Sunday, March 18, 2018

All Guys Are Premature at Some Point

Remember the great guest-post from @AvoidOddLaw about his successful run in the Venetian tournament?  Well, you can find it right here.  As you can see, I played in that tournament too.  I haven't written about it myself until now because I didn't have a particularly great run.  Or to put it another way:  @AvoidOddLaw cashed, I didn't.
But there were a few interesting floor rulings and one bit of salaciousness that took place at my table that I can tell you about. I do love a good "woman said" story, after all.

The first thing about my table that I'll mention is the guy to my immediate right.  He had this deep, rough, gravelly voice.  I didn't care about that, but what I did care about was that the entire time he was there he had this cigar either in his mouth or his left hand.  It was unlit of course—smoking in strictly forbidden in the poker room—but he managed to keep poking my hand with it as 10-handed tables are a bit cramped. Also, when he had it in his hand, it sometimes blocked my view, making it harder to see where the action was in front of me or even see an opponent's chips.  I had to strain to look around the damn cigar on occasion.  What's with that?  What does anyone get out of holding an unlit cigar (either in his hand or his mouth)?  Since I've never smoked, I sure don't get it, but you do see people walking around with unlit cigars. Frankly, if you are going to ban smoking (which of course I approve of), I think you should have a rule that cigars are to be put away while you’re in the poker room.  No carrying around unlit cigars while playing.  Aren't there pouches or carriers for those things?  Or at least he could keep it in his shirt pocket (and I don't recall if his shirt even had a pocket).  As it was, I got poked by the damn cigar dozens of times, and yeah, I could get a faint whiff of it every now and then, though of course it wasn't nearly as bad as if he had lit up.

Can anyone explain to me why anyone would do this?  There's gotta be more to it than just for the fun of annoying other people, I would think.

As I said, there were some interesting floor rulings.  At one point, on the river, it was three-handed.  The first guy checked, the second guy checked.  At this point, the first guy, thinking the action was over, started to expose his hand, revealing one card.  The dealer stopped him and pointed out that there was still another player left to act.  But since the guy had exposed one of his cards the dealer immediately called the floor over.  The floor said to finish the hand.  The third guy bet, and the other two players folded.  Then the floor penalized the guy who had exposed his hand by making him sit out the next four hands.

Wow.  I thought that was a bit harsh.  It was clearly a mistake on the player's part, I really didn't think he was shooting any kind of angle.  He just didn't see the third player had cards.  This was fairly early in the tourney and I guess it wasn't really that harmful to the guy, but I dunno, I just felt it was a bit heavy-handed.  And the guy actually had penalized himself by showing his hand.  But I do know they are very strict regarding the rules at Venetian.

Then, when the blinds were 75/150, someone raised and the action was on the small blind.  He had three green chips out there for his small blind.  He announced "raise," and he took back the three green chips and then put back some more chips—a $100 chip and three $25 chips.  Then he put out a bunch of big chips for a big re-raise, like $4K or so.

The dealer was confused.  "What is that?  You made two motions. That's a string bet."  The guy said, accurately, that he had announced "raise."  But what was the $175?  The guy explained he was first putting out the big blind then he was putting out his raise.  Except that the big blind was $150, not $175.  Again, the floor was called.  Obviously he meant to put out $150 and then put the raise out, but he screwed up. Of course, since there was already a raise out there, putting out just the big blind didn't make a lot of sense either.

The floor said, "If you had put out $150 I'd allow it. But you put out $175…that's nothing. You can only min-raise."  The player was really pissed, but he went ahead and min-raised.  The original raiser called.  On a Jack-high flop, the other guy bet, the guy who could only min-raised shoved (perhaps on tilt) and the other guy snapped called.  He had a set of Jacks.  The guy who couldn’t count to $150 showed only the dreaded pocket Kings. But he got his revenge.  A King on the river saved him.  It actually worked out really well for the guy because the first guy might very well have folded his pocket Jacks if the guy with Kings had been allowed to make his big raise.

But the guy with the Kings was still upset.  He actually went over to complain to the floor person and missed a few hands while he was kvetching.  I didn't hear the conversation but he didn't seem any happier when he returned to his seat.

Much later in the tournament, the guy on my left was in a hand with Carol.  You remember Carol, don't you?  She was in that big tournament (also at the Venetian) that I cashed in last year (see here).  The guy shoved and the action was on Carol.  She was tanking and the guy starting yapping.  After a few sentences, he said, "Well, obviously I have an Ace.  So the question is, do you think you have a bigger Ace?"  Well, as soon as those words came out of his mouth, he caught himself and, before the dealer could speak up, he called himself out!  "Oh, wait, I shouldn't have said that. You can't talk about the hand. Floor!"  Yes, he actually called the floor on himself!  He said, "I'll guess I'll get a penalty."  The floor person was walking right by and came over immediately and the guy actually explained what he did to the floor.  Well, they let the hand play out—Carol folded, and the guy took the pot. 

