Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Speech

The action’s on them.  They have a tough decision.  It’s either call or fold.  They can’t decide.  Also, they can’t decide silently.  They have to give a speech.

We’ve all heard it.  The player does a five minute monologue before taking the action.  The longer he talks, the more likely he is to call, even if he’s saying he’s beat.  He’s going to spend five minutes telling you he’s beat, and then he’s going to call anyway.

Why do they do it?  Perhaps they are trying to get a read on the player who made the bet they are facing?  That may be it, but I really think it’s mostly to somehow justify—not only in their own mind, but to the other players at the table—a bad call.

This one dates back to the March Madness trip, in what turned out to be a really nice session.

I was a bit under my $200 buy-in when I was dealt pocket Aces.  I raised to $8 and a guy who had me covered made it $21.  It folded back to me.  This happened about a week after the famous pocket Aces hand I described here, where I three-bet to $75. Afterwards, I had the long discussion afterward with The Poker Meister.  His feedback was fresh in my mind—but I hadn’t written the post about it yet so I didn’t have any additional feedback from my readers.  I tried to keep that in mind as I played the hand.

Since it was just the two of us, I re-raised to $45 and he just called.  A re-re-raise there would have been nice.

The flop was pretty dry, King-high.  My inclination was to bet, but I was thinking about the hand from the week before.  I was hoping he had Ace-King and he would bet.  I thought that if he had pocket Kings he most likely would have raised me back preflop and we would have had all the money in the pot before the flop.  So I checked, but he checked behind me.

The turn was another King.  If he didn’t bet the first King, I didn’t expect him to bet the second one.  Unless he was slowplaying a set of them which had now become quads, that is.  I bet $40.  That seemed small but again, I was thinking how I had bet too much in the situation the week before.

He tanked for awhile and then folded. He probably had QQ or JJ.

Then came the first big hand.  In the big blind, I had pocket 3’s.  A player opened for $10, two others called, including the small blind. I called as well.  The flop was Jack-5-3 rainbow. 

I’ve mentioned many times here how I don’t slowplay sets, but lately I’ve been a little more inclined to.  I’m trying to get more value for my big hands. It was a very dry board too, so when the small blind checked, I did as well, assuming the preflop raiser would bet.

He did, but only $10.  The next guy called and the small blind made it $40.  He had a few less chips than I had.  I think I started the hand with about $200 or a bit less.  I just called. The other two players folded.

The turn was another Jack.  To my surprise, he checked. Hmm.  So, hoping to get some value for my big hand, I bet $50.  He called after thinking about it for not very long.

The river was a blank and he checked again.  There was nothing for to do other than shove, so I did. As I said, he had a few bucks less than me ($80-$90?).  And that’s when he gave “The Speech.”

“I shouldn’t have called you on the turn.  I know you have pocket 3’s.  There’s nothing else you could have than pocket 3’s. The only thing you could have is pocket 3’s.  Pocket 3’s or pocket 5’s.  You’ve got pocket 3’s, you’ve got a boat.  I shouldn’t have called on the turn.  But I can’t let this go.  I can’t lay this down.”

Of course I said nothing.  I hadn’t encountered Bigmouth from the post here yet, but now that I have, I am wondering what the confrontation between the two of them would have been like?  Two guys against each other, neither one with the ability to shut up.  It might have been a half hour before the action was completed.  Bigmouth probably would have convinced him to fold even as he was trying to get him to call.

The guy kept at it.  “Why did that second Jack have to hit.  I can’t lay this down.  I can’t.  I know you’ve got pocket 3’s but I can’t lay this down.  You have to have pocket 3’s  That’s the only hand you could have.  Or pocket 5’s.  But I know you have the boat.  I just can’t lay this down.  I just can’t.  I can’t let it go.”

At one point, he actually turned over one of his cards.  It was a Jack.  I didn’t react.  But honestly, I don’t think he did that to see my reaction.  I think he wanted everyone to know how hard a decision it was. 

Finally, after taking more time than it takes to read one of my blog posts, he put all his chips in front of him.  I turned over my pocket 3’s, which of course, didn’t surprise him at all.

“I knew it.  I knew it.  I knew it.”  Well, since you knew I had it, thanks so much for calling, sir!  He never showed his other card.

The guy rebought, but didn’t stay much longer.  He left before he lost his new stack.  I think that hand had diminished his interest in poker for the night.

