Saturday, October 01, 2011

Clash of the titan hands

I was playing at Binion's tonight. At one point I had 8s-8d and limped. Button limped. Small blind raised to $17, an unusually high raise. This immediately suggested to me that he had one of those pairs that so many $1-2 NLHE players just don't know how to play after the flop--queens, jack, tens, and nines, with jacks being the #1 suspect, as that is the one hand with which I most commonly see the over-sized raise. I called, as did the button.

I flopped a set as I had hoped to do, but apparently I did not specify with sufficient clarity the texture of the flop that I wanted to go along with my set. What I got was 8c-9c-10c, which is maybe the worst possible flop containing an 8 that I could imagine. If I wasn't already on the bad end of a set-over-set situation, or up against a straight or a flush, about half the deck on the turn would give me a very hard decision and maybe an ulcer.

SB bet $30. He had both started the hand with $120 or so. I had a little more than that. I moved all in. Button folded. SB called instantly and enthusiastically. Ruh-roh.

It wasn't the worst possible scenario, but it was close. He had pocket jacks, include the jack of clubs, giving him an open-ended straight flush draw. Ugh.

I didn't have to nurse my ulcer for too long, though, as the dealer quickly found the case 8 for fourth street. That was awfully nice, but it still wasn't over.

Memo to the poker gods: When you've got quads made on the turn, YOU'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO HAVE TO SWEAT THE RIVER!

At this point, another player helpfully announced that he had folded the 7c, which reduced the SB to one out. That helped me relax. I can usually dodge one-outers.

And I did. A harmless 10 hit the river, giving me quads full of tens, or something like that. I won the pot and a $50 jackpot--the minimum one, since it had just reset after somebody else had hit it a short time before.

And now for something complete different: A bonus story, having nothing to do with the above, except that they both took place in the same session.

I got up to throw away a water bottle. Coming back my seat (#1), I noticed a blue $1 chip on the floor between my chair and the dealer's. I knew I hadn't dropped any chips. I was pretty sure it must have come from one of two places. First, the dealer had gotten a fill of blue chips a short time before, and one of them could have been dropped unnoticed. Second, soon after I sat down, a young woman had joined the table across from me, and had dropped her chips on the floor as she tried to move them from the rack to the table. One of them could have easily rolled under the table in my direction.

So when the hand was over and the dealer could listen, I told her that I found a chip, and perhaps she should count her tray to see if one was missing. She did. The count was right, but then (and we are finally getting to the point of the story here) she added, "But I'm always willing to take donations."

Really? Begging? For a $1 chip you're reducing yourself to open, shameless begging? How low can you go? It was pathetic.

On the rare occasions that I find a stray chip on the floor around a poker table and nobody can plausibly claim it, my usual practice is to give it to the dealer as a tip. That wasn't my plan on this occasion, because I had a good idea who the rightful owner was, but if it had been the usual situation, that comment would have caused me to deviate from my normal course and keep the chip rather than rewarding the dealer's scummy groveling for it.

The woman who had dropped her chips earlier happened to be away from the table when this occurred, so I just rolled the chip over toward her seat. When she came back, she didn't question where it had come from, and I didn't volunteer anything about it. I saw no need to open the subject. I especially didn't want the woman to decide she wasn't sure it was hers and give it to the dealer. Let sleeping dogs lie.


Anonymous said...

did you open limp the 8s?

Anonymous said...

Begging? Really? Her comment seems really harmless to me. Perhaps you were a tad.... grumpy.