December 28, 2010

Distributing Lumps of Coal at the Horseshoe

This weekend, I headed to west Nebraska for the holidays.  After a nice couple of days with the parents back on the family farm, I was more than ready to stop off at the Horseshoe for some poker on the way back home.  The room was busy for a Sunday evening, with four 1/3 NLHE games, two 3/6 LHE games, and a full 110-runner tournament.  I played in a no-limit game for about 12 hours and had an enjoyable evening.  A few of the more entertaining highlights:

  • I played a rather tight game (for me), since the game was generally short-stacked and nitty.  I still managed to build up a stack, thanks in part to flopping set over set with AA vs. 44, then turning quad Aces.  Donkey Kong!  Also, I managed to flop trip Kings with AK, proving that even I can hit a flop with that ridiculous hand.
  • In a hand I was not involved in, there was another flopped set-over-set, this time with KK vs. 33.  Of course, the treys turned quads.  Hilarity ensued.
  • I did encounter a couple of coolers.  I flopped a set of 5s on a board of 5-6-7 with a flush draw, got it all-in against the monster draw; he hit his draw on the turn, and I missed the boat on the river.  Later, I had KhTh and got it all-in on the flop of Ts8h5h.  Turns out my opponent had AhQh.  Doh!  Sure enough, heart on the river.  Le sigh.
  • A young kid sat down at the table, and clearly was inexperienced to live play.  He had trouble handling chips, figuring out raises, the usual newbie stuff.  But the best moment was when someone bet $50 into him, and he threw out a yellow chip—a 50-cent chip!
  • In a weird hand with little in the way of Christmas spirit, a guy raised preflop, got a call from a fairly nitty older woman.  Flop was T-8-7, and the guy got annoyed when the lady check-raised him on the flop.  He pushed all-in, and was insta-called by the lady who rolled over J9s for the flopped nut straight.  The guy whined about terrible calls, then rolled over Kings.  Of course, the guy then goes running King-Ten for the full house.  Just as Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer was running though my head, a kid on his third buy-in pipes up, "That's justice! Justice for all the bad play at this table!"  The kid would bust out (again) and leave muttering within the hour.   His departure certainly spread some peace and goodwill at the table! 
My favorite moment of the evening, however, occurred when I was involved in a rare, multiway monsterpotten.  I had limped in late position with JdTd.  When the button raised, there were five callers to a flop of 6-7-8 with two diamonds.  I liked my monster draw, so I checked along with the rest of the players to the preflop raiser, who threw out a small c-bet of about 1/4 pot.  The small blind, a friendly but talkative young kid, smooth-called.  It folded to me, and I put in a $100 raise as a semi-bluff. The button folded, and the kid started chatting, trying to get a read on me.  He kept jabbering away, and I initially ignored him, but we finally had this exchange:

Kid:  "I got a big hand."

Me:  "Then get your chips in the middle."

Kid:  "Did you flop a straight?"

Me:  "Do I need a straight?"

Kid:  "I can beat two pair."

Me:  "Then yes, I have a straight."

Kid:  "I know I'm ahead here."

Me:  "The book says if you're ahead, you should raise."

Kid:  "What book?  I haven't read any poker books."

Me:  "It's available as a comic book."

The Kid laughed.  Then he got serious again:

Kid:  "Dude, I have pocket Sevens!"

Me:  "Sure you do."

Kid:  "Seriously, I have pocket Sevens!"

Me:  "Well, you're playing them very badly."

The Kid folded his "pocket Sevens".

Christmas truly is the most wonderful time of the year!

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