Went out to the Rio last night, primarily to meet Nate from 2+2. Traffic was atrocious, so it took me like twice as long to get there as it should have, but I still had about two hours to play. I got a seat in a new game, and when I got there, there were like five people at the table and three other piles of chips with no player in sight. The dealer asked if we wanted to get started, and I was of course all for it, but this thirty-something Jewish dude on my left who looked like a giant prick said he wouldn’t play until a sixth got there. He sounded like a giant prick when he said it.
Table didn’t look too wild, mostly solid-looking guys who weren’t smiling or talking or laughing or anything. A few were in for as little as $500, but there were a couple with $1200-$1500, and the prick on my left (the only guy at the table wearing sunglasses, and they were prick sunglasses) had bought in for $4000.
The table played like a tight/standard live game, plenty of limping and calling, not a lot of betting and raising. Easy but not especially profitable or interesting. The prick on my left was mostly folding and not saying anything, occasionally he would he would grumble quietly to me about the limpers, but unlike me, he never raised them light. He seemed to think I was the only decent player at the table and wanted to have a bitch session with me about how bad everyone else was, but he seemed like a giant prick and also kind of bad in his own way so I just kind of nodded.
On my right was a Brazilian guy in headphones who didn’t like how tight the table was playing and kept initiating deals where the entire table agreed to straddle for an orbit. On my straddle, there were a few limpers, and I raised $100 on top with whatever two cards I was holding. Everyone folded, and the Brazilian complimented me on my steal. I smiled and mucked.
Later in the orbit, I raised his limp, he called and check-folded to a bet on a TT9 flop. He asked what I had, and I told him an Ace, which was true.
A few orbits later, everyone folded to him in the BB, and he completed my straddle. I knew he expected me to raise, and I was prepared to do it with a wide range, but I decided just to check 76o. Flop KQ8cc, we check it through. Turn offsuit 5, he checks, I bet $35, he raises to $75. Easy call. River offsuit 4 that’s gin baby! He checks. Now there’s very little chance he’s bluffing with such a small turn check-raise, and all the most obvious draws missed, so I know he’s checking cuz he thinks he’s good and wants me to bluff at it. So I oblige and bet $250 at a pot of like $190. He tanks for a minute, calls, and mucks when I table the nuts.
A little while later, I completed 98o from the SB after a few people had limped a straddle. Flop 567r, I lead for 100, some dude raises to 250 with 150 behind, and calls off the rest. A 7 on the river worries me, but he shows 65, and I scoop the pot. The prick on my left, who had played like three hands in the last hour, complained that all the donkeys were giving me their money. Can’t win if you don’t play, sir!!!!
The table still sucked, and I was up like $850 at this point, so I called Nate to see if he wanted to go early for dinner. He did, so I cut out before my next BB, and we went over to the Sao Paolo Cafe.
The Sao Paolo isn’t anything spectacular, but they are close to the Amazon Room and will give you a pretty tasty meal fairly quickly and cheaply. I haven’t been many other places in the Rio, but none of them look spectacular, so Sao Paolo is a solid staple. Highly recommended for WSOP dinner breaks.
Nate is hands down my favorite 2+2 poster. There are plenty of people who have won a lot more money than he has and are probably better at poker, but few of them have his range of expertise (he can discuss betting strategy after the second draw in Badugi as intelligently as he can re-stealing at a MTT final table) or his ability to express ideas in a clear and concise way. It was a pleasure to meet him, as he seemed to be an interesting guy in real life as well.
After dinner we got coffee at Starbucks with his roommate, 2+2 poster Pete Fabrizio (sorry, Pete, despite asking you twice, I forgot your real name), who had been sweating the $10K PLO final table. Pete is apparently a PLO genius.
We didn’t get to talk much PLO, but he did say something interesting in response to my complaints about the tight prick at my 5/10 table who inexplicably bought in for $4000: “The last $1000 in his stack is usually going to go in as a big dog.” This concept isn’t revolutionary, but I’d never thought about it in that way before. A super tight player usually gets his money in good for the first few bets. I mean, if I’m open raising 50% of hands from the CO and this guy is only calling top 10% on his button, then obviously he’s going to be ahead pre-flop the times he calls me. But with the cards he’s playing, he’s not going to make a lot of 400BB hands. When that much money goes in on a 9QK flop, for instance, it’s likely that I’ve made a straight against his set.
Anyway, I watched the final three of the PLO tournament for a little while, but it was moving pretty slowly, so I went and got myself on a 5/10 NL list. It was a long list, though, and while I was waiting, I heard them call open seating for a $1030 single table satellite. That’ll do.
This guy who looked like an Arab Andy Bloch organized a $300 last longer, and I thought about getting in on it, but decided it would be in my interest to have other people at the table concerned about busting so that I could shove into their BB’s. It certainly didn’t affect Arab Andy’s play, because while the rest of the table was tight to a fault, he was making absurd calls and shoves left and right and sucking out pretty consistently.
We didn’t lose a single player until the 200/400 level, which with 5000 starting chips is unheard of. Across the table from me was some bearded dude in his 40’s who was pretty consistently in a grumpy mood. He complained about the dealer exposing cards, the speed at which we were moving, the way others were playing, etc.
The second player to go out was this kid on my right shoved 4600 with T9o on his BB when Arab Andy opened for 1600 at the 300/600 level. Andy thought for a while and ended up calling with QJ. Obviously he should have been calling any two, but Beardy made fun of him for that call. A few hands later another guy shoved 3600 or so and I snapped him off with AA which put me second in chips behind Andy.
