Wednesday, July 8, 2015

It's a Wrap!

Well, yesterday I returned to California, ending my longest ever stay in Las Vegas.  It was not the most successful trip ever in terms of poker, I’m sad to say.  Perhaps even more disappointing, it was not a great trip for blogging material.  I think I got as many “good” stories out of it as the average trip, which is about 1/3 as long; I was hoping for a lot more.  So there are still plenty of stories to tell!  However, I did get that really terrific story told in my previous post, the fun session I had with Mr. & Mrs. Orel Hershiser (see here).

That was so much fun, I couldn’t wait to write about it, so I was up early Monday morning typing my heart out.  And although I’m very happy with that post, I did leave a couple of things out that I might have included if I had given myself more time (and more space). 

So I thought I’d do a follow-up with those vignettes.

I almost forgot something that happened before I had identified the Mystery Man, something that I think helps illustrate his character.  I mentioned at least one hand where I raised preflop (Ace-King, I think), made a continuation bet, and then gave up when Orel called the c-bet.  In that hand, I meant to bet $35. In fact, I was sure I had bet $35.  I actually remembered splitting the bet into two stacks, and that one of the stacks was one red chip higher than the other stack.  Orel called my bet, and he had two equal stacks of three red chips each.  The dealer didn’t correct him and swept away his chips and mine into the pot in very quick fashion.  In fact, it was so quick that I didn’t have to time to stop her before all the chips were in the pot.

I protested.  “I bet $35.”  The dealer insisted I had only bet $30.  I said no, it was $35, I was sure of it.  The dealer insisted that she saw it correctly as $30.  And so Orel said, “I saw it as $30, but we can count the pot if you like.”  Then he told the dealer, “Go ahead and count the pot, it’ll be easy to figure out.”  Then he stated the exact amount the total pot it should have been (including deducting for the rake).

Hmm…ok, with two people absolutely sure I was wrong, I said, “No, that’s ok, it’s not a big deal.”  I didn’t see the point in holding up the game to count the pot.  Besides, the point of my bet was to get him to fold, not call.  If it turned out he was right, he wasn’t about to ask for his $30 back because $35 was too much to call!  My bet, whatever it was, didn’t work,

Well, as I reported, I checked the turn and folded to his river bet. And then, without any prompting from me (because, honestly, I didn’t care at this point anyway), he counted the pot he was pushed and made a point of telling me that it was right, that we had both put $30 into it on the flop, it was not $5 over.  I didn’t actually watch him do this to verify, but of course I believed him.

A true gentleman.

Last time I put in a couple of pics of Orel Hershiser from his playing days.  Above is one more recent, as he appears now as a broadcaster for the Los Angeles Dodgers.  Note, however, that unlike in this pic, when I saw him at the Aria, he was wearing glasses (wire frames) and I suppose that’s why it took me so long to recognize him.  Yeah, that’s my story.

Now, I mentioned the Canadian fellow to my left who had been talking to Mrs. H about his love of playing 7-duece.  He liked raising with that hand. I gather that this discussion had started long before I had gotten to the table, and I’m sure he had shown Mrs. H. at least one time that he had raised her off a pot with 7-deuce and then showed it to her. She was not at all upset, but rather admired his audacity.  I did hear a story he told that in a tournament, he had raised with 7-deuce three straight times and won each time….and showed it each and every time.  The last time, to hear him tell it, the guy who folded said, “Well you couldn’t possibly think you could get away with it again, so you must have these Jacks beat,” and folded pocket Jacks face-up, only to see the Canadian show his 7-deuce again.

So there I was in the big blind with Ace-Queen offsuit.  And the Canadian, as he loved to do, straddled for $6.  The first person to enter the pot made it $18, and two or three other players called the $18, including Mrs. H, I believe.  I called as well.  I did briefly considering making a huge four-bet, but I just thought there was too good a chance someone would call and I’d be playing a pretty easy-to-dominate hand out of position.

