Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Acquaintance

This will be the “interesting” something that I alluded to at the end of the post here.  When I fled that table that was both hot (the cards) and cold (the temperature), I took seat 8, right next to Milt, in seat 9..

Milt is a regular, plays there a lot.  I see him most evenings I play.  He’s in his early 60’s, recently divorced.  Moved to Vegas after the divorce.  Nice guy, real friendly with all the dealers and a lot of the other regs.  We always say hi to each other.  He’s one of the guys who is always there earning hours for the freeroll. 

Quick story about Milt.  Seems like a pretty smart guy but I saw him do one of the oddest things I’d ever seen a few months prior.  Maybe it ties in with this story.  He was sitting at the game and started talking on his celphone (he wasn’t in the hand).  I didn’t pay attention to anything he said, and then all of sudden, he pulled out his wallet and started reading a credit card number into the phone, right there at the table, for anyone to overhear.  A couple of the folks at the table even joked about it.  “Let me write that down.”  “Can you repeat that?”  Seemed like a pretty dumb thing to do.

Anyway, Milt was on my immediate left and it was a little crowded because, sitting behind him—between us, really—was a young woman.  I would guess early 20’s, maybe mid-20’s.  Maybe a touch older if she looks young for her age.  This was a Friday night, and although the right age, she was not dressed for the club.  In fact, she was very nicely dressed, but more for business.  She could have gone to any office job wearing the outfit she was wearing.  White pants, not tight, conservative, modest top.  I dare say she was so conservatively dressed that, for a woman of her age on a weekend night, she actually kind of stood out.  She was attractive, very cute, but not at all trying to be sexy.

My first thought was that this was Milt’s daughter, or, more likely perhaps, his granddaughter.  Maybe his niece.  What else could she be?  She was too young to be his girlfriend.

Milt didn’t introduce us, in fact, he was so preoccupied with the girl he pretty much ignored me.  He was constantly talking to the girl whenever he was out of a hand.  He would frequently show her his cards.  She was leaning forward, listening, and seemed to be paying attention.

It soon became clear that he was trying to teach her the fundamentals of poker.  He was explaining the basic rules and etiquette and procedures in a normal speaking voice, which of course I could hear.  But often he would lean back to whisper something to her.  So apparently the whispering part concerned strategy.  He would do this even when he didn’t have cards, perhaps guessing as to what the players still alive had or were doing.  He was basically giving her poker lessons right at the table.

How sweet, I thought.  Milt taking out his daughter (or other relative) and showing her the ropes of his favorite hobby.  I figured she was probably visiting Vegas for the weekend, visiting her old man. 

Milt asked her a few times if she was getting the grasp of it.  At one point, he started talking a little bit about the math involved, you know, odds of hitting a set or hitting your draw, that sort of thing.  And then I heard him say, “Are you getting this?  You did say you went to college, right?  So you should be able to pick this up.”

Ahem.  He wasn’t sure if she had gone to college?  Well, I’m pretty sure that if she was his daughter, or granddaughter, or even his niece, he’d know for sure if she went to college.  I guess there was something else going on.

But boy, she sure didn’t look like a hooker, and she sure wasn’t dressed like one. 

The other thing he kept talking to her about was how long they were gonna stay in the poker room.  He kept asking her if it was ok if he played a little longer.  She always unhesitantly said it was fine, stay as long as he wanted.  But he kept asking.  “We’ll just stay two more orbits,” and then he would remind her what an “orbit” was.  As it was getting later, he asked if it was ok to stay another half hour for the midnight drawing, as he had a couple of tickets in the hopper.  She was always fine with it.

I must admit that part had me confused.  If this lady was hired for umm, services, why would he have to ask her if it was alright if he played poker a little longer?  My understanding is that these women are hired by the hour (or the day, or weekend, whatever).  If he wants to pay her to watch him play poker—and pretend to be learning how to play—why would she object to that?  I assumed the meter had already started, and all of this was on his nickel.

Of course, I was only speculating.  That he kept asking if it was ok to stay made my question the exact professional status of this relationship.  At one point, one of the other regs came by to say hello.  He introduced the young woman to the reg.  I think the reg asked if she was his daughter, and he said no, she was his “acquaintance.”  Note: I think this might have been when she was out her earshot.

