Tuesday, October 27, 2015

"If I Fold There, I Should Go Home & Put On My Skirt"

The last time I played at MGM during the Monday Night NFL promo, a story I told here, I noted that the games were especially dull and nitty.  Last night I played there again, the first time Monday for me since that opening night double-header.

There are no words in the English language—or any other, I'll wager—to describe how different the game I was on this Monday night to the ones I described in that post.  I mean, if I said the games were as different as Lindsay Pelas and Kate Hudson (see below, Lindsay is the lady with huge floatation devices) are in the, umm, chestal region, it wouldn't come within light years of describing how different the games were on the two Monday nights.

The game I was just in was absolutely the wildest, most insane, most maniacal game I've ever seen.  It was so crazy, it should have been televised.  Why wasn't this game on Twitch?   I described the previous wildest game I'd ever participated in here.  But this game last night made that game seem like a 5¢/10¢ game at the local retirement home.

When I got into the game, right before the football started, it seemed normal enough for a few hands.  I recognized two players.  One, a local grinder, I've mentioned a few times before.  He was the guy with ribs in the post here.  I think it's finally time to give him a blog name, so we are going to call him Dave from now on, because I've never used "Dave" before (ok, those thousands of you who memorize all my blog posts—and I know you're out there—will recall I used "Davey" once but the dealer I gave that name to retired and will not likely be heard from ever again).  Dave had at least $600-$700 in front of him, as he usually does because he's that good.  There was another reg I recognized, a guy who always reminds me of my best friend from Junior High School, but he has a European accent.  He had a few hundred in front of him. 

No one else looked familiar.  The guy to my immediate left had a huge stack of well over $1K.  And he was Asian.  But he soon proved himself to not be a Crazian.  He played very tight, in fact one of the regs even mentioned that he was playing tight.  There was an Indian with a big stack, and for a few hands, it appeared he was going to be the table's designated maniac, but this proved to be a false positive.  A mild mannered older gentleman (short stack) and a couple of non-descript looking guys (one from L.A., one from Canada) with around $300 each when I got to the table rounded out the field.

Oh, I left out one player.  The real maniac, who was sitting directly to my right.  He had a $300 stack too, and I have no idea how many times he had re-bought before I got there, but I suspect he had.  Just calling him "The Maniac" wouldn't do justice to this fellow.  He mentioned he was a truck driver but calling him "Truck Driver" won't do either.  Since he was a maniac on steroids, a turbo maniac if you will, let's call him Maniac cubed (not squared, not good enough), so we will refer to him as M3 (and always in bold).

As I said, it was tame for a few hands. My first big blind, I had 9-2 offsuit, and M3 just completed form the small blind.  A few of us saw a flop that gave me a gutshot  with two hearts on it; my deuce was a heart. I called a $6 bet.  There was another small bet on the turn, a third heart.  I called it (might have been $6, might have been $10, no more).  Now, as I entered the room, I asked and found out that there were two $1k cash drawing envelopes available for the last three drawings (at 8PM, Midnite, and 4AM), so there was a 66.7% chance the next drawing would be for $1K (either six $200 winners or one $400 winner and six $100 winners).  That's why I made the loose calls as long as they were cheap.  A fourth heart hit the river, giving me the babiest of flushes. I wouldn't have called a big bet, but fortunately, no one bet, so I got the ticket for the drawing without further cost.  But I lost the pot, I believe it was M3 who showed a 10 of hearts.

A little bit later, when things were still calm, I got the dreaded pocket Kings. M3 open limped, I made it $10, two players called, including M3.  The flop was Queen-high, I bet $20 and took down the pot.

Then it just got totally insane. Hard to really describe the action.  M3 started shoving.  A lot.  Usually pre-flop.  His whole $300, or whatever he had.  Sometimes he would see a flop and then shove.  Other times he would make a small raise, or call a small raise, and shove the flop.  He also limped in, and would sometimes fold or fold to a big bet, One thing he almost never, ever did was fold preflop.  He did that very rarely.

