Thursday, April 11, 2019

It Was Not a Call

Saturday I was back in Ventura for a another 2/3 session.  It turned out to be a good session—I won some money, won a hand with pocket Kings and even got a weird story out of those Kings.

Early on, probably the first time I was the big blind, I got pocket Aces.  There was a raise to $10 and a call, so when it got to me, I made it $40.  The original raiser folded, but the guy who called the $10 went all-in.  Cool.

When I had just gotten to the table, this guy had shoved a small stack preflop, and was called by two players.  It turned out he won that hand.  Not sure if he had done anything since, but I really didn't care that much about his stack, I wasn't going to do anything but call.  Although I could tell my initial $300 buy-in (more-or-less what I still had) easily covered him.  I didn't even bother to ask for a count, I didn't Hollywood it up by pretending to think about, I announced "call" as soon as I heard him say "all-in."  A player near me said, "That was fast."

We didn't show.  I really didn't notice the board.  I didn't improve.  Did I need to?  I guess not.  It was clear he wanted me to show first but I knew it was on him to show so I waited him out.  He then showed pocket 3's. Just like me, he didn't hit his set.  It was nice pot to claim so early in the session.  When I finished stacking my chips, I had about $425 there.  I also found it rather interesting that the guy would shove a ~$120 stack against a three-bet.

When I showed my Aces, the same player said, "So that's why you called so fast."  I said, "Well, I'm a bad player but even I couldn't have screwed that one up."

I open-raised Queen-Jack in late position, got one call, and took it down with a c-bet on a low flop.

Then I got pocket Jacks and there were a bunch of limpers.  I made it $22 and didn't get a call.

I went a long time without getting anything to play.  It was a pretty good table, too.  There were no total lunatics there, but a few players were keeping the action going.  Nothing too crazy.  A few calling stations.  But I was having trouble finding a hand to play.

So I had a really tight image when this next hand occurred and I think that's why it played out as it did. I had pocket 5's. A guy raised to $15.  He was one of the more active players in the game.  He wasn't playing all that many hands, but when he did play one he played it aggressively.  He had me covered and since I still had over $300 it was definitely worth a call, even though we'd be heads up.  If he caught something, he'd definitely put some chips in play, at least that was my thinking.

Well, I did hit my set.  It was like 8-5-3.  There were two hearts and one diamond.  To my surprise, he checked.  So I felt I had to bet, especially with the two hearts out there.  I made it $20 and he took just a few seconds to fold.  He showed his cards: Ace-King of diamonds.  I said, "You didn't want to chase the back-door flush draw?"  He scoffed.

I really was shocked that he didn't c-bet that flop.  I would have expected him to c-bet most flops.  I didn't think too much of it at the time, but later I realized it was probably because he saw me as such a tight player.  I bet he would have c-bet heads up against any other player.

Oh well, he wasn't crazy, and he wouldn't have put a lot of chips in play with Ace-high no matter what.

I was getting ready to call it a day.  I had still had about $360-$370 in front of me.  One last orbit.  And of course, in early position, I looked down at the dreaded pocket Kings.  I opened to $15 and got four callers.  So I guess my image couldn't have been all that tight after all.  The flop was Jack-9-2, rainbow.  Pretty good flop for my Kings.  It checked to me and I bet $55. The guy on my left folded instantly.  It looked like the next two players were going to fold as well.

Next to him was a woman who had been at the table since I'd gotten there.  She had about $500 in front of her.  I'd played with her before.  She wasn't particularly aggressive but she could get sticky with a hand.  Didn't quite play any two cards but she had a pretty wide range.  It looked like she started to fold but then hesitated, looked at her cards, stared at the board a bit, looked at her hand again, and just stopped.  Hmm… she obviously didn't have me beat but she likely had a draw.  If it was an open-ender she likely would have snap-called so it must have been a gut-shot.  Or who knows what?

Then she started counting and stacking chips.  All of a sudden it looked like maybe she was going to raise?  Hmm.  Then she had the chips out and just froze again.  At one point she apologized for taking so much time, but she didn't ask for more time.  Meanwhile, the player next to act after her had read her initial intention as I had and I could tell he was ready to fold.

