Saturday, February 9, 2019

I’m off to the Aria as there’s more action there

It’s the oldest joke in gambling. How do you make a bunch of old ladies say “fuck”? Get another old lady to shout bingo! It’s similar in poker – when the designated ATM stops paying out then the rest of the table gets a little annoyed (I would say pissed but we Brits use that to designate drunk, if we say pissed off it’s annoyed but just pissed equals drunk).

Now this guy wasn’t your standard ATM – normally these guys bet 4 streets whether they are ahead or behind but this guy was different. In about 2 hours I don’t recall him making an aggressive move preflop so all he was doing was representing a decent hand post flop if he’d caught any of the flop. Every, single, time. Which was funny for all concerned. Except maybe for him, or his bank manager. Now I have no idea why he thought it was a good strategy as in a multi-way limped or single raised preflop pot it’s so unlikely for this to work that even a donk like me would work him out. 

He’d been doing this for about an hour and had rebought 2 or 3 times when I look down at J-10 off in the BB. There’s been a raise in EP and I think I was last to act so I called – maybe a 5 or 6 way pot (including the aforementioned ATM). Flop comes down as J-J-10. Fucking lovely. I check, original raiser checks and ATM bets $20. Couple of folds rounds to me and I call and the original raiser calls. River is the case J which I’m quite annoyed about as if ATM has actually got any sense then he’s going to slow down. He doesn’t. I check as does the original raiser and the ATM bets $45. Thinking I can’t check call then expect a call to a bet on the river I raise the minimum and the ATM calls after the original raiser has folded. Not even concerned what the river is but what do I do here – a bet possibly goes uncalled but even a complete cretin would check behind given I’ve called the flop then check raised the turn. So I really have to bet. So I lead with about $45 and the ATM wastes no time in shoving which I obviously call – he tables A-10. Bless him! He looks bemused when I turn my hand over – almost as if he understands what’s going on. But I really don’t think he does. 

He continues to do this for at least another hour (he’s probably rebought about 7 or 8 times in total since sitting down but now he’s sat on a stack of around $700 and I’ve got slightly more) until 1 more hand that I get involved with. I raise UTG with QQ and it’s 3 (or maybe 4) way to a flop of Q-10-10 (2 diamonds). 

I check and ATM bets $20, folds round to me and I raise to $60 which is called. The only reason I bet here is to build a pot as he’s either got nothing and folding, or calling with something worse – even this twit is not getting a few hundred bucks in for a pot of $50 if he’s got air. The river is 6d and I bet $80, ATM thinks for a bit then shoves. I instacall and ATM turns over 10d-7d for a flush with trips on the side. Bless his little cotton socks. I turn my hand over and the river is no help.

He’s huffing and puffing and checking his phone and now announces that “I’m off to the Aria as there’s more action there”. Anyone who has been at this table for more than 30 minutes starts laughing – how can this clown expect to actually make money at the Aria when he’s failed spectacularly at the MGM? Now I like the MGM (particularly because I usually stay in the Signature which is a 10 minute drunken stumble from the poker room) but it’s certainly one of the softer games on the strip and this twit will get eaten alive if he steps foot in the Aria. He’s either very deluded or has got very unlucky and I’m pretty sure that it wasn’t the latter

Friday, February 1, 2019

Seeing your opponent’s cards – what would you do?

Prior to this particular hand I’d been having a fairly forgettable session – nothing overly good or bad had happened in about an hour or so since I’d sat down and I was hovering around my initial buy in level. I was sat next to a nice guy on my right and we’d been having a few beers and a chat about both our travels – he was due to visit London soon and I’d been giving him some pointers for a first time tourist.

I don’t remember the specific details pre flop but I was in the BB with A-10 off. I think I called a bet from UTG+1 which had also been called by 2 other players – including the SB on my right. The flop comes out 10-10-2. SB bets and I call, the original raiser calls and the other player folds. Turn is a 5 which brings 2 diamonds on the board. SB bets, I raise, original raiser folds and the SB looks at his cards before calling. When he looked at his cards he accidentally exposed one of them to me – not on purpose and it was only the briefest of flashes that no one else could have seen it or even realised that I’d seen it. It was a black K. This guy was a decent enough player that he’s not called from the SB with KK, he’s not calling my raise on the turn with A-K so the only other hand he can have is K-10 – which figures given his post flop action. The turn is an 8 – not a diamond so there’s no flush or straight possible to represent. SB leads out about 30% of the pot – what do you do here knowing that you’re good?

I decided to use a couple of factors before making my decision:
He was a relatively nice guy – sure I’d only just met him but I always think that someone’s persona at the poker table is actually a pretty good mirror of their true character. Sure people can act aggressive with chips but those who win with grace and lose with humility are those I like to be around. Someone who berates his opponent whether he’s won or lost at the poker table is probably a jerk away from the poker table too. If this guy had been a jerk I’d have raised.

He could afford to lose the money – basically anyone at the table should be prepared to lose their chips but this guy had told me what he did and losing another $100 or so would have been inconsequential. Not that I’d not raise if he told me that he needed the winnings to buy a hot dinner for freezing orphans.

What if I’d not seen his card – I’d already raised on the turn before I saw his card. Another raise here doesn’t look suspicious and I’m probably getting a call.

In the end I just called – I tried to play the hand out as if I’d not seen his card and I wouldn’t usually raise in that position just with trips albeit a strong kicker, there’s too many SB limped hands that “could” have made a full house albeit I knew he didn’t have one. He turns over K-10 and asks about my kicker. He says “nice hand” with genuine sincerity and we get back to chatting as if nothing has happened