Monday, January 14, 2008

I Finally Straddled

That's right. Stop the presses. Tonight I straddled at the poker table.

But before I get to the straddling story, I gotta get a pet peeve off my chest. I'm not sure if I've complained about this before, but what's up with poker players who say "I call" or "I fold" but then don't actually move any chips or cards?

Yeah I know their spoken word is binding. Yet this kind of poker player slows down the game and freezes the action until he actually does whatever it was he verbalized he wanted to do.

So why not just do it in the first place? Just fold. Or just call. But don't sit there and announce what you want to do without doing it.

As you may be able to guess, there was one guy tonight at the Bellagio who kept slowing the game down with this style of play.

He sat to my right, and would announce his intention but then always take at least 15 seconds to do it. He drove me nuts and led to an early Robert exit from the Bellagio.

I swung by the Venetian where I needed to cash some sports book tickets.

While there I sat down in a cash game and immediately straddled from under the gun. Mostly because I was impatient to play. As far I can remember, the only time I've chosen to straddle consistently was at cash games in the WSOP where they allowed the Mississippi straddle. A straddle from the button.

Speaking of which, if any poker game allows you to straddle from the button, you must.

Every single time.

It's completely ideal to straddle and increase the pot size whenever you have the best position. But straddling from under the gun makes very little sense to me. It's throwing away 2 big blinds in a hand where you don't have the best position. I can limp and reraise with my aces. I don't need to straddle.

Yet all criticism aside, straddling does tend to stimulate action. So I certainly like human beings who do straddle. But I'm not that guy.

However, like I said, tonight at the Venetian, I felt impatient to start.

So I threw out a straddle.

4 players called my straddle, and when the action got back to me, I looked down at ace king suited.

Wow. Thank you universe.

Thank you for giving me something legitimate the one time I straddle.

I play along with the experience and announce to the table "Well if I'm gonna straddle I guess I gotta raise." And I bump it up to 45.

The folding begins. The dealer says something to me about how they're not going to like me at this table. Apparently there's been alot of limping.

I tell her that she should at least let the players decide they don't like me. This information shouldn't be coming from the dealer. And I'm almost home free. But this young kid on the button is staring me down.

I notice and keep joking along with the dealer. I'm having fun trying to sell the relaxed image. I'm happy if he folds. I'm also really not scared if he calls. I have a very real hand. I'm ready to race.

And then it happens. I see him reach for chips. He raises me. I'm not sure how much but there wasn't more than 200 at risk.

I obviously call and say to no one in particular "Well it's not like I was bluffing."

Flop comes out with 2 of my suit. I got my flush draw.

Turn misses me. River also misses me and my flush but gives me a king.

I show my top pair. Opponent folds.

And just like that I'm batting 1000 at straddling from under the gun.

That's 100% to those of you with calculators.

I may never straddle again.

Just to preserve my perfect record.


BWoP said...

Sorry I didn't make it out to Bellagio. Sounds like it wasn't so much fun anyway. Back out there in Feb for Venetian Deep Stack.

Memphis MOJO said...

At the casinos in Tunica MS, they (most of them) allow Mississippi stradles from ANY position, except from the blinds, of course. You see it mostly from the button, but also occasionally from cutoff or hijack posns.

Robert said...

For some reason they allow it in the Rio during the WSOP. I love it from the button! If a casino allows you to straddle from the button you must do it! Every single time. Such a powerful advantage. Straddling from under the gun is different story.