Finally she pushed her cards forward.  The next two players folded instantly and the dealer started to push me the pot.  But the fellow between the lady and me spoke up.  "She called, didn't she?"  The dealer was surprised but he held down her cards and kept them from the muck.  I'm not sure exactly what he said, but while he didn't agree that she had called, he was protecting her hand and questioned the guy, something like, "you think that's a call?"  or maybe he said, "that wasn't a call," or something.

I said nothing but the guy protesting went on.  "I did the same thing just the other day and it was a call.  She pushed her chips forward.  Isn't that a call?"  At this point I said, "I don't think it was close to a call," but the dealer responded to the guy, "Well that's not my decision to make."  The guy kept questioning it so the dealer called the floor over.

I thought it was ridiculous.  She didn't call.  She just put a stack of chips barely in front of the rest of her chips and counted out a bet. She did not push them forward.  There were still quite a bit away from the line on the table which may or may not be a betting line. You see people do that all the time.  Although you see it more often in tournaments because people want to see how many chips they'll have left if they call and lose. 

It got weirder.  The floor heard the dealer's story, perhaps the lady started to explain and the other guy started to explain and I was waiting for my turn and then, the floorman punted.  I thought this was the guy who was running the room but it turns that was another guy.  He said he would call the other guy over to make a decision.  This was really getting out of hand.

While we waited for the other guy to show up, I said to the dealer, "Doesn't my opinion count?"  The dealer said, "Well, you said it was a call…"  Ugh.  He obviously hadn't been paying complete attention.  I said, "No, this other guy—who was already out of the hand—said it was a call.  I don't think it was a call.  In fact, I know it wasn't a call."  This was more forceful than the lady had been. She was being oddly quiet.  I added, "I've been playing with her for hours, I know she didn't mean to call, and she definitely wasn't trying to pull an angle."

The dealer said, "I thought you were saying it was a call.  If you are agreeing that she folded, that's it."  Just then the other floor showed up but the dealer said to him, "Never mind, it's ok."  And pushed me the pot and mucked her cards and the issue was resolved.

It was bizarre. Maybe the guy who was complaining really thought this was a similar situation to one he'd been in recently that was ruled differently.  But I suspect he was more interested in seeing the hand play out so he could see what/how I was playing.  Just a guess.

I was perfectly fine with her fold. Knowing my luck with pocket Kings, if she had a draw, she would have hit it for sure.  Ok, I'm just kidding there. But to me it was clearly not a call.  Let me put it this way, it was not a call in any card room I've ever played in, including this one.  So it was simply the right thing to do to let her fold when that was her intention.  To rule otherwise would have been absurd. 

That resolved, she explained, "I had Queen-8."  So I was right, she had a gut-shot.  I surely wouldn't have been surprised if she had called.  And of course, because I had pocket Kings the odds of a 10 hitting the turn were about 97%.  You can look that up in any poker odds calculator.  Just make sure you input that it is Rob with the KK.  If she had only known me better, and known I had KK, she would have called instantly.

I left not long after, booking a $140 win.


  1. Sheeeeeesh... 100% a fold. The douche wanting to see your holdings would gain NOTHING seeing you had KK. Oh... the solid player had KK duh....

    1. Thanks, Lester. I'm kinda rethinking that he really just wanted to see my hand. That would be extreme douchery to insist on a player putting chips in play against her will just to see another player's hand....

      OTOH, there are really scummy people out there.

  2. I just don't understand why somebody who isn't involved in the hand has to stick their nose in. I get it if the dealer misreads the board and tries to award the pot to the wrong person. You should definitely speak up. But if it's something as simple as did they fold or call? You have no stake in this decision so STFU. I bet he folded some kind of gutshot draw like KQ or a small pair and just really wanted to see the turn to see if he would have improved or not.

    1. Yeah, it's befuddling. But he did mention that he was recently involved personally in a similar situation, made it sound like he was forced to bet. My guess is he got caught angle shooting in that scenario, and was just trying to see how far the limits could be pushed.