Tuesday, December 16, 2014


First hand of the 1/2 game at MGM.  I was dealt pocket Queens.  I raised, only one player called.  The flop was all low, my continuation bet took the pot. 

Easy game.

Folded some garbage the next hand, and then, third hand of the night, I looked down at pocket 10’s.  I am under-the-gun plus 1.  The big blind was a lady I recognized.  She had straddled the hand before and then forgot to put out her big blind on this current hand, so, thinking she was first to act, she tried to raise to $6.  The dealer corrected her and then she put out her big blind instead.  UTG folded.

I couldn’t remember exactly where I recognized the lady.  She seemed to know the dealers and the staff, but I swear, she didn’t seem like a regular in this room.  I suspected I knew from someplace else.  I think she might even be a dealer in another room.  But from the straddle, the under-the-gun raise attempt, and my vague recollection, I knew she was aggressive.  I therefore knew that if it limped to her, she would raise.  Since I didn’t have a feel for anyone at the table yet, I just limped in with my 10’s.  These days, I’m actually raising there more often than not.

But sure enough it was raised to $10 by the button.  The aggro big blind just called, as did I.  All told, five of us saw the flop.  Said flop was 10-9-8, two hearts.  Kind of a wet board.

The big blind led out for $20, kind of a small bet for the pot.  The action was on me with three to act after and already a big pot building.  There was no way I was going to slowplay this one.  I put out $80. 

So the guy in the hijack seat, with a huge stack, $400-$500 at least, announced, “all-in.”  It folded back to me.

I had about $120 left; there was no way I could fold, right?  I was hoping it was a set-over-set situation.  Perhaps he had one of the many draws out there.  I didn’t think he had flopped a straight, although Queen-Jack was certainly a possibility.  At this point though, I had no read on this guy.  Anyway, I called. I didn’t think I wanted to see a heart or a straight card, but I was hoping for the board to pair so I didn’t have to worry.

No such luck. I remember a King of hearts, which would have scared me except the villain said, “Oh no, did that hurt me?  That must have hurt me.”  The river was a blank.  And so as I showed my pocket 10’s, he turned over Jack-7.



Yeah, he flopped the straight.  He limped in with Jack-7 off, and called a raise with it.


I took out another $200 and re-bought.  It didn’t take me long to figure out that the guy who won that pot was both aggressive and drunk.  He raised a lot and limped in when he didn’t raise.  If it was raised in front of him he almost always called.  And he usually bet big, often over-betting after the flop.  One thing he didn’t do much—if at all—was fold preflop.  Honestly, I can’t remember a flop he didn’t see.

Less than 20 minutes later, with my stack still around $200, I was dealt 9-8 clubs.  Although most pots were raised pre at this table, there hadn’t been a lot of three-betting. I figured someone was going to raise this hand and it might as well be me.  (Note, I’m almost always betting suited connectors now, unless they’re really low).

I made it $11 and four players called.  Yeah, it was that kind of table.  The Jack-7 guy from the earlier hand was one of the callers, of course.  So was the guy to my right, who also had a big stack, a lot bigger than mine.

The flop was 7-6-2, rainbow.  What’s the right move here?  Usually, I don’t bet my draws.  But that’s if I’ve limped in, or if someone else had raised.  This hand I had raised preflop, so I wanted to make a continuation-bet, right?  But…..do you c-bet with nothing (but a great draw) five-handed?

Well I did. I put out $30.  It folded to drunk/aggro/Jack-7 guy.  He raised to $100.  Now, I knew by now that he could be betting there with almost anything.  Top pair, overpair, draw.  Probably not a naked bluff though, not with so many in the hand.  As I was thinking about my action, it folded to the guy to my right, who thought for a bit and announced “all-in.”

Shit.  As I said, he had me covered.  So did Jack-7 guy.  At this point, I was as sure as I could possibly be that Jack-7 guy would call the all-in, whether I called or folded.  So we were looking at a huge pot and I had the draw to the nut straight.  After the $30 I had already bet, I had about $155 left. If I was right about the other guy calling, the pot, at least for me, would be $545 if I called off my stack.  I was getting more than 3 to 1 for my call, with two cards to come. The rainbow flop made me less scared of a flush.  The draw was to the top end of the straight, not the bottom end.  I might have thought twice if it was bottom end.

There was nothing to do but call, right? 

