Thursday, November 23, 2017

"If I Call and Lose, Will You Put Me in Your Next Vlog?"

Well, it turns out that this is going to take three parts after all.  So here's part 2.  You can find part 1 here.

We pick up right after my lousy (but fast) dinner at the new Sports Deli, as I returned to the table in my quest to get a flush and a full house and complete the football promo.

As it happens, there was a celebrity at my table.  I recognized the famous poker vlogger Pokerkraut soon after I originally sat down. We had never met or interacted, but back in September, he was playing at Lightning's table when he was in town and he pointed him out to me.  I never wrote about that session—I never played at the same table with Lightning that night.  For that matter, I don't think Lightning blogged at all about his entire trip.  Anyway, when I went to say good-night to him that night, he pointed out Kevin (the Pokerkraut) across from him.
I have  a confession to make.  There are a lot of very fine vlogs out there, and I just don't have time to keep up with them.  I watch a few when I can, but I don't watch any of them regularly.  I had seen some of Kevin's vlogs and enjoyed them, but it had been awhile.

Oddly enough, even though I had never met Kevin before, I had actually met his wife, Mariana, in the summer.  It happened when I met up with my former AVP pal (and frequent blog commenter) Zourah at the MGM.  He is a big fan of the Pokerkraut vlogs and recognized Kevin's wife, who appears in many of them. In fact, he told Mariana that he had actually used one of Kevin's videos in one of his lectures (Zourah is a Economics professor).  So I felt like I knew Kevin even though I really didn't.

But to this point in the game, I hadn't said hello to Kevin, or introduced myself, or in any way acknowledged that I knew who he was. He wasn't interacting with anyone very much anyway.  He was mostly watching something on his celphone when he wasn't in a hand.  But I figured eventually there would be the proper moment to say hi to him and let him know I knew who he was.  And that moment happened soon after I returned from my dinner break.

After a limper (or maybe 2?) I made it $10 with Ace-Jack off.  Only Kevin called.  The flop was Ace-high, two spades.  Kevin checked, I bet $15 and then Kevin went all-in for $61.  Hmmm.  I tanked.  He could have had a set, two pair, or maybe he was shoving with the flush draw?  I assumed I was behind, but it was really a stack-to-pot-ratio calculation.  It was so low I just couldn't fold top pair, decent kicker.  But before I called, I figured this was the time to I.D. him.  I said, "If I call and lose, will you put me in your next vlog?" He laughed and said, "Sure, if you want.  I want you to call."  So I said, "Well, ok," and called.  I don't remember if we showed right away or not, but neither one of us improved, and he had Ace-Queen to take it.  At first I was a little surprised that he hadn't raised preflop with that, but he was playing extremely tight and rarely made a preflop raise.

Anyway, after he stacked my chips, he took out his camera and said, "You want to do the opening?"  I didn't really know what he meant (remember, I hadn't seen one of his vlogs recently) and said, "No, I was just kidding."  I guess I was.  But as the evening wore on, sitting there, thinking about it, I figured it would be fun to be in his vlog and maybe even get a little publicity for the blog. 

So, sometime later, when we were both out of the hand, I walked around to him and introduced myself.  I told him I had a blog (not a vlog)—but he had never heard of me or my blog.  He says he only watches vlogs, doesn't read blogs.  So sorta the opposite of me. I gave him a card with the blog's URL.  Anyway, I said I would actually like to do something on his vlog, whatever he wanted.  He said ok, we'd do it later when it was convenient.

In the meantime, the guy next to him asked Pokerkraut what a "vlog" was and he explained.  That got him talking more in general, and he told the story of how, the last time he played this promo, the previous Sunday, he hit all the hands early except one—two pair, which of course, is the easiest to hit.  He said he got so frustrated going for that last stamp he ended up losing over $700 chasing it!  This is what I've always feared myself.  Anyway, if you want to see the vlog where he talks about blowing all that money chasing the promo (and I recommend you do), you can find it here.

