Tuesday, September 19, 2017

"We Find the Defendants Incredibly Guilty"

This past Saturday I found myself at the Bike in glorious Bell Gardens, CA.  OK, I didn't exactly "find myself" there. That implies I either had a huge epiphany about the very nature of my existence while there, or that I suddenly appeared there without any idea how I got there.  And I know precisely how I got there.  I drove there.  And drove there.  And drove there.

Traffic was miserable even by Southern California standards and it took forever to get there.  And that was with the help of Google maps, which had me take a different route than I normally take. If it took this long with the "best" route that Google could come up, I can only imagine how long it would have taken with my normal route.  It probably would have taken less time to get to the MGM poker room from my house than it did to get to the Bike.  Well maybe not MGM, but perhaps SouthPoint?

When I finally arrived, I had to wait for a seat to open up at one of the two 2/3 games they had going. Finally two seats opened up at one table, and they called me and the second person on the list to take seats.  However, there were two people at the other 2/3 table that wanted to change tables.  So the floor person reserved the two open seats at one table and told me that would get a choice of seats at the table that was full when the two players moved to their new game.

This happens all the time and should be no big deal.  So I waited at the table I was assigned to with my money in hand and watched as the current hand was completed.  I figured the two players would both move to the other table as soon as the hand was over.  But instead, they were both dealt new hands.  Neither player was the button, or the blinds, for that matter.  I didn't understand why they weren't moving if they were so interested in getting away from that table that they had earlier made a formal request to move.  And of course, when they were just now told that seats had opened up at the other game, they both said that yes, they still wanted to move.

So the next hand was completed and both of these two clowns took yet another hand!  And I was standing there like an idiot waiting to sit down and play.  Meanwhile there were two open spots at the other game.  And then a third spot opened up at that table and it was filled by someone who was lower than I was!  So I in essence was skipped over for a seat due to the extreme rudeness and lack of consideration by these two players who had told the floor they were going to move and then stayed in their seats! 

I was just about to find a floorperson to explain what was happening when a couple of players at the other game shouted to her that they were short-handed, and since there was a waiting list why weren't they filling the seats?  By this time my name had actually been taken off the board and I wondered if I was going to get totally shafted.  To be honest, if it hadn't taken me forever to get there, I might have been tempted to just say, "the hell with it," and left the casino.  But anyway, when the other players complained the floor finally took action and told the two players they had to move right then and there or they wouldn't get their damn seat change.

One of them moved and the other decided to stay at the game he was at.  So the floor told me to take one of the two open seats at the table where everyone had left.  If not for the selfishness of the two players, I could have done that 10 minutes earlier and been playing already.

I don't blame the Bike, the floor people are busy and it's hard to keep on top of things like this.  It's the players that are to blame.  Sadly, this is not a surprising experience for the Bike.  There are a lot of inconsiderate people who play there.  Players Casino in Ventura has a much higher class clientèle.  But I don't get it.  If you say you want to move, and you are called to move, why they hell don't you move?  I can see someone playing the button.  But if the button is not on you or about to come to you, get the hell off your ass and move and don't inconvenience the new player and the players at the other table by hanging around.  This is just common courtesy.

Anyway, there was a nonagenarian two seats to my right. For a long time, I just thought he was some random older guy. I didn't recognize him but eventually his voice started sounding familiar.  And people seemed to know him.  OK, so he was a regular at the Bike, no big deal.  But the more I heard the voice, the more it sounded familiar.  And then I heard him mention that he was going to be on television that night, at 10 p.m.

And I realized it was Bill Macy, the actor.  He is most famous for playing Bea Arthur's husband on Maude.  I'm sure I saw every episode of that show.  And as I was thinking about that, it took me some 20 minutes to remember that I had seen him at the Bike before, a few years back.  Initially I couldn't remember anything about that meeting, and I assumed I hadn't even interacted with him.  In fact, my first thought was that I had seen him at another table.  But the more I thought about it, I finally starting thinking that I may have blogged about running into him.

And sure enough, I searched my blog and found the post here where I talked about playing with Bill Macy. It was over fours year ago and I haven't seen him since.  But there he was on Saturday.

By this time he had started chatting up the woman who was sitting between us, who used to live in L.A. but had moved to Arizona and was back in L.A. this weekend for a wedding. They were having quite the conversation.  Bill was interested in finding out why the lady moved to Arizona.  I suppose someone hearing this conversation might have thought that Bill was possibly hitting on this woman but that wasn't the case.  For one thing, there was a huge age difference.  For another, Bill has apparently been happily married to the same woman for over 40 years.  And finally, I'm sure Bill was sharp enough to realize that the lady he was chatting up was, shall we say, playing for the other team.