I wasn’t 100% convinced of anything when she went to the Ladies Room.  She had to be directed to it so obviously wasn’t familiar with the casino.  One of Milt’s dealer buddies was dealing and as soon as she left the room Milt told the dealer that he was driving to LA. Sunday afternoon, and taking her with him.  The dealer asked, “Why don’t you just pick someone up in L.A.?”  And Milt said, “Why, I’ve got her.  Take what you can get.  At my age, I gotta take it when I can get it.”  The dealer laughed and agreed.  “I mean, how else am I gonna get it?  And she’s nice, right?”

I don’t know if it was the dealer or someone at the table who overheard this, but someone made a reference to Julia Roberts, and it was obviously a reference to her breakout film, Pretty Woman.  Similar arrangement, I guess.

Milt went on, “I want to die in the saddle.  I don’t want to die at the poker table, I want to die in bed.”  Hmm….now it was sounding like he hoped this gal would schtupp him to death.  My only question: In that case, why are you still playing poker, why not let the schtupping commence?

Alright, suspicions confirm.  It was obvious this was strictly a business arrangement.  But certainly this wasn’t the same kind of working girl that I see out there in casino asking me if I want some company.  Those girls aren’t hiring out for the weekend.  He apparently used an “escort service.”  That’s when I remembered him reading his credit card into his phone.  And I wondered if that was a previous case of his hiring a rent-a-vagina. 

As soon as the drawing was held, he went to cash out, and I overheard a bit of his conversation with the cashier, as our table was right next to the podium.  Just as he reached the front, his “date” decided to go to the Ladies Room again.  The female cashier had seen her and apparently inquired as to who she was after she had left the area.  I didn’t hear exactly what he said, but he apparently made no bones about what the relationship was.  And so the cashier said to him, “Oh, a little f*cky-f*ck, huh?”  Milt just laughed and said, “Yeah.”

Now, I have to admit, I was quite surprised by this whole scene.  No, I wasn’t surprised that a man had hired a prostitute—albeit a high class one (higher class than the ones that accost me near the lobby, anyway).  I get that.  It isn’t the world’s oldest profession for nothing. 

What surprised me was that he was so open about it, so unashamed.  He was almost boastful.  He certainly wasn’t embarrassed, that’s for sure.  As far as I could tell, the only reason he didn’t make it clear what this arrangement was when she was around was that he didn’t want to embarrass her.  He sure didn’t mind telling folks when she wasn’t there.  And keep in mind, these weren’t strangers he was telling, these were folks he knew, that he sees on a daily basis, who know him pretty well.  People he is going to see again when he returns from L.A. after his “f*cky-f*ck.”

I found it surprising.  Even if a guy isn’t married, even if he doesn’t have a significant other, aren’t most guys kind of quiet about hiring out a sex partner?  I mean, unless they’re Charlie Sheen?

The other thing I thought was weird was, why have her sit behind him while he’s playing poker?  What was the point of that? I get that he can’t be having sex with her nonstop (especially at his age), but why not have her show up after he’s done with the poker?  What thrill does he get going through the motions of teaching her how to play poker?  Is he hoping that, in a addition to having a sex partner, he can turn her into a poker buddy?  Like, he wants to play poker with her, than poke her?

Anyway, that’s the story.  They went off into the night and I can only assume Milt got his money's worth.   I just found his openness about it rather unusual.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Tits Flashed in a Vegas Poker Room

Last night was the worst night of my life. 

OK, that may be a little extreme.  Perhaps I should narrow it down and say it was the worst night of my poker life.

But wait, that might still be a bit too strong.  So let’s say it was the worst night of my life as a blogger.  Or if not “worst”….well then perhaps “disappointing” would be a better word.

Last night was the most disappointing night of my life as a blogger.

Perhaps this will surprise those of you who regularly come to this blog for my incredible insightful poker commentary.  My expert discussion of poker strategy has, I know, become legendary around the poker blogosphere.

But when I started this little blog, poker was almost an afterthought.  The original purpose of this blog was to relate the wild, crazy, outrageous things I witnessed and heard in Vegas—in and out of the poker room.  The most delicious of these were usually done and spoken by women, hence the label “woman said.”  Somewhere along the way, I got sidetracked by poker, and became enough of a poker whiz to even get hired by a poker magazine to write a monthly column (/sarcasm).

But I still am always on the lookout for the outrageous.  It is in my bones to find and report on crazy, slutty, sleazy, raunchy, and salacious behavior I encounter, particular when engaged in by the fairer sex.  The most recent example of such reportage can be found here and here.

