I was getting quite often, at least at first.  In a Omaha hand, I had a pair of Jacks, and an Ace to match the suit of one of the jacks.  Don’t remember the other card.  There was an Ace on the flop, nothing else, but I called a bet (maybe even a bet and a raise).  The turn was an Ace.  Trip Aces isn’t really a good hand in Omaha, so I just called a bet, didn’t raise.  But the river was also an Ace.  Even in friggin’ Omaha, quad Aces is a good hand. I think I bet the hand and only got one caller, but it was a decent pot.

A little later, I had pocket 8’s in Omaha and who knows what else.  I paid to see the flop, which had a couple more 8s on it.            I checked it, there was a bet and a raise which I of course called.  I checked the turn, and someone bet, and of course I called.  I believe there at least three of us left to see the river.  I checked again, assuming the aggressor would bet out and I could make my check-raise.  But this time he checked, and there was no betting action on the river.  “No one bet into my quads?” I exclaimed as I showed my hand. 

Then came the hand against Kevin.  This was Crazy Pineapple.  I had pocket 3’s and some meaningless card.  I limped in and then had to call a raise from Kevin.  The flop was Ace-3-x, two clubs.  I led out because of the flush draw.  Kevin raised, and I called.  Did he have a set of Aces?  Or merely Ace-King, Ace-Queen, that kind of hand?  I just called.  I really was thinking it was set over set, and that maybe I should just call it down.

Until I saw the turn, which was the case 3.  Now of course I checked and Kevin bet and I just called.  I can’t tell you anything about the river card except it wasn’t an Ace. I’m not sure if I led out this time and he raised, or if I checked and he bet.  But he only bet or raised one time.  When I raised, he just called (and remember this was limit, so it was increments of four bucks). Did he really put me on quads? 

Umm yes, he did.  He showed his boat, Aces full. He had flopped a set of Aces.  I showed my quad 3’s.  So I had one-outed him.  He was smart enough to lose the minimum there.  He’s such a good guy, I came as close as possible to feeling sorry for taking his money. I mean, when I apologized for the suck-out, it almost felt like I meant it.

And then I went like forever without winning a hand.  Seriously, I was soon losing money.  How the heck do you lose money in a limit game when you get quads three friggin’ times?  And in case you’re wondering, because we weren’t playing Hold’em, there was no jackpot drop and thus no high bonuses for us.

But somehow I did lose money  In fact, I was getting short stacked.  Now, back when I was a regular limit player, I would never allow myself to get short stacked, because that’s really stupid to do in a limit game.  You need to have ammo if you do get a monster and you control to a large degree how much your risk, unlike NL where your stack is in play on every hand.  I would see players buy in for $20 and think how crazy that was.  They ran out of money long before the river and thus, when they did have a winning hand, they’d win a lot less than they could have.

But by now it was getting late I kind of felt if I ran out of my buy in (I think it was $100 and then I added on $40 when I was running low), I’d just call it a night.  I thought I had enough anyway because there wasn’t as much raising and capping as in the past.  Until this hand.  I had Ace-10 of diamonds and a random card in Crazy Pineapple.  I called a raise but then it was re-raised and I think it ended up being capped before the flop.  I flopped the nut flush draw so I had to call a few bets and raises.  On the turn, I picked up a gut-shot to the wheel.  By now there was a 5,3,and 2 on the board.  So of course I called a bet and a raise.  I had $6 left!

The river was a four, but not a diamond. I really didn’t think my straight was good, fearing the other guy had at least a 6-high straight.  So when he bet (and everyone else folded), I just called and kept the two bucks.  I was gonna throw it to the dealer if I lost.  But all he had was the Ace too and we chopped it up.  There was so much money in from the other players that I actually had a pretty nice stack after that, more than enough to play and call all the raises I would have to without rebuying.

Which brings us to Michelle.  Michelle of course is the dealer who “never pushes me a pot.”  I used to keep a running tally in my head of now many pots she owed me (down from 100, because she once said she owed me 100 pots).  But that’s as a dealer. As a player, Michelle is the poster girl for the term “No fold’em, hold’em.”  In her case, it doesn’t matter whether she’s playing limit. 1/2 NL or even 2/5 NL (or so I’m told), she never met a hand she didn’t like.  At the previous Crazy Pineapple/Omaha game, Michelle’s boyfriend gave her this advice, “Try to fold at least one hand per orbit, honey.”

