Tuesday, October 14, 2014

"Breast Milk For Everyone!"

This is about one of my last sessions of my most recent Vegas trip.  It started late afternoon and didn’t end until after midnite. 

The first hand of note was against a player who was very aggressive preflop, but he wasn’t getting much action after the flop.  He took down a lot of pots with c-bets.  I was thinking he was raising pre with a lot of mediocre hands and winning without much.  In early position, I limped in with Ace-5 of hearts. He made it $15 in late position.  Ordinarily, that’s an easy fold for me but I thought my read on this guy was pretty good so I called.  The flop was Jack-Jack-5.  I checked and he bet $25.  Now, I was pretty sure he would have slow-played a Jack, so I really thought the flop missed him.  I decided to call and see what he did on the turn.

The turn was a Queen and he checked behind me.  The river was deuce or a 3 and I checked.  I considered betting, but I thought my 5’s were good, and that he’d only call (or raise) if he could beat my low pair.  He did indeed check behind me.  He showed Ace-10 offsuit, which was actually better than I expected.  But his Ace-high was no good against my mighty 5’s.  I was especially pleased to win that hand because it was based solely on my read, at this point, I wasn’t in the habit of calling a flop bet with bottom pair.

I was up for awhile and then started dripping into the red. Then I got pocket Aces in early position.  I made it $10, two players called and then a short stack shoved for $59.  I raised to $125.  My instinct there is that I want to go heads up against the short stack, I don’t want to play the Aces multiple ways.  But is that right?  First of all, it’s unlikely either of the other two players are going to call the $59.  And if one of them calls, I’m essentially heads up against that player since I can’t lose any more to the guy who shoved.  Maybe I need to rethink that.  Thoughts?

Anyway, the other two players folded and the flop was something like 9-8-2, all hearts.  I was heartless.  When a innocent looking 4 hit the turn, the guy flipped over his hand and said, “sorry” and showed pocket 4’s.  The river was a blank.  I said to the guy, “You’re not really sorry….but that’s ok.” See, I can lie. too.

By the time I needed a dinner break, I was down over $200, so I picked up and went to eat.  I could have left my chips to hold my seat since it wasn’t going to take very long for me to eat, but I decided this table was both unprofitable and boring and I should just pick up and start anew when I was done with dinner.  The aggro I had the read on had been long gone so I couldn’t get any more money out of him.

When I got back to the room after a quick bite, I was sent to a new table.  This was a fun table.  There was a young couple at the table visiting from Seattle.  I soon learned that they had recently had their first baby and that the mom was breast-feeding the kid.  And also, pumping a lot of breast milk out.  This is not the sort of conversation one usually hears at the poker table. 

Apparently that whole discussion of breast feeding and breast milk pumping had started before I had gotten there, and it appeared that the husband kept bring up the fact that his wife was producing breast milk.  The wife was a little bit embarrassed by this, but generally a good sport.
She even told the story of pumping breast milk in the car on the freeway (I assume her husband was driving).  Truckers would drive by and honk and hoot and holler.  I swear, the subject of breastfeeding kept getting revisited time and time again.  No more than 15 minutes ever went by with it coming up.

But her husband did go a little too far at one point, when he “complained” that she wouldn’t let him drink the breast milk “at the source.”  She turned beet-red at that point.

She was doing well at the poker table.  A few minutes after telling the trucker story, she won a nice pot and raised her arms and shouted, “Woo hoo!  Breast milk for everyone!”

There was a guy at the table who looked like a middle-aged biker.  His wife was sitting behind him, participating in the discussion with the young Seattle couple.  This couple had a couple of teen-age boys.  First, Mrs. Biker suggested that now that they had a baby, they were going to have to schedule “sexcations” just to keep the romance rekindled—because that was tricky once you have kids (though this couple was in Vegas, so I guess they were figuring it out—I have no idea where the baby was during their visit).

Mrs. Biker was also giving the breastfeeding Mom “warnings” about what to expect when the baby gets older.  She said she was deathly afraid of seeing her teen-age boys doing something she didn’t want to see.  Gee, I wonder what she could have meant?  She said that whenever she went upstairs, he was sure to make a lot of noise so that her boys knew she was coming up to see them.  And then she made the oddest comment.  “I don’t want to see buttholes.”  Seattle Mom said, “That’s what you’re afraid of seeing?”  Mrs. Biker said, “Whatever….I don’t want to see it.”