And last night, there was perhaps the sine non qua non of outrageous female behavior taking place in the very poker room I was playing in at the time, and I freaking missed it.  I heard it, but I didn’t see it. 

If you follow me on Twitter and/or subscribe to my Facebook page (and if not, why the hell not?), you know what I’m referring to.

A couple of drunk girls flashed their tits to a bunch of guys playing poker.

So it was a double defeat. 

First of all, Robvegaspoker, a nationally recognized connoisseur of the female bosom, failed to personally see four bare breasts that were exposed just a few feet from where he was sitting.

OK, I can live with that, I guess.  I’ve accepted the fact that there are breasts out there that I will never see.  It’s tragic, but it’s a fact of life. 

Of course, I’ve seen breasts before.  And you might think, hey, they’re boobies.  If you’ve seen two, haven’t you seen ‘em all?

(Pause for laughter)

But still, you might ask, at my age, haven’t I seen enough bare breasts for one lifetime?

In a word, no.  As I discussed in my famous Slut Parade post (here), no (straight) man ever sees enough breasts.  No man ever went to his grave thinking, “I’ve seen all the tits I want to see, I don’t need to see anymore.”  It just doesn’t work that way.  And by the way, it’s the same thing with female buttocks, female legs, etc.  And honestly, we never see enough beautiful female faces, either.  It’s just the way men are wired.

So if I am just a few feet away from a couple of girls flashing their ta-ta’s, of course I would want to check them out.  Duh.

But more importantly, I have a duty to you, my readers.  This blog was started, as I said, to relate such incidents to you, my loyal readers.  I owe it to my readers to see such things and report them back to you.  It was what is expected—no, it is demanded—of me by you good folks.

And last night, I felt I had let you all down.  And that was the biggest disappointment from last night.

But fear not, my friends.  Your intrepid reporter is nothing if not, well, intrepid.  And despite the tragedy of my missing what should have been the highlight of my blogging life, I do have a story to tell, through the eyes of not one, not two, but three poker dealers who witnessed all or most of the epic event.

Rather than piece the story together for you, I’m gonna tell the tale in the order I heard it, and let you determine for yourself what the true story is.  It will therefore be a sort of “Rashomon” type story.

I will be referring to three different male poker dealers, all of whom related the story, all of whom witnessed it from various perspectives.  Now all three of the dealers can be considered to be poker pals of mine, and in fact, all three of them have their very own blog names right here on this very blog.  But I feel it is important to give them even more anonymity than usual, so instead of their blog names, I will refer to them simply as “Dealer A,” “Dealer B,” and “Dealer C.”

It was early evening and I was seated at a table on the far side of the room, the side farthest from the Sports Book, the sports bar, and the hot nightclub that attracts the young, hip crowd, the females of which dress in extremely provocative apparel. 

On the TV, the Notre Dame-Kentucky game was on.  As you are likely aware, it was a close, exciting game, and with every basket, ever turnover, every blown whistle, the room was yelling and screaming.  We heard the excitement right in the poker room, and also from the nearby sports bar and sports book.  If you’ve ever seen a big game from a Vegas poker room, you know what I mean.  It wasn’t like the Super Bowl, but it was close.

Finally the game ended and the noise quieted.  Most of the folks seemed to be rooting for Notre Dame, but assuming they took the points, they should have won their bets, right?

Anyway, just a few minutes later, on the other side of the poker room, the side right next to the sports bar, there suddenly could be heard more screaming and yelling.  It sounded to me like they were reacting to another big game.  But there was no game on the TVs, just highlights from the game just ended.  Were they that excited about the highlights?

No, that wasn’t it.  Word murmured through the room that a girl—or maybe it was two—had flashed her titties to the poker players over on that side of the room.

Wait, what?  And I missed that?  An actual poker room tits flash?

It was too late to get up to check it out, by now the room had quieted down again, the players who had been briefly standing up were seated, and it was obvious that the girls who had allegedly flashed their boobies were gone.

I got a little info from a player who had talked to a player who had talked to a player who had seen the incident.  All I got from that was that a gal lifted her top and showed the poker players in the vicinity her breasts.  And that said girl was drunk.  And a guy who had seen them waived his arm to get his friend’s attention (“hey, look at this”) and had accidently struck one of the girls who was with the girl flashing her goodies.  Apparently no damage was down.

