Monday, April 30, 2012

A Little Poker Content

Rob's recent story on his blog about a huge pot he won in Vegas reminded me of the first really big pot I won.  It was really the rush of that night that hooked me hopelessly and forever.

My First Really Big Pot

It was about three years ago when I played a little more regularly than I do now.  I showed up at the Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino's poker room about 8:00 PM on a Friday night.  I got called pretty quickly and bought in for my usual $240 and was seated just two to the left of the big blind and elected to wait for the blinds to get to me instead of posting to enter the game.

First hand I look down at 8-9 off suit.  The action limps around to me and I check my option to see a free flop.  The flop was a beautiful K-9-9 with two spades.  Small blind checked to me.  I bet $10 into the pot of about $14.  The action folded to a guy in middle position who popped it to $25.  A guy in late position calls as well as the small blind.  I take the cautious route and call the $25.  Pot is now like $114.

The turn was a beautiful 8 of spades.  I bet $50.  Middle position shoves (he has me covered by about $50).  The button calls for less (he started the hand with about $200 total).  While the small blind was tanking I rechecked my hand to make sure I really did have the third nuts.  The small blind finally folded and I snap called.  The dealer informed us we could show for the crowd if we liked.  I happily rolled over my boat and was delighted to see the other two shrink in their seats.  The river was a meaningless low card and after one hand at the table I was having a pot of about $700 shoved my way while late position guy stomped off cursing to himself.

A buddy at the far end of the table who had folded preflop sarcastically said, "Well...welcome to the table I guess."

You Seem Like a Really Good Player

It was my second to last day in Vegas.  I had a pretty profitable trip to that point and was enjoying a semi-drunk afternoon session at Planet Hollywood.  I had only been playing for maybe half an hour and was chatting up the guy next to me who was some sort of scouting guy for the Memphis Grizzlies.  He was the classic LAG player who loved to mix it up and bully his way into pots whenever anybody showed weakness.  I was happy to have him on my immediate right and was trying to play my usual TAG style while avoiding him for the most part.  He seemed to be staying out of my way whenever I showed some aggression too.  It was one of those beautiful times in Vegas where we were clearly the two most experienced players at the table and we wordlessly decided to just take turns picking on everyone else.

Sitting right across the table from me was a guy who had just arrived in town and was apparently trying to drink all the long island iced teas in town on day one.  He raised to $8 from early position and I called with 8-8.  The flop came out A-10-3 rainbow.  I was certain from his reaction to the flop that he at the least had an ace.  He picked up some chips to bet and then looked up and saw me watching him.  I wasn't staring him down or anything.  I was just observing.  Before releasing the chips from his hand he looked earnestly at me and said, "I don't think I want to play this hand against you." When I asked why he said, " seem like a really good player."  He bet like $10 and I said, "I'm going to show you how bad a player I am.  I'm almost certain I'm behind, but I'm going to call anyway."

The turn was another 8.  He only had like $50 left and as he reached for more chips to bet I said, "Careful...I'm pretty sure I just caught up with you."  I'll never forget his reply.  He said, "Just don't take it all okay.  I just got here."  I said, "Why don't you just bet as much as you're willing to lose then."  He bet $25 and I just called.  I considered raising to like $75, but decided it would be a dick move.  We both checked the river and I showed him my set.  He showed A-10 off suit for the flopped two pair.  He lost his remaining chips in a few hands and packed up to leave telling us all how his wife wanted to go to the M&M store anyway.

Maybe if I tell a few poker stories every day or two I can get a link from a certain blog that apparently only lists poker blogs in their blogroll.


  1. Thanks for the link love, JT, and I'm glad I inspired you to tell a couple of good poker stories. I guess I've never inspired you to post about breasts, huh? Oops, Josie's gonna think I'm obsessed, like some 13 year old.

    Both are good stories but winning that huge pot on your very first hand of the session is awesome, just awesome.

    Just wondering if in that first hand you considered checking the turn for a check-raise? Seems likely from the betting someone caught a flush there, right? With all the betting to that point it would be highly unlikely no one would bet that round if you didn't. As it played out, I guess it didn't matter, you got two players on your all in anyway, doubtful you could have gotten any more....unless the SB calls the shove too if you hadn't led out? Oh well, it was an awesome pot, so great going. Just curious if considered a check-raise there.

    Second story reminds me of something I can post about....players who make a big bet but seem like they don't want a call--not because they are afraid to be called by a better hand but because they don't want the other guy to lose too much money to them! Weird. I have to check my notes and see if I can turn that into a post.

    1. I definitely considered the check raise and probably would have done that if it were just me and the middle position guy that showed the aggression on the flop. Since there were three others in the pot I decided that the straight forward approach was the better way to go. I wasn't trying to get it all in right then. I just wanted to try to get at least two of the three remaining to call and then get it all in on the river. Luckily for me two of the three decided to shove right then.

  2. Winning big pots is such a rush. I hit a Royal Flush once when two others were all in. Besides winning the huge pot, the casino (Sam's Town) had a special where a royal got an extra $200! Suh-weet.

    1. To quote the great Ebby Calvin "Nuke" Laloosh from Bull Durham: "I love winnin', man. I love winnin'. It's, like, better than losin'!"