Sunday, March 21, 2010

How long it lasts

I'm just back from an early session at Bally's.

I bought in for my usual max, $300. Early in the session I got up by about $130 by cracking jacks with 5c-7c when the flop came a lovely 4-6-8. Things didn't move much for a while after that.

A guy at the far end of the table was always inadvertantly flashing his cards by doing that stupid repeated one-over-the-other shuffle that so many players like to do. (Why, why, why, why, why? How can people be so oblivious as not to realize that in the process of lifting one up by its end to bring over the other, they're exposing it to at least half of the table? And what is the upside of this mindless revealing of your most crucial information? It's utterly incomprehensible to me. Look at your cards, put them on the table, cap them, and leave them the hell alone! Geez, people, it just isn't that complicated a process. OK, parenthetical mini-rant over.) I told him that he was showing his cards when he did that. A young woman two seats to my left asked me, "Are you a nice poker player?"--as if such a thing were mythically rumored to exist, but not to be expected in the real world. I replied, "Not especially. Just one who likes everything to be fair."

Maybe an hour later I took a restroom break, leaving just before my big blind, as is my usual practice. When I returned, the button at my seat said "Missed small blind." Ignoring that, when the next hand started I put the button and a single $1 into the middle, and another $2 in front of me, making up both blinds. The dealer tried to correct me: "You only missed the small blind." No, I told her, I missed both. She said, "Are you sure?" I said, "Absolutely." So she relented.

The same young woman on my left said, "You definitely get good karma for honesty." She was right. The cards were dealt, I had A-A, and won about $50. I wouldn't ordinarily show my cards just because of having aces, but given her "good karma" comment, it was irresistible. Everybody got a smile out of that.

A couple of hands later I was one of several players to call a small raise, holding Q-10 offsuit. The flop was Q-10-x with two clubs. I made a pot-sized bet. Guy on the button shoved all-in. It folded back to me and I called. He had Ac-9c for the nut flush draw, no pair. Turn: 9s. River: Ah, giving him a backdoor better two pair. Ugh.

That took away nearly all my profit. I was sitting at about $330. A couple of hands later, I limped with 10-10 from first position, then called a raise to $10 from the small blind. We were the only two to the flop, which came 10-9-8, two-suited. SB bet $2, something he was fond of doing whether he had nothing or the nuts, so the bet size told me nothing. I raised to $15. He raised another $20 on top of that. I raised an additional $50, he added yet another $100, I moved all-in, and he called. He had me covered by a small amount. He rolled over Q-J, and the board did not pair to save me.

To nobody in particular, I said, "What happened to the good karma I was supposed to have?"

The guy who had been sitting to my left said, "Sorry, it only lasts one hand."


Danny said...

Yeah karma can be like that. You have a good attitude to be in good spirits after going through two hands like that. If it happened to me, I would be in serious tilt.

Anonymous said...

Any thoughts on the set vs. straight hand? I had the same thing happen to me twice in a session a few weeks ago. The first time I also had a set, got it all in after the flop and failed to improve. The second time, I had the straight, got it all in after the flop and the board paird on the turn. Just chalk it up to 2 coolers?

Glenn said...

I'm always surprised when people express surprise about poker players being honest. I think I shocked people in a tournament once when I tossed a dealer back the extra t100 chip I'd gotten as incorrect change.

Those kinds of things shouldn't be unusual and draw comment. They should just be what people do.

Michele said...

From your Twitter feed: At Ballys. Two dealers in a row use the weird scissors grip for pitching cards. #dontunderstand

Blackjack dealers - that's how they pitch cards on hand held blackjack games where they don't use a shoe to hold the cards. Reduces carpel tunnel.

Anonymous said...

I was cashing out $1000 from a 1-3 game once, $800 of which was profit. The cage guy, who was also the poker floor, accidentally included an extra $100 bill. With great reluctance, I asked him to count the payout again.

When he got to the extra hundred, he, looked at me with eyebrows pulled up in a classic (and comical) look of great surprise.

I still don't know what shocked him most: that he'd counted wrong (and my visual count was superior to his), that I'd let him know he was wrong, or that I was obviously reluctant to be "the honest guy."

Or he might just have been affected with the sudden pleasant realization that he wasn't soon to get a nasty surprise that hiw drawer was short.

You don't get big payouts when you're losing, but I've always wondered if winning so much helped me be honest.