I was devastated that such a blog-worthy incident escaped my keen eye.  But I knew it was going to be a long night of poker for me, and I was sure that if I asked enough dealers as they came into the table, I would be able to get at least a little bit of info for reporting purposes.

About an hour later, Dealer A walked by.  He wasn’t coming into my table but on his way to another one.  He saw me and shouted, “So, did you get something to blog about?”

“No dammit, I missed it.  Did you see it?”

With that, Dealer A came over to me and told me, “Yeah, I was right there.  I didn’t see the first one, just the second one.”  I gathered he was coming back from a break when the incident occurred.  He continued, “Some player was upset and said something like, ‘Suck my dick!’ and the girl heard that and said, ‘Well suck my tits,’ and that’s when she lifted her top.”

And then he added, “They were pretty nice too.” I asked if he meant that she was “well-endowed.”  “Well, that’s not it, but they were very nice….they were pierced.” 


He left to go to his table and never pushed into the table I was at.

But Dealer B came a few downs later.  I had no idea if he had seen the incident, but I knew he would be a great source of info if he had.  I was conveniently sitting in seat 9, immediately on the dealer’s right.  After a bit, I said to Dealer B, “So, did you see the show earlier?”

Oh yes, yes he had.  He was dealing at the table right next to where all the fun was.  There were two girls who flashed, in succession.  As soon as the first one flashed, Dealer B stopped the action at his table and pointed to what was going on.  Then he and all the players stood up to get a better look.  As he said, “Hey, you don’t want to miss a free show like this.”

That was just awesome, stopping the action at the table to check out the titty-flashing show.  I’m sure none of the players minded.

Dealer B said the girl doing the flashing—one of them anyway—was displaying an attitude about it.  It was like, “I showed you.” She was apparently upset at one of the male players and this was her way of getting back at him.  Really!  Dealer B was amused, “Yeah, she’s mad, she wants to show the guy what’s what, and she does it by giving us all a free show!”

As an aside, to the ladies out there, if I ever piss you off, this would be excellent way of getting back at me.  It would serve me right.

Dealer B left me with one other key bit of information.  He told me that Dealer C was the dealer at the table where the action was actually taking place.

And by good fortune, Dealer C pushed in to my table to replace Dealer B.

I didn’t wait long to start the debrief.  “Dealer C, you’re just the man I’m looking for.  I heard you were the dealer at the table where the girl flashed.”

He laughed, “Yes, I was.  One of the players accused me of starting the whole thing, but it wasn’t me at all.  I was just the dealer.”

Apparently there were a total of four girls, walking by the poker room.  They had obviously just come from the pool, wearing bikinis.  They were also obviously all quite drunk.  They stopped at the rail in front of the poker table right there by said rail.  And they started having a debate as to which one of them had gotten drunk first.  There was a pretty strong disagreement as to which one of them it was!

Anyway, for some reason, one of the nearby players at Dealer C’s table was annoyed by the girls.  Why a guy would be annoyed by four girls wearing bikinis stopping near his game baffles me.  As far as I heard, the girls were all pretty nice looking.  Anyway, this guy was wearing a muscle shirt, and he asked the girls to move along.  That’s when the girls copped an attitude, arguing with the guy.

I guess after some words, the guy said to the girl he was arguing with, “Oh yeah?  Well suck my dick.” That’s when the girl said “Suck my tits,” and pulled up her bikini top.

At which point the guy pulled up his muscle shirt and said, “suck my tits.”  And there were his man boobs on display for all the world to see.  I don’t think anybody liked this, and Dealer C said to him, “Don’t show your boobs again, sir.  If you show your boobs again, I’m going to kill your hand.”

I guess in response to seeing the man boobs, one of the other girls joined in and showed her boobies as well.

And they walked off, but Dealer C confirmed the girls had the attitude that they had won the argument, that “We showed them.”  Yes, indeed they did.  Again, a great way for ladies to show us guys what’s what.  It was really weird the attitude they showed while showing their tits.  Like, “take that, you assholes.  This will put you in your place.” 

I thought that was the end of it, but later in his down, Dealer C pushed me a really nice pot.  The details of that pot, and the rest of this poker session, will be reserved for a future post.  But I tipped Dealer C generously for the pot, even more than the size of the pot required, and I said to him, “I’m giving you extra for the story.”

And suddenly Dealer C remembered another part of the story.  “I almost forgot.  There was a guy from Austria who recorded the whole thing.”  Wait, what?  Is this guy still in the room?  Can I get the video?  I think he was gone.

