Sunday, January 31, 2010

Heard at the poker table

I went to Harrah's Saturday night. The WSOP Circuit events are still going on. They have the big tournament that starts at noon, then a secondary event at 4 p.m. Finally, they have a lesser tournament at 7 p.m., and that's the one I played in. I bought in for $135, as did 106 other donkeys. We started with $3000 in chips, but the levels were 30 minutes and went up slowly, so it was actually a pretty good structure.

Twelve players would get paid. First was $3000, second was $2000 and change and third was $1350 -- nice. When there were 16 players left, I had a stack of around 17,000 which was average. The blinds were 600/1200/100. Everyone folded to me in the small blind and I completed and the BB checked.

The flop was J 5 3. I bet 27,000 and the BB called. His hand was Q 9. The turn was a 10. I checked and he moved all in. I called and showed 10 3 for two pair. With one card to go, he had eight outs, and I was ~83% to win, but the river was the 8, giving him the straight.

Enough said about that. Bad beats just mean you are getting your money in good, as they say. Here are some short stories I heard or saw last night.

Why do men do it?
A lady had come from Atlantic City. She reported that they had a big tournament there at the Borgata, and one of the events was a ladies event. Remember last year when a man entered and ended up winning? This year seven men entered, although I don't think any of them did much (based on what she said). Somebody at our table asked her how she felt about it. She said she had mixed feelings. She said she thought there ought to be a men's event that runs at the same time. She also said she thought the seven men were douche-bags (her word).

They keep making bigger and better idiots

The same lady said she had just come from the tournament at the Mississippi Gulf Coast. There was a fire evacuation at her hotel. Some man with an oxygen tank was smoking in his room and started the fire. What's wrong with this picture?

Live Poker is so rigged

Twice I saw somebody move in with trash hands, both were called and both were winners. The first guy moved with with 5-2 and was called by A-A. He flopped two pair and his hand held up. The second case was like this: There was one limper to the button. He moved all in. The limper has A-J and decided to call. The first guy had to turn over 9-3 in his failed steal attempt. The flop were rags, but the turn was a 3 and the river was a 3.

Tournament Poker 101
There are certain rules in a tournament. Most players know them, but they announce them anyway. One rule is that when you move to a different table, you can't put chips in your pocket -- they must remain in sight. Guess what? A bozo moved to another table and put his chips in his pocket -- all but one 500 chip. It was noticed and they were taken away from him. But also guess what? He went all in and was called by four people and won. The next hand he went all again and had some callers and won that one too. When I left, he was still playing and had a good-sized chip stack. Weird.

What can I say
A lady told us this story. She was riding the shuttle bus from her hotel to Harrah's. A couple were talking in Spanish. The bus driver starting lecturing them. When you move to this country, why don't you learn English, blah, blah, blah. The man said "Well sir, we were both born in the country." I hope they reported him. Casino employees shouldn't treat people like that.

Another bad beat story
Most bad beat stories I don't want to hear, but this one was interesting. A guy at our table had been in the noon tournament that started Friday. He came back today to finish -- there were 24 players. His stack was around 95K. On the first hand, he looked down to see J-J. He raised and another player who had him covered, but barely, moved all in. He thought and finally called.

He was shocked to see the guy who shoved had A-2. Here were the cards that flopped as he watched the dealer uncover them: First he saw a 2, then another 2, then a jack! His heart sunk when he saw the second 2, but the jack gave him a boat. It was a short-lived triumph. When the turn was dealt, it was the last 2.

I couldn't make this stuff up
One more hand. A guy raised from UTG. It folded to a lady who was short-stacked. She held 8-8 and moved all in. It folded to the small blind who also moved all in. The original limper called, and he was all in. The first limper showed A A. The small blind turned over A A. Somebody said out loud: Well the aces can't improve. This isn't true, of course. I've seen (both live and online) this happen and four to a flush were dealt on the board. In this case, however, the two A-A hands held up to split the pot.


  1. This might be the singly most depressing poker-related post I have ever read. I may have to quit playing altogether and go back to chess, or tiddly winks.

    Word verification makes it perfect: "imights"

  2. Ah, MOJO, wouldn't one of the AA hands have won if the board had four to a flush?

    Last line, last paragraph.

  3. I found this most interesting...especially the stories about the nutcases ...

    Do you laugh out loud very often? I think I'd have a hard time keeping a "poker" face!

  4. @TenMile: four to a flush didn't come. I was just saying that if it had, there would have been a winner (contrary to what one of the players said).

    @bastinpc: you have to accept that in tournament play or you'll go crazy.

    @Jacob: That's one of the things I love about live poker -- you can always find fodder for a blog post -- online, not so much.

  5. I always enjoy your live poker posts, Mojo!