Then the floor ruled—and gave the guy a five-hand penalty. The guy was surprised it was so severe. "Don't I get any credit for turning myself in? The dealer hasn't said anything."  I think the dealer was about to but he beat him to it.  I don't recall what the floor said but the five-hand penalty stood.  Again, seemed a bit much.

Now for the salaciousness.  At one point, and older (and totally humorless) gentleman folded out of turn.  The female dealer gently warned him, saying, "You're premature."  This got a bit of a giggle from most of the table (except the player who folded out of turn) and one of the other players defended him, saying, "It's the first time."  And the dealer replied, "No it's not."  That got a bigger laugh and one of the players said, "Oh, do you know this guy?"  She said, "No, I don't know him. But he's a guy. And all guys are premature at some point." Much bigger laugh.

After that, every time she asked for the blinds, saying "You're little, you're big," we all giggled, reading it in the most suggestive way possible.

There was a guy with a beard and at one point Carol got into it with him a little and said something about "cutting it off."  This lady dealer said, "Oh, Lorena Bobbit?" Carol said, "No, no, no.  I meant his beard.  I didn't mean anything like that."

As for the poker, I lasted to level 9.  I won't enthrall you with a bunch of stimulating hand histories.  I'll just leave you with the last hand.  This one was bothering me afterwards for some time.  I was down $24K when the level started, blinds were 200/600/1200. I'd lost some antes and possibly a round of blinds by the time this hand happened. I looked down at Ace-King off and there was one limp in front of me.  Now, I was close enough to $19K (which is an "M" of 5) to have just shoved there.  Frequently I do just that in such a situation.  But I decided I still had one more move left before it was shove-or-fold.  I raised to $4K.  Two players called, including Carol (who, from the first time I played with her, always seems to call me.). They both had me covered. The flop was King-Queen-10, two hearts.  Did I mention that I had the Ace of hearts?  With top pair/top kicker, a gut-shot to Broadway and a back door nut flush draw, shoving seemed obvious.  So I did.

The guy shoved instantly. Then Carol snap called. Gulp.  The guy had King-10, Carol showed Jack-9.  Yikes.  So I definitely needed help. A Jack or running hearts (but Carol had the Jack of hearts and the guy had the King of hearts). The turn was the 7 of hearts, giving me a bunch more outs…..but the river was a brick and my tournament was over.  Basically, I was a Jack off.

All the rest of the evening, I kept thinking I was short enough that I should have just shoved with Ace-King there.  Neither would have called.  That's not just results-oriented thinking.  I considered it at the time, and in the past, I've definitely shoved instead of just raising in identical situations. I need to go back to shoving sooner, rather than later.  What do you think?


  1. The cigar thing is a total asshole move plain and simple. When it hit your arm you should have snatched it out of his hand and broke it into 3 or 4 pieces and dropped them on the floor. What's the worst that can happen? Dealer calls the floor for a ruling on the cigar??? I assume by your age you are able to slip a punch in a ten handed poker table.

    The guy that missed seeing the third guy's cards when he exposed one card that situation is kind of tricky. Once you see the flop and the action of chip movements you pretty much better know who is in the hand with you and what your position is. Only wiggle room is the douche players that cover their cards with their hands and let one corner of the cards stick out. Our they pull there cards back to the rail with their stack obscuring the view to one or more players in the hand.

    The guy yammering about his ace got what he deserved regardless of calling the floor himself.

    1. Thanks, Lester. I kind of think warnings would have been sufficient in these cases, but I can see holding the rules strictly.

      I'm not nearly that confrontational. No way I'm grabbing the guy's cigar. I'm too old to get into fisticuffs!

    2. I suppose it is a wise move on your part to not take the advice from a guy whose fifteen minutes of fame back in 2010 at a lull in the AVP TBC thread, highjacked it for an Oct 10, 2010 trip to Vegas where I almost got into a fight at a cash game table at Binion's with a UFC heavyweight fighter. It was during a Quad-tens $10K promo and the place was packed and when we had our beef the poker room went dead silent for a minute and fortunately no punches were thrown. This is a guy that Brock Lesner broke his orbital socket in the first 5 seconds of a UFC fight and the guy went the distance and lost by decision with broken orbital socket the whole fight. Yeah, I am glad we both opted to not throw the first punch....

    3. Wow...sounds like a helluva story, Lester. You are welcome to give the full details in a guest post here if you want!

    4. It was at that time a good time to hijack Tony's AVP thread because he had been barely posting when I injected my trip report in daily increments. I will see what I come up with pulling that info out of my memory.

    5. Looking forward to it, if you can do it. Thanks.

  2. Just say something when he pricks you with the cigar, c'mon.

    1. The whole unlit cigar thing is so cliche. Dude sets himself up for oral fixation jokes so badly.....

    2. was borderline, I generally don't like saying anything. I suppose I could have been subtle and said, "I'm sorry I keep bumping into your precious cigar. Maybe he would have taken then hint?

  3. I'm not sure I'm on the same page, Rob. I'd hate to have a poker room that banned Sammy Farha!


    1. Haha. But Sammy's got a unlit cigarette, not a cigar, totally different. Besides, I didn't want the guy banned, just told to but his damn cigar away.