Wednesday, May 7, 2014

"What's Your Nationality?"

(This is second part of the post I started last time and picks up right where the first part left off.  See here for part 1).

I took my seat at the new table.  You know that expression, “out of the frying pan, into the fire”?  Well, that’s what happened to me when I got to that new game.  It didn’t take me long to start wondering if I had gotten to a worse table than the one I had just left.

Almost as I was taking my seat, I noticed some hostility at the table.  I didn’t catch all of it.  But a guy in seat 8 was upset with Seat 5, a youngish guy wearing a baseball cap (the right way, to be fair).  As best as I could tell, Seat 8 was unhappy that Seat 5 was somehow improperly using a Military I.D.  Perhaps he was pretending to be ex-Military.  Not really sure.  Seat 5 insisted he wasn’t doing that, but Seat 8 was not believing him. Seat 8 was apparently ex-Military and didn’t like the fact that Seat 5 was (seemingly) faking his former military status. He eventually moved away from the topic, but there was some residual tension in the air.

Seat 5 plays an important role in this story, so I’m going to have to give him a phony name.  I don’t know his actual name.  So I don’t want to give him a name like “Frank” or “Dan” which could, by some remarkable coincidence, actually turn out to be his real name.  So I’ll just call him “Douchebag.”  Note:  Although this guy is indeed a “Douchebag,” I seriously doubt that’s his real name.  I mean, how could his parents have known as soon as he popped out of the womb that he would become such a total douchebag?  It seems unlikely.

The next thing I noticed at this table was that virtually every pot was raised preflop.  Maybe literally every one.  And not small, reasonable raises.  Big, ridiculous raises.  And almost all of the raises were being made by Douchebag.  He didn’t necessarily three-bet, but if it wasn’t raised by the time it got to him, you could count on him putting $15, $20, $25 in the pot.  On the button.  Under-the-Gun.  In the blinds.  Didn’t matter.  He apparently never met a hand he didn’t like, a lot.

So much for my idea of playing a lot of hands to try to win some of those drawing tickets.

Another thing I noticed was that Douchebag never shut up.  He made Bigmouth seem like a mime. I immediately tuned him out so I don’t know really know what he was babbling about, but it was pretty annoying.

Just a few minutes after the tension from the military I.D. discussion had eased up, the floor person came by.  She gave the table a warning!  “I want you to know that I’m getting reportst that there’s a lot of over-aggressiveness at this table.  I want you to all watch it.  We’re aware of if.  I know it’s poker, Calm it down. Keep a lid on it. We’re keeping an eye on you.”

Although she was sorta addressing the whole table, it was clear that she was concentrating on Douchebag.  No surprise. 

I didn’t really understand what she meant by “aggressiveness.”  She couldn’t really be talking about poker could she?  Warning him for betting too much, too often?  You can’t warn somebody for that, can you?  I thought it was more likely she meant overly antagonistic, not overly aggressive.  But I never asked, and now, I regret that.

Well all this didn’t help my mood.  I began to wonder if I should try to find a third table to play at (there were two other 1/2 games going that I hadn’t tried yet).  I didn’t like the tension, and wasn’t thrilled with the ridiculous amount of preflop raising.  Remember I wanted to play more hands than usual, not less.  OTOH, I knew that at a table like this, all I really had to do was hit one hand—and maybe not even that hard—and I would be sitting pretty.

So I was sitting there pondering this, getting annoyed and never being able to see a flop for a reasonable price, and I was still seething about Bigmouth over at the previous table.  And now I was even madder at him because he had chased me into a game that was even worse than the one he was at!  I was quite upset. 

And then I was dealt 7/8 of clubs in the big blind.  To my astonishment, Douchebag only raised to $12, which I think was the smallest raise he’d made in the few minutes I’d been at the table.  I think I may have actually seen him fold or limp in once.  Once.  A couple of other players called, so I did as well.  Ordinarily, I wouldn’t want to play a hand like that out of position in a raised pot, but I knew at a table like this I was going to have to open up my range for calling raises out of position if I was to ever play a hand.  And besides, by the standards of this table, $12 was a bargain.

