Thursday, October 22, 2015

The $400 Cigarette

Here’s another session from a few months back in Vegas.

It was a Slut Parade night and I got sent to the right table for it….but the wrong seat.  I had my back to the parade.  I immediately asked for a seat change button but—spoiler alert—the two guys in the preferred seats (1 & 9) refused to move the entire time I was there.

I was thinking of trying to find a different game—mostly because I wasn’t getting anywhere, pokerwise, at this game—when a familiar face took the seat directly to my right.  It was a reg I’ve called “former reg” before so let’s just go with “FR” when referring to him from now on since that’s so much easier than trying to think of an actual phony name to give him (you know, like Jack or Bill or Obadiah). Truth be told though. since I see him so often, the “former” in front of the “reg” doesn’t really fit. I’ve mentioned FR before, perhaps most notably here. 

FR has kind of a split personality.  If things are going well, he can be the friendliest, most charming guy around.  But if he’s suffered a bad beat or two, he can get a little testy.  In fact, the post I just linked to describes how upset he got when a guy thought it was a great idea to just shove his short stack blind every time.

He had transferred over from another game and was actually happy to see me, because at this table I was the only person he recognized.  And he said to me, “This is much better.  At the game I just came from there were 6 regs and the other two players had short stacks.”  Then he went on to identify two regs by name (a married couple) who he says he tends to soft-play against because he likes them.  I was a bit stunned by this confession.  For one thing, as a guy who makes his living grinding poker, I wouldn’t expect him to soft-play anyone—even his own grandmother.  And besides, as we all know, Soft-playing is cheating (see Grump’s post here).

So we were chatting pleasantly while the game was pretty much going on without me.  I was quite card dead and barely playing any hands. I had been there about an hour and it was coming up to the 8PM drawing.  I had no tickets.  But they announced they were giving away $1,000 which meant that the first ticket drawn would be worth $400 (and then six winners of $100 each).  Anyway, a few minutes before the drawing, the guy from our table in seat 9 got up to presumably use the rest room.  And he had not returned when they started pulling tickets.  And the first ticket was from our table, but no one jumped up to claim the $400.  The shift boss came over to our table and checked and there was nobody claiming to be the person they were looking for.  Suddenly, as the shift boss was heading back over to the drum to grab a replacement ticket, seat 9 came running back, having just barely heard his name, to claim his prize.

The trouble was, he had been gone long enough to have missed a few hands—and he had a missed blind button, making him ineligible for the drawing.  He couldn’t believe his bad luck.  He must have forgotten about the drawing, right?  I said to him, “Man, that was a $400 piss you just took.”  But he said no, he had remembered, but after using the Men’s Room, he thought he had time to take a cigarette break.  That’s how he heard his name, he was not that far away from the poker room, puffing away.

It’s like his mother no doubt told him….smoking is bad for you.

They pulled another ticket and awarded this guy’s $400 to someone at the table behind ours.  And then, with the very next ticket, they pulled a second ticket to the guy who had just won the $400.  Talk about getting lucky…he got an extra $300 because this guy had to feed his nicotine habit, then he got a $100 bonus on top.  He should have only won $200 (for tickets #2 & #3) but got $500 instead.  He should have been buying lottery tickets that night.

Eventually I had to start getting cards to play, right?  In fact, I got pocket Aces twice within about an orbit and a half.  The first time I raised to $10 and didn’t get a call.  The second time, after a bunch of limpers, I raised to $14 and got three callers.  The flop was dry and I bet $40 and didn’t get a call.

I called $10 with Ace-10 of diamonds, it was three-ways.  The flop was pretty sweet, King-Jack-2.  The two paint cards were both diamonds.  I called $15 and it was heads up.  The 3 of diamonds completed my flush, I bet $40 and he called.  The river was a blank and my $75 went uncalled.  I had to show my hand to get a ticket, and I pointed out to the dealer that she was supposed to put the Queen of diamonds out there to complete the Royal.  To this day, I have never gotten a Royal Flush in Hold’em.