The conversation never stopped, it was all fun.  The table was more like a 2/4 game than a 1/2 NL game.

The poker for me was ok.  In the big blind I had King-8 off and no one raised.  The flop was King-Queen-X.  I bet $6 and had one caller.  The turn was a Queen and I bet $10, again, he called.  The river was another King.  I bet $15 and he folded.  But I showed my full house so I could get a drawing ticket.  I believe my hand there is what’s known as “the big blind special.”

On the button, I had Ace-9 of spades.  The Seattle Husband raised to $10.  I called (hey, I wanted another ticket) as did three others.  The flop was King-high, one spade.  I checked, Seattle bet out $25.  Pretty easy fold, right?  I decided to call.  I had an overcard, I had a back door flush draw and I also thought the guy might be c-betting with nothing.  Obviously, it was a pretty loose call.

Here’s the funny thing…at the time, I thought it was a bad call even as I made it.  But as I’ve explained in a couple of recent posts, more recently I watched Ed Miller’s video on how to beat “any 2-5 game” (see here).  And this is exactly the kind of situation where Miller would call the flop.  Absolutely.  An overcard and a backdoor draw is more than enough to call.  But I can’t say I was following Miller’s advice when I called there.

My call got Seattle’s attention.  We were now heads up and he said, “Oh….you’ve hardly played any hands.”  The turn card was a second spade and he checked.  I checked behind (you see, if I was following Miller’s strategy, I would have bet there).  The river wasn’t a spade, but it was a red Ace.  He checked again and I checked behind him.  He showed King-Queen and I had rivered him.

He was a bit incredulous.  “You called $25 with nothing.  I can’t believe you called $25 with nothing.” 

My new line in that situation is simple, and I remembered to say it.  “I’m sorry, sir.  I’m a terrible player.”  There’s really no answer to that.

The evening wore on.  It was about 10 minutes before midnite, which was the time of the next cash drawing.  I was planning on calling it a night after the drawing.  I was a little bit down for this session (and a lot down if you include the session before dinner).  At this point, I only had ticket in the drawing, the big blind special hand where I rivered a boat.

So that’s why I limped in with 5-4 of clubs.  Seattle guy made it $12.  There were two callers to his $12 so I thought it was pretty easy to call as well.  Four of us saw the flop, which was 9-8-6, one club.  I checked, Seattle guy bet $20, the others folded.  I decided that with my gut-shot—and the back-door flush draw—it was worth a call.  The turn was a big club, so I wasn’t going anywhere.  I called another $20.  The river was the deuce of clubs, giving me the flush.  I checked, not totally confident my baby flush was good. He bet $30 and of course I called.  He had Ace-9—just a pair of nines.  My flush was indeed good, and more importantly, I got another drawing ticket, which I hurriedly filled out for the drawing that was only minutes away.

Of course, Seattle couldn’t believe it.  “Again?” he said.  My two best hands had been against him, and I sucked out on him both times.  I said I was sorry, and he was such a nice guy and had provided so much entertainment, I kind of almost meant it.  He was muttering to himself, something about a bad call I made on the flop—again.  Since I was going to leave in a few minutes, I went ahead and explained.  “I did have a gutshot on the flop.”  You know, trying to convince him it wasn’t the worst call in the history of poker.  He kind of nodded.  But I’m sure that, to this day, he thinks my call on the flop in the earlier hand was the lamest call in the history of poker.

A few minute later they pulled an envelope out of the drum.  The current method of doing the drawings is to pick an envelope that contains the amount of money to be given away and the number of tickets that will divide it up.  The minimum is $200 ($100 to two ticket holders).  The maximum is $2,000, which can be $1,000 to two winners, $500 to 4 winners, $400 to 5 winners or $200 to 10 winners.  After they know how many tickets will be pulled, then they start pulling the tickets we’ve submitted out of a separate drum.

The shift boss announced that they would be giving $2,000 away this time….and that there would be 5 winners.  So the winners would get $400 each.

After the final sweep to make sure they had all the tickets, the shift boss pulled out the first ticket and announced, “Table 13”—which happened to be the table I was at—“Robert....”  Before I had to chance to jump up, I heard the last name and it wasn’t mine.  Turns out the guy sitting across from me all this time, the quietest guy at the table, was named Robert too.  Rats.