At one point he said, "I shove every other hand," and that was pretty accurate.  And so, a pattern developed.  It was sort of like this.  M3 would shove, either preflop or on the flop.  Sometimes he'd take it down, but he started getting called a lot.  He'd frequently get doubled-up.  He'd keep doing it and then would lose his $600 stack to someone, who was thus doubled up.  He'd rebuy for $300 or sometimes only $200.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  Double-up, bust (doubling someone else) and rebuy.

The stacks at the table were getting bigger and bigger, as every 10 minutes or so this guy would add another $300 to the table.  Of course when he actually won the pot, the guy he beat would have to rebuy.  There was soon a ridiculous amount of money on the table.  Of course, most of the time the guy was shoving very light.  When he didn't get called, he almost always showed his hand.  If there was a flop, it would likely be middle or bottom pair, or maybe top pair with a bad kicker.  Or a weak draw. Or a totally naked bluff. Of course, sometimes he really had a hand, but that was always a long shot.  And of course, sometimes he'd shove with garbage and catch the card he needed to win.  He won most of his big pots like that, and lost them the same way.  One time he shoved pre, didn't get a call, and showed pocket Kings just to shock the hell out of all us.

A couple of hands that I wasn't involved in will give you some idea of how crazy it got.  M3 shoved preflop for $300 (he had just rebought after busting the previous hand, or maybe the hand before that).  It folded to the guy on his immediate right, the guy from L.A. who had about $350 in front of him.  The L.A. guy called.  M3 showed his hand, which was King-10 off.  That was a lot better than some of the cards he had showed when he shoved preflop.  But then the L.A. guy showed his hand.  It was....wait for it....Jack-3 of hearts!

Now, I was distracted by the turbo maniac but I hadn't really noticed the L.A. guy much, he wasn't on my radar.  But for sure I never saw him make any kind of crazy play, and I couldn't recall him ever calling any of M3's big bets before.  And he calls with Jack-3 of hearts!  As wide as M3's range was, Jack-3, even soooted, didn't really compare all that favorably to it.

We were all shocked.  He was quizzed on why he had done that.  He explained, "Well, I have to leave to catch my flight in a few minutes, so I figured, why not?"  O.  K. 

Well the dealer put two hearts on the flop.  And then a 3 on the turn.  And for good measure, a Jack on the river. And L.A. guy had a double-up, and suddenly had over $600 in front of him.

We noticed he didn't leave for his flight back.  It was suggested that he could get a later flight, and sure enough, he ended up changing flights so he could stay at the table a few hours longer.  Just because of the crazy action.

M3 just laughed it off and took out three more $300 bills.  And the pattern continued.

Which brings me to the hand with Dave.  Dave made a reasonable raise and it folded to M3 who still had his $300 or so.  He thought for a bit.  I overheard Dave saying to the guy on his right, "If he shoves this time, I'm calling."  Since I heard it, M3 may have heard it as well, not that he needed any prodding.  I seem to recall that a bit earlier, Dave had raised and then folded to a M3 shove.  And when he showed the total garbage hand that he had shoved with, I could tell that Dave was rather annoyed that he had folded his premium hand (and I'm sure it was) to that maniac's garbage hand.

So of course, M3 did what M3 does....he shoved.  Dave thought for about 3 seconds and shoved. "I can't fold this hand, it's too good," is what he said. They both showed their cards.  M3 had 9-8 of diamonds, actually well above the middle of his shoving range.  But  Dave flipped over Ace-King, also both diamonds. M3 groaned, no flush was going to save him.

So of course, there was an 8 on the flop, and nothing else.  Dave was out $300 and M3 had another double up.

