Sunday, October 21, 2018

I Didn't Miss the Boat

My recent post drew a comment from a reader that all I seem to write about lately is being card dead, and he is looking forward to a post where I talk about "running like god."

Well, this is as close as I've come in awhile.  Not exactly running like god, but I did hit a few hands in between the terrible hands I folded or cost me money by going nowhere on the flop or turn.

This was Saturday in Ventura and I have to say that I was a bit distracted because I hoped to get home in time to watch Game 7 of the NLCS (Dodgers vs Brewers) from the comfort of my living room.  So it was likely going to be a somewhat abbreviated session.

Again, it was 1/2 with the $100 max buy-in. The first decent hand I got was pocket Jacks during my first orbit.  I was the big blind, and of course it folded to the small blind.  So of course I agreed to chop.

With Ace-Queen in middle position I opened to $6 and got three callers.  The flop was Queen high and I bet $8 (this seemed like the right size for this game and this particular collection of players).  I got one call.  I bet $20 on a blank and he called.  Another blank, I made it $30 and he folded.

I called $4 with Jack-10 off from the button.  A lot of the raises were to $4.  This is due to the nature of the rake which is taken off the top.  So people will make it $4 hoping to get enough calls so the rake won't eat the entire pot.  The flop was Jack high and when it checked to me, I bet $8 and no one called.

Then I had 5-2 off in the big blind.  There was no raise, just a whole bunch of limpers.  The flop was 10-5-2.  Nice.  The small blind bet $5 and I made it $13.  Two players called, including the small blind.  The turn was another deuce.  This time the small blind went to grab chips to bet, but then checked.  Hmm….I wasn't sure what to do . But the fact that he reached for chips first made me think if no one bet the turn, he'd likely bet the river. So I decided to check.  Probably a mistake.  The lady behind me also checked.

The river was a blank, and again, the small started to bet but then checked.  This time I bet $20.  The lady, someone I've played with before and someone I've identified as a weak player, called without any hesitation.  The small blind thought about it some but then folded.  I guess he had something but figured that one of us had him beat.  I figure he might have called if the lady had folded.  Anyway, I showed my boat and the lady had just a pair of 10's.

The other woman at the table expressed surprise before she realized I was the big blind.  "I was wondering why anyone would play 5-deuce….but you were the big blind."  Indeed I was.  If she hadn't figured that out, I might have said to her, "Five-deuce is my favorite hand," and let her think I was that kind of player.

A couple of orbits later I had Ace-3 off in the big blind.  I checked behind and it was five of us seeing the flop.  You might say it was a good flop for my hand.  Ace-Ace-3.  Flopping a boat is even better than turning one.  I checked hoping someone would bet, but no one did.  The turn was a brick and this time I put out $6.  I only had one caller.  The river was the case Ace!  Talk about overkill.  It was a useless time to get quads.  I could only get called if he had a pair and even then it was unlikely.  So I put out $10.  Now when the third Ace hit the board, the dealer, as is his orders, announced, "Three on board!"  Whenever the board has three Aces, they announce it because the Bad Beat Jackpot comes into play.  The minimum qualifying hand is quads beating Aces full of Jacks.  So If someone had pocket Jacks, Queens or Kings, and the other guy had the case Ace, the BBJ jackpot could be hit.

But not this time.  Of course, both cards have to play.  The other card in the person with the case Ace's hand would have to beat (or match) the highest non-Ace card on the board to play.  The only way my hand would qualify was if the turn card was a deuce (or another trey). It was not.  It was a 7, I believe.

But no one knew that at the time and some of the other players were starting to get excited, hoping we'd hit the jackpot. The guy hesitated for quite a few beats, leaving them all in suspense. But he said, "Sorry, I don't have it," and just folded to my $10 bet.  I showed my hand because really, don't you always show quads and also to show that the BBJ was never in play.

In the small blind with 7-3 of hearts, I threw in another buck when a whole bunch of players limped and it seemed like the big blind was eager to check behind.  He did.  The flop was Jack-6-3.  The six was a heart, giving me a back door straight flush draw (and bottom pair).  That seemed like enough to call $6 with, so I did.  It was now three way.  The turn was another heart, but messed up my straight draw.  This time there was no betting.   The river was another heart, giving me the baby flush.  I checked.  I recalled the button had made a few river bets and, when called, just mucked instead of showing his bluff.  The circumstances seemed good for this type of play again.  Sure enough, last to act, he put out $20.  I snap called, the other guy folded and he said, "I've got nothing" and just mucked his cards.

I was starting to think about leaving with a small profit, and then I looked down at the dreaded pocket Kings.  First time in a few weeks I'd seen them.  My first thought was, here's where a slightly profitable session becomes a losing one!  Yeah, I need to work on my attitude.  There were a couple of limpers so I made it $12.  Only the first limper called.  He had just come to the table and this was his first or second hand.  I'd never seen him before.  The flop was all low cards, 5-4-4, something like that.  He checked.  I put out $20.  He tanked for a bit then folded.

Soon thereafter, I racked up a small profit.  It is the nature of this game, I guess.  I turned a boat, flopped a boat that became quads, rivered a flush, won with pocket Kings and yet I had just a few bucks to show for it.  Oh well, it beats losing.

I timed it perfectly, getting back home just before the first pitch of the game, after listening to the pregame show the whole way home.  So that was also a win, especially since the Dodgers won.  So we have a Dodgers-Red Sox World Series.  Hard to believe it's been 102 years since these two legendary franchises have met in October.  In 1916,when it last happened, the Dodgers were playing in Brooklyn and were called the Robins! 

Go Dodgers!


  1. Just to show some appreciation to keep you posting . I am getting withdrawal symptoms.

    1. Thanks very much, Sethanon, I really appreciate it!

      Believe it or not, I started on a post (from the summer Vegas trip) over a week ago and have just not had the time to complete it.

      I am totally immersed in L.A. sports right now....Have watched every minute of the Dodgers in post season, and that 18-inning game last night sure cut into all my writing time. Plus the basketball season started, so I'm watching the LeBron led Lakers. And of course the Rams are undefeated.

      I will get to blogging "soon." I mean, the baseball season won't last forever, even if it seemed that last night's game did.

  2. If I may ask how “soon” is your baseball season going to end ?

    1. Sadly, it ended on Sunday.

      So to answer you implied question.....I got back to that post last night and expect to finish it up tonite, so maybe tomorrow I will get you a fresh post.

      Fingers crossed, anyway.