Sunday, June 15, 2014

"You're On The Cover of Asshole Magazine"

On this night, I guess I should be grateful to the jerk who pissed me off enough to get me to change tables.  The second table was a lot of fun, and was also profitable.  Who knows what the result would have been if I had stayed at my original table.

It was a Slut Parade nite, and by dumb-ass luck (honest), I was sent to the best seat in the house to view the parade.  However, even before an annoying jerk showed up to ruin the game.  I considered giving up this seat, seat 1 at one of the tables right up against the rail that separates the room from the pedestrian traffic.  For some reason, the player at the table behind me was sitting far enough away from his table so that every time someone walked between our tables, they bumped my chair.  It was very annoying.  And never, ever, ever did someone have the courtesy to say, “Excuse me.”

But I won some small, unmemorable pots and was up a bit, so I was reluctant to move.  All poker players have their own set of superstitions, right?  Plus, as I said, it was a good seat to view the traffic that was about to hit the casino.

But then the jerk showed up to take seat 8.  At first, he was fine.  He had less than $100 when he came and he was quiet.  But he won a few pots, built up his stack a bit, and turned into a maniac.  And a chatty one at that.  I don’t know what was worse, the non-stop flow of words coming out of his mouth (and loudly too, since I could hear them from the other side of the table) or his tendency to make ridiculously large raises preflop more and more often.  I mean like, first into a pot, he’d make it $15, $20, $25.

I know the way to play against a guy like that—lower my preflop calling standards a bit (since he’s obviously raising with marginal hands—and then wait to make a hand.  Not a monster, just a hand.  And collect an inflated pot because of this guy’s ridiculous raises.

Of course that’s high variance.  And I really didn’t want to go through more than two buy-ins this evening trying to catch a big hand.  But I stayed for awhile, called a few raises with playable hands and whiffed.

Then things got even worse.  Another player joined in seat 6 that wouldn’t shut up either.  I don’t mind talking at the table at all—hell, it’s how I get most of my blog posts—but it was just non-stop, and neither one of them was saying anything interesting, plus it was loud enough so I couldn’t tune it out.

Then to make matters worse, the guy next to me, who had been a rather normal player before the jerk showed up, suddenly started playing back at the jerk.  They started re-raising each other, and trying hard to out-bluff each other.  It wasn’t nasty, it was all in good cheer.  They were actually admiring each other’s audacity.  Still, I was basically in the middle of a dick-measuring contest and it became harder and harder (pun not intended) to every play a hand.

The final straw came on a hand when the jerk was the big blind.  In early position I limped in with Jack-10 offsuit.  In hindsight, I should have raised, but at the time I was thinking either the guy to my left or the jerk would three-bet me anyway, and that maybe I could call a single raise with that hand but not a three-bet.  To my surprise, the guy to my left folded and the jerk just checked.  So six of us saw the flop, which was Ace-Queen-9 two clubs.  I didn’t have a club.

The jerk led out with a bet of $25.  Typical of him, as the pot was $12 before the rake.  I clearly wasn’t getting good odds with my open-ender, but there were players behind me who might call if I did.  And I thought I had pretty good implied odds from the jerk if I hit my straight. 

I was tanking and then the jerk spoke up, “He never plays a hand.  If he calls, I’m folding.”

I laughed and for some reason, that encouraged me to call.  I actually thought that based on his comment, I might be able to bluff him on the turn.  Actually though, a much better play would have been to raise him right there—put out $75.  I wish I had, but I just put out $25 and said to the dealer, loudly enough for everyone at the table to hear, “Verbal is binding, right?”  The dealer just chuckled.  Guess not.

But then the next player moved all in for $86.  Damn.  This is a regular I’ve played with a zillion times before—a very nitty player.  It was only the third or fourth hand he’d received since he was at this table, but I was very familiar with him.

It folded to the jerk who folded instantly.  Back to me.  I was pretty sure that the shove meant he had a set or two pair at a minimum.  But he also could have done that with a draw, especially since his stack was so low.  I had him covered.  I figured he might have the same straight draw I had—meaning I’d be calling just to get a chop—or he had the flush draw, which would obviously beat my straight.  That meant I might only have 6 real outs, not 8.

