Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Restrooms, Sets & Jackpots

I’m gonna start this post with something totally off-topic, something that happened before I got to the poker room on Saturday.  It struck me as odd, but then, as someone who has never been a parent, maybe I’m off base. I’d like to get some feedback from parents out there, especially fathers of girls.

I encountered a female in the Men’s Room of a fast-food restaurant.  No, it wasn’t anything like some of my previous encounters with women in the Men’s Rooms in Vegas (see here for one of my better stories of such an occurrence).  Actually it was a little girl accompanied by a man who was, I assume, her father.  I guess I’ve seen this before, but not recently.  And what struck me as odd was that girl appeared to be easily old enough to go to the Ladies Room by herself.

I’m bad at guessing ages of kids, but I would estimate she was 9-10 years old.  Perhaps if she was particularly tall for her age, maybe she was only 7 or 8. She was definitely past the age where a parent would have to hold her hand the entire time you were out in public with her.  And just as I was exiting the Men’s Room, I noticed her coming in, with her father (presumably) right behind.

Well, it struck me as weird.  And then, a few minutes later, as I was enjoying my In-N-Out burger, I noticed that the two of them were sitting not far away.  I couldn’t hear the conversation, but the girl appeared to be conversing normally with her dad.  When they got their food, the girl was eating it without any help from him. I point that out because I had been wondering if the girl had some kind of disability—either mental or physical—that might have made it necessary for her dad to help her in the restroom.  That sure didn’t seem to be the case.

So it really struck me as odd that the guy had to take his daughter to the Mens Room instead of having her use the Ladies Room by herself.  I could more easily understand the other way around….if it was a mom taking her little boy into the Ladies Room.  Much more likely that a little boy would run into a predator in the Men’s Room than a girl would run into a predator in the Ladies Room, right?

Anyway—you dads out there:  At what age did you let your girls use a public Ladies Room instead of taking her into the Men’s Room?

When I got the poker room, I was surprised to find that they had many open seats spread across four 2/3 games.  Never saw that before at that hour.  I assumed that they had just opened up the fourth 2/3 game, perhaps short-handed, and that people started taking off.  My table was almost immediately 7-handed and for a good while we were 6-hand and even 5-handed.  I was thinking they were going to close a table and combine them, but we managed to hang on, and after an hour or so the table was pretty much full the rest of my time there.

It was a session that started out with a great hand and went downhill from there.  Early on, when we were 6-handed, the two designated aggros were both on my immediate left, right next to each other.  I couldn’t get a read on anyone else because everyone else was folding and it was basically just the two aggros going heads up.  Or it folded around and the blinds chopped.  That happened a lot.

So when I got pocket deuces in the cut-off and it folded to me, I didn’t just want to limp in as I might normally do.  I dunno if I’ve mentioned this before, but in the L.A. rooms I play in, they allow you to chop the blinds even if there’s been a limper (but only one).  Yeah, that’s right.  If there’s one limper and it gets to the small blind, one of the blinds will ask if the limper is ok with chopping.  If all three agree, the limper takes back his limp, the blinds take back their blinds, and we move to the next hand.  It’s perfectly acceptable to do that in L.A.  I guess it’s due to the rake structure. If there’s just the limper and the blinds in the hand—or worse, the small blind folds—you’re fighting for basically a $3 pot.

I thought there was a good chance if I limped in, the blinds would ask me to chop.  And since those deuces were the first playable hand I’d seen of the day, it didn’t make sense not to play them.  So I made an unconventional raise to $7.  Only the guy on my immediate left—one of the aggros—called.

Good thing I played it that way.  I hit my set, with two hearts on the board.  Ordinarily I’d lead out there, but I was sure if I checked, the aggro would bet.  So I checked and sure enough, the guy bet $15.  I just called.  The turn was the second spade and once again I checked.  He only bet $15 again.  I check-raised to $40.  His turn bet was so weak that I was sure he was just going for the steal and he’d likely fold.  But no, he called.

