Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Poker at South Point: The Weirder (VegasSummer 09, gambling)

Oh, yes. There's more! Well, this really is the end of it, but here's the stuff that I thought was crazier than the previous crazy stuff. The strange thing was that all of this actually happened on my last day of playing.

I was first playing during the late afternoon, and we started out with a full table. One guy was an annoying, talkative fellow. An older man from LA who clearly felt that watching poker on TV and the occasional pro live at the Commerce made him an authority figure on poker. He kept talking about how people overvalue their AK and giving out other random "advice". After he lost his first buyin of 100, I was very happy to see him rebuy for 200 more. Not much time went by and all of a sudden our table had dwindled down to 6 people when this hand came up. I held QJ offsuit and limped in the cutoff. The small blind completed and the aforementioned man was the big blind who checked. The flop came A K 10 with two clubs, of which I had none. It was checked around to me and I checked. The turn came an offsuit 9. At this point the big blind bet out 25 into the 6 pot. This is actually quite a problem. If I try to slowplay and call here, there are a large number of scare-cards that could hit on the river and minimize what I can get from him. On the other hand, he made such a large bet that if I raised (he had 120 more behind him), I might scare him off. So I took some time to think about this, and while I was thinking, the guy kept talking and talking. At one point, I heard him say, "You know you're drawing dead." Wow, really? He certainly sounded confident about his hand so I pushed all-in. He called and I showed my straight, which held up. He said that he had two pair, though we never saw his hand. He was mumbling about "can't believe you flopped a straight" as he walked away.

Later that evening, I sat down to play again as we started a new table. Barely three hands in, one guy straddled. With 3 limpers, I decided to raise it to 30 from the button with AK offsuit. The straddler was the only guy to call and we saw a flop of A K 5 rainbow. It was checked to me and I bet 40. He checkraised me to 100, and after some thought, I pushed all-in for 120 more. He called and the turn came 9 and the river came another 9. I asked if he flopped a set as I turned over my AK. He said he only had a king as he flipped over his cards, but as I leaned towards the pot, he added, "Oh wait, I have a 9. I didn't even know what my kicker was." Yes, I had just lost to running 9s to a guy who couldn't fold K9. I subsequently looked it up and the odds for hitting the running 9s were (3/45 x 2/44) = 0.3%. In fact, had he held a random 2-9, the chances of him beating me would have been 7 times more likely. I went back upstairs as fast as I could to get more money, but the guy left by the time I came back down. During this session, I also lost a buyin when I hit a set on the flop and the other guy's overpair caught a bigger set after the money went in.

Later in the night, I went back to the poker room as I was trying to avoid playing any more table games until I got to the Bellagio. So I sat in a 2/15 game. That was not a typo. There was a young guy in the 1/2NL game who made it 15 preflop 9 out of every 10 hands. It wasn't a dead raise as he saw his cards before he bet, but he was consistently firing away at it. After the flop he would usually keep betting and people would either fold or he'd hit some sick cards as he pretty much played any two starting cards with that raise. Well, it seemed like all I had to do was to wait and catch some cards or perhaps play back at him in position. There was certainly no limping speculative hands at this table. After a while, I got dealt aces under the gun and limped. A different player raised it to 15 and there were two other callers by the time it got back to me. I decided to reraise it 50 more and everyone went away. A pot of 48 is not bad for 1/2NL without even having to see a flop. I continued to sit there waiting patiently, folding my suited connectors knowing that I'd have to call 15 to see a flop. A couple of new guys came to our table, and it took them a while to figure out what was going on. One hand, I picked up QQ from the big blind. One of the new guys limped and the raiser did his thing. I called and the limper folded. This was heads up with the crazy preflop raiser. The flop came 10 5 3 rainbow, and I check called a flop bet of 20. I couldn't risk making a raise out of position because he could have started with any two cards, and I fully expected him to keep betting regardless. The turn came another 3, and I check called a bet of 40. The river came a 6 and I checked to him betting 100 on the river. I didn't feel very well, but there was nothing left to do but call, and luckily my queens held up against his 56 suited. The guy continued to play the same way and the table kind of broke up once his stack dwindled down to about 100, from a high of over 700.

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