Dave was not happy, as you can understand.  But he's a grinder and he did his best to shrug it off.  Still, it was bothering him, at least a little, the rest of the time I was at the table.  He did keep talking about it, I guess to the guy next to him but loud enough for me to hear.  At one point I heard him say, "No way I could have folded that.  No way.  If I fold there, I should just go home and put on my skirt."

I know you're all asking, what about me, where was I in all this?  Well, I was just trying to get a hand.  It was a terrible time to be card dead, and that's exactly what I was.  And with the guy on my direct right shoving $300 every other hand, it was kind of tough to find a hand to play.  I wasn't willing to lower my calling standards to calling a shove with 4-3 suited, even against this lunatic.  I would be willing to call lighter than normal, but wasn't getting anything close to anything I could play.  And keep in mind, there were now mostly huge stacks all around me, so even if I was ahead of M3, I'd still have to worry about the other players.

But I knew if I did get a big pocket pair or Ace-King, Ace-Queen, I was willing to risk my now less than $200 stack.  But I needed the cards to cooperate just a little.

A few hands after Dave doubled him up, M3 generously donated the chips he'd gotten from Dave, plus his own, to L.A. guy. I don't recall the hand.  But L.A. guy now had well over $1,200 in front of him (as well as a new flight to L.A., I presume, since the one he had planned to take was now somewhere over Barstow, looking over the In-N-Out Burger I failed to stop out days earlier.) And that's important to keep in mind as I describe this hand I actually played.

Yes, I played a hand.  I looked down at the dreaded pocket Queens, and as soon as I saw them, I knew my stack was going in.  But first action was L.A. guy, and he opened to $20.  Now M3 would occasionally fold preflop to a raise, or just call a raise preflop (likely planning on shoving the flop).  So it was not a lock he would do what he did, which was shove, of course.

I wasted no time in announcing my shove.  I was a bit worried about L.A. guy, but after all, I had only recently seen him call a $300 shove with J-3.  His opening range would be a lot of big cards, a lot of pocket pairs, and probably suited connectors as well. 

And it folded to the new guy in seat 9.  He had come to the table, replacing the older gentleman who was clearly looking for a milder game, awhile back with a $500+ stack from another game.  I recognized him as someone I played with before, but I didn't think he was a local.  I think I played with him when he was visiting last year.  A younger Asian gentleman, to my recollection, a solid player, a TAG, but no maniac.  And so, this guy...shoved.  Uh Oh. I think by this time he had over $600.

It folded back to the L.A. guy, who tanked.  And finally said, "There's too many players.  I can't call with three players....."  And then folded face up.  Two Kings.  He folded pocket Kings!  Holy shit.  Everyone was stunned.

Everyone in the hand was all-in, so M3 showed his hand, 3-2 offsuit. Yes, 3-2 offsuit.  That is not a typo.  He shoved $300 with 3-2 offsuit. I showed my Queens.  But the Asian didn't show.  There might have been an Ace on the flop, not sure, since it didn't come into play.  But there sure as hell was a Jack on there.  And so when the board was complete, the Asian said, "I got lucky," and showed pocket Jacks. 

And there went my stack.  Bye bye.  It was an interesting hand.  The Asian shoved to make sure the L.A. guy didn't call, of course, but I'm sure he wouldn't have expected him to have folded Kings.  He might have figured he was behind me as he was, but he also probably figured that with my stack, he might overcome some of his losses to me with the sidepot from M3.  So he had the same assessment of L.A. guy's hand as I had, that it wasn't necessarily that strong.

And I'm sure that if the Asian hadn't have shoved, L.A. guy calls the $300 easily with KK.  Why wouldn't he?  Even if he thinks I make that move only with pocket Aces (not a bad assumption considering how few hands I'd played), he loses less than $200 to me and likely gets over $100 back from the maniac. 

So apparently he just didn't want to risk half of his stack, even with those Kings.  Which makes me wonder....why did he stay?  If he was so protective of that $1,200+ stack he had, why not catch his flight to L.A. and have a really sweet flight home?  I'm not sure I understand his mindset.  He was clearly staying to try to get more money from the maniac, but then got scared when push came to shove.

