Sunday, June 08, 2008

Three Card Suckout King

I played poker this weekend with a guy who wouldn't bet enough to protect his hand when he was ahead, and wasn't afraid to call off his entire stack when he was behind. It was the best of both worlds.

He talked to the table like he was teaching us all how to play the game for the first time. He understood ABC poker but not too much strategy or thinking beyond that. He was an ideal opponent.

People often ask me about poker tells. Well this guy was a living and breathing poker tell. The more he told me about poker, the more he was telling me what I needed to know, if you can TELL what I'm saying.

His ego needed him to be the table expert. The grand master. He lives in a world where ace king always beats queen jack no matter what comes on the flop. I sat and listened to his teachings and waited patiently to out flop him. Eventually. Letting one long game be one long game.

That's when we'd get our chips in. I just had to be able to beat top pair. Then I'd bet. He'd raise. I'd push and he'd call because he has top pair.

This is a benefit to raising and playing too many hands. I can get a guy like this to call me down with top pair because he's seen me showdown some pretty bad hands.

Destiny finally occurred on an ace,2,5 flop. I had top two with my ace 5 suited. The money went into the middle and when we turned over our cards I expected him to have ace queen. Maybe Ace Ten. But ace jack? I did not expect that. Shows you what I know.

He sees my ace 5 and utters "nice call preflop" in that sarcastic tone that makes The Vegas Year all worth it. If I wanted to reciprocate I'd mention how his mini raises were backfiring on him. But why would I do that?

The dealer is taking his time and not revealing the turn and river. This gives this guy a little more time to berate me. Two things are possible:

1-He's really embarrassed by his call and taking it out on me

or (and even better)

2- He actually thinks I made an error seeing the cheap flop here.

This seems to be tale he's desperately trying to sell the universe. To whatever cosmic jury it is that decides our fate. His whining is a last ditch effort to convince the random number generator we call reality, that he deserves to win this hand, since he was ahead, preflop.

At least that's what I'm hearing.

The dealer turns over the turn and he misses. I'm still ahead and not buying his argument at all. From where I sit I'm the huge favorite. I was a huge favorite when we got the chips in. But my opponent thinks otherwise. He turns me into Marcia Clark. He's Johnny Cochran. And the glove doesn't fit.

The jury foreman, or "dealer" as I like to call him, delivers a jack on the river. I lose to a bigger two pair. Some might say ouch but I can't properly wallow in self pity because he's still yapping.

This is a pet peeve of mine. You can't win the pot AND complain afterwards. If you lose the pot I'll listen to you all night long. It's the cost of doing business. But people who win pots and still need to complain? I've got some issues with these folks.

But of course I don't argue with the guy. I don't mention percentages or how either of us played the hand. In fact I only spoke to him once. At some point during his monologue I looked over at him and asked "Are you trying to get me to play tighter?"

To which he responds "You couldn't play tighter if you tried."

The irony is not lost on me here. I'm actually playing very tight. Post flop. But he can't see that part. All he remembers is my starting hands. Not what the board looks like at the point when the bets occur.

So I sit back, relax and wait for the next opportunity to do it again. Find myself another 4 to 1 spot to get my chips in good and see what happens.

It came around 30 minutes later. I raised preflop with ace 10 suited and the same guy calls me with ace jack. Flop is ace 10 rag. Of course it is.

I bet my two pair. He raises. I push. He calls. With his ace jack again.

History repeats itself.

We turn over our cards. He sees my hand and that's when he says it to me.

"You are the Three Card Suckout King."

As if we put all the money in the middle and THEN I hit my card.

Hey I don't want to brag but look at me piling up the nicknames. Most parts of the World already know me as the Red Ants in Nevada House guy. My expertise in that field has been well documented. In fact I've had much less time to write this blog with my busy schedule touring around the country giving lectures on that topic.

Now that this whole "Three Card Suckout King" image is taking off maybe I can get back to focusing on poker. Order some business cards. Maybe get my people to look into buying WWW.THREECARDSUCKOUTKING.COM.

So I'm 84% to win this hand when the money goes in on the flop. A queen comes off on the turn. Not the best card pour moi but I'm still 77% to win. And then a king comes on the river. I think we call that the Lizard King. The Three Card Suckout King has been out-sucked. Or re-sucked.

All I know is it definitely involves the word suck.

So this guy overplayed his ace jack twice. Which was exactly what I wanted. He called off his entire stack with ace jack and won as a huge underdog.


I picture this gentleman going upstairs to his hotel room and thinking how he outplayed me. Thinking that I got what I deserved for playing such bad starting hands. Then I picture him watching Dane Cook and laughing hysterically for hours.


Weak Player said...

Thanks for taking one for the team. You might not get his money, but somebody will. And he will think their play is horrible, too.

Robert said...

"Thanks for taking one for the team."

That's pretty good spin. I can live with that. Thank you.