Friday, November 17, 2017

A Motley Crew

Sometimes I think that the word poker is defined as a game of skill until the opposing player calls with a terrible hand and the dealer performs a five card magic trick.

It's a $1/$3 game and I'm in seat 5.

Seat 5:  I am your average weekend warrior, be it in poker or golf.  At the table, most of the time, I prefer to tune out all the table chitchat and loud slot machine noises near the poker room by using earphones.  On this occasion, that was not the case.  Plenty of interesting stories and topics were being covered.  Since I didn't get many playable hands, I was happy to be part of the conversation.  Played reasonably well but in the last hour made some major mistakes.

Seat 1: Young black kid.  Probably just turned 21.  He was using that poker lingo and looking very confident.  And then I saw him play.

Hand: I open J-J to $12.  Only he calls with $90 behind.  The flop is J-2-4 rainbow.  I bet $15 and he calls.  The turn is a 5 and I bet $20.  He moves all-in for $63.  I call and he tables A-3.  A wheel for the win!

Seat 3: A retired white guy.  He plays several orbits and then gets up.  Loves to talk.  He is on first-name bases with every dealer, cocktail waitress, floorman, and the majority of grinders.  If one of them walks by the table, there was a 100% chance he would say something.

I'd love to share a hand that he was involved in but I don't remember him playing any during the five hours I was there.

Seat 4: A big rugged man.  Big in the sense that he is 50 lbs overweight.  Also donning a big fuzzy beard.  My guess is that no-shave November started in September.

Hand: It's opened pre-flop to $12, he calls, and I make it $30 with K-K.  Only he calls.  The flop is J-7-9 with two hearts.  He leads out for $20 and I call (that was a mistake).  The turn is the 3 and he moves all-in for $52.  I call and he shows A-8.  I table my K-K.  The river is a black 10.  Jack-high straight wins, brilliant!

Seat 6: A very friendly and talkative lady in her mid forties.  She was in shape, married, and her kids were in college.  Surprisingly, the husband wasn't into casinos or poker.  She even said, "I like visiting MGM.  Go Gamble!"  A reference to a Vegas YouTube poker entrepreneur?  I think so.  She also likes football and goes to UMD and Redskins games.

Hand: Four players call $3 and I open to $18 in the cut-off with A-J.  She calls and so do three more players.  The flop is Q-3-9 and it's checked to me.  I bet $40 and the lady moves all-in for $105.  I know I'm behind but make the call (another mistake).  The lady tables Q-7!  The turn and the river are no help.

Seat 9: He reminded me of Roberto Benigni but with glasses.  He showed up towards the end of my session.  The guy in seat 3 had left and was replaced by a 30 something woman.

Hand: I open J-J pre-flop to $12.  Seat 9 calls, the young black guy in seat 1 makes it $30, and the woman in seat 3 goes all-in for $130.  I fold.  Seat 9 and seat 1 both call.  The lady flips over A-A.  Seat 1 shows 5-5.  The flop is 10-7-3.  The turn is the 5.  The young guy jumps up out of his seat.  He puts his hands above his head.  The river is the 8.  Seat 9 shows A-Q and the dealer pushes him the pot.  Seat 1 starts to say to the dealer that he has a set of fives but then realizes that the flush came in on the river.  He can't believe it.  The lady in seat 3 is even more shocked and starts shaking her head.

Seat 10: Sixty years old and a poker veteran.  Best player at the table.  I've played with him before and he has the skills and the guts to put pressure on his opponents.

Hand:  I'm sitting on $300 in the big blind with 8-4.  The poker veteran opens to $10 pre-flop with a $500 stack.  Seat 4 calls with a $150 stack.  I call and so does the short stack in seat 7.  The flop is 7-5-10.  Seat 4 bets $20, I call, seat 7 calls, and the poker veteran makes it $90.  Seat 4 calls.  Seat 7 has about $40 left and will probably call.  What do you do?


I thought about it.  I just couldn't believe that none of the other players in the hand didn't have spades.  I folded.  At the end, poker veteran had 7-7, seat 7 had A♠-6, and seat 4 had J-J.  The board bricked out and the poker veteran won the big pot.


  1. why are you here with 8-4?

    1. That is no excuse for calling the preflop raise. But since you are this far and called the $20 you have great odds for calling the other $70, basically closing action.

  2. Perhaps your best post, sir! "No-shave November started in September".... LOL. Keep it up!

  3. Shove. You're in good shape against overpairs, pairs, two-pairs, and open-ended straight draws, and not in such good shape against sets and higher spade flush draws.

    1. I would have folded with a clear conscience.