The flop was 5-4-3, two hearts, one diamond.  So I had a gutshot but I really wasn’t interested in investing any money in it.  The small blind checked, I checked and the action was no one Douchebag.  He was sitting one seat away from me on the left.  There was a seemingly nice, older woman sitting between us.

I believe Douchebag was distracted for a second by the cocktail waitress, or perhaps he was just involved in a conversation with someone at the table.  His mouth was always going.  Apparently, he didn’t realize the action was on him.  No problem, the dealer was my pal Jack, who of course advised Douchebag that it was his turn to act.  (For a post featuring Jack, see here, but I should tell you, there’s a much, much better story about Jack to be posted in the near future from this same trip).

“It’s on me?” Douchebag asked Jack, even tho Jack had just told him that.  “Yes, it’s on you,” Jack told Douchebag.  “Everybody checked?”  Yes, Jack assured him that everybody checked.

Pointing to me, Douchebag then said, “I didn’t see him check.  I don’t have a read on him.”  OK, it was probably the first flop I’d seen since I got to the table.  Because it was the first time I didn’t need a bank loan to call the preflop raise.

Then he turned to me, looked straight at me and said, “Did you check?”

WTF?  I think by now everyone in the friggin’ casino, and the one across the street, knew that I had checked.

I suppose there was a bit of aggravation—but only a bit—in my voice when I said, “Yeah, I checked.”  I was ready to fold to what I assumed was going to be a huge bet and move on to the next hand.

And then he said to me, “What’s your nationality?”

WTF?  No, seriously, WTF???

I suppose if I had been a better mood, I might have actually laughed at that question.  But between the Bigmouth at the table I had just left and the antics I’d already witnessed from Douchebag, I was in no mood.  I mean no mood at all.

Actually, I kind of went berserk.

In an instant, I said, with total rage in my voice, “What the f*** kind of question is that?” 

And then, remembering the lady sitting to my left, I said, in hushed tones, “Pardon my language.”  

I dunno who was more surprised, Douchebag or Jack.  In all the times he’s dealt to me, Jack surely had never seen a reaction like that.  Actually, I was pretty surprised myself. 

Douchebag looked at Jack and said, “Is that a bad question?”  Jack said something like, “you don’t ask a question like that.”

Not in the middle of a hand, at least, which was my point.  I said, again, quite agitated, “We’re in the middle of a hand. Play your hand.”  I can’t confirm it but there might have been steam coming out of my ears.

So he did.  He made a bet.  I have no idea how much.  I didn’t care.  The other player folded and then I did and I got out of my chair faster than if they had shouted “fire!”—or if they said Kate Upton was walking on the other side of the casino stark naked.  

I made a beeline to the floorperson who had just warned the table. She was at an empty table preparing it for a new game.  I described for her what had just happened, how he had asked repeatedly if I had checked when Jack kept telling him I had, and how he had asked me what my nationality was while the action was pending.

She said that she was swamped, the shift manager was at lunch and she would address it when he returned.  I said fine.  I really didn’t care if she did anything about the Douchebag—other than allow me to get the hell away from him.  I requested a table change.  I had only one requirement.  I didn’t want to go back to the table I had just left either.  I saw that Bigmouth was still there.  There were two other 1/2 games going, so she said she would put me in for a change to either one of those two games.

Unfortunately, I had no choice but to return to the Douchebag’s table and wait.  If I stopped playing altogether, I wouldn’t have first priority to go to one of the other two tables.  I know how the system works.  I had to wait it out. I suppose I could have just stayed away from the table and skipped blinds and such, but I didn’t think that was fair to the other players and besides, if I was stuck there, I might as well look at some cards even if my range was really narrow.

You see I had totally left the game, mentally.  I was paying no attention to how anyone played—not that anyone really was noticeable other than Douchebag with his giant preflop raises.  I just wanted to play pocket pairs and catch a set and drag a big pot that way.  Maybe I’d play Ace-King.  Nothing else.

I believe the guy tried to talk to me—he may have even tried to apologize in his own, feeble way—but I was totally tuning him out.  I was committed to not saying one word to him the rest of the night. He seemed unconcerned, as he talked everyone else’s ear off.

I sat at the table, playing no attention to the game except when it was my turn to act, waiting to hear my name for the table change, and otherwise, burying my face in my cell phone so I would have an excuse for not paying attention to Douchebag.