Of course, results-oriented thinking, he made the right move.  And so I think either way, I wasn't going to win that pot.  Asian folds, L.A. guy calls, his Kings beat my Queens, and he has me way covered.  Instead I lost my stack to a set of Jacks.

I bought another $200 in chips.  It wasn't many hands later that I looked down at pocket Kings.  Of course. I had just a few bucks less than the $200 due to blinds and such.  To my shock, with his latest $300 stack, M3 only raised to $22, instead of shoving.  So I thought about it, and as crazy as the action at the table was, my shoving there would look weird.  Plus, he might actually fold to a nit like me if I shoved, but he'd likely call a smaller raise.  So I just put out $100, a tad more than half my stack.

It folded to the Indian, who had been up and down all night, but had around $400 at this point.  He called my bet.  Considering what it turned out he had, it's stunning he didn't shove.  But no problem, M3 did indeed shove.  I snap-called, as did the Indian.  Hmm...

Well M3 showed his hand, Ace-10 of hearts.  In other words,  the very top of his range.  I didn't show and neither did the Indian.

Do I really have to tell you that there were two hearts on the flop, and another one on the turn?  Do I really?

My Kings were both red, and apparently the river card was another heart.  I didn't even notice, I was too busy trying to get the license of the bus that had just run over me.  But the dealer gave me a drawing ticket as he pushed my chips to M3, so it must have been the case.

And just to make the hand even more interesting, the Indian showed his hands.  He had two black Kings.


I really didn't feel like risking taking another shovel to the head. I seemed to be the only one at the table unable to take advantage of M3's largess.  And truth be told, I didn't have another $200 buy-in on me.  I really hate paying the exorbitant ATM fees in casinos, so that wasn't an option to me--and my budgeted sockroll is $400 per session.  However, I had two drawing tickets, so I decided to buy in for $100, which I scraped together, just to be eligible for the drawing.  That sounds lame, but it actually worked the night before (a story I will tell another time).

It didn't work this time, and I was hoping to use that $100 to maybe get another big hand and finally win one.  But I just got total crap again, and lost about half of it somehow. 

It turned out to be a miserable night for me but I got a hell of story out of it.  Maybe I should have titled this post, "The $460 Blog Post."  I'm sure it will be a long time before I see another game like that.  I think I saw M3 put at least $3K on the table, and the there at least four $1,200+ stacks when I left.    


  1. I was at the MGM (another table) and so as an addendum to the story, M cubed finally blew off as much money as he felt willing to donate to the poker community about an hour after Rob left. At that point, I believe 4 other players racked up and left the table. At least 1 of them and maybe 2 got called for the midnight drawing.


    1. Thanks, Dave. I'm guessing the guys who left early, who probably all had stacks of $1K plus if not a lot more than that, won't really miss the $100 they were out.

      As for M to the third, he might just have finally run out of money. I was wondering how a Truck Driver, if that's what he really was, could have so much money he was willing to gamble away.

  2. I was at the MGM last week and it was so slooooow. It is amazing how one maniac can change the action at a table.

    1. Thanks, Darryl....Yeah, the game can change drastically with just one guy. The games at MGM are usually between the two extremes.

  3. Crazy! I was supposed to be in town for Money 20/20, but my trip got cancelled due to other priorities I have to deal with in China. But between your blog and the Trooper's vlogs, I get my Vegas poker fix.

    Hope to see you sometime soon.

    1. Thanks...but what, no comment on the boobage? Not big enough for you? Or are you just bored with boobies? Have I exhausted the topic of boobies? Same old, same old?

      Perhaps I've exhausted the topics of poker and Vegas too, for that matter.

      Maybe I need to revise this entire blog?

      How about turning this into a political blog? I can fill my next post with pictures from Bernie Sanders' honeymoon in the U.S.S.R.?