Wednesday, February 08, 2006

I hate super lucky bastards

I love to play poker. What I like about it is that, of all the forms of casino-type gambling, it least relies on luck. It's much more important to be skillful, to know the odds, the percentages — to know what the hell you're doing.

I play at two regular games here — one is a mix and medley of different poker games, many of them common to the games I learned growing up, playing cards in the back of the house near the outdoor kitches of the houses of my aunts and uncles after fiestas and parties the like. It's a loose bunch of guys and I really like playing with them. It can get expensive; in most games, the pots get up to at least $40 or $50, but depending on what's being played, you can lose $500 in a few hands.

The other game is strictly Texas Hold 'Em, and the mix of guys playing is extensive — probably about 20-30 guys, but only 10 at a time, so it changes with almost every table. There's no minimum buy-in; most get in for $50 to $100. The blinds are 50 cents and $1, but the game is no-limit — at any time you can go in for everything in front of you.

I played earlier today at the latter game, though at a different location than normal. I played smart poker — no big risks, rarely bluffed, played tight. But I had THREE "bad beats" — hands that I was overwhelmingly ahead in, for most of the hand. I had monster winning percentage odds in each one.

In each one, I got smacked by Fourth Street (once) and on the river (twice).

The first time, I went all in for about $55 on a set of 6's. The guy who called me had two pair. On the river, he hit his full house. Fucker, but at least respectable as he had the two pair before the river.

Second time, I had pocket kings. I bet them hard before the flop. The flop was 9-7-4. Nothing was suited, so I shouldn't have had to worry about potential flush or straight draws — they would have to hit runner-runner to make it, which is very rare. So again, I bet the kings, even harder this time. My bet basically said: I currently have the best hand. And I did. If you had no draws and no pairs on the flop, the correct thing to do is fold. But this guy calls my bet. The turn is an ace, so I check, because if he has one ace, he's got me. But I put him on a low pair, with him hoping to pick up two pair. Last card is a blank — a jack. Doesn't help either of us. I check and he turns over ace-three, unsuited. WTF? The guy had no business in the hand.

The last time, I had ace-king of diamonds. I bet it strong, the same guy from the second time calls me. the flop comes 3 of diamonds, 7 of diamonds, 5 of hearts. I have a four-card flush draw and bet strong. The guy comes over the top, tripling my bet. I call. The turn card is a 10 of diamonds. I now have what is called the "nut flush" — no other flush can beat me. I put him on a lower flush and go all in. He calls. We turn over our hands, I show the nut flush, he shows a pocket pair of 7s. So he has a set. He needs to hit the last seven or to pair the 3, 5 or 10. He's sitting on basically a 5 percent chance to win.

What happens? The 10 of clubs comes.

What's worse is this guy was doing this all night to others — calling bets that he had no business calling. If someone is representing set after the flop and bets big, you don't call hoping to fill an inside straight. Hell, there were times he called big pre-flop bets with hands like 8-3 and ended up hitting two pair on the turn or river. Twice in a row he broke another guy by hitting gutshot straights on back-to-back hands.

I still had some money in my pocket, and about 2 hours of playing time left. But I said "fuck it." As Kenny Rogers sang that sometimes "You got to know when to walk away."

But I'm seriously hoping that he kept playing the same way and got busted by all the others over and over again after I left. But I'm guessing that instead he walks away with at least $500 over what he came there with.


I need to be that crazy lucky once in a while.


Random Guam Fact Of The Day:
• The Chamorro word for "poker chip" is "tanto."


Chrissie said...

i didnt understand most of this post, but sorry ya lost :)

Suze said...

Dzer, I gather you didn't win but the rest of it made no sense to me at all.

What the... river, nut flush, inside straight, back-to-back hands. My head hurts.

Can you provide a translation sheet next time. LOL.

BTW, I bet you didn't guess I have never played poker. :D

DZER said...

chrissie: thanks darlin' ... fancy a game of strip poker then? I'll let you know when you win ;)

suze: sorry to hurt your pretty head ... want to join in the strip poker game? :D

Suze said...

Dzer, just hang on it there while I find something to wear.

murphy said...

did the same thing Saturday night - had one drunk loose cannon guy calling everyone on anything. We play tournament style so he did make it to the final table but he ended up coming in fifth. Luck for those guys only lasts so long.

Cyber Erotic said...

I'm in with suze here ........ I don't know how to play.

LOL, how sad is that?

xxx Grumps xxx

Steppin' On Toes said...

Teach me how to win lotsa tantos Deez.

DZER said...

suze: sounds like a plan ... heh

murphy: nice to know SOMEONE understood the post

cyber erotic: I'm always willing to learn how to teach people who have money LOL

jax: I'll teach you something ... you teach me something ... how's that? heh

DH Spicy said...

Hummmm, stakes to high for me! 2 hours, quarters only. Last half hour straight poker.
Times up - All in good fun.

Had a guy pull a Bugs Bunny once with two pairs:

I got one pair of these, and another pair of these...

Yeah, 4 aces!

Natalia said...

I soooo need to learn POKER!


TequilaGirl said...

K, I read this earlier and if I remember... ummmm... you lost? Shit if I know. You really shouldn't expect a chick that's been drinking to comment on your blog! Shame on you!

yep, it's me.... said...

i play poker like a girl
a 5 year old girl :(

DZER said...

dh spicy: I used to have a regular game like that ... but it's infrequent .. and damn them two-pair quads!

natalia: I'll teach you ... bring money ;)

tequilagirl: I don't expect drunk chicks to comment on my blog ... they should be taking dirty pics of themselves and e-mailing the photos to me! Heh

velma: that sounds promising ... I really need to come stateside and open a "teaching the lady bloggers how to play poker school" ... LOL

kathi said...

Ditto clue. However, sorry you lost (you lost, right?) Play with monopoly money next time...guess that's not too macho, huh? Well...neither is losing $500, not in my house anyway. That would be a 'sleep with one eye open' kind of loss in my house. :)

SignGurl said...

oooooo.....I wanna play poker with ya!

I've been playing since I was 8 years old. My parents taught us kids how to play so we did every weekend. It was penny ante stuff. We each kept our pennies in coffee jars.

You said there is almost no luck involved but sometimes you just don't have the cards.

I've played a few tournaments always with men and I learned that they hate to lose, especially to a woman.

Girls, you should all learn to play since it's a great way to mingle with the men!

DZER said...

kathi: only lost $120. I'll get it back next time. If not, oh well ... and the most important thing I learned when I started gambling was what my dad told me: Only gamble with what you can afford to lose. I have set limits for a night/week/month. I don't exceed those limits, no matter how much I may want to play.

jenn: I have no problem playing with women ... one of the better players I play with is a woman ... her husband plays fast-and-loose and risky ... she usually ends up having to fork over her steady winnings every time he busts out ... LOL

Madame X said...

*blank Stare*