Tuesday, August 23, 2005

So, How Was Your Weekend, Facty?

Well, thank you for asking!

This past weekend I was lucky enough to take a Las Vegas trip with my mom and two sisters - no husbands or children. It was pretty great. We stayed in the newly-opened tower at Caesars Palace and it was gorgeous.

I got a chance to steal away and play a little poker over at The Aladdin. Session one was a lot of fun - it was about 8 PM and they were just opening up a 3-6 table. I convinced my novice sister that she would be fine and staked her half a buy-in so she'd come with me. We had a friendly table and I left about 2 hours later up 30 bucks.

The next morning I slipped out back to The Aladdin - again 3-6 where there were about 7 old fellas that had been playing all night. Again I had fun there was one hand where I got check raised on the turn by a geezer and folded reluctantly. "Do you have a pocket pair?" I asked. He flipped over 55. I felt pretty cool and ended that 2 hour session up 58 bucks. (side note: walking back to your hotel room after winning at poker is a great feeling)

I took my mom and sisters over to the Excaliber for the 2PM poker lesson. They really enjoyed it and after the lesson the table turns into a 1-3 spread limit game. I tried to set a tight aggressive example while watching my mom a littlest sis showdown with worst hand after worst hand and rebuy and rebuy and rebuy.... Middle sis got the hang though and made a modest profit and was itching to play again. Who am I to turn her down?

This brings us to our final and dramatic poker session. So dramatic, in fact, that it will be presented in two acts. Enjoy.

Act One: Ace Queen is a Fine Hand to Raise With, Dammit.

Back at the 3-6. Its a friendly game and everyone is having a great time I'm in the #2 seat, There is a Korean guy to my right, the check raising geezer from the morning game to my left, LA sunglass Asian kid, a few more generic people and the off duty dealer (lets call him Cosmo).

So we're rolling along, I'm playing my game, doing just fine. The button had just passed me and I was dealt AhQd. A bunch of people limp in and I raise. "Hey you raise my blind?" teases Cosmo. I shrug and smile and he calls. Everyone calls. The flop is AQ6 and I bet. I bet and bet and bet until the river and when I turn over my AQ Cosmo shouts "you raised with ace queen?!?!?" The whole table laughs like I had raised with 83 "They weren't even SUITED!!!" the Korean guy snorts. LA Asian sunglasses guy leans over and says "Yeah. I know what you were doing, but when you raise at this level you aren't going to chase anybody off. You should just limp with ace queen."

Looking back and reviewing my play, I don't think I did anything wrong in that hand. Just because I wasn't going to chase anyone off doesn't mean its a mistake to raise. In fact, with my raise, many people made the mistake of calling, which works in my favor. I want them to call and build the pot and showdown their marginal hands while I play my strong ones with raises. Right? Right???

But I let it get to me. It changed my play. I started limping with hands I normally would have played strongly. I check called and lost my aggression. The only thing I did right after that was to get up before my chip stack got too low. But still.

Act Two: Cosmo Learns a Lesson

So Cosmo was, as I mentioned, an off duty Aladdin dealer. He lost about 100 bucks at my table, then decided to go play the 2-4 game. Unlike my table, this game was not so friendly. Some surly college kids were playing like they were at the final table at the WSOP, all intense, with their ballcaps and sunglasses and ipods.

This is so not Cosmo's style, he is there to have some fun. So he starts live-straddling and playing really loose. Finally he is in a big blind and a surly kid raises. "Hey you raise my blind?" he laughs and calls blind. The flop is 5Q4. Cosmo check calls - still not looking at his cards. Turn is an 8. check call. River is an A. check call. The kid throws down AA for a set. You know whats coming don't you?

Cosmo turns over 23 for a straight.

The kids goes KEEE-RAY-ZEEE. He makes such a commotion other tables are pausing to watch. He accuses the dealer of being a mechanic. The dealer takes great offense to this and calls over a floor manager and has the kid removed from the poker room. The kid goes to the Casino Management Office and fills out a complaint against Cosmo! So Cosmo is suspended from work for two days pending an investigation.

After that, the fun was over. All the dealers were cranky and distracted. We bid the Aladdin adieu, and went back to the room to sleep.

We all learned an important lesson that day; poker is a fun game.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaand roll credits.

OK just for you who read this whole thing - The directors cut includes one more little story about Cosmo. I was talking to him after the whole incident and he suddenly said "hey, weren't you here about a month ago with your husband and you raise his blind?" Turns out Cosmo was our dealer last month when I tried to steal fhwrdh's bb and he fought back by playing the rest of the hand blind - and winning.


fhwrdh said...

cosmo, that copycat. let the record reflect that i RERAISED blind preflop, so he still has some work to do.

and next time the table tells you you aren't chasing anyone off raising with AQ, try saying, "sklansky calls it pot equity, bitches". then blind raise the next hand.

Roninspoon said...

I can't help but notice that this story lacks a paragraph like "My good friend Roninspoon joined me when I called him and we had a great time. He loves my kids and is the best guy (besides fhwrdh) in the whole world and I'd feel totally guilty if we hadn't gotten together for a drink because it's been so long since I've seen him and we weren't able to go to his wedding."

Maybe I missed that part though.

Joe Speaker said...

Oh, so because other people are going to play poorly by calling a raise with sub-standard cards, you should alter your correct play?

Now, that's thinking outside the box.

StudioGlyphic said...

Nice job, Facty.

Doug said...

I wrote about the AQ hand here

Those guys are nuts but this kind of thinking is not uncommon, thank God.

It just goes to show, never take advice from a veteran 3/6 player. If you do, you just might find out why they are still playing 3/6 after all those years.

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