Walking into the Excalibur poker room on Saturday night, a hidden force tugged at the right corner of my mouth producing something of a smirk. I can't quite explain how that much filth and dinginess can make me feel so good, but it does. Then again, I had been drinking since 2pm and open bars do make me giddy.
That last time I was in Vegas, the Excal employed a dealer with an accent I can only describe as "Frenchish". She just happened to be the first person I talked to upon approaching the host stand that night, but the previous smirk turned downward into a disappointed pout when I saw that she was either pregnant, or had developed a isolated case of desert induced Kwashiorkor. You know, Kwashiorkor; a distended belly due to malnutrition.
You won't get that kind of knowledge on any other poker blog, folks.
Either way, flirting with her was now out of the question. But, at least I know she can't get more pregnant, right?
Nevermind. Moving right along.
I got on the list for the 6-6, 6-way cap pre-flop, Vegas Hold em game starting up by the Wheel of Shame, but I soon realized that nobody would be walking for a long, long time. So I decided to join a new 1/2 NL game over in the far corner by the bathroom rail with Hdouble, his wife, Poker Geek and a few others.
I'm new to live NL play because Canterbury isn't allowed to spread anything other than limit, but in my last two trips to Vegas without a losing session, I'm starting to wish they could. Not that I've won scads of money by any means, and of course I've had a few short sessions where I came close to breaking even, but each and every time I've sat at the baby NL game I've finished ahead.
Here's what I learned in my short Saturday night session:
1. Re-raising a girl--even if you're holding KK--will only end up with you being called a dick.
2. I can hold my own in this game.
3. Putting The Geek on tilt is just as fun as everybody has said.
Number 3 needs a little explanation because I've been thinking about the hand that sent him on the last train to Tiltsville. Please tell me the correct line, but don't even try to put him on a hand because it's just not possible. The numbers might be slightly off, but they're close enough for the purpose of determining what I should do.
Geek raises it up in to $12 and it's folded around to me in the BB. I look down at AcQc and decided to call. I hate calling out of position with this hand, but the alcohol has turned the normally 15% VPIP Chad into a somewhat more aggressive(and loose), 25% VPIP Chad. At any rate, I feel I need a good flop to continue with this hand, and with any bad flop the hand is easily released.
There it is. Other than flopping a nut flush or a full-house(which I would not get paid off with), this is about as good a flop as I can ask for. I look over at Geek's stack and he has about $60 behind, and decide that this is one of the times I'm playing for his entire stack. He might have a king, but that would be erroneously putting him on AK like far too many people do. Does he have a king? I can't say for sure, and his range here is so wide that I can't give him so much credit for TPGK, a set or a decent pair. If he has a pair below queens, I'm in good shape. If that's the case, I have a lot of outs to improve by the river.
$60 behind him, $25 in the pot, I'm first to act; what's my best line to put him to the decision for all his chips, without having him bet me out of the hand?
Do I check hoping to induce a bet, and then spring a check-raise on him? I feel that will only work if he underbets the pot, and with so little money left in his stack, I can't be sure he'll bet so little. What if he pushes his entire stack in? $60 into a $25 pot only holding ace high and the nut flush draw would be enough to force me to fold.
I decide to lead out with $25, thinking that if he missed it completely he'd lay his hand down. But he raises it another $25.
$25 preflop+my $25+geek's $50=$100 pot(minus rake)
Math is hard.
It's $25 to call for a $100 pot. 4-1 for a call, but at the point I just can't call and is there any way I can lay it down with only another $10 in his stack if I blank on the turn? No there is not, and I've committed both of us to seeing the river. Technically it's a $35 call into a $110 pot. 3.1-1, right?
Please correct me if my math is that of a mongoloid. I can figure all this shit out in my head, but writing it down makes my brain seize. And after writing this whole thing down, it makes me wonder how I can even play the stupid game in the first place.
I push in enough to put him all in, he has to call, and I suck out on his top pair by hitting a club on the river. I felt bad thinking that I just got lucky. And I know that Geek wasn't too happy with me, which is irrelevant because it is a game about taking money, regardless of who that person is, but I did feel bad for a bit.
But, even though my math may be a little off--I'm not a math person if you couldn't tell--how far off is my line here? Without the benefit of plugging this into a hand analyzer at the table(or now for that matter) was this a complete donk move that just happened to be rewarded?