I thought for a long time.  It was a real close call. I would have called if it wasn’t for those two clubs. But with the flush draw out there, I reluctantly folded.

That was it for me at this table.  The excessive, boring chatter, the chair-bumping, the dick-measuring contest, the jerk and his oversized bets, ….and then I had probably made a bad lay-down to the table’s nit.  I knew I would never be able to concentrate well enough going forward to play my best at this table.  I got up and looked for a better table.

All the other 1/2 games looked pretty good save one (that one had only short stacks at it).  So I asked to move to any table but that one.  And in a few minutes I moved to another table. 

This table was one row away from the rail, so even though it was still facing the pedestrian traffic, it was farther away from it.  Keep that in mind.

I took seat 1 and there was a kid in seat 2.  I mean it when I say “kid.”  He didn’t look familiar to me but I swear, he looked too young to be in a casino.  He looked more like he should be preparing for his Bar Mitzvah than playing poker.

Not long after I arrived at the new game, my pal Abe showed up.  He had just arrived in the room and been sent over to the same table.  Seat 3 was open, but as Abe was about to take it—and before he and I had had a chance to say hi to each other—the kid in seat 2 said he was going to move to seat 3 and Abe could have seat 2.  He explained, “Friends should sit next to each other.”  Though surprised, I immediately shot back, “I’ve never seen this guy before in my life.”  You can’t believe everything said at a poker table, right?

As I said, I didn’t recognize the kid—and he hadn’t acknowledged me at all when I arrived at the table—but he clearly knew me—and Abe.  I asked Abe about him when the kid left and sure enough Abe knew his name.  I don’t know how I didn’t remember him.

Not long after Abe joined the game, our mutual buddy Mike pushed in to deal.  “Oh look at this, the gang’s all here,” he said referring to Abe and me.  He had seen me at the “prime” viewing table earlier (recall that Mike loves to comment about how I always seem to get one of the best seats in the room on “Slut Parade” nights).  So he asked why I gave up such a valuable piece of real estate on such a night.  “One too many assholes at that table,” was my answer.  He responded, “Then one of the moved to here.”  Heh heh.  All in good fun.

Abe won some big pots and had a nice stack of chips in front of him.  A couple of those pots were when he raised preflop and I called his raised, and let it go on the flop.  I don’t recall the hands, since I didn’t win them and didn’t lose much, I didn’t make a note of them.  But it meant that in theory, a little bit of Abe’s winnings came from me, a fact that comes into play later.

One of the hands that increased Abe’s winnings was when he flopped quad 10’s while Mike was dealing.  The pot he won wasn’t very big, but at this point in May, they still had high hand bonuses (since discontinued).  Abe got to draw an envelope and could have won $1K, although the likeliest prize was $50.  He beat the odds a little by grabbing an envelope worth $100.

Monte was working the floor.  For what may be the most recent post I’ve mentioned him, see here.  When Monte came by with Abe’s $100 (and with the paperwork he had to sign to get it), he went over to Abe’s stack and just knocked all of his chips over for fun.  I’ve seen Monte do that to regulars a number of times.  I’m pretty sure he’s even done that to me, although it might have been when he was playing and not dealing or flooring.

Abe laughed I guess, but the kid who had recognized me had a great comment the instant the chips went flying.  “Excuse me, dealer, is he allowed to keep his chips like that?”

As I was laughing I said, “Yeah, kick him out.”  Then I went on, “You know, that’s a good way to get someone kicked out….keep knocking over his chips.”  Of course, one little problem….if a player were to knock over another player’s chips, the person touching another person’s chips could be asked to leave.  (For those who might not know, in a poker game, particular a No Limit game, a player is obligated to keep his chips stacked in a way so that other players are able to estimate the size of his stack).