I called.

No one showed.  I didn’t get any help with the next two cards.  No straight for me.  The guy to my right showed pocket 7’s for top set.  Jack-7 guy didn’t show when he saw the guy’s set.

I had lost two buy-ins in less than half an hour.


Ordinarily, I would have called it a very early night.  However, on this night, Prudence, Lightning, Nick and Alysia Chang were all in the poker room with me.  So, you know, I had to be sociable.  I bought in for a third time.

In fact, the table, as wild as it was, and with Jack-7 guy still there, getting drunker and drunker, it was probably wise to stay. I should have been able to get my money back, or at least some of it. Jack-7 guy stopped running so good and began distributing chips back to the other players.

But not to me.  I was totally card dead for the next couple of hours. I played some extra hands to try to catch something. Couldn’t.  I eeked out a few small pots and managed to keep all but $25 from my third buy-in.

It was a brutal night.


  1. I remember that night...I started at a different table, and won $100 on my first hand. 2 hands later I won another decent pot and a ticket with K-9, when I went runner runner boat.
    Then I went to your table....I knew right away that isolating the drunk with solid hands was the way to go. However, even the best laid plans...I was heads up against him with QQ, he flopped bottom pair, and called all the way to the river. The river, a Q, also put 3 to a flush out there, which I missed, and was felted by his runner runner flush, I rebought and managed to work my way back up. He eventually got felted and stumbled away to his room. I worked my stack up to $600(in for $400) before my cards went cold again and I finished the night +$50.
    Your play was understandable, as long as you knew that your straight was likely the only way you were winning. I can also understand a fold with someone all in ahead of you.
    Nice seeing you, hanging out with Ol' Lightning, and playing cards together. Much fun! Also good to meet Prudence and AC!

    1. Thanks, Nick, It was fun hanging you with you.

      I recall you trying to target Jack-7, as I call him. Too damn bad he didn't give all his chips (including the ones he won from me) to one of us.

      The three-way pot made it a pretty obvious call there....even if Jack-7 were to fold, he'd already put in 2/3's of my call in, so would have been a of dead money in the pot. I just needed to hit and I didn't. Of course I knew there was no way to win the pot except to complete the straight

  2. Replies
    1. Is that really really close to A--

      Is that for the pic or the post.

      I give the post an F--- based just on the results.

    2. LOL A- if showed some cleavage and as far as post i am not results oriented . LOL

  3. Brutal doesn't even begin to describe it. I remember sweating both hands and thinking WTF is going on? Maybe Rob should just go into the champagne room at a strip club and make it rain instead? That HAS to be more fun than this.

    1. Thanks, Alysia.

      Hmm.... a strip club or getting your brains bashed in playing poker?

      Let me think.....

    2. i vote BOOBIES but i amcrazy like that

  4. i dont usually drink Jack Daniels but when i do it is off a smoking hot chick with an amazing rack. stay thristy my fellow degens

    1. LOL....excellent response, anger!

      I'm pretty sure that serving any beverage that way would improve the experience.

    2. ty ty MJ is enlightening me LOL. very tru ,sir. i would even drink Mountian lighting or whatever that poison isthat Walmart sells from her ass crack. diabetes b damned

    3. MJ? Michael Jordan is enlightening?

    4. LOL i c what u did there. i am getting enlightened b4 the crazy pinneapple freeroll ,so i can get that taco bell roll all swoll like P3

  5. Hi Rob,

    As Tony Dunst says on WPT, let's break it down:

    Pre: You called a raise with 10's, 5 players $50.
    Flop: 8910, we flopped the top set, you re-raised 20 to a little over pot sized bet. You get re-raised AI.

    I would assume two pair, a flopped straight or low set. Even if the player is bad, we need to evaluate what hands beat us here. Rather than I have to call the 120, we need to think is it worth another 120 with this wild guy with this hand on this coordinated board.

    You are basically calling off knowing you might be beat. I would say brutal you didn't hit your draw and doubled up and some. I would not term it as a brutal beat.

    The same goes with hand 2, you need to hit your draw to win.

    Sometimes I would change seats and see if something changes if I want to stay back as the Wild Guy has the biggest stack. I would try to isolate and play heads up as another poster suggested. But in case I feel I have the best hand then play it very aggressive. If he still sticks around to hit his runner runner hand, so be it, at least I would be happy I got it in when I was ahead.

