Wednesday, August 15, 2018

How Not to Come in After Missing the Blinds

Saturday I was at PC Ventura and saw a player do something so dumb I couldn't believe it.  Maybe there's an angle here I'm missing, but I don't get it.

This guy had been table for awhile, at least an hour that I had seen.  I know I have seen this guy before so he was no novice. He certainly understood the basic rules of the game. He wasn't a particularly noticeable player.  He was neither a maniac nor a nit.  H didn't seem like the type of player who couldn't wait to get his gamble on, just your pretty average 2/3 player there to for an afternoon of poker, hoping to hit a big hand or two and walk away with some profit.

Anyway, he left the table for awhile and missed his blinds.  By the time he got back, he would have naturally been under-the-gun. As the dealer readied the shuffle, he put a $5 chip in front of his stack.  The dealer started to say something, then stopped himself for a second.  I could tell the dealer was wondering if he should say something.  I actually heard him mutter to himself that he shouldn't speak up, but then realized there was no harm in saying something, this wasn't giving him advice.  Note: I didn't recognize the dealer and I tend to think he was a new dealer, that's why he hesitated.

But speak up he did and he told the guy, "You can wait one hand and just post the big blind then."  That's exactly what I was thinking, of course.  Then the dealer added, "Or you could straddle for $6 if you want to come in now."  Again, that's what I was thinking.  I've seen many players come in after missing their blinds by straddling in that exact same situation.  The player looked at him like he was nuts, as if to say, "Is there anything wrong with coming now, and not straddling?"  I guess he didn't see the problem.

The guy actually said, "No, this is fine. I can come in now for $5, right?"  The dealer acknowledged he could do that so he broke his $5 chip into ones and put three in front of him and put two in the pot as dead money.

Of course it's not a lot of money but how does this make sense?  Why not wait one hand and just come in on your natural big blind and save the five bucks?  The way they do comps at this place, he wasn't losing anything (they come around once an hour to scan your card, he wouldn't be losing a few cents of comps).  And two of those five bucks is just dead money you're giving to whoever wins the pot, it's not even a bet anyone has to cover.

Conversely, if he was so eager to get back into the game that he couldn't wait one more hand to see some cards, might as well toss another buck on the $5 chip and straddle, that way you have last action preflop.   Now I'm not a fan of straddling, but in this situation, if you want a hand that badly, this makes more sense than posting $5 just for an UTG hand, right?  You know, I think one time at MGM I straddled in that type of situation so that I would be eligible for a drawing that was about to take place, I didn't want to be disqualified by having a missed blind button.  But again, there was no penalty for this here.

It's hard for me to believe the guy didn't understand what he was doing was making no sense, he surely had played enough casino poker to get it, I would have thought.  I suppose he may possibly have been trying to make sure he was eligible for the bad beat jackpot if it hit that hand.  It was up to $35K. 

But that too would have been stupid.  Say he sat out that one hand, and that was the hand where the jackpot hit at our table.  And he'd be beating himself up something silly for not getting a table share.  Except that simple logic dictates that if he had decided to play that hand instead of sitting it out, everyone at the table would have gotten different cards and the jackpot wouldn't have hit then.  Right?  In fact if he had made the choice to sit out the hand and that's when the jackpot hit, I'm sure the other players would have given him some money, especially since someone would have pointed that if he taken a hand there it wouldn't have hit and he was actually responsible for the rest of us getting some nice jackpot money.

I have no idea if he was thinking about the jackpot when he decided to come in for $5 or not.  I'm just throwing it out there as a possibility.

As for the poker for me, it wasn't anything to write home about.  I didn't win a pot for about 1-1/2 hours.  No, I take that back.  There was one pot where I had limped in with a suited Ace and there was no raise and it was five-handed and no one bet any street and by the river there was a straight on the board. All five of us played the board and got $2 back, so a net loss of a buck.  Actually, the player in earliest position got an extra buck and it must have been that the small blind folded because that's the only way the math adds up.

Finally I won a hand, completing from the small blind with Queen-9 off.  It was mult-way and the flop was Queen-5-4.  I bet $6 and had one caller. The turn was a Jack and my $10 bet was not called.  Monster pot there.

I limped with Ace-6 of clubs and it was five ways.  The flop was Ace-6-3, two spades.  I bet $10 and it was 4 ways.  The turn was the third spade and it checked around.  The river paired the 3 and this time I went against my nitty nature and put out a $20 value bet.  One player called but she didn't show after I flipped my cards over.

I called $17 with 8-7 of hearts.  I expected other callers but it was heads up.  The flop was 9-7-2, one heart (the 9).  I called $15.  The turn was another heart and it checked around.  The river was another heart.  This time I bet $25 but he mucked right away.

I had been down about $150 and ended up losing only around $30, so it was a decent comeback.