But Dealer C said the Austrian man had just been saying how much he loves Vegas before the drunk girls had come by.  He was saying that, “you can get anything you want here, anything.  As long as you have money, anything you want is available.”

And moments later the show started.  And he whipped out his camera or his cell phone and recorded the whole thing.  For free.  Didn’t cost him a dime.

Dealer C said the guy had left, but I said, “well, he’s got to upload the video to Youtube.  I mean, he will do that, right? It may already be posted.”  Dealer C said he doubted it would have gotten uploaded that fast.  But everyone at the table imagined all of us searching Youtube in the coming days for various variations of the “poker room tits flash.”

I know all my readers will join me in scouring the internet for that video.  I suppose he may wait until he returns to Austria to upload it.  But as soon as you find it, please let me know.

Terrible disappointing, but still a good story, I guess.  Just wish I could have seen it firsthand. 

Friday, March 27, 2015

Vegas Poker Scene (April Ante Up Column)

My new Ante Up "column" is online.  Since the magazine changed the format, and now my contributions are part of a bigger column that encompasses the entire "West" region, I'm going to copy my contribution and run it here on the blog.  That way you can easily access just what I've written.  You are welcomed and encouraged to check it out online at the Ante Up site, here.

The magazine should be available in poker rooms around the country soon, if not already there.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = 

MONTE CARLO: The stylish eight-table room spreads $1-$2 NLHE with a $100-$300 buy-in and $2-$6 spread limit with a $20 minimum buy-in. It also offers a $1-$3 NLHE game with a $100-$500 buy-in. There are four tournaments a day (9 a.m., 2 p.m., 6 and 11) with buy-ins $40-$70. On Wednesdays. the 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. have $10 bounties. Promotions include a biweekly $8K freeroll. Qualifying starts at 13 hours but extra hours played earns extra starting chips. There are high-hand bonuses for quads ($50), straight flushes ($100) and royals ($300), plus a mini-bad-beat jackpot for $10K.

EXCALIBUR: You can find 10 tables of action here and it only takes $60 to buy in to the $1-$2 NLHE game ($300 max). The $2-$6 spread-limit game has a $30 minimum buy-in. The room has unique promotions, highlighted by the big Wheel of Fortune that players spin when they hit a high hand (quads or better) or when they have their aces cracked. The prizes vary from $20 to $100. There’s also a “deuces never loses” promo that awards $222 for quad deuces and it has a $555 payout for royals. The bad-beat jackpot is progressive starting at $1K and requires aces full beaten by quads. Inexpensive tournaments run four times daily (9 a.m., 1 p.m., 5 and 8) for $40-$45.

LUXOR: The main game in this nine-table room is $1-$2 NLHE ($60-$300). The $2-$4 limit game offers $3/hour in comps and a $1 max rake from 8 a.m. to noon. Promotions include graveyard drawings. Prizes of $100 are given away at 6, 7 and 8 a.m. If no one claims the prize, the money is carried over to the next drawing. Tickets are earned between 2-8 a.m. whenever a player wins a pot. Two daily $45 tournaments run at 10:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m.

MANDALAY BAY: The action in this 10-table room can get quite wild. The normal game is $1-$2 NLHE ($100-$300), but on the weekends look for a $1-$3 game with a $1K max buy-in. This game has a mandatory button straddle of $6-$10. There’s also $2-$4 and $3-$6 limit as demand requires. Daily $40 tournaments run at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. and a $65 turbo is at 10 p.m.

The daily progressive high-hand bonuses offer extra payouts during the week. On Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays there is a tiered bonus with players getting an extra $300 if they flop the high hand, an extra $200 for turning the hand and an extra $100 for hitting it on the river. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, designated high hands earn a $500 bonus with a $50 table share.

VENETIAN: William Sturiano ($178,870) defeated Joe Kuether ($109,877) for the Deep Stack Extravaganza Main Event title on Feb. 22. The event had 585 entrants for an $851,760 prize pool. With the regular tournament schedule back, the Venetian increased the guarantees. Every daily tournament has a guarantee of between $5K and $20K. The buy-ins are $125-$300 and $137,500 is guaranteed each week. The tournaments run daily at noon and 7 p.m.

