Saturday, August 18, 2012

Riviera stories

There's a pool tournament going on at the Riviera, as happens a few times a year. Such occasions are basically the only times that I play there, because the games become extra juicy. Tonight was no exception. In addition to being profitable, it generated four stories that I thought were worth telling.


I had Qc-Kc and raised to $10. Two callers, and I had position. Flop was 5-9-7 with two hearts. Both opponents checked, so I bet $20. One folded. The guy on my right called. I thought a flush draw was his most likely hand. Turn was an offsuit 8. He checked again. I bet $40, hoping to dissuade him from chasing his draw further. He called again. I didn't think he would do that with a naked draw, so concluded that I had probably been wrong and that I was up against some sort of made hand. On that basis, I decided that unless I caught a pair with my overcards, a bet on the river would probably just be throwing more money away. I planned to bet at a jack or queen, but otherwise give up. River was an offsuit 6. I just glanced at it long enough to see that it wasn't one of the cards I wanted, then focused my attention on my opponent. He thought an unusually long time while I stared at him, then checked. I checked behind.

At that point, my only hope was that he had, in fact, been on a flush draw and had missed. I waited for him to show his cards. J-9. Top pair. Well, that's it, then. I lose. I flicked my hole cards back to the dealer, who buried them in the muck.

I turned back toward the center of the table, took another look at the board just before the dealer swiped it away, and realized to my horror that I had completely missed the fact that the 6 on the river had completed a straight on the board. My cards were good for half of the pot if I had just turned them face up.


That mental lapse cost me a bit over $70. My only consolation is that I make this sort of mistake at an average rate of about once a year (as far as I know; I suppose there could be other instances of it that I never notice). Given the number of hands I play, that's an error rate that is small enough to be forgivable, and just large enough to prove that I'm human.


In one hand, I got all in on fourth street against another player in a dominating situation: My K-Q versus his K-9 on a king-high board, with him having no straight or flush possibilities. (I don't remember the other cards. I write down the details of hands that I think will make good blog stories, but I didn't think this one would at the time that it happened.)

River: 9, giving him two pair to my one--a pure three-out hit for all the marbles.

Sigh. Oh well. Rebuy!

About 15 minutes later, there was an eerily similar recurrence. He and I again managed to get all of our chips into the pot on the turn. This time, however, he had the dominating situation: Q-7 versus my A-K on a board of A-Q-7-3.*

River: K, giving me a higher two pair than his.

To make the sweet revenge even sweeter, this pot was much bigger than the previous one, having been swelled by a bunch of pre-flop action.

After paying me off, he began grumbling about his rotten luck, getting screwed by a three-outer. (I had actually had eight outs, but I didn't bother correcting his math.) After about 30 seconds of his little tantrum, I decided that I could have a bit of fun with it and simultaneously maybe give him just enough extra needling that he'd go well out of his way to target me for payback later, which tends to make for very profitable situations.

So I smiled sweetly and said, "I don't remember you complaining this way a little while ago when you rivered the three-outer against me."

His face clouded, and he insisted, "I never caught a river card against you like that!"

Some people have amazingly short memories.


I noticed this part of the sign announcing high-hand bonuses:

I'm not much of a believer, but I would sure pray to a Saint Flush if one really existed.


In a hand that did not involve me, the flop was A-6-6. The pre-flop raiser bet at it, folding his opponents, and showed his A-K before mucking. A player next to me told his neighbor, "Dammit! I folded A-6! He had top pair/top kicker. I think he would have put all his chips in against me, and I would have won!" He then paused a second and added, "Unless he caught his king, of course."

Well allrighty then! Nice to know that I'm not the only one capable of putting his inner moron out on public display!

* I'm acutely aware that this makes twice in a short period of time that I was all-in with just top pair, a practice I normally try to avoid. In terms of both how the action unfolded and who was involved, there were extenuating circumstances in both cases that made it more justifiable than it would otherwise be. But an exposition of those additional considerations would just bog down the story, so I'm omitting them.


Man InBlack said...

HEY man just thought you should know, you got a Mention on the 8-14-12 edition of the Ante Up Podcast. You were mentioned at about the 68 minute mark if you wanted to talk a listen

Memphis MOJO said...

Some people have amazingly short memories.

Or selective memories.

Rakewell said...

MIB: Help me out here. I'm looking at the Ante Up podcast page

I see an episode for 8/16/12, not 8/14/12, and none of the episodes are as long as 68 minutes. What are you seeing that I am not? And where?

sevencard2003 said...

when i was in the riviera the day before, i was talking about ur blog.

Alex said...

Question on your first story. I thought since you had been the last person to bet(on the turn) and the river went check-check that you should have had to show first. Is that not correct?

Rakewell said...

No. No action on river means that showdown goes clockwise from small blind to button.

lightning36 said...

Mucking the winning hand (or at least the shared winning hand)-- one of the worst feelings in poker. I need to improve my rate.

Rob said...

OK, to me, as bad as it is to fold the winning (or chopping) hand, is the embarrasment. Did anyone notice that all you had to do was table your hand and you would have chopped it? Did anyone then point that out to you?

And if would seem to me that if you were new enough at the table (not sure that is the case) there must be a way to take advantage of the fact that the other players now doubt that you know what your doing! I'm sure there's a way to make a goof like that pay off down the road.

Rakewell said...

Yes, it was noticed. Discussion was instantly shut down by the guy who won the pot saying, "No teaching at the table." I busied myself in my phone, pretended not to know what they were talking about.

Yes, I was trying to figure out some way to take advantage of my stupid image, but never came up with anything workable.

sevencard2003 said...

Rob--one of the most dumb things u can do in poker is let people think u dont know what u are doing. it always inspires them into playing thier best against u, and causes u to lose.

M.Prosk said...

Tony, I disagree with your remarks. Often, when players think you are really bad they will play looser and faster against you. Sometimes they will also give you more credit when you make bets because "bad players don't know how to bluff."

Rob said...

Tony, I seem to remember a blog post--I think it was right here on Grump's site--about a player who appeared to be acting so dumb and incompetent that he was able to use it to his advantage. If I'm right, I believe Grump finally concluded that he had mastered a way to work this whole act to his advantage.

Granted, I think it would be very hard to pull off.

Rakewell said...

This is the post that I think Rob is referring to:

I've also written about how a genuinely inexperienced player can be dangerous to a more experienced one:

Iron Mike Sharpe said...

Tony giving poker advice to people. That's rich!

Michael said...

Tough mistake on the straight. Even though you mentioned it's about a 1 time a year mistake, do you think that ultimately it's costing you money vs just showing in a showdown situation or regularly?

I believe I can understand the value of seeing other people's hands, but it's also tempered by a players skill when I'm judging them. I just wonder whether people become too caught up in not showing as they think that someone could pick up a read from it. In a situation like this with the two over cards, I have to believe that even if you had two pair, your line of betting may look very similar (except for our course the turn, which would hurt you in this case anyway).

Just curious, I don't subscribe to never showing, I believe there is more value in regularly showing and continuing to keep myself mixing it up where I can then worrying about someone gaining too much information on it.