When Michelle first arrived, she couldn’t get into the game as we were full.  Then Mike took a break and allowed Michelle to play over him (play with his chips).  Of course, in a serious game, this would be strictly forbidden, but the rules are looser in a game such as this, which is basically a home game.

And when she was playing with Mike’s money, she was playing much tighter and saner than she does when she’s playing with her own money. She’s actually a decent player when she wants to be.  It’s just that, left to her own devices, she wants to see every flop, almost every turn, and pretty much all of the rivers too.

Mike returned, but soon a seat opened up and Michelle took it.  She was in a particularly good mood.  In fact, although she hadn’t had a drop of alcohol, she was acting rather tipsy.  She played every hand of course, and wasn’t particularly shy about saying what card she needed.

Thus one time, before the flop, she shouted out, “Come on, Jack-Ball me!”  I believe she probably addressed the dealer by name, and it may very well have been Jack—but remember, Jack isn’t his real name, so it wasn’t as ironic as it sounds.  I think the first time she shouted this, Jack did indeed put a Jack on the flop.  My memory is hazy but she might have hit a set of Jacks that time.

Everyone was laughing at her “Jack-Ball me” line and it became a running gag.  For awhile, she said it before every flop, even though she surely couldn’t need a Jack every time. Sometimes there would be a Jack on the flop and she’d actually fold to a bet, and we’d remind her that she had indeed been “Jack-Balled.” But she’d fold anyway.  Other times she’d raise when there was no Jack on the flop and we’d joke about that too.  And once she got tired of saying it (after about 45 minutes or so), we’d always point out to her whenever there was a Jack on the board and remind her that she had been “Jack-Balled.”

It was inevitable that Michelle and I would eventually get into a hand.  Soon after the wheel hand I described, I had Ace-7-6, all hearts, in Crazy Pie.  An off duty dealer had raised preflop and Michelle and I and maybe some others called.  Note: I’m not giving the off duty dealer a blog name because I’m too tired to think of one.  If and when he does something else blogworthy, I’ll come up with something.  Anyway, the flop was 5-3-2, two diamonds and no hearts.  In a game like this, it’s almost always worth it to call a flop bet if you have a gut shot.  The preflop raiser bet, Michelle and I called (and maybe some others) and I threw out the Ace and went for the gut shot.

Which I hit on the turn, a lovely 4, and not a diamond.  What had happened was that the preflop raiser, (a dealer in this very room), had actually bet $4 blind blind before the turn card was exposed.  Michelle immediately raised it to $8 as soon as she saw the 4.  At which point, the dealer tried to claim that he hadn’t actually bet the $4 and tried to take it back!  WTF?  He of all people should have known his bet was binding.  But the actual dealer had to call the floor over to rule.  He tried to explain why it wasn’t a bet—I didn’t quite get what argument he was making—but of course the floor ruled that his bet stayed and Michelle was allowed to make it $8.

Which was great for me because that allowed me to make it $12.  The dealer folded and Michelle just called.  She checked the river and called my $4 bet.  She had just the 6 for the straight and she was pretty sure that I had the higher straight, as I did.  As she said, explaining why she didn’t raise me back, “You can’t raise Robert….he never plays a hand.”  Damn, I do have to loosen up my image, don’t I?

That hand put me pretty close to even and I played until we switched back to Omaha.  I thanked Mike for the party, wished him a happy birthday and said my goodbyes.

In addition to learning about Mike’s incredible run the next day, I heard that after the table thinned, they actually played a round of Razz.  This is significant because it is a game that Abe excels at.  Except that he usually gets the best Razz hands when he’s playing Hold’em.  When he told me he won some nice hands at Razz, I said I assumed he would get nothing but quads playing it.

Anyway, it was another fun birthday/poker affair.    


  1. 2 str8 posts no BOOBIES. where r those Betty White bikini pics? LOL.so now in top 9.LOL

    1. Sorry man, some post cry out for boobies. Some don't.

      I actually was looking for a hot chick with a Jack-in-the-box but struck out.

    2. I'll take it under advisement.

  2. u know how i know u r gay, JACK BALL ME.we know u have a bromance with keifer sutherland,sir.i see what u did there

    1. Not that there's anything wrong with that......

    2. exactly, more boobies 4 me to play with .LMAO.

  3. Rob, are you going to be in town 8/24 -->

    1. August? I'm not planning that far ahead. Can't say yet. But it's possible.