Thursday, March 2, 2017

"Europeans are Crazy"

This was another session from December on a football night, so I got to MGM fairly early to try my luck with the football promo again (see here).  Plan A was to fill out one of the promo cards, hopefully before the NFL game ended (for $300) or at least by midnite ($200). Plan B was to get at least one stamp (out of five), get my card thrown in the hopper and suck out again like I had the previous Sunday and win $500 (or $300 for runner up).

While waiting for a seat, I ran into my pal BuzzedSaw.  That’s not a name I came up, that’s the name he’s used for himself over the years at various spots on the Internet—including numerous comments on this very blog.  BuzzedSaw has the distinction of being the very first total stranger I ever met to tell me he read and enjoyed my blog. It happened while we were sitting next to each other in a poker game and he figured out who I was by overhearing my conversation with the dealer. This took place just a few months after I started the blog, in late December, 2011, and it absolutely made my day.  Well, actually it was pretty late in the evening so it made my night.  I have alluded to BuzzedSaw in a few posts over the years but never had occasion to actually use his “name” until now.  He is an MGM reg, but he usually plays graveyard.  Basically, he’s just getting into the room when I’m about to leave.  But we’ve run into each other many times over the years and have played together numerous times as well.

On this night, he was there early for the football promo.  In fact, on the Sunday before, when I hit the promo, he was also there and we chatted.  He was one of the folks who reminded of the second chance drawing that I ended up hitting for $500.  And when I hit it, he wasted no time in coming over and giving me a hard time about it.  “Rigged. The fix was in!”  In fact, he commented on the post I did about it (that I already linked to) to that effect.

We ended up getting called to a new table together.  A bit later, we were joined by VegasDWP who took the seat on my immediate right.

There were a couple of Germans at our table, rather chatty and of course, very aggro.  One of them was on my immediate left.  Anyway, I was down about $50 and BuzzedSaw was down to less than $50.  Someone straddled and BuzzedSaw called.  And so I look down at the dreaded pocket Kings and made it $20.  I have no idea why I raised to only $20, that’s way too little after a straddle and a call.  Note, the UTG straddle at MGM is $5 and it’s the only one they allow.  It folded back to BuzzedSaw who just put the rest of his chips out.  It was just heads up—assuming I would call.

The dealer (who has been dealing at MGM since I first started playing there) didn’t wait for me to call and didn’t announce raise.  Actually, she didn’t realize that there was a raise.  She just scooped in all the chips and was about to put out a flop.  Before either BuzzedSaw or I could say anything, the German on my left spoke up and pointed out that there was a shove for more than my $20 bet.  Since all the chips were in the center of the table, we had to recreate the pot.  When every chip in the pot was reassigned where we assumed it came from, it appeared that I needed $15 more to call  In other words, BuzzedSaw’s shove as $35 total (including the original $5 he had put out to call the straddle).  Frankly, I wasn’t sure that was right, but I asked BuzzedSaw if that felt about right to him and said, “Yeah.”

So I called the $15 and the dealer put out a board. I dunno why I didn’t show my hand but BuzzedSaw asked me if I had a pair, and I said, “You know what I have.”  He laughed. When all five cards were out, three of them were Aces.  I showed the cowboys and BuzzedSaw didn’t show his hand, and took some money out to buy more chips.  That got me a stamp on my poker parlay card (the football promo) for the full house.

That wasn’t the only mistake this dealer made due to inattentiveness.  I was looking at my phone and suddenly there was a dollar chip near my stack, but not part of it.  I assumed it was mine and took it and put it on my stack.  BuzzedSaw said to me, “What, you just gonna keep that buck?”  Huh?  He explained that the guy on his left had put it out for the small blind and it rolled over to me.  I hadn’t seen that obviously—I’m not gonna steal a buck.  But again, the dealer should have noticed it.  I guess she was sleepwalking through this down.

My buddy Mike pushed into deal.  I said to DWP, “You see this guy coming in?  He’s the worst dealer in Vegas.”  I think Mike laughed but everyone else at the table who heard it kind of went “Whoa.”  Needless to say, I would only tease him like that if he was actually one of the best dealers in Vegas (which he is), but perhaps the strangers at the table didn’t realize that.

I called DWP’s raise to $10 with Ace-7 of clubs.  Four of us saw an Ace-4-3 rainbow flop (no clubs).  It checked around.  The turn was another Ace and after DWP checked, I raised to $25 and didn’t get a call.  That got me a stamp for trips.

