Sunday, December 19, 2004

Good 'ol Boys, Part Deux

A temporary bout of idiocy cost our hero his tournament life. He is now in an extremely mediocre buffet contemplating his next step…..

My brother already had his mind made up about his next step. He was determined to get rid of the rest of his money at the BJ tables as quickly as possible. My brother has a problem, you see. Not a Gamblers Anonymous sort of problem (at least IMO), it’s just that he has it in his head that he must win big or lose it all in a relatively short period of time. Regardless, his bets increase exponentially as time goes on. I keep giving him hell about it and try to show him new games and convince him that it’s OK to gamble at a slower rate, but so far he will have none of it. Oh well, it’s his money, what are ya gonna do? It’s not like he can’t afford it.

After eating, I made the decision that my –EV games quota was full for the day and that I needed to do what I came to do, and that was play poker even if it was $4-8. I got myself on the list they were building to start up a new table and went to check and see if my brother had any money left. Nope. To his credit, he is not one of those people who lose their money and then whine about how they want to leave, cutting off those who are more frugal from having any more fun. He just said he would take a seat behind and watch me at the limit table since he had never seen it before. Sweet, that should give me about 2 hours to try and get something good to happen. With these thoughts, I hear my name over the PA and it’s time to go to work…

So, I run to the cashiers cage and try to by some chips. Oops, no go. It seems that here you buy chips right in the poker room. I rush over, buy in for $200, and sit down quickly in order to take in the riff-raff that will be sitting at the table. What a truly odd assortment of folks. My spidey-sense tingles a bit at this point, because it is here that it becomes pretty apparent that the folks who run this room are pretty haphazard and disorganized, and it takes FOREVER to get the game going (actual time, about 10 mins.). I also don’t like the fact that they are talking of having 11 players instead of 10. I haven’t ever heard of this before. Perhaps the more experienced among you out there can tell me whether this is a good or bad thing? I’m thinking bad, and am pretty unhappy about this development, but get lucky because they have one guy move back to the other table since it was only 9-handed. If I would have known who I was sitting with I would have volunteered to make the move….more on this in a second.

Here is the breakdown:

Seat 1: The Kid (age 23 or so, 1 rack)
Seat 2: Our Hero ($200)
Seat 3: Old guy (1 rack)
Seat 4: Middle Age Lady (10 reds and about ½ rack of white) I already notice she talks a LOT, whether or not anyone is listening. Yammer yammer yammer…
Seat 5: Bearded Safari Dude. (1 Rack) I wonder if he’s ever seen Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom. Most likely.
Seat 6: Random Lesbian ($60)
Seat 7: Random Lesbian II ($60)
Seat 8: Talkative Old Guy (3/4 rack + a few reds)
Seat 9: Rest Home Escapee (1 rack) Seriously, I’m not sure this guy knows where he’s at. Everyone calls him Poppi.
Seat 10: Smug Suburbia Joe ($200)

NOTE: Before anyone gets their panties in a twist, my notation of Random Lesbians in seats 6 & 7 is in no way homophobic, merely a statement of fact. For the record, in all three B&M sessions in which I have played, I have had the most enjoyable time with the random lesbians, as they seem to easily be the most affable folks at the table. I have also noticed that they always buy in short, I wonder why that is? But I digress….

I post my blind and it begins. 7 callers and The Kid in Seat 1 raises. I’m looking at a not-so-sweet 92o and opt to fold. All call. Flop x-K-x. Betting and raising all around, this kid is rammin’ and jammin’ right out of the gate. Five people go to the river. Kid turns over a KK for the set and a HUGE pot. Damn, why can’t my day start like that?

In the SB, second hand, I find a red and black AA. Oh Christ, I hope they hold up. But I’ve read my SSHE a couple of times now, and am determined to hammer away until I meet any serious resistance. Oh Jesus, 8 freaking callers. This is going to be the most beautiful thing I have ever experienced or an absolute train wreck. I heard angels begin to sing when I initially looked at that AA, but even they are silent now as the tension inside me mounts. I raise and all call. Flop is 10-Q-3, 2 hearts. Random Lesbian #1 bets out, all call, and I raise, EVERYONE calls. Turn is a 5 of spades, check to me, I bet out and all call (note here that Random Lesbian #2 is now all-in with her last $4, which begins a side pot). River does not bring the flush, I bet, and only two people drop. Holy Christ, nearly all 8 people took it to the river, I have never seen a pot so absolutely mountainous. I table my AA, everyone mucks and I get the side pot, which alone puts me up about $25. I eagerly await the rest of the chips, when Random Lesbian II turns over 55. Doh! She caught her set, dammit! I’m not too upset though, and breathe a silent thanks to the poker gods for the Lesbians who buy in short. It could have been VERY ugly if she had more chips, but I came out a bit ahead and know better than to complain. I also got a couple of pieces of good info, including some on Middle Age Talkative Lady. I saw her cards just before she mucked them, and she had called all the way to the river with a K8o, are you kidding me? Are people really this bad? Yep, they are, and beyond….