ORLEANS: The Orleans Open runs May 20-27. The main event is $540. Also featured are two $230 Omaha/8 events, a $330 Omaha/8 event, a $230 HORSE and two $230 NLHE tournaments, one with $50 bounties. Satellites run daily. All events start at noon.

BINION’S: The downtown room is offering a cash-back bonanza and a freeroll. Players earn $50 for 25 hours of live play, up to $750 for 125 hours in a calendar month. Players qualify for the $15K freeroll with 25 hours of live play. The minimum starting stack is 1K but players can earn more chips for more hours, up to 7K for 100 hours.

The room has been running some deepstack cash games lately. A $2-$5 game is starting to run fairly regularly during the afternoon, with a $1K min buy-in and no max. The room always spreads $1-$3 NLHE ($100 min, no max) and a $3-$6 limit game (min $30).

The popular $140 Saturday deepstack is still going strong. It starts at 2 p.m. and offers a 20K starting stack and 30-minute levels with a $10K guarantee. The event averages 120 players and recently away $4,500 for first.

GOLDEN NUGGET: Here are the top-three finishers of the Golden Saturday event on Feb. 21: Margaret Stuart ($7,647), Jared Lichtin ($6,224) and Jeremiah Moore ($5,000). It had 625 entrants for a $71,760 prize pool. The next $150 Golden Saturday is April 4 at noon ($50K guarantee, 15K chips, 30-minute blinds) and registration is from 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Must have a 24kt card to register. Also, see the AUPT preview on Page 16 of our April 2015 issue.

HOOTERS: The two-table room on the south end of the Strip closed in February after struggling for years to build business.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Three Sets to the Wind

On average, when you have a pocket pair, you’ll hit your set on the flop 1 in every 8-1/2 times.  I know it usually seems it happens less often than that.

But this night I started out hitting them like it was easiest thing in the world.  Didn’t keep up, but it was fun while it lasted.

Early on, I had pocket deuces.  I limped in, as did three or four others.  The flop was Ace-9-2, rainbow.  I called a $10 bet, deciding to slow play it.  It was now heads up.  A 5 hit the turn; it was the second spade.  I called $20.  Queen on the river, no flush possible.  He bet $30, I made it $90, no call.

I got pocket Aces a couple of times within a very short time.  The first time no one called my $14 raise. The second time, a guy raised to $10 in front of me, another player called, I made it $35.  Only the original raiser called.  The flop was Jack-high, I bet $50 after he checked, and he went into the tank but eventually folded.

I limped in with pocket 3’s, three of saw a flop of 8-3-2, two diamonds.  I called $8, taking a chance by slow-playing it.  Now it was heads up and a 7 of diamonds was the turn card.  This time he only bet $5 and, sensing a trap, I only called.  But the river paired the board with an 8.  He bet $15, I made it $40 and he folded.

I called a raise to $16 with pocket 10’s.  The raiser was kind of a strange player, and I thought. a bad one.  He had shown some weird cards he had raised with, sometimes getting lucky, sometimes getting called with a bad bluff.  One other player called.  The flop was 9-6-4, rainbow.  I called $25, it was heads up.  We checked the turn, a blank.  A Queen hit the river and he bet $40.  Sigh.  I thought there was a good chance he was full of it.  I had to call.  He showed 6-4 for two pair.  Ugh.

The very next hand, I had pocket 10’s again.  The same guy raised to $10, I called as did one other.  Flop came Jack-10-5, rainbow.  Ho hum, just another set.  The guy who had just called led out for $15, the peflop raiser called, as did I.   A blank hit the turn, the same guy bet $20, this time the preflop raiser made it $60.  So I shoved.  But no one called.

Anyone can win with a set, right (though there are plenty of posts on this blog where I lose with them)?  But this next hand was more of a challenge.  After a bunch of limpers, I raised to $14 with Ace-King offsuit.  After one caller, another player shoved for $67.  It folded to me.  I looked at the other guy’s stack, it was around $40 after his $14 call.  So if I called, that would be the last money I would put in the pot.  Ordinarily I think I play Ace-King too nitty in cash games.  So I thought about and decided to roll the dice a little.  I figured what the hell and called.  The other guy put all his chips in behind me.  We didn’t show.  There was a Queen and a 10 on the flop, and a low card.  Blanks hit the turn and the river. I had Ace-high.  The shorter stack had King-high (his other card was a Jack).  The guy who shoved for $67 didn’t show, but he said his highest card was a 9!  Ok, that was a nice pot to win without a pair, thanks, guys.