My stack was still around $100 or so, and I was getting to the point where I was gonna add on to it.  But first I got pocket Jacks and opened to $10.  It was 3-way and the flop was 7-5-4.  I bet $25 and only an Asian kid called.  I checked the turn, which was a deuce.  The Asian kid shoved for $59.  I called, hoping he had a worse overpair than I did.  Nope, he had 5-4 for a flopped two pair. The river didn’t help and I was down to $9 so I bought $200 more in chips.

I called DWP’s raise to $10 with Ace-8 of clubs.  BuzzedSaw was the only other caller. The flop was an Ace and two low spades.  I called DWP’s $15 bet and we were heads up.  No more betting took place and the board bricked out.  He showed pocket Kings and I took the pot.

The German on my left was annoying.  For one thing, he was crowding me all night, even though there seemed to be a lot of room on the other side.  I actually had to ask him to give me some more room once or twice.  He was pushy.  He reached over from across the table to push the dealer’s board to call for service, and I think he did the same thing to punch himself back in the game when he’d been gone for awhile.

And both he and his pal were typical Euro aggros. In fact, that came up for discussion.  There was hand that DWP got involved with one of the Germans.  And he called a shove.  Now, I think this was preflop, but am not sure.  Anyway, DWP had Ace-King and caught a King to take the pot and get a double-up.  I guess it was preflop.  Anyway, as DWP was stacking his chips I said to him, “That was a good call.”

The other German, the one not in the hand, said, “You have to call there.  He’s European.  Americans only have Aces there, but Europeans could have anything.”  And DWP said, “Yeah, Europeans are crazy.”  The German said, “Yes.”

So then, I limped in a multiway pot with King-Jack of diamonds.  The flop was Queen-Jack-x and no one bet it.  I bet $10 on the turn and only the German called.  By the river, I think there was four to a straight so I checked, the German didn’t bet but showed one card…a Jack.  I showed my King-Jack and he mucked, obviously his kicker was no good.  The other German said to me, “You didn’t bet there?”  I said, “That’s right, I didn’t bet.  I’m American.”

I limped/called $12 with pocket deuces, it was four of us.  I caught my set, with a Jack-9 to go with the deuce.  I checked, thinking the raiser, who was last to act, would bet but she checked.

BuzzedSaw led out for $16 on the turn, the Asian called, and I just called.  I didn’t make any note about why I didn’t raise.  I dunno.  By the river, the board included a 10 to go with the Jack-9 and I was worried a bit about a straight.  So BuzzedSaw checked, the Asian bet $35…and I just called.  BuzzedSaw very reluctantly called.  I dunno what he had but the other guy claimed he had Jack-10 for two pair.

That got me close to even and then they did the drawing.  I only had two stamps so I didn’t get anything for filling out the card but was eligible for the second chance drawing.  I believe DWP had all but one stamp but close isn’t good enough and his only chance for promo money was the drawing, same as me.

BuzzedSaw was also only one stamp away and didn’t make it.  So, before the drawing, he proposed that we combine our action on the drawing.  If either of our names were called, that person would take 60% and give the other one 40%.  I guess he figured he I was running hot on drawings.  I agreed.  But neither one of us was called, so no promo money for us (DWP whiffed too).

It’s fun playing with friends, and I didn’t lose too much.  Winning would have been better, of course.


  1. Rob:

    I think you've misquoted the board - either the 9 gave you the boat (flop of j/9/2) or the flop was J/10/2 and the 9 was turn/river. Just a minor correction.


    I limped/called $12 with pocket deuces, it was four of us. I caught my set, with a Jack-9 to go with the deuce. I checked, thinking the raiser, who was last to act, would bet but she checked.

    BuzzedSaw led out for $16 on the turn, the Asian called, and I just called. I didn’t make any note about why I didn’t raise. I dunno. By the river, the board included a 9 to go with the Jack-10 and I was worried a bit about a straight. So BuzzedSaw checked, the Asian bet $35…and I just called. BuzzedSaw very reluctantly called. I dunno what he had but the other guy claimed he had Jack-10 for two pair.

    1. I've corrected the post, thanks, s.i.

      That was a hand where my notes weren't complete, I just referenced flopping the set of deuces and that the flop was Jack-hi. I tried to recreate it and screwed up. Honestly, it's possible the 10 was on the flop and he flopped two pair but I don't think so because I likely wouldn't have checked the flop in
      that case.

      I hope it makes sense now and again, thanks for keeping me on my toes!

  2. Thank you for making my first mention in your blog a memorial to my bad play.

    1. Haha. Since I didn't report what you had in that hand (and I don't know), there's no reason to believe you played it bad. You were short stacked and could have been willing to get it in there with a wide range of hands. I'm sure you played it right.

      Actually, if you knew I had Kings, it would have been the right play to shove with any two cards against me. You just ran into the one time my Kings held.