Thursday, August 11, 2016

Getting Hit By The Deck

What a day of poker!  Imagine just getting hit by the deck for an entire session, dragging in huge pot after huge pot.  Imagine cashing out and leaving the table with nearly four times your original buy-in.  I don’t have to imagine it.  It happened recently.

Unfortunately, it didn’t happen to me.  It happened to someone else.

But I was there to see it.  That should count for something, right?

I was playing at Player’s Club in Ventura. (Note: this session took place the week before my great session at the Bike, told here).  I’m getting to like that room more and more.  It was a very friendly table, more of a home game atmosphere.  Even though I wasn’t really part of the inner-circle, I never felt like an outsider, never felt unwelcome.  There was jovial and fun conversation the entire time.  Our game was remarkably stable, pretty much the same players the entire time I was there.  No one got upset over a lost pot or a bad beat, no one was a maniac (although the guy on my left straddled my big blind every damn time).  Just a nice friendly card game.   

The person who was running ridiculously good was a young woman I’m going to call “Cookie.”  I have seen Cookie in the room many times, played with her more than a few times.  But it has been quite a while since I’ve seen her.  I respect for Cookie’s game.  She plays a pretty solid TAG style, with the occasional foray into LAG territory, just enough to keep you off balance.

Mercifully, l was not in the big pots she took down, so I don’t recall all the details.  She bought in for $300 (the max in the 2/3 game I was playing) and it didn’t take long for her to build it up. 

Early on she had the nut flush on a paired board.  She bet the river, got a call and said, “a full house is good.”  She showed the flush.  The guy who called her didn’t show.  I’m guessing he just had trips.

Then she took down an even bigger pot when she rivered a boat.  She started out with 5-3 in the big blind.  She called a small bet on the flop (I think) that had a 3 on it.  She bet on the turn which had a 5, got a couple of calls.  Made a big bet the river, which was another 5.  Got one call.  The other guy had top pair.

Just a hand or two later, she flopped a set of 4’s and rivered another boat.  She got paid on that one too.  It was nice to run like that, but even nicer to actually get paid for her big hands.

By this time I noticed her stack was now over $900. 

There was a stretch where we didn’t hear from her.  And then….

The guy on my right raised preflop.  A few players, including Cookie, called.  The flop came 5-5-x, two diamonds. The preflop raiser bet, Cookie and a few others called.  The pot was getting up there.  A seeming blank hit the turn, and again the preflop raiser bet.  This time he bet big….$120 to be exact.  Not sure how big the pot was at that point, but that might have been more than the pot.  It folded to Cookie.

Cookie went into the tank.  I was sure she’d fold.  Man, do I have to work on my reads.  Now Cookie was sitting on around $900, maybe it had dropped a bit below that by this time.  The aggressor on this hand had two big stacks of $5 chips and another smaller stack left, after making that big bet.  But the big stacks weren’t $100, they were bigger, maybe $125 each or more.  So I would say he had nearly $300 after making the $120 bet. After a long time, she announced “call.” 

The river was a black King, so no flush possible.  Now, Cookie was in early position and had been check-calling the entire time.  This time, she didn’t check.  She thought for a long time.  And then she announced all-in.

So it was the aggressor’s turn in the tank.  He took a long, long time.  He looked at his chips, he seemingly went back and forth in his mind a million times.  At a less friendly table, someone might have called the clock on him.  He did apologize and ask for time.

Finally, he folded.  At first, it didn’t look like Cookie was going to show her hand.  But a few people asked her what she had and just as she was about to return the cards to the dealer face down, she stopped and flipped them over.

It was pocket 5’s.  After we saw her hand, she said, “Gotta show quads, right?” So maybe she intended to show all along.

The nut flush, a couple of boats….of course she flopped quads too.

The guy who folded patted himself on the back for finding the fold button.

But then he said he had pocket Queens. 

So, being a friendly table, there was a lot of discussion about the hand afterward.  Cookie said she felt she had to bet because she felt he would just check almost any hand he had after she called the big turn bet.  She decided to make the big bet rather than a smaller one to make it look like maybe she was on the flush draw and decided to try to steal the pot when she missed.