But I heard Bill tell a few other people where they could find him on TV that night, so I kind of felt he was maybe eager to talk about his career.  I had heard him say that he'd like to still work, but no one will hire him. "I can't get arrested," he said.  I guess there aren't many parts for 95-year-olds.  Suddenly, I remembered that Bill had a very small role—one line, in fact—in one of Mel Brooks' first movie, The Producers.  And it happens to be one of my all-time favorite films.  Note: I am referring to the original 1967 film, not the musical remake from 2005 which no one liked.  Well actually, I liked it, one of the few who did.  But it's nowhere near as good as the '67 original.

As I said, Bill had one line in the movie but it (and his delivery) was very memorable.  The line is, "We find the defendants incredibly guilty."  I guess I should have put a spoiler warning first but seriously, the movie is 50 years old!  And it won't ruin a thing, trust me.  It is genuinely one of the funniest movies ever made.  You can actually find Bill's scene here.

So instead of telling him I loved him on Maude, I said to him, "Weren't you in The Producers?  I still remember your line...."  And he said "Yes, I played the jury foreman. I had one line."  And he started to quote the line.  And to prove that I remembered it, I said it with him.

Mr. Macy was blown away that I remembered.  I think I made his day.  "I can't believe you remembered that one line.  I just can't believe it."  Well, I said, it's one of my favorite movies.  And he proceeded to tell everyone at the table how great the movie was and that they should definitely see it.  Then he made sure to tell him he was talking about the one with Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder.

And then he asked me, "Do you know how I got that part in The Producers?"  Of course I did not.  So he told me.  He said that Mel Brooks had seen him in a play he was in. Being an actor, he not only mentioned the name of the play but the address of the theater in New York (both of which of course I've forgotten).  There was no curtain call for the play so Mel went back stage to see him after and told him that he was making a movie.  Unfortunately, he had cast all the parts but if something else came up he'd try to put him in it.  Well a couple of days later someone from Mel's company called him and asked if he'd be interested in a small part.  He said of course he would.  Bill told me he got $200 for the one line performance and that it was his first movie.

Then he mentioned another movie he was in, Steve Martin's The Jerk.  And he told me his signature line from that film, which was "Damn these glasses."  Of course I've seen the movie many times but I didn't remember that line, but you can find it here.

Anyway, about 15 minutes later, long after we had moved onto other topics, Bill turned to me and said, "I just can't believe you remember that one line. That's impressive."  The women sitting between us agreed with him.

Well, I was actually there to play poker so let's get to that.  The very first hand, I was dealt pocket 5's. I limped in with a bunch of others. The flop came Queen-8-5, two hearts.  Someone bet $7 and I made it $20; only the bettor called. He checked a blank turn and I bet $35 and he called.  An 8 on the river filled me up and I bet $60 after he checked.  He thought for awhile but folded.

In the small blind with Ace-King of hearts, I called $15 and it was three-way.  I checked a King-high flop and called $20.  It was heads up. The turn was a blank and I checked but he checked behind.  I led out for $35 on the river (a blank) and he folded instantly.

Next time I was the small blind I completed with Queen–9 of hearts.  The flop had a 9 on it and two hearts.  I called $10 and we were heads up.  I caught the flush on the turn and led out for $20, he called.  The river didn't pair the board but it did make a straight very likely.  I bet $25 and the guy made it $65.  Damn, did he have a bigger flush?  I thought about it and figured he could easily have the straight.  So I called.  He did indeed have the straight.

I was up almost $200 and it was early.  Then I had the misfortunate of getting pocket Aces.  There were multiple limpers so I made it $18 and got three callers.  The flop was Jack-Jack-8.  I c-bet $30, the player behind me called, and the next guy shoved. He had nearly $300.  I had him covered.  After the last guy folded, I went into the tank.  It was so easy for him to have a Jack there.  Or pocket 8's.  I couldn't see risking so much on a paired board, especially two face cards.  I folded my bullets.  The next guy tanked longer than me but finally folded 10-9 face up.  The shover kindly showed his hand—Jack-10.  I'd made a good lay down and it hadn't cost me that much.

Then I went card dead for over an hour.  At least I was enjoying my conversation with Bill Macy.

Finally I got Aces again.  I opened to $12 and it was three-way.  The flop was Jack-8-6, rainbow.  I made a c-bet of $20 and the next guy made it $40.  Last guy folded.  I called but was obviously concerned.  The turn was a blank and after I checked he bet $50.  Did he have a set?  Two pair?  I thought about letting it go but then I remembered that this was the Bike, and it wouldn't be surprising to see someone play just top pair this way.  I went ahead and called.

The river paired the 6.  After I checked, he checked behind, and then said, "I have two pair."  Well, I did too with the paired board.  He had Jack-rag and his second pair was the 6's on the board, same as me.  I showed my Aces and swept the pot.  The guy said to me, "I played that really dumb."  I didn't respond.

But I do have a question for you.  In that situation, when the guy says "I have two pair," can that possibly be considered angle-shooting?  I recall that back when i was first learning the game, and I heard someone say that, I might think I was beat if I wasn't considering the pair on the board as my second pair.  I mean I know there were a few times when I was starting out that I mucked a bigger pair than the villain had when he said that because I was only thinking of the one pair that I had.

