Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Optimal play, misreads and the rare trifecta (continued)

This post is a continuation of my last post.  To recap, I played Thursday night, winning a mini bad beat jackpot, Friday afternoon, sharing a mini bad beat jackpot, and finally playing on Saturday, detailed below:

Saturday's session was more of an impromptu dalliance with the pokers.  Mrs. Meister and I usually have plans Friday and Saturday nights, but this was one of the rare occasions when we had nothing planned at all.  After eating family dinner and getting all the weekend errands and chores completed, I had time to get in a decent session.  The wife was exhausted, so why not?

On the way up, I got bad beat-ed by the State of Maryland, receiving a speeding ticket - gotta pay my taxes and share the wealth...  I was upset, but determined not to let this affect my play, and I think I contained it pretty well.  I may need representation...  though my understanding is that there's a certain lawyer available for hire - who has offered representation to TBC?  I'll want a better hourly rate than what was offered to Tony!

Side note: The Horseshoe is running a promotion for Baltimore Orioles home games, where when they score runs, a random seat is drawn for varying amounts of money depending on the runs scored.  Also, when an Oriole hits a home run, a random seat is drawn for varying amounts of money depending on how many runs were scored on the home run.  For what it's worth, a grand slam is worth $1000.

Upon sitting (actually I don't even think I had taken my seat yet) at my table at the poker room, the Orioles were rallying, having runners on all bases; i.e. bases loaded.  I can't say I know who was batting, but the Orioles hit a home run: a grand slam home run!  Well, I started asking the table at large if they were interested in sharing action on the seat drawing; i.e. if we all can agree, if one of us is drawn, all of us share an equal amount of the $1000.  I was able to get 5 out of the 6 players at my table to agree, so we were set for a $200 chop if one of us was called, with a grumpier older gentleman (a regular) sitting it out.  Another player joined our table shortly before the drawing and wanted in on the partnership: 6 of 7 in on the deal.  I guess peer pressure got the better of the old guy, 'cause he succumbed on his own volition and opted in: 7 of 7 in on the deal.  If our table is drawn, we all win!  Well guess what happened?  Yup!  Table 960, my table, was drawn!  Without even waiting for the seat number, we're all jumping up and down like we hit the lottery.  The rest of the room sat kinda stunned; why would we all be so happy before they even drew a seat?  Needless to say, old man was picked as the winner (Murphy's Law, thank you very much) and he paid us out $140, keeping $160 for himself (I worked that deal out for him 'cause he did the "hard work").  He was very upset that he agreed last minute...  bitter old guy!  +1 Peer pressure, 0 Old guys!  Third "leg" of the trifecta complete: Meister :$440, House: $-440!

Now for 2 quick hand histories from Saturday night:

  1. I'm dealt Js5s in the BB.  There's a host of limpers (3 to be exact) and the BTN raises to $10 (LOL!).  I call out of sheer curiosity, fully expecting the 3 limpers to come along.  To my surprise, they all fold (WTF?).

    We see a flop of J J 8.  I check to the raiser who checks through.

    Turn is a 3 putting a flush draw out (not spades).  I lead for $20 and the BTN raises to $50.  I call.

    River is an offsuit 5.  I check to the raiser who puts out $65 with around $110 behind.  I obviously knew I had a Jack, but was not thinking about my kicker; all I was concerned about was that I was outkicked, without realizing that the 5 paired my kicker giving me a rivered boat!  UG FACEPALM.  I quickly threw out the "call" red bird and was shown QJo for the better kicker.  I started to muck my hand, thinking I was beat.  When I'm beat, I'll often take a second look at my cards and the board - it's something I learned to do after watching Phil Ivey muck a winner during the WSOP.  I took a look and realized that I have a full house for the better hand!  Rookie rookie rookie mistake - I should be stacking all of her chips by raising all in but since I just called, at least I didn't fold it and forfeit the hand...  As soon as I realized my error, I flipped my hand and apologized for the perceived slow roll; I guess I got what I deserved for playing crap cards for a cheap raise...
  2. 6 limpers, and I'm dealt 2s4s - "The Grump" in the BB.  I check my option and we see an A J 6 monotone, spades board.

    6 players and I know I'm getting at least one caller with an Ace, but I'm sure someone has to have a spade -- if not a Ks!  Therefore, I lead for nearly full pot: $15, not worried about lack of action.  I get one caller, a guy who clearly fancies himself "pro," wearing a hat and headphones.  My plan for this hand is to bet twice and check all rivers, giving Mr. Pro a chance to swipe at the pot, while I plan on folding all spades on the turn or river.  If Mr. Pro flopped a better flush, so be it; I'm going to pot control the river, but I don't want to go broke with my baby flush on a limped pot.

