Monday, May 28, 2018

That was the worst bad beat in the history of poker – how could you even call?

Those were the words I heard from the guy next to me in the men’s room – it’s the 1st break 2 hours into a lunchtime tournament at TI and I’d been card dead for about 1 hour 58 minutes

Rewind 2 hours – first hand and I’m dealt KK UTG. I raise and a guy 2 or 3 places to my left 3 bets, everyone else folds and I have a decision to make – raise or call. Now KK is easy in the latter stages of a tournament but in the early stages it’s not so simple – I obviously don’t want to scare away a customer who may be holding air and 3 betting light (I only recognise 1 person at my table but it’s not the 3-bettor) and I want to get enough beer drinking time to justify playing a lunchtime tournie – this beer has essentially cost me $80 (plus a buck tip) and I’ll be damned if I don’t get at least a couple more in before I go broke. So I call.

The flop is a marvellous K99 – woof! I check and villain leads out with a half pot bet. I take a swig of my $81 beer and think he’s either got AK or AA. Again a decision to make – what beer do I want next? The reason I play over at TI in the lunchtime tournie is the time / beer ratio – the waitress only works the small poker room and is therefore round every 10 mins or so. Having ordered another beer I decide to call. The turn is a blank and I check – villain shoves and I insta call – villain tables AA and looks sick as I table my cards. River is another blank and I finish stacking chips just as my 2nd beer arrives – boom, average price down to $42. I’m literally card dead until the 1st break but my average beer price is under $20 heading into the break.

So now back to the men’s room – In the UK there are certain places where it’s socially unacceptable to talk to any other human being. One of them is in a lift (elevator) – I’d willingly blank loved ones rather than break the taboo of talking in a lift but by far the worst would be a public bathroom. Unless I’m telling the cost centres to hurry TFU I don’t exchange anything more than monosyllabic grunts with anyone in a public bathroom and now I’ve got some loon harassing me whilst my flies are undone. I’d also not really clocked whether he was being overly aggressive when he said it to me. So I mutter “yeah - that’s poker” in his direction and hope he goes away. He doesn’t. He continues pestering me as I’m washing my hands. At least I’ve got my flies done up now. “How could you call?” he barks. WTF? As if he’s never seen AA get beat before. So now I need to ask myself a few questions: how do I make him go away; is he likely to swing for me; is he carrying a weapon; is he a terminator that can’t be reasoned with, that doesn’t feel pity or remorse or fear that will absolutely not stop ever until I’m dead? I discount the last question as a negative as I’m pretty sure terminators aren’t 5’ 8” tall with a bad moustache.

So back to the 1st question – how do I make him go away? If I’d been 14 (rather than that being my mental age) I’d have come out of the bathroom calling him a nonce and telling security that he tried to feel me up but given I’m a fully grown man I think I just might look a bit stupid. So I go for the blatantly bloody obvious answer “I had KK pre flop – there is no way that I’m folding”. This seems to confuse him as he then says “Oh. Ok. Good luck” and wanders off through the casino. Given that I’ve sort of reasoned with him I’m pretty sure he wasn’t a terminator.

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