So in that situation, I might have thought, "Two pair?  All I've got is Aces, I'm beat."  And maybe he had Jack-8 and he didn't need the paired 6's to give him two pair, so even if I saw it, I'd muck the Aces even tho I had the better hand.  Like I said, I know I did this a couple of times in my old 2/4 days.  And I've even read articles warning newbies about this—to be careful about that because calling his hand two pair—even though it's accurate—can be misleading to the inexperienced player.  So is it an angle-shooting?

I would never say that—I would never declare that I had two pair in that situation.  But then, I rarely declare my hand, I just show it.  I only declare it if it looks like the dealer is having trouble calling it (which does happen occasionally) .

This being the Bike I thought it might be more likely that the villain was trying something on me, but I'm not saying he was.  Of course, the other player (in this case me) is always responsible for tabling the winning hand.  Any thoughts on this?

Well, I had to wrap it up soon after that.  My new best friend Bill had already left, and I had lost some poker time due to traffic.  I cashed out up $150.


  1. I dont see calling 2 pair using a pair on the board as angle shooting. My understanding of angle shooting is that it's an unfair and misleading practice. While this may be misleading, it's not umfair because the player does indeed have 2 pair. Is it designed to potentially take advantage of an inexperienced player? Sure. That alone doesn't qualify it as angle shooting, however, in my understanding of the term.


    1. Thinks, Nick. Appreciate your opinion.

      I read somewhere that "angle-shooting" is actually doing something that is technically legal but right up to the line. I mean, if it was technically legal, it would be called "cheating," not "angle shooting." I dunno if I agree with that, but it's something to think about.

  2. calling 2 pair 2 pair isnt angle shooting, if a guy is too dumb to read his own hand right and muck upon hearing this, thats not your fault, since 99% wouldnt err like this. but it IS being rude to not let the guy wishing to move wait til its BB before he needs to move. the courteous thing for u is to let him see his free hands til he needs to post. it used to annoy the hell out of me if i had to move instantly, and i would consider the guy enforcing it to be a jerk for not politely waiting 2-3 hands

    1. Come on Tony....making a player to stand around waiting for some cheapskate to play a few more "free" hands is ridiculous. Meanwhile you are letting the other game go short handed. Nothing required the player to take the table change. He should not inconvenience someone else to hang around waiting for the bb to come to him. That's just absurd. I can see IF the button is the very next hand waiting for ONE hand, but that's it. You're talking about a few dollars in blinds.

    2. Rob is right on this one. Playing one more hand after you are told you can change tables should be all you can play before changing to the other table. Think about how many minutes are involved if the guy was told about his table change when he was in the BB and then he played his button (which should be ok) but then sat there for 6 or 7 more hands until he was the small blind? That could involve 10 to 15 minutes. That scenario would be very, very rude....

  3. Yes, it's angle shooting. Cards speak. Verbal claims are not, and are an attempt to get inexperienced players to act differently that they would if the hand was simply tabled. I'm sure someone will call it "speech play."

    And I'm less inclined to blame the players (although there is some there) than the dealers, who should be paying attention, instructing the players to move to the seat they requested the change to, and not dealing those player in to the next hand.

    1. Interesting that you blame the dealers. I can see the argument, but often the dealer won't even be aware that the floor told the player his table change is ready.....he might actually be too involved in the hand that is live at the moment. In other words, the dealer might not even be aware that the player is supposed to move.

  4. (1) You are right (and Tony is wrong) about the polite/considerate means of changing tables. (2) I'm certain that some people say "two pair" in that situation hoping that somebody with a hand like yours will incorrectly think of their hand as one pair, and muck without showing. I'm also certain that other people say the same thing innocently, with no such intent. But I rarely have more than a gut feeling as to which is operating in any given situation. Bottom line is there's nothing that can be done about it, since it is accurate. As with many things in poker, all you can do is be aware of it and act defensively. Because two-pair hands (and especially "three pair" hands) are notoriously tricky and prone to hand-reading errors, I try to remember to double-, triple-, and quadruple-check all the hands in such situations.

    1. Thanks, Grump. You're right about the "two pair" declaration, always tough to tell. Am I wrong or did you mention this very situation in one of your old Poker News articles? Basically warning newbies to be on the lookout for this. It's a mistake new players are likely to make but even a veteran player can have a brain fart every now and then.

      And of course you are correct about Tony being wrong.

  5. I like the rule at Talking Stick here in AZ. Once the board calls you (over the loudspeaker, which everyone can hear) whether for a table or game change, that is your last hand at that table. The dealers are pretty consistent about dealing you out the next hand. They'll let you play your button if that is the very next hand, but no more after that.

    1. That's a great way to do it. Thanks for that info.

  6. These Damn Glasses got Martin rich in the Jerk....sure I remember that line and the "defective Oil Cans" as the sniper missed him.

    Both are funny movies.

    1. Yes, thanks, Norm, been a long time since I've seen The Jerk. Funny stuff.