Then Beardy opened for 1600 and the SB shoved 2200 more. “Why do I feel like I’m dominated?” he started hemming and hawing over the most straight-forward call ever and nearly folded. He looked at AAB and said, with an air of superiority, “I’ve got the same hand you had, it’s half as much for me to call, there’s three times as much in the pot, and I’m still thinking about.” Well sir that just makes you six times as much of an idiot, doesn’t it? Finally he called with QJ and beat A6 (which he criticized the guy for shoving).
When blinds hit 500/1000, we were 6-handed, and I shoved KQo UTG for 8500. The guy to my left called pretty quickly, and then the guy to his left tanked and finally called. Whoops. First guy shows AK, second shows… 55!!! Well that just pads the pot for my inevitable suckout. Flop JJT, turn 9, BINK! I dodge a Q or 5 river and bust two players to take back the chip lead. A few hands later, with blinds capped at 2000/4000, the guy in last shoves, Beardy calls all in, and Andy calls them both with KJs. First guy had A3, Beardy had TT, and Andy makes the flush to bust them both.
As soon as we got heads up, I offered a 50-50 chop. I had only 40% of the chips, but the last satellite I played, the last two standing chopped 50-50 when one dude had 75% of the chips, so I figured it was worth a shot. AAB wanted 60-40. I proposed 55-45, but he wouldn’t take it, so I just took the even chop. Even though he had been the worst player at the table, his stupidly loose aggressive tendencies were probably going to help him play well with huge blinds, and I didn’t want to flip a coin for $10,000. I would have expected a skill edge against Beardy the old nit and probably insisted on getting an edge in a chop, but with AAB, I think it really was going to be a crapshoot who won.
Don’t Make Your Girlfriend Watch You Play Poker
I am sitting in a 5/10 game at the Rio when this giant tool takes a seat next to me. He’s got the sunglasses, the hair gel, fashionably unbuttoned shirt, and a ball cap that reads “Philly” in what I guess was supposed to look like graffiti letters. He clearly thinks he’s hot [censored] as he takes a fat roll of bills from his pocket and peels off twenty. Then, in completely unballer fashion, he thinks better of it, puts half the bills back, and buys in for $1000.
Meanwhile, his girlfriend is pulling up a seat slightly behind him and to the right. Note that this still takes up some space at the table, as the guy is sitting considerably closer to me than he otherwise would be, and because he is lefthanded, he jostles me several times as he stacks his chips.
The girl didn’t have to be unattractive. She had blonde hair, blue eyes, and large breasts. But she was a thickalicious girl in a very short skirt that highlighted her thunder thighs. Her plunging neckline revealed quite a lot of cleavage, but her completely unsupportive bra gave her a bad case of pancake boob.
I was not happy with this guy for depositing his stubbly face and his busted girlfriend in my peripheral vision, and I resolved to make him regret it.
He posts $10 in the CO, and another new player at the table has already posted $10 as well. Action folds to the tool, who raises his post to $50. I resolve to pop him with any two from the button. I find 72o, but a deal’s a deal, so I make it $150. He glances at my stack, ponders a moment, and calls.
The flop comes 444, and immediately he asks me “Did you make a full house, too? I made a full house. I check.” I hate it when people run their mouths during a hand. After a few moments of thought, I bet $180, and he calls.
Turn is a T, and he checks. [censored] Zeebo Theorem can I really get this tool to fold whatever [censored] full house he has? If I really had a big pair I’d just price him in on the turn and river since he’s only got a pot-sized bet left in his stack and probably no understanding of what “pot odds” actually means. But that’s exactly why I can’t run a bluff that way, and if I just shove now, he’ll probably put me on AK like the live “pro” tool that he is. So after much thought I check behind.
The river is a K, and I get as excited about this as I would if I really had AK. “Damn,” he says with deliberately, conspicuously bad acting. “I let you get there. You got AK. I should have bet the turn, huh? OK, I check.” As I am pondering, he keeps mentioning AK, and every time he does, I have to wait a few more seconds before I can bluff. Finally he shuts his stubbly mouth long enough for me to announce a bet of $350. Dickface turbo-mucks and sneers at me with an intolerable air of superiority, “Do you think I’m an idiot?”
I flip my 72o, and his face drops like a rock as the implications of this hand become clear to him. Here he has taken his filly to come watch him own this “high stakes” poker game, and not only has he lost, not only has he been bluffed, but some kid took one look at him and decided that it would be profitable to play the worst hand in poker against him. It’s not like I missed a flush draw and had no choice but to bluff the river. Having never played a pot with this guy in my life, I took one look at him and decided to run a multi-street bluff from scratch with seven-deuce off-suit.
His girl starts consoling him with thigh stroking, but of course her pity is the last thing he wants right now. She is supposed to be in awe of him, not feeling sorry for him. “I wish you had flopped two pair. I would have taken all your money,” he tells me. 77 I guess? Yeah, if the case seven and a deuce had flopped, you probably would have stacked me. Congratulations. I kind of half shrug but still have not said a word to him.
Now he puts $1000 more in bills on the table and is on mega-tilt, limping into every pot, calling any raise, and firing at lots of flops. Amazingly, the table is letting him get away with it, and I can’t pick up anything to play against him. Finally a nice guy on my left cold calls a reraise from the kid with A’s in the SB, leads a rag flop, and shoves over the kid’s raise. The kid calls but mucks when the dude flips his hand on the river and storms away from the table with his woman tripping after him in her skinny heels. …Next: Part 7: ME Day 1A