Then a Crazian came to our table.  He bet a lot, raised a lot, called a lot.  Oh, I guess I already told you he was a Crazian.  Anyway, on this particular hand, FR made a standard opening raise and after I folded, the Crazian made a three-bet and then FR upped it to $75.  This was probably at least three times the size of the Crazian’s bet.  He called and they were heads up. 

Since I wasn’t in the hand, I didn’t write down any notes, but the flop was something like 7-5-4, with the two smaller cards being clubs.  The Crazian shoved—probably $100 or less, and FR called (he had the Crazian covered). The Crazian showed his hand, 7-6 clubs I think. That flop had really hit him—top pair and an open ended straight-flush draw.  He said, “something’s gotta hit.”  The funny thing was, he didn’t get the straight or the flush—he went runner-runner full house. 

FR hadn’t shown his hand until after the river.  He was rather upset.  He said to the dealer, “That’s the flop you put out when he calls $75 with that garbage?” and angrily flipped over his pocket Aces.  And then the Crazian said, also a bit agitated, “Why are you showing that garbage?” referring to FR’s Aces.  They kind of got into it a bit more and the dealer asked both of them to tone it down. 

And then FR took a break from the table to cool down (or maybe he just had to go to the bathroom anyway).  While he was away, I got pocket 9’s and the Crazian raised to $20.  With all those chips of FR’s he was still stacking, it made sense to me to call.  Besides, I thought my pocket 9’s might have had him beat anyway. It was heads up.  The flop was 10-9-4, two diamonds.  I checked, sure he was going to bet.  He didn’t disappoint me.  He bet $60 into a $40 pot.  That bet was so big, I felt my only raise was a shove, so I put it all-in.  He snap called and flipped over pocket Queens.  Much stronger than I thought, but no match for my set of 9’s.  The board bricked out.  That was a sweet double up, I had about $450 in front of me after that pot. 

Now, there was this know-it-all guy at the table, had been there since I got there.  He liked to tell people he assumed to be newer players how to play. Free coaching lessons, in other words.  He also commented on people’s styles of play.  And he was a self-proclaimed expert on every poker room in town, would tell you exactly how the games play at any poker room you could name.  So of course he had to comment on this hand.

He said to the Crazian, “Man, I thought you were ahead there.  I would have bet anything you were ahead. I thought you had set him up beautifully with that 7-6 hand, I thought he could have easily done that with a pair of 10’s, put you on nothing.”  Wow, this guy must have thought I was a really bad player.  I mean, we’d been playing together for some time, had I really given any indication I would risk my whole stack like that with just top pair just because the Crazian had made that one crazy move a hand or two earlier?  And if it’s one thing I know (and he should too, as the self-proclaimed poker wi), it’s virtually impossible to bluff a Crazian.  I was kind of insulted, but I did have all those chips in front of me to console me.

A bit later, FR returned and noticed my now healthy stack.  I told him that his buddy with the 7-6 had paid me off.  He said, “Oh that’s good.  I’d rather you have those chips than him.  It’s cosmic justice. Doesn’t do me any good but better you than him.”

As it got late, the parade was in full force, and the guys at the table were definitely enjoying the view and commenting on the girls as they were going by.  Men are such pigs.  I had to keep turning my head around to see what they were talking about as I been unable to get the seat change I wanted.  The other players were telling me that I had the worse seat at the table.  So, with all the sarcasm I could muster, I said, “Oh really?  I had no idea.”  The dealer was one of the regulars who was quite familiar with my seat preference on a night like this and why.  So he said, “Yeah, if he knew, he would have asked for a seat change.”  I held up the seat change button and said, “Well, I’ve had this since I got here, but these guys wouldn’t leave,” pointing to the guys in seats 1 and 9.  They all laughed at that.

I managed to win a few small pots after the big hand.  Even won with pocket Kings—a small raise preflop and a c-bet took it on a low flop.  It turned out to be a nice session, up over $300.  Enough to pay the chiropractor bill to work on the crick in my neck.

No comments:

Post a Comment