    Turn is a J, pairing the board.  I lead for $40, pressing, feeling like Mr. Pro is not going anywhere.  He snaps it off, instantly.  I'm not thrilled with the paired board, but I think if he turned a full house or has a better flush, I'd have heard about it with a raise on the flop or turn.  Maybe he's not raising the turn in position, with a boat, but certainly better flushes are trying to get more money in.

    River is an offsuit 8 and I think about checking or betting.  As per my plan for the hand, I opt to check - a check / call is in order; I don't want to face a raise on the river to decide for stacks.  I also want to give him a chance to bluff at the hand with the Ks if that's what he's after.  My plan is executed to precision, because he does indeed bet: $50.  It's a small "What would you do?" moment; do you check / raise in this spot or just call?  I think just calling is the optimal play; you catch all bluffs, catch all "value" betting Aces, and limit your downside against boats and better flushes.  I simply don't think there's a ton of value in raising here, and there aren't a lot of hands that can withstand a river check / raise.  Moreover, the ranges are wide open here since it's a limped pot, so there's always the likelihood of a better flush (I have the nut low flush) or a turned boat.  Therefore, I just call.

    My opponent shows QsJx for trip Jacks - one of the hands I think could have withstood a check/raise on the river.  I'm still comfortable with the just call since that's such a small part of his range, along with KsJx.  I scoop FTW.

I wish I could say I'm "poker-ed out," but I only want to play more...  Chips were for sale after all, far below its book value!  I was getting value both on- and off- the table.  Save for a speeding ticket (this is an official plea for PPP's help), it was a great poker weekend!

Side note - a little Karmic value: I realized while playing on Saturday that I never tipped the dealer who dealt out the bad beat.  By the time I was paid out for the bad beat, the dealer had moved on to the next table.  This is on my mind as I'm driving up to the casino, so I asked around only to find out that the casino does not track that type of data.  I asked a few of the dealers who were working that day, and was eventually able to figure out who it was.  Lo and behold, I asked the dealer who I suspected it was and he said "I don't know."  It was weird; he was clearly being evasive and coy with me.  After insisting and asking very precisely: "Just say yes or no, did you deal me the bad beat on Thursday," he finally admitted to it.  I gave him the tip I owed him and started asking why he wouldn't outright admit whether he was involved.  He said the casino has a policy to not answer whether they received a tip - and that my question put him in an awkward position.  Upon talking with him a bit more, I came to find out that he dealt 3 high hand / bad beats that day, where none of the winners tipped him.  At least I could give back a little for my share of the beats and buy back a little Karma...


  1. Quite a roll of "freebie" cashola. It always fees sooo good to win that kind -- bad beats, promotions, etc. And I am a firm believer in the Karma concept.

    1. I'm pretty convinced that I'm one of the more the unluckier players. I never win stuff like that, but 3 times in a row? I should be playing the lottery!

  2. Nice post....I hope that lousy attorney you hired can get you off. Usually he's too busy eating filets and fine wine to pay much attention to his briefs.

    Regarding the $1K baseball promo....I dunno, but I think if I was there I would have been the guy saying no deal to sharing. While $140 is nothing to sneeze out, man that full $1K would be really, really sweet. I think splitting it 6/7 ways makes it kind of ho-hum. I know it's a longer shot, but I think I'd rather just take that shot for a cool thousand. But that's just me. Glad it worked out for you. I do kinda feel bad for the old dude whose seat was called. But hey, that's gambling for you.

    Really surprised you came thisclose to mucking the winning hand...a full house no less. Well, if Phi Ivey can do it, I guess we all can.

    On the Grump hand, you said, "If Mr. Pro flopped a better boat..." You meant better flush.

    I think most poker rooms have a rule that if asked if they were tipped, the dealer is supposed to say yes...or not answer. It's a dumb rule. If a player asks a dealer that, its because they want to tip them and would feel bad that they forgot.

    But not answering your simple question if he was the dealer who dealt you the bad beat seems extreme and not actually the policy.

    1. I modified the Mr. Pro speculation - thanks! Rule-wise for the tipping, I specifically was asking whether he was the dealer, not whether he received a tip. It did seem sorta awkward to me that he was being so evasive, but he's kinda new, so maybe he was exercising extreme caution? I had to go through the gymnastics of asking point blank, though, and pin him down, which was annoying to me...

    2. When you are obviously trying to give somebody money and they act like this (for whatever reason), I mean, come on!


Blog Archive