I begin to strike up a conversation with The Kid, who is pretty nice. Admittedly nervous and inexperienced, but has a good idea of what makes up proper play. By the end of the first orbit, Random Lesbian I & II are out of chips, Wild Kingdom guy buys another rack, Middle Age Lady is getting really short but continues to gamboool and picks up a couple of pots with trash, Senior to my right buys another rack. For some reason it’s here that the table begins to respect raises and bets, and Talkative Old Guy in Seat 8 buys a couple of pots, talking loudly about how if he winks, we’d better get out of the pot, as J10o is his favorite hand and he NEVER loses with it. I take no real notice, as I am still chatting with The Kid. There is a sudden flurry of movement at the table as Old Guy to my left moves (mumbling) to the seat recently vacated by Random Lesbian #1, another Old Guy moves into Random Lesbian #2’s vacated seat, and a brand new Random Lesbian sits on my left (1 rack). Also during this time, Poppi has purchases a second rack.

After the movement flurry we begin playing again, and The Kid wakes up with his second KK. They hold up unassisted with 4 callers to the river. He chats a bit more with me, but decides to bail, as he has more than doubled up. I can’t say that I blame him. Very next hand, I’m on the button and find myself with QQ, nice. The ENTIRE table calls and I raise. A few folks actually fold to my raise this time, and it gets to Talkative Old Guy in Seat 8. He looks up (as the raise has interrupted him holding court), and asks who raised. I indicate that I have. His response: “Well, I would have folded, but since it’s you, I call.” HUH? Since it’s me? Poppi calls, and so does Smug Guy in seat 10.

---About now I begin wondering anew just what the hell is going on. Do I have some kind of shitty smirk on my face that I’m not aware of? I turn to ask my brother who is observing. Nope, nary a nasty twitch present. Perhaps I crapped my pants, unintentionally offending someone with an odor most foul? This has never happened before, even at my most ugly drunk, but you never know….Nope, I have not crapped my pants. Perhaps they just don’t like my large bald head. Most children are either enamored with it or frightened of it, so perhaps the same holds true with seniors?---

Flop is x-J-x, and the guy starts in with the table direction, “Let him bet it for us”, he obviously thinks this is intimidating as I bet, all call. Turn come K, same thing “Let him bet it for us..”, I bet, all call. River comes A, and this ass-of-a-human being checks and says, “Let’s see you bet that!”. All check and I go ahead and check, as chances are the turn or river hit one of the 3 of them. Does this guy think I’m feeble-minded or something? Smug Guy takes the pot w/ AK (2 pair), I muck, and he looks at me and says “That’s what I thought” as he mucks his bottom-pair holding. I asked him what exactly he thought and he gives no answer, and it is here that the blinders are removed and I see things clearly….I have met the douchebag my brother busted out of the tourney (see Good ‘ol Boys, Pt. 1). Christ, I wanted to jump across the table and stab that guy in the throat. (No, I have never stabbed anyone before, and I also didn’t continue the back and forth as I remember the sage advice not to tap the tank)

Now that the blinders are off, I see a lot of things I should have noticed much earlier. The dealers are WAY too friendly with the regulars, often holding up hands to finish an ongoing conversation. Never too awful long, but definitely long enough to be annoying. A couple of tiny pots I took down came when the dealer suggested to a couple of the loose callers that they fold so I didn’t get any more chips. Not directly, mind you, but the point was there. This was about 15 minutes before my self imposed 2 hour time limit was up, and I had been COMPLETELY card dead for the last 45 minutes. So I calmly gathered my chips and left the room down 7BB’s (1.5 hours), as I could feel a gigantic tilt coming. Poor Poppi, I watched that guy burn through four racks in under two hours. I seriously don’t think he knew where he was, perhaps he thought we were betting ‘Nilla Wafers.

Will I head back to this cardroom? Unlikely, unless I earmark some cash to be used for the sole purpose of wasteful and confrontational play, and even then probably no, as I don’t really care for prick waving contests that much. I can handle some assholes, but when along with this you get mediocre dealers and a room with poor organization, playing definitely becomes –EV. I guess from now on you’ll just find me at the Ameristar in K.C. at the 3/6 full kill. Their room is small, but the dealers are much more professional and the room is generally better run. Christ, I wish I lived closer to a proper casino.

All in all, not a horrible day, but certainly not great either. Perhaps a nice rant is in order tomorrow..

Remember everyone, you can Think Big, but prickish old men will still hate you when your head is Much Bigger.