Ordinarily, I would never change tables when I was having a profitable session.  But on this night, I couldn’t help it.  It was back in the beginning of January, when the temperatures in Vegas were unusually low.  The overall temperature inside the MGM poker room was ok, but there was a problem with the table I was at.  You see, the once-temporary, now-permanent location of the poker room is right in front of casino’s emergency exits—the fire doors.  In fact, there were a few months when the Fire Department ordered the casino to remove a bunch of poker tables, saying it was a fire hazard.  For awhile, the room was down to just nine tables. 

They eventually figured out a way to add back two tables and still make the Fire Inspector happy.  Then they changed Fire Inspectors and the new one allowed them to go back to the 14 tables they had when they first set up shop there (since reduced to 13 when the built a podium in the middle of the room).  Anyway, one of the fire door exits leads out into a storage/maintenance/trash area that is outside.  What this means is that, periodically, you will see a maintenance person push a cart of garbage or whatever towards that door, open it, and either unload the garbage or get some supplies or whatever.  And this could present a problem depending on the outside weather.

So when the weather is exceptional cold, as it was on this night, every time that door is opened, a blast of icy cold air would blow into the casino. Nothing like it being windy when you're indoors.  I already mentioned a similar thing happening at a Binion’s tournament I played in (see here).  There’s a couple of tables in the back of the room that are too close to that maintenance door when the weather is as cold as it was on this night, and I happened to be at the table very closest to the door.

I almost got up to ask for a table chance right away, but I started winning before I had a chance to.  So for a couple of hours I decided to tough it out.  But eventually it got to be too much for me and I requested a table near the front.  They were able to move me within a few minutes and I left my lucky seat.

At the new table I got pocket 10’s yet again.  I called a $7 raise.  Five of us saw the flop and there was no set for me this time.  I folded to a big flop raise.

I had 8-7 in the big blind.  The flop was 8-8-Q, There was a British fellow who was either new to the game or a bad player (or both).  He bet all three streets, but I didn’t note the amounts, and I just called each time.  The river was another Queen, making me think that the boat I had just gotten was no good. But I called a smallish bet and the Brit showed Ace-King.  In other words, nothing. 

A similar thing happened next time I was in the big blind.  I checked with King-Jack, and the flop was King-Jack-4.  I bet but was raised. I just called.  We checked the turn and I called a smallish bet on the river.  He had a weak King and I took that down.

But I basically lost about $25 total at the new table.  Perhaps the cold weather outside that forced me to move cost me some money inside. Still, I was able to cash out up $225 so it wasn’t a bad night.

Oh….and at the new table, I saw something quite interesting, and something that doesn’t have anything to do with poker—or at least had nothing to do with my poker session—so I will save that for another post another time.  (Edited to add, and "another time" has come, you can read all about it here).

Monday, March 23, 2015


Forgiveness is supposed to be good for the soul, right?  I mean, for the forgiver, not the forgiven.

On this night I got to tell someone that I forgave them.

It was fairly loose 1/2 game.  There was a guy in seat 7 who liked to open-raise to $25-$30.  The guy in seat 8 liked to call the guy in seat 7’s open raises.  Seat 7 was a maniac, but seat 8 was just a pretty bad player.  Speaking of bad players, I was in seat 9.

Early on I raised with pocket Jacks, got a few callers and hated the flop, Ace-King-King.  My c-bet was called by two players.  I folded to a big turn bet.

A bit later, after donking off more chips, I called a $10 raise with pocket 9’s.  I hit my set on a very wet board (Jack-9-8, two clubs).  No one called my flop bet.

Then “BSC dealer” came to the table.  To deal, not to play.  You last met BSC Dealer in the post here.  He’s the guy who, while playing, cracked my dreaded pocket Kings with King-Jack (two Jacks on the flop).  I just reread that post and realized I hadn’t mentioned in there that when BSC Dealer left the game (to start his work shift), I told the current dealer at my table what had happened and that I was never going to forgive him—or ever tip him again, for that matter.  The dealer, a nice woman, said she totally understood and didn’t blame me.  Anyway, whenever I see BSC Dealer, the first thing I think about is that damn hand where he cracked my Kings with King-Jack.  The first thing, the last thing, and the only thing.  Not that I hold a grudge or anything.

