Saturday, February 02, 2008

Real Good Player

It's been getting pretty hot and heavy lately between me and the older Asian women. And by hot and heavy, I mean boy do they hate the way I play poker! The universe keeps putting me into situations against them. And it's becoming more and more entertaining.

These ladies are usually super friendly in the beginning. They act like they're just there to have fun and gamble. But as soon as I call down their bluff or hit my hand to crack their big pair, I witness their fury.

On this occasion, the hand that earned me the wrath of this woman, was my limping in on the button with 7,8 off after 4 others have limped into the pot in front of me.

It was that kind of table. No one folded preflop. So I wasn't about to let go of connected cards from the button. The small blind completed and this woman in the big blind raised it up 1 bet. As if that does anything except give chasers better odds post flop. Everyone called, of course.

Yep yep yep.

Cause that's how it works at limit poker. If the first one in raises then people might fold if they have to call 2 bets. But once a couple of people have limped in, you ain't going to get people to fold on the way back around. No way.

I even watched a guy in another hand smooth call 3 bets preflop when the action got to him and he hadn't committed any money to the pot yet! How many hands are really worth smooth calling 3 bets with? Not too many.

But I digress. My point was simply that once the 5 of us (+ small blind) call this woman preflop, we are all getting our money's worth AND it's also more likely that one of us (and NOT her) will win the pot.

So when I flop top pair I can't fold to her one small flop bet.

Even if I knew she had aces I gotta call on the flop. There's too much money in the middle.

I struck gold when the turn paired the board and gave me trip 7's.

She bet again. I gave away my hand and raised.

Now I've seen regulars at the Bellagio who get away from their overpair here all the time! No problem throwing it into the muck. I'm not that good yet. But when someone raises on the turn it usually means they have it. Usually.

(Which is also why it can occasionally be a good bluff raise.)

But in this case I had exactly what I was pretending to have.

She still called. She checks to me on the river. I bet. She calls again. I win with my trips. She angrily shows her pocket aces and begins the tirade.

"You're real good player" she tells me.

"Thank you" I say.

I love being so dumb at the table that I don't even get her sarcasm.

But she kept criticizing me. Kept saying "Real good player" over and over again.

So I obliged and went into my whole act for her. It's getting sort of stale.

I did my "I'm the beginner, you're the expert" stuff.

What I didn't say was that I was getting 13 to 1 when it got back to me preflop.

When she kept it up I finally asked her "How come you didn't believe me when I raised you on the turn?"

"You're real good player."

And of course I did nothing wrong. Unless you wanna pick on me for limping on my button with 7,8. But if I don't play my button at low level limit hold'em, I'm in danger of falling asleep at the table.

The real beauty came a few minutes later. I'm in there once again with a crap hand that I can't wait to win with and I flop top pair, this time with my 8. A harmless looking 5 comes on the turn. Opponent checks. I bet, and my opponent with jack 5 calls.

River is another 5. He leads out for a bet. I call and pay off his runner runner trip 5's.

And so what do I do?

I get real loud and tell him how terrible he is!

In my best professional wrestling voice I shout "How dare you play jack 5! How dare you!"

Then I switched over to my Bill Walton voice. "You are terrible sir! You are the worst ever."

Everyone laughed.

Even the Asian woman was smiling, although I think she was just mostly happy to see me lose a pot.

But I think my humor helped set up the rest of the session pretty well. Because everyone was able to go back to having a good time and gamble, and know that it was okay to play bad cards. That you weren't really going to get criticized for it.

This was important for me. I feel like a large part of my edge here is outplaying these people post flop. Most of them only have 1 move. They bet at the flop and then check it down. And if everyone is only going to play "top 10 hands" the game will be too tight.

I want people playing jack 5. Not folding it.

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