A couple of more names were selected.  All three of those players were there.  You have to be playing in a game and not have a missed blind button in order to win.  Then suddenly, I hear my name—my full name—announced!  Yeah, my ticket was the fourth winner.  I had just won $400.  Nice.

I waited about 10-15 minutes before they brought me my money, but it was a pleasant enough wait.  After I collected my bonanza I racked up.  The last hand I described had put me up slightly for the session and the $400 had made the entire day a profitable one. 

Since I had two tickets in the drum, I needed to know which ticket had been pulled so I could go back and tip the dealer who dealt me the lucky hand.  What I do is write the name of the dealer on the ticket so I know.  I almost forgot to ask the shift boss whose name was on it, but I remembered in time.  It turned out that the lucky ticket was the one I had just earned against the Seattle guy.  I suppose maybe I should have tipped him too?  No, I guess not.

Turned out to be a great night, winning at poker, winning at promos, and a really fun table to boot.  And poor Seattle guy, he probably thinks he lost two big hands to the worst poker player ever.  But at least he had a new baby and his wife’s breast milk to go home to.


  1. "Breast milk for everyone"? What happened to "audible is binding" (or whatever it's called; I'm a Pai Gow Poker player)?

    1. Ha ha. The rule is "verbal is binding."

      But it only refers to action during a hand, not promises made after the hand is over.

  2. "My new line in that situation is simple, and I remembered to say it. “I’m sorry, sir. I’m a terrible player.” There’s really no answer to that."

    I use the line Barry Greenstein says in his book that he uses: "Stick around, you'll see me make lots more worse plays than that."

  3. will player poker for drawing tix. LOL. mayb the title for yr blog should b "Tales of a Drawing Tix Hoe in Vegas"

    1. Hmm.....should that be "Ho"? or " Ho' "?

    2. idk is it like catsup or ketchup ????

  4. You hear people all the time that they want to play aces heads up. They fear additional players with any two cards will flop 2 pair or draw out on them. But this is not correct thinking is it? If every player goes all in on every hand and you have aces every hand, who will win the most overall? And of course in normal game situations one's post flop skill level is always a consideration. I want multiple players in every hand I play because experience has taught me that my starting hand criteria is better than most other players. And if my starting hand is AA, well then...?

    1. Thanks for the insight, Dave. I guess my problem is that my post-flop game sucks. :)

      I do know that if 9 players saw the flop, the one with Aces would only win about 20% of the time, right?

    2. That's right and is why I gave the example I did. 9 players each with random hands all in over time would each win just over 11%. So a 20% win rate with AA would really be quite phenomenal.
      Of course this is all theoretical, but my point really is not to fear playing multiway pots with AA. You just have to know the times post flop you are beat most of the time. You would therefore make more money with AA multiway then you would lose.

    3. And that's the key of course, know when you are beat. Most people who get AA get married to it.

      BTW, Dave, a few weeks ago I was playing next to a guy who looked just like you....or should I say, he looked like I remember you looking. It's been a couple of years.

      I may mention that in a future post.

    4. Ooops, forgot to mention this was the Bike. I had read on Twitter that morning that you just arrived back in Vegas from the far east.

    5. I haven't been back to the Bike since I complain about that extra buck rake on the river. I'm thinking of relenting next week as I'm working in Cali during the next to weeks. But I have been playing at BSC during pro football on Sundays. There promos are extremely +EV. Add in the raffles and a lot of players are getting some real bonus money.

    6. Oh, bad timing. Sounds like you'll be in LA while I'll be up in Vegas--and playing at BSC while you're down here.

      Interesting that you like the promos, I hear so many good players complain about them...would rather they have no promos and not take the buck out of the pot for it.

    7. Truly I normally hate all promos. But the football promo overlapping with the raffle at BSC is pretty good. Last Sunday at 4 pm they drew 10 tickets for $200 each. Add that to the $100 to $500 for each FG or TD and you can see that many thousands were paid out.

    8. I do like the football promo, and hit it a few times last year. I would prefer if they picked the Sunday nite game instead of the afternoon one. Although picking three games on Sunday, morning, afternoon and night, would be better and you would think with all the promo money they are taking in, they could swing that.

      Hell, I actually suggested to the poker room manager over there that they continue the promo during the NBA season. A cash giveaway everytime a team scores? Sounds good to me!