I was an autopilot, taking a quick glimpse at my cards and auto-folding when I suddenly looked down at my old friends, the dreaded pocket Kings. In my current state of mind, it was actually the one pocket pair I didn’t want to see, because of my history with them. 

But no, of course I knew I had to raise with them.  And damn, as I am writing this post, I realize that I made a huge mistake.  I just raised as a matter of course.  But since I was under-the-gun, with Douchebag behind me, that would have been absolutely the perfect time to limp in and spring the play that I totally hate (when anyone else does it), the limp/re-raise.  Because if ever I was in a game where I could be 99.999% sure someone would raise, it was right then.  Surely if I limped in, Douchebag would make his usual $20-$25 raise, maybe even there’d be a caller or two, and I could three-bet if not just shove.  Sadly, I was too upset to think that creatively.

However, I was alert enough to realize I could/should bet bigger than I usually do there.  Douchebag would call almost any bet less than a shove.  No point in putting my usual $8 that I would bet there, I made it $12.  I actually thought there was a good chance Douchebag would three-bet me light there, but he just called.  So did four others.  So it was a $72 pot at the flop.

And what a flop.  It was Ace-King-Queen, two diamonds (my Kings were both black).  So I caught my set on the scariest board possible.  Still, I felt I had no choice but to bet (anyone disagree?).  I put out $60.  Everyone insta-folded (including Douchebag) until it got to the guy to my immediate right, who was a new player at the table.  He took a long, long time to decide.  He even counted out $60 from his stack (which was about the same as mine before I had made the bet).  I thought he was going to at least call and maybe shove.  I would have snap-called of course.  My main thought there was, if I lost, it wouldn’t be so bad because I wouldn’t be losing my money to Douchebag.

But he eventually folded.  I tipped Jack a little more than I might have because I thought the “What’s your nationality” incident may have cost him a hand or two.

And then I went back to burying my face in the cell phone.  I got nothing else I wanted to play and I kept hearing names being called for the 1/2 game.  Huh?  Well, I had to assume they were all being sent to the first table I had been at, the one with Bigmouth.

And I was losing precious time to win those drawing tickets. And I was still rather annoyed and agitated about pretty much everything.  It was a terrible night thus far, despite actually winning a decent pot with the dreaded hand.

Finally, I couldn’t believe that it was taking so long for a seat to open up on one of the other two games.  I walked over to the front and was surprised to see that my name was not on the board for a table change.  What?  I went over and I saw the floorperson with her back to me deep behind the counter. 

I addressed her by name and asked what happened to my table change.  She was embarrassed and apologetic.  She had gotten so busy she had forgotten all about it.  So she immediately put me at the top of the list for a change, but I had no choice but to wait for someone to leave one of the two acceptable games—or for them to start a new game.  In the meantime, I had noticed that she had never gone back to the game to talk to Douchebag as she had promised.  But I didn’t care about that.  I wasn’t sure if he was still acting like or jerk or not because I had stopped paying attention.  I figured if he kept it up, he’d get spoken to again and it wouldn’t be on me, which was fine.  I just wanted to get away from him.  She did come over to me later while I was still there and apologize again and give me a litany of all the things that were going on that made her forget about my table change request.

I stayed there as the time clicked away and I lost precious opportunity to earn a drawing ticket.

(That's the end of part 2.  Part 3 is now posted and can be found here.  Good news:  Part 3 is the shortest chapter!)


  1. DAMMIT JACK, WE R RUNNING OUT OF TIME.KATE UPTON SWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. ok, personally although it makes a great post or story. i would of left a long time ago. too much is getting u off yr game like not trapping with the KINGS and burying yr face into yr phone like it is LISA ANN'S nice big BOOBIES(was going to say vagina but thought too vulgar but now i just did, so whatever),so u r not watching the other players to get tells and such.also,WTF is this playing like TBC? by that i mean playing hands 4 a fucking promo. that is a suckers game imo.all these things would of had me looking 4 a game at a different casino or going home.

    1. Yeah, I guess I was sorta being a promo whore there. But once I had the "opportunity" to stay that extra night in Vegas, my main reason for doing so was to try one last time to hit that cash drawing. Stupid I guess, but it struck me as a good idea at the time. And so I was pot-committed as it were to not letting two assholes prevent me from going for it.