A club hit the river and there was no flush or straight possible.  Only a bigger set could beat me.  This time I led out for $50, hoping it wasn’t too much for him to call.  It wasn’t.  After tanking a bit, he put out the $50.  I showed my set of deuces and he mucked.

One of the aggros left a little later with a shitload of chips.  The other one—the one who had paid off my set of deuces—left a bit later after getting felted.

I did win a hand with the dreaded pocket Kings.  Not much drama.  Opened to $15, had two callers.  Two Jacks and a low card on the flop. My $30 c-bet went uncalled.

One of the new players that came to the table was a guy I recognized.  He was the guy who three-bet in front of me when I had the Kings in this post here.  He had made it very clear then that he thought I was the tightest player on the planet, so I spent the rest of the day trying to find an opportunity to exploit that.  He won a couple of big pots early and at one point had his stack up to over $1,100.  I think I may have been spending too much time thinking about him and not the other players.

I overheard him say that he’s planning on moving to Vegas for school and that he plans on playing poker make his expenses while he’s studying.  He’s a good player.  And I’d be shocked if he didn’t remember me from two weeks prior.

I wanted to raise after he limped in to see if he would just assume I had Aces or Kings if I ever raised.  But whenever he limped in, there were too many other limpers for me to do that.  I didn’t think the other players would so easily fold.  And he usually raised instead of limped.  I suppose at least once I should have tried three-betting light against him but I couldn’t bring myself to do it.

And then there was one hand where I came really close to attempting a bluff against him. I didn’t write down notes on this hand, but from memory, he opened (maybe $12?) and I decided to call with 8-6 of clubs.  He’d never in a million years think I’d call a raise with that so if I could hit something there, I could really catch him by surprise.  It turned out it was just heads up.  I pretty much whiffed.  There was a 5 and a single club on the flop.  So all I had were back-door flush and straight draws.  He checked and I checked behind.  I did think of betting there, assuming he had an Ace-King type hand and would likely not call with overcards. Not against me.  But I couldn’t find the “bet” button.  The turn card paired the board and was not a club, so no help for me whatsoever.

He bet out.  I think it was $20.  This time I came really, really close to popping it.  I figured he was just trying to steal with overcards, and if I raised, he’d fold like a cheap suit.  But again, after tanking for some time, I just found it too easy to fold, so I did.

Well that was a good decision, as it turned out.  He showed his hand—pocket 5’s.  I don’t think my bet would have gotten to fold his full house. Phew!

The $100 profit I had early completely disappeared.  I was actually getting hands to play.  A lot of pocket pairs, especially.  But they never again turned into sets and I had to let them go.  Then, I had Ace-Jack in middle position.  I opened to $15 and had two callers.  The flop was Queen-high and I tried a $25 c-bet.  There was a call and then a guy made it $100.  I can take a hint. I folded.  The other guy folded too.  The raiser showed Ace-Queen.

There was some excitement later in the afternoon.  But it wasn’t at my table.  We heard some commotion. “Is that a jackpot?”  “No, I don’t think it counts.”  “I think it’s a jackpot.”  I looked over to the table and the dealer was the guy who had been at our table a few downs earlier.  A really nice, friendly guy too.  And he just started to smile and said, “It’s a jackpot.”  And then he called the floor over.

I managed to get a peak.  There were three Aces on the board, and the winning hand was Ace-10.  I believe it was suited.  The losing hand?  Why pocket Kings of course.  So Aces full of Kings is a qualifying losing hand, as long as the winning hand is quads or better and both cards play.  Well the other two cards on the board with the Aces were 3 and 2.  The 10 played.  Jackpot time.
I had noticed when I got there the jackpot was $22K and change.  The losing hand—the player with the Kings—got 50%.  The winning hand got 25% and the rest of the table split the remaining prize.  Later I heard the shift boss telling them the table share was $799.