He was replaced by an older black gentleman, a really nice, really friendly guy.  Sadly—for him, anyway—he happened to be a pretty bad poker player.  And worse for him—he was real unlucky.

By now my stack was more than twice the $200 I’d bought in for.  In middle position I looked down on my favorite hand, the dreaded pocket Kings.  There were a couple of limpers, so I raised to $12.  The limpers and one of the blinds all called, so there were four of us to see the flop, and I was going to be last to act.

The flop was Jack-10-4, rainbow.  The first two players checked, and the action was on the older gentleman who was sitting directly to my right.  As I said, he was a very friendly, very chatty fellow, but chatty in a nice way.  So, before acting, this fellow also decided to give a speech.  Maybe there was something about that chair?  But this was a very different (and shorter) speech than the previous guy.  “Nobody bet?  Nobody bet?  Check to me?”


“Well, since nobody bet, I’m going to have to make it $50.”  And he counted out $50 and pushed it out in front of him.

I thought about his comment.  As I said, I’d already determined he was a bad player.  Perhaps incorrectly, I interpreted his comment to mean that he didn’t realize the preflop raiser (that is, me), hadn’t acted yet.  I really was convinced of that.  I truly believed he thought the preflop raiser had checked and his action was the last of the round.  To me that meant he could be betting with top pair, middle pair, or even less.  Yeah, that’s what I thought.

If he hadn’t made that little mini-speech, I probably would have just called and tried to get to a showdown cheap.  If he made that bet knowing that the preflop raiser hadn’t been heard from yet, I would have put him on a bigger hand.

So, thinking he was making that bet as a possible steal, I decided to raise.  I figured he would likely fold when he realized his error.  He’d realize his pair of Jacks were no good.  And I’d win a decent size pot for only having a lousy pair of Kings, which of course, is pretty much the worst hand in poker.

I made it $130.  That was about half his stack, maybe a bit more (he was already on his second buy-in).

The other guys folded, but the older gentleman surprised me.  He called.

The turn was a not-so dreaded King.  I really dismissed the possibility that this gave him a straight.  I’d never seen him bet a draw before.  Although I suppose, if he really thought he was last to act, he might have bet the draw as a steal, with a backup plan of hitting his straight.

His shoved.  That didn’t dissuade me from my belief that he didn’t have a straight.  Besides, I wasn’t folding a set of Kings.  I called.

The river was meaningless and he turned over his cards. “I have two pair.”  He did indeed. Jack-10.  I turned over my Kings.  He looked stunned.  I dunno what he put me on (if he was even capable of putting me on a hand) but it surely wasn't a set of Kings.

He was such a friendly, classy gentleman, I felt a tiny bit guilty taking all his money.  But hey, it was pocket Kings, so how bad could I feel?

Is it possible that I had totally misread his little speech and he made that bet on the flop totally aware that the preflop raiser was behind him?  I believe it is.  Oh well, dumb-ass luck can really come in handy in this game.

He bought in a third time.  He lost a few more bucks to me chasing a straight against my pocket Jacks.  Then he lost the rest of his chips to someone else and called it a night.

I left up $500 for the night.  And heard a couple of speeches.


  1. I hope that I'll run as hot as you do if I start writing a blog... Nice night sir!

    1. Heh heh...thanks Coach. I'm looking forward to reading that blog you're thinking about doing! :)

      I thought you'd like this line: "Oh well, dumb-ass luck can really come in handy in this game."

  2. sweet post sweeter pic. FREE SPEECH MOTHERFUCKER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL

    1. Thanks, anger. It was really difficult finding a pic that tied speech into boobies. I was about to give up when I found this one.

    2. NEVER GIVE UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! U R THE JIMMY V of poker blogs.would Jack give up? NO. he would find away. shoot up heroin or shoot chapelle in the back of the head.

    3. LOL....Jimmy V = Jimmy Valvano? I'm honored.

  3. "He was replaced by an older black gentleman, a really nice, really friendly guy."

    Nice post, Tony . . . heheheh

    1. Ouch.

      Watch it, Peters....I can you have banned from MGM.

    2. Did I miss the post that talked about nice and friendly people?

    3. Yes. The previous two, actually.

  4. the pic reminds me of the Van Halen song HOT 4 TEACHER.