Thursday, January 12, 2017

My Biggest Stack Ever (Special Guest Post from arniejokin)

I was delighted to meet up with longtime reader Paul, aka arniejokin, on this recent trip to Vegas.  We didn’t get to play poker together, which was probably good for my bankroll, but we did have a nice dinner together.  After hearing about his great session at Hard Rock, I asked if he would do a guest post about it.  He agreed and as you can see, he reported on more than just his Hard Rock session.  I told the story of my only poker session with Paul here). Paul hails from jolly ol’ England, btw, which explains his unAmericanized spellings.  Take it away, Paul… 

This is a story from my latest trip to Vegas, which will be brief as I know Rob's blog only allows these types of posts.

I had stayed a couple of nights with my wife at the Encore and only played one rollercoaster session where I was down $850 before finishing up $450.

I was itching to get back to the felt and after allowing my wife to go to the airport, I found myself at MGM too early to check in.

Whilst waiting at the bell desk, I saw a tweet from
MrBen saying he was playing in the poker room. Fifteen minutes later, I was sitting in the 1 seat opposite him and we talked about West Ham's new stadium and their lack of form.

I woke up with AQ fairly early on and put a raise in to $12. The flop was a very nice AKQ and I was sure I was in front and commenced betting. MrBen called my flop and turn bets, and the board ran out 99. I put a small river bet out saying I wouldn't charge him too much still thinking I was way in front. Turns out I was totally wrong and he had flopped broadway but luckily he hadn't raised me. So I started stuck a fair bit and after 30 mins or so I added $200 to my stack.

Fortunately I took a few pots back from MrBen to even our score and not long after I called a raise in position with 6-3 suited, sitting on around $400. Then an early limper made it $50, the raiser called and I decided to take a shot (after all, I had the
Spanish Inquisition). The flop came down with 2 diamonds and my 6-3 was in diamonds. First guy to act pushed for about $120. Next guy also pushed, about $150.  I called without much hesitation, as the pot was about $450 with all the dead money, u see. Fortunately I spiked my diamond on the river and scooped a nice pot.  Of course, this was only to be expected playing one of the strongest hands in poker.

The rest of the session I played a lot of hands and had my stack up to around $1,100 at one point, but had lost a fair bit back when MrBen had to leave. Rob then came over and I gratefully took him up on his generous offer of dinner at Tap. Cashed out around $750, so a profit of $250.

My dinner with Rob was great, with a Captain’s burger and good company. So glad Rob is back in action and getting back to full strength.  I also told him of my intent to play with
TBC and VegasDWP at the Hard Rock. He told me to keep an eye out for The Iceman....

After checking in and putting my things in the room, I headed over to Hard Rock. Tony was already seated and had put me on the list.  I got seated to his right and suggested we should swap sides on an hourly basis to have position on each other. Tony was not interested in this concept, but as we are very different players, this did not really affect my game. VegasDWP arrived not long afterwards but had to wait a while for a seat.

I got involved with a big stack early on and managed to drink off my first buy in on a 5-high board with AK. Made a bad shove without much fold equity and reloaded another $300. Over the next 3-4 hours, I managed to build the $300 into around $1,200. Tony had also made around $300 and was keen to book his win, even though he got rivered on his first buy in (set of 8’s beaten by flush draw) and took the beat well. VegasDWP on the other hand wasn't so lucky and lost his stack to a very drunk but nice guy (VDBNG) with a boat.

Hard Rock had a promotion where if you make a full house with a pocket pair, the next pot is splashed by up to $100 depending on how big the full house is. I managed to win 3 of these splash pots in a row for $75 each, first raced vs short stack when in unraised pot I had A8 in the BB. He had Q-10 and Ace high won. Second I took down with a flop bet on a Queen high board with Q9, and last I took down preflop with a raise with AQ. This promotion is good as it promotes action, as does the uncapped buy in.

DWP is an expert selfie taker.  Tony complained the stacks were not in the picture but at least the beer is (awaiting refill).

The Iceman took the seat next to where DWP had been seated. He is an enormous guy, with multi coloured jewelry and Vaseline to keep his head moist. He took $200 off me early on when I could not get him to fold AJ on an Ace high board.  He didn't really play much after that as his policy is easy come, easy keep. I told him my policy was easy go, easy come.

Tony decided to cash in not much later and I decided to play on as the table was good, especially the VDBNG in seat 9 who had a similar stack to mine.

One interesting hand that occurred earlier when everyone was playing, I raised 76 spades and flopped a flush draw on an Ace high board. Two callers I think, turned the flush and got raised. At this point the board was Ac8s5s2s. He had position on me but we were both very deep and the raise was about $100 more. I was pretty certain I was behind but had outs to the straight flush.  I called and the river was an interesting A of spades, putting a 4 flush out and the possibility of a full house. There was around $500 in the pot and after some consideration, I decided to bet $250. My opponent was a good thinking player and fairly quickly showed his QJ of spades and mucked face up. I showed him my 67 of spades and he took it all in stride.

Not long after Tony left, the VDBNG won a few pots from me and I was back down to my original buy in of $600. Then I won a few back off him and we had pretty even stacks again. I woke up with KK in early position and raised to $15. Pretty sure I got 4-5 callers including VDBNG and the flop came 664. He bet into me and I was fairly certain he wouldn't do this with a 6. I raised and he called. Pot was now about $300. Turn comes an 8. He checks, I bet around $180. He ships it all in for around $400 more and I snap call.

River comes an Ace and I am a little worried about A4, but that wouldn't make much sense for the turn shove. After a little anguish, he flips over 74 and I show my Kings to scoop a $1,600 or so pot.  Who said Kings were

I then got into quite a few other pots and pushed my final tally up to $2,418. My biggest ever stack and cash table win.  There was a lovely waitress there called Christine that Rob would have loved. My win included generous tips, a $60 massage, a load of beers and a ton of laughs.

A 5-rack cash out.  Now I realise the error of not getting a picture of the lovely Christine, sorry to all of Rob’s fans on that one....

Thanks to Rob and the Captain’s burger for giving me the power to play my best poker!

You're most welcome, Paul, and thanks so much for the great guest-post! 

Yes, it is a shame that you didn't get a pic of your waitress.  We can only imagine what she looked liked.  Personally, I imagine she looked exactly like the lady below, but of course, that's just me.  At least she seems appropriate to finish off a post titled, "My Biggest Stack Ever"!  Or maybe not?


  1. Paul: It was a pleasure meeting you, and playing a session together. That game at Hard Rock was crazy. Hope to meet up again sometime either in Vegas or London.

    Rob: Great to see you as well ... you were looking quite healthy after your ordeal. Enjoyed our dinner at Hugo's, and the poker with TBC at the Nugget. I'm going back to Hong Kong next week ... back in Vegas around Feb. 4th

    Take care...


    1. Thanks, DWP, and thanks for the great dinner. Have fun in Hong Kong, hope to see you soon.

  2. Thanks DWP. Was a pleasure meeting and playing with you too. Any game I play in is a crazy game as I always love to generate action. Should be back in Vegas some time around 5-9th of April.


  3. Nice report, thanks. The third photo (the one with TBC) looks like the guy on the right is giving everyone the finger, no?

    1. MOJO, I think that's VegasDWP's reflective pose, but I do see what you mean.