    2. also,totally off the subject of poker but with hollywood doing all these shittttttttttttttttttttttttttttty remakes of movies(red dawn,total recall,etc,etc) .here is 1 that kicks azz. WEIRD SCIENCE but with kate upton and rated R not this pg-13 sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeit. MAKE IT HAPPEN ,ROB.we all know u got the LA connections. p.s.NO FUCK LA today. i got the dodgers on a parlay and on the espn streak 4 the cash.

    3. I don't think they--or Kate Upton--would do the Weird Science remake as an R-rated--not the way we'd like it, anyway.

      As long as your fantasizing though, how about a remake of SHOWGIRLS staring Kate Upton, Emily Ratajkowsi and Alex Daddario? Who cares if they can't sing or dance?

  2. u need to smoke some dank,sir. BERSERKER ALERT.thankfully no glass cups were in the vicinity

    1. A good reason for all poker rooms to serve only plastic cups.

  3. I probably would have added limit games to my options since you were chasing the promo (even though it doesn't matter if you don't get put on the list), but I'm happy that you're leaving situations that aren't optimal now...

    1. Thanks Coach. I actual thought about the 2/6 spread limit game. It wasn't going when I got there and from my experience, it almost never gets started during the week, only on the weekends.

      In fact, on this night they did get it started but I don't think it was ever full while I was there....playing at short limit tables is my idea of hell.

      I actually did consider waiting out the table change at the second table by killing time at the 2/6 game, but I knew I would have no priority to go back into one of the other 1/2 games if I switched games, and I might be stuck there for awhile.

      The fault was really mind, I should have realized sooner that they screwed up and forgot to put me on the list for the change. I probably could have gotten moved with 10 minutes or less of double checking.

    2. Yeah, I'm not a fan of shorthanded games at any limit (only final tables)... ;)

    3. Yes....a two handed final table is just fine!

  4. makes no sense ud get offended by that question--people ask it to be friendly at the tables--ive seen it asked before. u shouldnt be sensitive about ur nationality--u seem to be a normal white guy to me--not any unusual national origin. dont know why hed ask unless he thought ur from europe-but nothing to get upset over.

    1. Thanks, Tony.

      It wasn't an innocent, friendly question. It was a tactic, and I was already fed up with such tactics at the previous table (the previous post). We had asked like three times if I had checked, and since he apparently hadn't gotten enough of a read from asking me that, he decided to try another tactic.

      We were in the middle of the hand and the action was on him. That is not the time you ask friendly questions like where are you from or what you do for a living. You do that between hands or when you and the person you're asking are not in a hand.

      And further...he had been the aggressor in the hand (as usual), not me. All I had I had done is called, Why was he so worried about my action when in it was quite likely I was going to fold to bet? If he bet, he would have ample chance to watch how I called or raise if I did that.

      Heh heh...I'm a white guy but I leave it to readers of my blog to determine if I'm "normal."

    2. white guy? that is not the correct nomenclature. cracker american,plz.

    3. Hey, I'm no cracker. Unless that means my Kings get cracked.

  5. When he asked you what your nationality was, I would have said:

    I don't know who you are. I don't know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don't have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let this hand go, that'll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don't, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will own you.

    Good Luck.


    1. Awesome!

      Thanks, cowboy.

      OR....I should have borrowed from Bigmouth..."You have to bet. You know you have to bet. You're gonna bet, so just bet. I suggest you bet $45. You have to bet at least that. better not bet, I trapping you with a flopped straight."

    2. OR u could of been like JACK BAUER called flicking yr hand like a ninja tossing throwing stars slicing into the d-bag's neck and river this fucker. and the hand was still in place since the cards never left the table bcuz he fell 4ward with his head landing on the table. new setup table 5,NOW ,WE R RUNNING OUT OF TIME.

    3. Hmm.....should I have channeled my inner Liam Neeson or my inner Jack Bauer?

  6. i cant wait 4 part 3 of this story. in part 1 we have bigmouth then part 2 douchebag. who will the villian b in part 3. COCKSUCKER? FUCKFACE? i am on pins and needles

    1. It will be posted this evening, anger... hang on. But there's no real scumbag in the third chapter. I hope you won't be disappointed.