    In my view brutal beats would be those where you are way ahead when the money goes in and the Villian sucks out on you:
    1. Go on a raising war pre-flop, resulting in AI, V shows K's to our A's and flops a set.
    2. Call a raise from the V, with a small pair, hit our set and get it AI, V cannot fold J's on a low board and hits his money card on turn or river.


    1. Thanks, GolfPro, appreciate the feedback.

      So maybe this doesn't fit the definition of "brutal." We have different definitions, I guess. Losing two buy-ins in that short of time seemed brutal to me. Losing when hitting top set to a made straight (or flush) seemed brutal to me. The second hand was just a missed draw, it just stung more than usual because of the earlier hand.

      I had no idea the Jack-7 guy was a maniac that first hand, and yeah, Nick was right to move to get position on him.

      Are you folding a set of 10's in my shoes?

    2. Sometimes. That's very situational. The open ender is going into the muck 100% of the time.

    3. Wow, I don't think a lot of people are folding top set on the flop there, but what do I know? Even after I figured out the guy was a maniac (and this was before I knew that), I'm not sure I could fold as he was capable of making a bluff or making the move with just the draw (not to mention lower set or two pair).

      But I'm really surprised about the open-ender. When I first switched to NL, I would never, ever call a "large amount"--I mean more than $20-$25--on a draw. But now.....well, I had the right odds, so it wasn't really a tough decision to call there. Maybe if I was playing deeper I find a fold, but I believe when you have the right odds to call, you're supposed to call.

  6. I wanted to write an article titled "How much is too much?" in regards to Poker.

    How muc is too much when we realize that we are beat and yet find a way to call the last bet to see V's hand.

    Sometimes it might be a minuscule bet and doesn't make sense to fold without paying it. Sometimes if we add up the events it might be compelling and makes sense afterwards why we shouldn't have called.

    Would I call his shove if I were in your shoes? At the moment when you were new to the table, without specific reads on the player, I would say no I would not call as the board is too coordinated. When you knew he is a maniac after a while may be. As you know even donk's get lucky sometimes, otherwise they won't keep coming back to play the way they play.

    To make the point, I will recount a story:

    A master NIT that I play on a regular basis is in the hand. If he re-raises on my raise, I wouldn't even think twice to fold A's kind of NIT. I was not involved in this hand.

    The flop was 79sQd. There was a bet and a call. Turn was a 5c, check and check. River was a Js, V bets, NIT min raises, V min raises again.

    NIT folds AKs face up. Would I fold if I were in his shoes, no, I have to at least see it for a min raise.

    So, according to the NIT the min raise was sufficient for him to put the V on the only hand that beats him. V shows 810s.

    1. Ooops, I guess this is still GolfPro? I got confused cuz you didn't sign your last two comments.

      I know when I first started playing poker, and when I first started playing NL, I laid down way too many hands, putting my opponent on exactly the one hand that beats me.

      I know I've corrected that. I started reading books and articles that said, "Your opponent rarely has the hand that you fear most." Perhaps I've corrected too far the other way? Which would surprise me because most people who see me play would consider me a nit.

      I don't think I'm ever folding top set on the flop for "only" $120. I could easily be ahead (and have to dodge my opponent's outs) and if I'm behind, I have two cards left to help me.

  7. With no straddle, the rule at the Horseshoe is that out of turn actions are binding assuming there have been no changes prior to action (i.e. if I announced raise instead, it would void his raise and he could act anew). However, this hand had a straddle element, so I was unsure whether that rule would apply. Wanting clarification on the rules, I asked the dealer, who called floor and would not give me an answer on the ruling. The floor, echoing the dealer, simply told me action was to me. Floor would not give me an answer as to the ruling for the out of turn player. Action was to me, and reasonably certain that the rule would play whether the hand was straddled or unstraddled, I decided to call the straddle bet and see what would unfold (pun intended?). As soon as I called, floor announced a raise by the cutoff to $100. BTN hesitated and called, unhappy with me still being in the hand, and kinda realizing what was going to happen when I called the straddle: I shipped all in over his $100 raise, which amounted to around $275 effective. Cutoff called without much hesitation, which did not mean a lot to me, since he didn't seem to care about the cards he held.

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    1. Good story. Not surprised, it's really the same weather there's a straddle or not.