Mike was pushed by Michelle, aka the dealer who never pushes me a pot, aka the dealer who famously wanted to be “Jack-Balled” (see here).  For some reason, she and Abe got into right away.  Of course they’re pals, and I don’t know what started it, but Abe said early on that he wasn’t going to tip her for any pots he won.  Later, Abe said something to Michelle and she didn’t respond.  “I’m not talking to you.  You said something terrible to me.”  Asked what, she replied, “You’re not going to take care of me.” 

That only egged Abe on.  He won a bunch of pots from her and would stack his chips deliberately.  And he’d say to her, “I’m stacking my chips.  See, I’m stacking my chips.” And then when he was finished, he’d say, “See, I’m all finished stacking my chips.”  And of course, he wouldn’t throw any chips Michelle’s way.  I’m not sure what Michelle said in response, but she was acted displeased.  Now, there was no doubt in my mind—and I seriously doubt there was any doubt in her mind—that Abe would throw some money Michelle’s way when she was pushed out.  So it was almost like a little skit they were performing.

A little while later, I actually won a pot while Michelle was dealing—I think I may have won more than one, in fact.  It wasn’t a big one, but still, it wasn’t lost on Abe that it was Michelle sending the chips my way.  Before I had a chance to comment on this unlikely turn of events myself, Abe said, “Oh, look at this.  She’s pushing you a pot. I should take a picture of this.” 

Michelle said, “Well, just take a picture of him not me.”  I asked, “You don’t want your picture taken?”  She responded, “No…..I’m famous.  I’m on the cover of magazines.”

So I had to ask what magazines.  Now, I actually wanted to say, “Playboy?” but I thought better of it.  “What magazines?  People Magazine?”

“No.  Asshole Magazine.”

Abe and I both cracked up at this.  While we were still laughing, she corrected herself. Pointed directly at Abe, she said,  “Actually, You're on the cover of Asshole Magazine.”  That was just awesome.  The two of us were now in complete hysterics.

Shortly thereafter there was some discussion about who was the biggest asshole in the room and of course Michelle said, “The guy in seat 2.”  That would be Abe, of course.

When Michelle left, of course Abe threw her some chips and said, “That’s with interest. I’m giving you interest” She said, “You should give me interest for making me wait.”

I think it was the next dealer that turned things around for me.  Down to about $160, I was in the big blind with Ace-10 of clubs.  Abe, under-the-gun, made it $10.  Four other players called by the time it got back to me, so I put in another $8 and six of us saw the flop.

It was Ace-high, no draws.  I checked and so did Abe.  A guy who was down to $58 bet $16.  Pretty small bet for the size of the pot.  One player called, as did I.  Abe mucked and got up from the table.  “Let me know how it turns out,” he said as he walked away.

The turn put a low pair on the board.  I checked, the same guy bet another $16 and we both called.  The river was a blank and the guy put his last $26 in.  The other guy folded but it was an easy call for me, even though I thought there was an excellent chance I was out-kicked.

When I called the other guy said, “You got an Ace?”  I both said yes and showed him my Ace.  And what did he have?  Would you believe two Kings?

Wow.  If I started playing pocket Kings that badly, I’d probably start a blog and call them “the dreaded pocket Kings.”  Hmm…..

Seriously, that was poorly played on his part.  He of course should have three-bet Abe before the flop.  In fact, with only $68, he probably should have just shoved preflop.  I mean, if he’s willing to get it all in with his dreaded hand even if with an Ace on the board, why not put it all in when you’re likely ahead?  Alternatively, a shove on the flop might have gotten a weak Ace to fold.  Probably weaker than a 10, tho.  As it was, his small flop and turn bets made it too easy for someone with even Ace-deuce to call.

I was originally planning on calling this post, “How not to play Pocket Kings.”  But you know, I just had to put “Asshole Magazine” in the title.

I was just about done stacking my chips when Abe returned.  “So what happened with the hand?” he asked.  I pointed to my now much larger stack.  “Oh, you got them.”  Another player told him that the guy who bet—who took off immediately after the hand—had pocket Kings.  “And didn’t re-raise with them preflop?”  Yes, that’s what he did.  Or didn’t do.