He dealt me pocket 7’s.  Seat 7 sat this one out but seat 8 raised to $11.  I called, as did one other player.  By now I had seen Seat 8 make a few crazy bluffs and bet really big on the later streets.  It was hard to put him on a range.  I think “any two cards” may have been his range.  Just a little earlier he had been talking on the phone to someone (wife?  girlfriend?)  about quitting the game and joining her back in the room for some room service.  He said something about losing all his money first, making it almost sound as he was eager to lose his stack so he could leave the table without having to cash out.  A bad player eager to lose his money?  What could go wrong?

The flop was King-Jack-9, rainbow.  And seat 8 led out for $20.  I was about to fold and then I reconsidered.  I was pretty sure he was betting with air.  Based on his play, if that was the case, he might not barrel again.  Or he might shove with his air. I just decided to take a flier and call the twenty bucks.  Let’s see what he does on the turn, I thought.  If I can get to a showdown cheap, my 7’s might be good.  Note: He wasn’t always playing like a guy trying to lose his stack.  He did fold, he did check. His play was erratic.

The other guy folded and BSC dealer put the turn card out.  It was a 7.  He led out for $50.  I knew 10-8 was in his range but that seemed so unlikely.  Besides, I’m not folding a set there.  I was down to $111 when the hand started, and I already intended to buy more chips when the button came to me.  So I put my remaining $80 stack out.

Now, I was using my PokerAtlas card protector, as always.  You can see a pic of it here.  Notice the $25K denomination on it?  Now, I actually have no idea why it says that.  I get teased about it all the time, people asking me as a joke if that’s really a $25K chip.  I guess that’s maybe why it’s on there, it’s a nice conversation starter.  But this guy looked at it and tried to raise.  Even though I had put all my (real) chips out and had said “all-in.”  He said, “I want to raise,” and when told I was all-in, he said, “Well look, he’s got $25,000 in front of him.  I want to raise. “ He had me covered by a couple of hundred but I actually think I noticed him start to reach into his pocket to get more chips.

He was told that it was not a real chip and he couldn’t raise.  He reluctantly just called, which was all he could do.  Now, I have to admit, this was a rather strange guy, and he was probably joking.  But I can’t be sure.  I didn’t really hear him say anything funny to this point, and it is entirely possible he was serious.  He might also have been kind of dumb.  I dunno.

As soon as he was convinced he couldn’t bet any more, he immediately flipped over his hand, 10-8, offsuit.  Sure enough, the 7 that made my set made his straight.  Ugh.

I didn’t show my hand.  So BSC dealer put out the river card.  It was a very handsome looking King, giving me the full house.  Very nice, Mr. BSC dealer, very nice indeed.

Before I made any indication that I would tip him, I said, “BD, that was great.  Your remember the time you cracked my Kings with King-Jack? “

He didn’t remember at first.  Makes sense, a hand like that, the loser of it remembers it much better than the winner of it—especially if the loser of it is me and the hand I held was pocket Kings.

He strained his brain and said, “That was a long time ago….that was last year.”  Well true, but it was less than four months ago at the time. Is that a long time?  “I’d totally forgotten about that.”  You mean he wouldn’t have known why I wasn’t tipping him?  Actually though, this was the first time he’d pushed me a pot since then (he only deals part-time).

I said, “Well I sure haven’t forgotten.   I’ll take that to my grave.  But now, you’re forgiven.” And with that I gave him a tip, and I tipped a little extra.  He laughed and thanked me.

Then he gave a drawing ticket for the boat and said, “Well I hope you win, so you’ll definitely forgive me.”

After BSC Dealer left, the new dealer gave me King-Jack suited.  I called a raise to $6.  I was paying homage to my new best bud, BSC Dealer, by playing the hand he played to crack my Kings.  The flop was Queen-Jack-10, two of a suit I didn’t have. It was checked around (three-ways).  Another Jack (off-suit) hit the turn, I bet $10, next guy made it $40 and the last guy called.  I didn’t like my hand tpo much then, thinking I was probably behind a straight or a boat if not both.  But for only $30 to close the action, I called.  An Ace hit the river, giving me Broadway, but I still feared the boat.  The first guy had Jack-8, the second guy had 10-9.  So I was happy to take down that one, and a bit surprised.

Those were the only memorable hands from the session.  I lost some money the usual way and also lost a bit calling some guy with a bluff-catcher, when it turned out he wasn’t bluffing.

I ended up around $75 ahead and have one less unsettled grudge to hold.