I saw the board but I can’t remember how it came out.  I don’t think the three Aces were all on the flop.  One of the players at my table said the guy with the Kings had to call $150 on the river (this was a 3/5 game).  He was impressed that he made the call with three Aces out there.  But why the hell not?  He has the second nuts (I don’t think a straight flush was possible).  If the bettor doesn’t have the case Ace, he’s gonna win the pot.  If the bettor has the case Ace, it’s the jackpot!

Unless the guy didn’t know about the jackpot, or didn’t think that hand would qualify.  But even then, how many players are gonna bold Kings full when there’s only one card that beats you?  Without knowing anything about how the action went, would most players at a 3/5 game fold Kings full to a $150 bet even if you didn’t know about the jackpot?

Anyway, being one table away from the bad beat jackpot hitting is now the closest I’ve ever been to hitting a BBJ. 

Table selection is everything.

I had to book a small loss and head home.


  1. Hey Rob,

    My daughter just turned 7 last month and we are in that grey area. If it's somewhere like a Starbucks or a small restaurant where it is a "single-seat" restroom, she will go by herself as long as me or her mom wait outside the door. If it is a large community bathroom like a theater, she prefers one of us go with her. It's not about being able, I think it's being alone with strangers. Even if it's just the two of us, I just stand guard guard outside the stall in the mens' room and wait for her.

    You playing any of the Bike series? Thinking about trying a Mega on a Saturday upcoming to see if I can handle a long session.


    1. Thanks, Dave. I guess I was dismissing the safety issue a bit because it's the Ladies room but I understand you can't be too careful. This girl tho looked older than 7.

      Yes, I am definitely considering playing in one of the Megas on a Saturday. Not sure which day. Would be great if you felt up to it.

    2. Hey Rob,

      Looking like I'll play the next Saturday (the 25th) in the late flight. Hopefully I'll see you there.

    3. Well, I'm glad you are gonna be able to play, and best of luck. My schedule is such that if I play, it'll be This Saturday in the early flight. Still unsure if I'm gonna make it. But if I do play and you play too, I'll see you at the final table!

  2. I understand where Dave is coming from. Sometimes it is the choice of the child, and what they are comfortable with. Early last year I took my 6 year old granddaughter and her brother 9 on a road trip in my camper. My granddaughter did not want to go into the ladies alone, but she was quite happy to use the mens toilets and showers as long as I or her brother stood just outside the closed stall doors. She has matured a bit this year since she is now 7, and this year on our trip, she used the ladies, but I still had to stand outside the ladies rooms where I could hear her if she called out.

  3. It is more likely a case of not leaving his young daughter alone in the restaurant when the father went to the washroom.

    1. I did think of that. I asked a friend and he said he'd likely just send his girl into the Ladies room while he took care of his own business.

      BUT in that scenario, what does the girl do, where does she stand, while her dad his at the urinal? Just try to find a place out of the way, facing the wall? Awkward!

  4. Fortunately my wife is my shadow. She was always there to take care of these issues. I hate running into small girls when I am in the toilet or coming out of the showers in a gym. I feel violated afterwards. These should be safe zones.


    1. Thanks, Darryl. Obviously having the mother take care of it is the best solution for little girls. However, Dads do have father/daughter days and also, a lot of divorced Dads out there taking their daughters for a day or a weekend.

  5. A player would have to have a pretty bad case of monsters under the bed to fold KK in fear of being beaten a one-outer.

    1. Indeed. Of course, I don't know how the hand played out, I suppose it could have been so obvious that he had the case Ace it might give someone pause.

      And to correct something in my post, if the KK guy knew about the BBJ, he could still worry that he'd lose the hand without winning the Jackpot. But in this case, with a 3 & 2 on the board, it would be almost impossible BUT....they'd miss the jackpot if the other player had EXACTLY Ace-deuce.

  6. $150 call on the river doesn't even require the action player gene to make.

  7. Damn phone logged me out while trying to post