January 15, 2010
Old college bud and poker pal “Santa Claus”* was in town on business last night, so I tore myself away from a work project for a short session of 1/2 NLHE at The Meadows ATM. I only played 3.5 hours or so, and the table was generally annoying, so I tuned out most of the chatter listening to random music—at one point, back to back songs were “18 And Life” by Skid Row, and “Mama Said Knock You Out” by LL Cool J, so the little elf DJ in my iPod was hitting some sweet classics.
The table was playing weak-stupid, with no 3-betting preflop, and lots of floating and chasing regardless of bet sizes postflop. Santa managed to get a table change into my game, so I moved from the 4 Seat to the 3 Seat. Santa saw me move and immediately accused me of trying to get position on him. In our strange poker symbiosis, I did in fact have position.
I donked off my first buy-in when my crub semi-bluff was picked off by top pair no kicker. Need to get me one of them thar’ crub whistles. Rebuy!
Then came the hand of the session. I limp in MP with 6c2c, as does pretty much the whole table. Some yahoo raises to $12, and six of us see the flop, including Santa. Flop was something like Qc7sd4c. Checks to the raiser, who c-bets $12. Yahoo. One caller back to me, and I raise to $62 straight. Santa immediately pushes all-in for $212 total! Aaaiiiiyyyaahhh!
Action folds back to me, and I’m confused. It’s not like Santa to slowplay sets or two pair on drawish boards, and this wasn’t the kind of table you could count on a c-bet for a check-raise. But there weren’t any real draws except the flush. It was just very perplexing. Finally, I decided I was getting a little better than 2:1 on my call, it was a big pot, and I couldn’t be drawing dead even if he had bigger crubs. Plus, I own Santa. So, I called.
Santa: “You got clubs?”
Me: “Do I need them?”
Santa: “You got clubs?” (the man is persistent, or maybe his brain was locked up again)
Santa: “Then I’m behind.”
Of course, this is the worst thing I can hear—Santa is obviously ahead with some dumb flush draw like 9c8c. Eh, such is poker. The turn is a club, and the river is a blank.
Me: “I got clubs.”
Santa: “You got it.”
Me: “I doubt it.”
Santa stares at me, so I roll my baby flush, causing eyes to bug out all around the table. Santa pauses, then laughs and rolls over … 5c3c! Donkey Kong! The one exact hand I can beat, and Santa has it! Ship. It.
Just goes to show, it pays to get your money in ahead.
* Santa got his nickname from his habit of giving chips away to all the good little poker playing boys and girls in Vegas. Santa is also the founder and cruise director for the annual Ironman of Poker competition in Vegas. Santa and I were playing high stakes Kings & Little Ones (KLO) in our college home game years before the game blew up online. Wait? You can’t get that game on FullTilt or PokerStars? Trust me, it won’t be long before all the Euro degenerates playing PLG start demanding the big action offered by KLO.