One of our mutual pals asked if any of the big stack in front of Abe had come from me.  I said no, but Abe corrected me and pointed out that I had put in $26 calling his preflop raises on hands he eventually won.  So later, when Abe got a massage, he made it very clear to me—and the masseuse—that he was paying for the massage with the chips that he had won from me. I said, “Okay, good.”

A bit later I had Aces in early position, and my $8 bet was called by three players, including Abe. The flop was Queen high, two hearts, and I did have the Ace of hearts.  I bet $25 and Abe was the only caller.  The turn was an Ace (there goes my backdoor flush draw) and I put out $50.  Abe tanked for a long time but finally folded. Guess Abe ended up paying for that massage with someone else’s money.

With some profit in front of me, in the small blind I was dealt the dreaded hand myself.  There were a bunch of limpers, so I made it $15 and got two callers. The flop was Ace high.  I bet $30.  Does anyone have a better suggestion for what to do there?  Kings with an Ace on the flop?  You have to bet there, right?  The first guy folded immediately but the second guy tanked for quite a long time before folding.  I’m guessing he had a weak Ace and put me on a stronger one.

And that was it.  I ended up over $150 up for the night.  And just missed out being on the cover of Asshole Magazine.


  1. For some reason, the player at the table behind me was sitting far enough away from his table so that every time someone walked between our tables, they bumped my chair.

    In a situation like this, I move my chair back so that it touches his and nobody can walk through. This usually results in him getting the hint and moving his rude ass closer to the table.

    1. Thanks, Mr. S., that's an excellent suggestion. I will try it next time. It seems to happen to me a lot.

  2. Don't worry, Rob -- I'll stand behind you. I hereby nominate you for magazine cover boy. And you don't even have to wear a baseball cap backwards!

    1. Actually, I think wearing a baseball cap backwards increases the chance of one getting on the cover of Asshole Magazine by at least fivefold.

  3. Rob,

    I think you should have an "Asshole of the Month" Award and descibe the person and what they did to win it. (No Picture Required).

    In addition, you could do a "Babe of the Month" Award and use the hot poker playing ladies or the selection from the Slut Parade to choose from. (Picture is required for this category).


    1. Heh heh. Good suggestions. "Asshole of the Month" would have a lot of contenders, to be sure. It seems there are more of them all the time.

      I would love to be able to get and post pictures of many of the ladies I describe, believe me. But aside from the fact that I'm a crappy photographer, there are legal and practical considerations. Perhaps that Google Glass suggestion that Grump made awhile ago will eventual work out!

  4. The dick-measuring dynamic at that first table reminds me of 9% of my sessions at Charles Town . . . Many nights I too did not have the tolerance for the variance necessary to play that type of game. . . .

    1. Yeah, Pete, it can be profitable but its very frustrating. You need patience and a big bankroll since you can go thru a few buy-ins quickly.

      In this case, it was at least good-natured and almost fun. I mean, if I was watching the live feed instead of playing I might actually enjoyed watching it. But since I was there to play, not just watch, it was too much to take.

    2. Should have read "90%" . . . Yeah, perhaps I'm just a nit; but I find that type of play stressful. It feels like every hand you decide to play, you need to be ready to get your entire stack in . . . .

    3. Hahe....I actually read your 9% as 90%. To give an estimate of 9% would be weird.

  5. Hey Rob,
    What are the chances of us ever seeing a photo of the slut parade? You have mentioned this enough that I feel we deserve a snap shot of this parade. BTW was up in Vegas month or so ago and it seemed that bikinis were the appropriate attire for most girls under 30. Saw some very interesting sights, and this was outside on the strip! Saw one who apparently had lost the bottom of her bathing suit and didn't seem to faze her...

    1. Well, itchy, I've thought about ways of trying to get pics, but I don;'t see how I could do it, realistically. And even if I could pull it off, it's still against most casinos' rules to take pics inside. And since a number of people who work in the casino that features the Slut Parade, if I ever was able to get some good pics and then posted them, I could get in some trouble after the fact.

      Sounds like I need to walk the Strip more! Did YOU get any pics of the girls wearing just bikinis? How about the gal who lost her bottom? :)