Thursday, September 21, 2017

How Can You Tell The Difference....

This was a frustrating night at the Mirage on a Saturday night earlier this month.  It was frustrating because it was a good game and there was a human ATM there and I was just too card dead to take advantage of the situation.

As I was taking my seat, I recognized someone at a table across the room.  It was the one, the only....grrouchie!  I waved to him and I thought he was waiving back.  But it turned out he was merely waiving to the floor because he had just been called for a table change and decided to stay where he was.

I was much too lazy to get up to say hello to him, so I tweeted out that "I spy @grrouchie."  Now I had noticed that our mutual pal Alaskagal was dealing at the table he was sitting at.  Well, although grrouchie didn't notice me, AG did (I had briefly said hello to her earlier when I was there getting my comp for dinner).  She told him, "Rob is here...he's over at that table."  And he must have seen me because he said to her, "Oh, you mean that old bald guy?"  Harummph.  I'm not bald.  Not yet, anyway.  AG was surprised, not realizing he was kidding.  "You never met Rob?"  Anyway, he tweeted out that AG was dealing to him and not me.  At the time, I thought it was in response to my tweet but he insisted he sent that tweet out before he saw mine.

Let me tell you about this human ATM.  The first unusual thing I saw him do was when he was down to his last chip.  He had gone all-in against someone and lost.  Turned out he had the winner covered by a buck—one lousy buck.  The dealer asked him if he wanted to get more chips  and he didn't respond.  So she dealt the next hand and he put his last dollar in blind.  Guess what?  He lost.

Now up until then I assumed he was pretty much finished.  You've seen this, right?  A guy doesn't feel like cashing in his last few dollars so he just plays them until he loses.  He is too lazy or too embarrassed to go to the cashier to get cash for his last couple of chips.  And since he doesn't know when he'll be back (and if he's a tourist it might a really long time) he doesn't want to stick the chip(s) in his pocket for next time.

Well that's what I thought this was.  But to my surprise, when he lost the buck he pulled out his money and bought in for another $100.  WTF?  If he was gonna rebuy anyway, why the well would he play his last buck like that instead of buying more chips first and just having a playable stack in the first place?  I mean, what did he hope to accomplish with that one buck?  A double up?  OK, a triple up?  Yeah, then he'd have three whole bucks to play with.  How many times would he have to shove and win in order to work that one buck up to something he could actually play poker with?  Seemed absurd to me.

Anyway, from that point, I saw this guy just basically give away between $500-$700, $100 at a time.  He would either shove or call a shove and lose every single time.  Seriously.  Now, I can understand the shoving—he was bluffing and hoping to get a call, or perhaps overvaluing his made hand.  But sometimes he would call and the other player would show a rather mediocre hand—and he just mucked without showing.  I was thinking, "Why did you call a shove if you couldn't even beat a hand like that?"  It happened too often for me to believe he was calling with draws (that missed) every time.

I texted grrouchie that I was in a really good game and suggested he join me.  He did, but unfortunately by the time he made it over the game had changed.  A few of the looser players had taken off.  And as for the human ATM, he finally got tired of losing money $100 at a time.  So finally, he rebought for $300.  And after a hand or two, he started playing a little more sanely.  The raises were smaller and he was able to find the "fold" button a lot instead of the "raise" and "call" buttons.  By the time grrouchie sat next to me, he was able to accuse me (legitimately) of misrepresenting the game.  Sorry, man.

Once there, the grouch man proceed to insult an entire European nation.  The most aggro player once he got there was this guy with a foreign accent.  Grrouchie finally asked him where he was from and he said France.  So grrouchie said, "Gee, your head is not nearly as pointy as I would have expected."  The guy was taken aback but I think the language barrier probably saved grrouchie from getting punched out.  He acted like he had no idea what grrouch was talking about (probably because he didn't).  So grrouchie explained that he was making a Coneheads reference.  Well, no wonder it fell flat.  It's a pretty dated reference. I doubt the guy from France had ever heard of the Coneheads.  I mean, has anybody even thought of the Conheads in the past 20 years?  And I'm including Dan Aykroyd in that.

Anyway, there was a female dealer at one point and for some reason she started telling this story about this weird question a player once asked her.  This took place a few years back when the rodeo was in town.  This cowboy had been playing for a few hours and then cashed out his chips.  The lady dealer telling the story happened to be flooring this particular evening. 

So the cowboy went over to her and said, "Do you mind if I ask you a question?  It's a little's a little out there."  He was obviously embarrassed.  She said to him, "Sir, I've been dealing poker in Vegas for years.  I've heard it all.  Nothing can shock me."  So he asked her, "How can you tell the difference between a girl who's going to the club and just walking and a working girl?"  We all laughed and grrouchie gave his answer which for the life of me, I can't recall. But I'm sure it was both witty and insightful. 

But of course, if you've been reading this blog regularly you know the right answer.  I said, "It's easy.  The hookers are dressed much more conservatively than the club girls."

The dealer thought about that for a second and said, "I think you're right."

Of course I was right.

I played three hours and wrote down only four or five hands.  Looking them over, none of them are worth talking about.  Sometimes that doesn't stop me, but this time it will.  The one hand I got into with the human ATM when he was giving away money ended up being a split pot between the two of us.  Otherwise, won a few small pots, lost a bunch of small pots (or they were small when I folded).  Ended up booking a small loss.  I was just too damn card dead to win or lose a lot of money.


  1. I read your story about the working girls to the PQ. Her answer was "Well Boob Rob ought to know". She is also hoping you'll be in town in early October when we are out there.

    1. LOL...give my regards to the PQ. I'm sorry, but early Oct is a no go. I am most likely going to be there around Halloween.

  2. You just never know what the games will be like at Mirage.

    1. True. Of course you can say that about any room but there's more variance between the quality of games at some rooms than others.

  3. I consider myself a pretty big Not Ready for Prime Time Players fan and I don't think I would've gotten that reference.

    1. Yep....I had no idea what he was talking about until he mentioned The Coneheads.