The guy said he did consider that.  Honestly, I don’t know what else he could have been thinking to have tanked so long before finding the fold.  If he only had Queens, it seems like a real easy fold for his ~$300 stack.  Especially after the King showed up on the river.

Now, we never saw Cookie bluff that day and I’m hard pressed to retrieve any discovered bluffs from her out of my memory bank from playing with her in the past.  But that doesn’t mean there weren’t some.  And it did occur to me that if ever she was going to bluff, this would be a good time for it.  The entire table had seen her running hot, we’d all seen the big pots she’d won with the flush and the two boats.  So, by making a big bet there, the inclination would be to think that maybe she had indeed caught another monster. 

Tell me….if you see a player at your table running really good, are you more likely to give them credit for a big hand at that moment?  Or do you not pay any attention to that?

The discussion and post-mortem was fun.  Now, for some reason, I happened to notice that Cookie tipped the dealer $3 for the pot.  I dunno why I noticed, I just did.  And so, a few seconds later, I heard her ask the dealer, “Did I get you?”  Without thinking, I piped up, “Yes, you did, you gave him three bucks.” 

Ooops.  Kind of outed myself there.  She said to me, “Oh, you’re keep track huh?  Taking notes on how much we tip for every pot?”  I said no, I just happened to notice, but I’m sure she had noticed me typing into my phone periodically during the session after I was in a hand.

Cookie didn’t take another big pot, and took off not long after.  But she needed three racks for her chips, and it was nearly $1,200 she left with.  Not bad for a $300 buy-in.

As for me, I wasn’t really involved in any really big hands, good or bad.  The first pot I won was when I had Ace-4 diamonds.  I limped in, then called $16.  Three of us saw an Ace high flop with one diamond.  I called the preflop raiser’s $15 (so cheap!).  I called another $15 on a blank turn.  She checked the river and I was happy with my showdown value, having such a weak kicker.  She said, “I just have Jacks,” and showed them.

That was a different woman, not Cookie (there were actually three ladies at the table).  The next time she raised, she lost in similar fashion with Queens.  And some time after that, she raised again, lost, and showed us pocket Kings.  I was actually thinking she had Kings there, just seemed like the logical progression.  If she later lost with pocket Aces, I didn’t see it.

I completed from the small blind with Jack-8 offsuit.  No one bet on either the Jack-hi flop or the turn. I guess I should have bet but I feel so vulnerable with such a bad kicker, and out of position.  But the river was a Jack and I bet $15 and was called by two other players (there had been 6 or 7 of us seeing the flop).  The trips were good.

I opened to $12 UTG with King-Queen of clubs.  There were four callers seeing a flop of Ace-King-Queen, two spades.  Now that is a scary flop for catching two pair, right?  I had to bet, so I put out $40.  To my amazement, no one called.  No one had an Ace? If you had an Ace, wouldn’t you at least call the flop bet to see what the turn was?  Not complaining, I was fine taking it down there.

Last hand I noted was pocket Jacks in late position.  There had been a number of limpers so I made it $21.  No call.

I ended up calling it a day with a sweet $35 profit.  Almost as good as Cookie’s day, right?

But I had fun, it was a good group of folks, as happens more often than not there.  I have to say, with the way Vegas has been changing for the worse lately, I’m starting to wonder if I should just stay away from Vegas and just head out to Ventura more often.  Only problem with that is, I would miss the salaciousness that only Vegas has to offer


  1. No slut parade in Ventura? Hard to believe!!

    1. Well, there very well might be a slut parade somewhere in Ventura, Norm. But it's sure ain't at the Player's Casino!

    2. If I call your raise with a weak ace on that flop, maybe I hang around to see the turn but my thoughts are that you have either 2 pair (esp AK or AQ), a big set, or a flopped straight. Sure maybe you got JJ or 10-10 but I figure odds are against me. Of course if it's me I'm probably not calling a raise with a weak ace anyway.

    3. Thanks, many players call "normal" raises with any Ace, I never dismiss it.