Then the Canadian announced, “I’m gonna raise,” and after thinking for a second, put out another $150 in addition to his $6 straddle.  He had at least another $150 behind him.  I think at that point, I had about $350 in front of me.

One-by-one, the others folded.  I was the last person standing in the way of the Canadian and his $72 (or possibly $90) pot.  I did think of raising.  If ever there was a guy who might be three-betting light, he was it.  But even as I was remembering all the 7-deuce talk, and even as I was thinking he might be raising there with that very hand….well, I didn’t have a hand there either.  And without a pair, he had two live cards, and did I really want to risk $300 there in that spot?  Answer: no.

But I couldn’t fold quietly.  Although I had not contributed one word to the 7-deuce discussion to that point, as I started to push my cards towards the dealer, I said, “I know I have your 7-deuce crushed…..but I can’t call.”

And when the dealer gathered my cards, the Canadian turned over…yes, indeed…..7-deuce.  And it wasn’t even suited!

I think we all admired him for that, we were laughing over it.  As I said in the post, there was a great vibe at the table.  Mrs. H seemed to especially enjoy it.

And speaking of the Aria, I want to follow up a bit on a post I did earlier that got a lot of attention, the “bad ruling” not allowing a player to check-raise and citing the 50% rule that should only apply to limit games.  You can refresh your memory here.  As I said, there was the possibility—however remote—that the Aria is one of those rooms that uses the 50% rule in no limit.  Well, I can’t reveal my source (could be a current Aria employee, could be someone who used to work there) but I did get it confirmed that the Aria uses the approved TDA rule in both tournaments and cash games, and quoting the 50% rule there was totally mistaken.

However, my source did point out that when this took place, Aria had their big Aria Classic going on, and had hired not only temporary dealers but temporary floor people as well.  And my source suspects that both the dealer who made the initial ruling and the floor person were temporary help, and that no regular staffer in the Aria would have made such a goof.

One last bit of “bookkeeping”, I want to apologize for something that didn’t happen.  A few weeks back I did a post about a $10 satellite to the WSOP online bracelet event (here). It was called to my attention that the satellite was cancelled—it never ran.  Apparently the sponsor didn’t get enough new members to meet the requirement they had to award the $1K prize. So if you invested any time trying to play in it, I apologize.

And now that I’m not playing poker every night, it’s time for me to get to it and tell all those stories from my longest every stay in Vegas. More to come!


  1. When are we going to get the write up of that big tournament score you teased a short while back? Or did I already miss it?

    1. Oh no, Jeff, you didn't miss it. Trust me, it will be too big to miss.

      It's just that it will be a mult-parter and will take several evenings to write up, so I want to make sure I have content posted before I even get started writing on it.

      But I'll definitely (start) posting it this month!

  2. Love reading about your interaction with Orel Hershiser! What a great experience to play poker with such a star athlete. Awesome.

  3. Love the 7-deuce story. I have a kind of similar one... early in my poker days playing limit at Hawaiian Gardens, I had folded but was watching two players compete for a big pot, each taking their time. Finally at one point player 1 (across the table from me) said something to the effect of, "what the #$%! does he have?" Not entirely up on my poker etiquette yet, I laughed and responded about Player 2, who was directly to my left, "don't worry. He has 9-5." I was joking and completely guessing.

    Well wouldn't you know it... I don't even remember who won. But the player to my left said about two minutes later, "how did you know?" And he showed me his hand: 9-5 offsuit. Ooopsie. I don't know how I knew either. ;-)

    1. Great story, hopefully you're no longer comment on hands when they are live. You just took a lucky guess, but when I said 7-deuce it was based on the table talk that had proceeded it.

  4. Great post, Rob - even without boobage!

  5. Rob, if it's not a secret, do you pay for your room while in Vegas for the whole trip or your employer?

    1. Not sure that it's a "secret" but it's not really anybody's business, either. Sorry.