I’m known to enjoy a drink or 2 at the poker table – in fact I really can’t remember the last time that I played poker when I was stone cold sober. If I’m playing a small tournament (blinds that double every level, under 20 minute blind levels, expected duration under 4 hours or entry of under $100) then I look to drink my entry fee in beer over the course of a few hours. When I play a bigger tournament I will usually have a beer but would normally limit myself to 1 or 2 an hour so that if I make it to the later levels I can still see straight. But I would never classify myself as being drunk at the table whatever tournament I was playing.
Cash games are again slightly different, usually depending on where I am playing, what limit and how far a stumble it is back to the hotel I’m in. Usually the closer the hotel, the lower the limits and the softer the room dictates how drunk I would get. But I’m not an unruly drunk – I think the daftest thing I’ve done when drunk at a table is jump up and down like a loon upon hearing my name being called out as a winner for one of the jackpot draws. Or there was the time I couldn’t find my way back to the poker room after a bathroom break but that wasn’t entirely my fault – the usual bathrooms nearest the poker room were out of order so I had to trek half way through the casino to find another bathroom. When I left I followed my normal path back to the poker room without thinking too much, only to have walked through the entire casino and nearly out the other side. I’d just been on autopilot as if I’d been using the usual bathrooms and had completely forgotten that I’d started off in a different location.
So we’re halfway through the 2nd level of a mid afternoon tournament at PH. I’m in seat 2 and someone has entered but not sat down into seat 1 so his chips are being blinded off. We’ve only been playing for 30 minutes or so and he’s missed 2 or 3 blinds. It’s not unusual for this to happen in bigger tournaments with longer levels but it’s a bit odd for someone to miss this much of a smaller tournament but it’s nothing consequential in the grand scheme of things. Then the gentleman arrives and sits down and he’s very chatty. He tells me he’s been in the sportsbook with his buddies watching baseball and he’d lost track of time. Or at least that’s what I think he said, as he was slurring his words pretty heavily. He’s got a drink in front of him but as the waitress comes round he slips her $5 and asks for another Captain & coke plus a shot of fireball. I order another beer and he says I should get a fireball as well. I said I’ll give that a miss and stick to the beer – I really don’t like the stuff and I certainly don’t want to be doing shots at 4.30 in the afternoon.
Then he starts acting up at the table – he announced all in prior to looking at his cards. He did that as a joke but the dealer puts the button in front of him. Luckily for him everyone folds and he flips over rags. He continues with odd bet sizing like 2,500 pre flop raises then betting only a few hundred on the flop but he actually manages to win a few hands. Then he starts showing me his cards – usually after I’ve folded but occasionally before I’ve even looked at mine. At one stage he showed me that he had AA (I’d seen mine and already folded) and he got warned by the dealer – I had to sit impassively as another player got into the hand with him and was eventually knocked out. So now our drunk guy has more than doubled up over the course of about an hour but he’s getting worse. He kept half falling asleep at the table and having to be prodded awake by the dealer. But at no point was this guy obnoxious or bad mannered and he was keeping the table amused. He’d ordered 3 or 4 more drinks over the course of an hour (all with fireball chasers and slipping the waitress $5 when ordering and another $5 when she delivered) – I’d probably had the same number of beers during the same timescale but my starting point was a lot soberer. At what point will you get refused booze service in Vegas? My guess would have been much sooner had he not been tipping so generously or if he’d been rowdy.
He’s been doing this for about 2 hours now and can barely keep his eyes open – most hands he’s just folding without looking (if he could see straight at all) and he’s getting visibly sleepier. He had his head in his hands with his elbows on the fringe of the table when his elbow slipped off the edge and he face plants into his chips, sending them flying across the table – someone at the other end asks the dealer “Is that forward motion – does that mean he’s all in?” which elicits a laugh from the rest of the table. The dealer prods him but he’s now too far gone. The dealer is sat wondering what to do when the drunk’s buddies come over from the sportsbook – they’ve been stood watching their friend and can barely contain their laughter. One of them is very apologetic but I tell him that he’s not been a pain and he’s actually kept us amused for a while.
So our drunk’s chips get blinded off for a while – I don’t recall seeing that many of them as I was UTG for his BB and I couldn’t really attempt to steal. I have no recollection how this tournament ended (not due to the number of beers consumed BTW) but at least I remembered the interesting bits, probably unlike the drunkest man in Vegas.