Saturday, October 16, 2010

Stratosphere stories

I played at the Stratosphere last night. There's lots of things not to like about this room, but the games tend to be much softer than average and it's one of the closest casinos to my apartment, so I go through periods of holding my nose and giving them some of my business. I'm in one of those cycles now, having played there three times this month so far.

Bluff, lose; big hand, lose

Soon after sitting down, it became obvious where the money was going to come from. Our table had a perpetual bluffer. He was burning through C-notes, repeatedly trying all-in bluffs and getting picked off.

I got lucky and twice made strong hands against him and had easy calls to make. Then, for what turned out to be his last hand of the evening, I called his pre-flop raise with suited K-J. Flop K-K-5. Ding! He bet, I called along with one other. Turn: 5. Although this gave me a full house, I didn't like it, because I thought it might kill the action. Fortunately, it didn't. He bet again, I called again. Third guy dropped out. River a blank. Fish bet yet again. I raised all-in, he called immediately. I showed the top full house. He flipped over A-A with a look of disgust.

You can just imagine this guy's level of frustration. He bluffs and bluffs and bluffs, desperately trying to win a pot with nothing, then finally, finally!, picks up aces, figuring that he'll get paid handsomely because of the table image he has developed, and CRACK!

He gave up and left the game. Sometimes it's just not your day.

Weird non-chop

I had an inexperienced player on my immediate right, as betrayed by his not knowing some basic mechanics of casino play. When the first opportunity to chop the blinds came up, I didn't wait for him to make the offer (which I think it slightly better protocol), because I thought he might not know about that option. I asked, "Do you want to chop?" He said, "I can't--I've got a pretty big hand here." And with that, he raised to $8. I showed him my 10-3 offsuit and folded.

He obliged my curiosity by tabling As-6s as he raked in his $2 profit, and said, "See? That's why I had to play it." There was not a hint of humor or irony in his voice or face or demeanor. He absolutely meant what he said.

Wow, dude--a suited A-6. Yeah, I can sure see how you couldn't possibly pass up a chance to play that.

I didn't say anything, but if a possible chop situation had come up again, I was prepared to explain to him that we were now committed to playing them all out, based on his precedential decision. As I've explained before, I'll either chop or not consistently with somebody, but I'm not stupid enough to agree to let the other player selectively choose whether to chop based on the strength of his starting cards.

I didn't get the chance to educate him on this point, however, because a few hands later I took the last of his chips with A-K on a king-high flop, and he left the table without another word.


Towards the end of my session, our game was joined by this gentleman:

He was in a wheelchair, obviously the subject of some sort of neuromuscular disorder. He had very limited strength and dexterity. But from some hiding spot on his wheelchair he pulled out the wedge-shaped wooden block you can see in the photo, and asked the brush for some Scotch tape to anchor it to the table and to prevent cards from jamming against its leading edge.

I was pleased with how nearly everybody reacted to his presence. The dealers made the small accommodation of carefully pitching his hole cards to the base of his ramp (which, by the way, had the words "Rock On" carefully engraved in script on its face), sweeping them away when he verbally declared a fold, and helping him with getting chips into the pot as required. Players, for their part, were patient about giving him the time he needed to slide his cards up the ramp to where he could peek at them before acting. Well, with one exception--there was an extremely surly Eastern European dude (when chatting with a friend who was standing behind him, the language sounded Slavic) two seats to his left who showed undisguised irritation at the delay, and routinely mucked out of turn rather than wait. Jerk.

I loved what I assume was the deliberate irony of this guy wearing a Superman shirt.


Lance said...

That ramp is a wonderful hack to allow him to play. I love the idea of it and I'm glad the dealer and most of the table were gracious about it.

Memphis MOJO said...

I saw this once: It folded to the SB who turned to the BB and asked, "Chop?" The BB said, "No." The SB then raised and the BB folded!

Moviedogs said...

He is Superman.