The football game was still going on when he decided to call it a night. He wasn't close to hitting the promo and didn't want to make the mistake of throwing money at it like last time.  So I got up from the table and asked him what he wanted me to do for his vlog.  It wasn't the best timing since I was still short two stamps and there was time left in the game to conceivably qualify for the $400.  But I really wanted to see what he had in store for me in his vlog.

Well, we went over to the slot area and he took out his camera and said, "You know what to say for the opening, right?"  I was embarrassed but I had to admit I did not.  So he told me, "Say your name and then say 'Welcome to the Pokerkraut vlog, Have fun.'"  And he said I could mention my blog's URL in there.  Ok, so with no rehearsal, he pointed the camera at me and told me to go.  Well as you can see from the finished product (the vlog with my opening can be found here), I butchered it pretty badly.  Call it stage fright, I guess. I think I was too busy concentrating on remembering to give the URL for the blog to remember what else I was suppose to say! I knew I was bad and I expected him to give me a second take, but he said it was fine.  And he didn't clean it up in editing either, obviously.  Heh heh.  Yeah, I know I'm pretty bad.  It's ok though.  People are always asking me if I ever think about doing a vlog in addition to (or instead of) the written blog.  Next time they do, I'll just show them this video as the reason why my answer is "No effing way."

By the way, if you want to see me in a non-speaking cameo role, with footage taken of me at the table (very brief) from the very night I'm now writing about, you can find that here (about 1:15 in, seat 5, green shirt).

Anyway, it was great to meet Kevin and appear on his vlog, and I want to thank him for giving my blog such a nice plug, including the graphics of the URL right on the screen.  And be advised, this is not the last you'll hear of Pokerkraut from me.  He will be featured prominently in a write up I do about another night of poker at MGM.  I'll get to that eventually.

But back to the current session.  Unfortunately, I wasn't properly chastened but Kevin's story of losing all that money chasing the promo.  I stopped playing poker and began playing "promo poker."  Virtually every move I made was calculated  with the thought of catching a flush or a full house.

The problem do you play for a full house?  Playing for the flush was obvious—just play every suited hand you get.  But a boat?  Yeah, it's more likely to come when you start with a pocket pair, but you're pretty much going to play those anyway.  Do you not bet a set, afraid that everyone will fold before you get a chance to boat up?  What about two-pair hands—do you slow play those hoping to boat up?  Do you just play every starting hand you get, since even 7-2 could turn into deuces full of 7's by the river?

Well no, I wasn't that bad.  I also didn't play every suited hand I got.  I was discriminating but maybe not as much as I usually am.  King-x and even Queen-x was playable if suited.  Suited connectors I would play anyway but now I was more likely to play the gappers.  And as for going for the boat....well, I didn't play any two cards, but I was more likely to play two higher cards that I might otherwise throw away on the theory that If I made something with them but was short of a boat I might still win with them.

It was a dumb way to play, but I tried to keep it within some semblance of reason.  And the good thing was, at this table, there wasn't all that much aggression, there were a lot of limped pots and when there were raises they were almost always small.  So playing this way wasn't costing me nearly as much as it could have.

So with Ace-10 of diamonds, I limped instead of raising. I generally limped because I didn't want everyone to fold.  Also I limped a lot more because I didn't want to risk a lot of chips since I was playing more hands.  It was 4-way and the flop was 10-high (no diamonds).  I bet $5 and everyone called.  The turn was an Ace and I bet $15 and no one called.  I immediately thought that maybe I should have bet smaller—or even checked—to see if an Ace or a 10 would show up on the river and give me a boat.

I called $7 with Ace-King off.  The flop was King-high and I called $15.  A Jack hit the turn and I called $25.  I even called $50 on a blank river. He showed Jack-10.  Ugly.

And I'm gonna leave it there.  The conclusion is now posted and you can find it here.  And remember...have fun!


  1. I should mention that I met "The Boss'"
    during the afternoon Rob was kind enough to buy my dinner!

    I appreciate the claim to fame such as it is!

    1. Actually it was my comps that paid for it!