Monday, January 22, 2018

Poker and Boobs

The night after I played in the Neeme/Owen meet up game (here), I returned to Westgate to play in The Trooper's game.  The Neeme/Owen meet up games are irregularly scheduled, but Trooper has his game at Westgate scheduled for every Thursday night.

Again I phoned ahead to get on the list and again there wasn't a seat available when I got there.  There were two full tables.  I immediately found Tim, aka Trooper, and went over to say hello.  I'm not sure I'd seen Tim since the Linq closed its poker room.  He gave me a warm greeting, shouting "Robvegaspoker!"  He asked if I came from California.  Yes, but not that night, I'd been in Vegas for almost a week. And at Tim's table, I noticed AustinBluffs, who I had sat next to at the other Vloggers' game the night before

Before I got into a game, I helped myself to some chocolate chip cookies proved by the poker room.  Later, Tim brought in a pizza, and I confess I had a piece.  As I write this, I realize that I forgot to mention that at the Neeme/Owen meet up game the night before, they had sent out for a bunch of pizzas and I had a slice or two (or more?).  Thanks to everyone who provided me with free food at the Westgate over these two nights.

Actually, one of the floor people was sitting in at the other table and gave me his seat, so I got into a game fairly quickly, but not at the table Tim was at.  Our table was pretty quiet, except for one player who talked basically non-stop.  I'm going to call this player "Petey" because that's what Tim called him.  I have no idea if that's his real name or a nickname bestowed upon him by Tim.

Petey didn't let the fact that he wasn't at Tim's table stop him from carrying on a lengthy conversation with him from across the room.  Apparently, Petey and Tim were acquaintances from before.  I wasn't sure if Petey had been to previous Trooper games at the Westgate or if perhaps Petey had just run into Tim at a poker room in Vegas.  Petey was obsessed with Tim's coffee drinking habits.  He wanted to know how much Tim spent on coffee a month.  He even came up with an over/under figure on it.  I don't recall what it was.  Tim gave him a figure which Petey thought was too low and Tim went thru the numbers with him to show him how he was wrong.

After I'd been playing for at least an hour (maybe more), Tim and his fellow vlogger pal Pure Aggression switched tables so Tim ended up at my table.  And after a seat change by another player, Tim ended up seated to my immediate left.

I think they were doing bomb pots at the other table but we couldn't get unanimous agreement to have them at our table, mostly because Petey vetoed the idea.  He claimed poverty.  Since I continued to be card dead, that was ok by me.  One of the (many) things Petey was talking about was that he had to leave soon to go to a movie.  When he finally did leave, I asked him what movie he was going to see.  He said Jumanji.  I dunno why, but everyone thought that was funny.

Tim said he hadn't gone to the movies in like forever.   So I said, "You know, they have sound now."  The dealer for some reason thought that was hilarious.

The two guys on Petey's left and my right, a couple of older gentlemen, just happened to be there for poker and didn't know who Trooper was—or for that matter, what a vlog was.  Petey explained it to them.  He said there were other vloggers but Trooper was the biggest.  Tim corrected them.  "I'm not the biggest, but I was the first."  They asked if Trooper's vlog were all about poker and he said not really.

Later, he told the table that I had a popular written blog. "He's robvegaspoker….he has a blog about poker…..and boobs."  The dealer (same one who liked my "movies have sound now" joke) said, "Boobs?  Why didn't you tell me?  Now I'm interested."

Tim mentioned that he is leaning towards getting away from poker.  "I'm getting a new hustle."  He didn't elaborate.  People were guessing.  I guessed pimp or stripper, but he said no.  I think I may have also guessed if that he was going to become a woman, that too was incorrect.

We talked a lot and Tim spent some time trying to talk me into changing the blog into a vlog.  "You gotta do video, that's where it's at.  No one reads any more.  I don't read."  I said, "Yeah, well, I have a face for writing."  He said, "Well do audio then.  Do a podcast."  I said, "Well, you can't do boobs on audio."  Tim replied, "Sure you can.  You can talk about the sound they make, like when they're flapping around."  I said, "Motor-boating?"  Yeah.

Soon after Tim joined our table, there was some commotion at the table he left.  There was some kind of dispute between two players and loud words were exchanged, some threats were made and eventually one of the players was booted out of the room.  I don't think Tim got any of that on his video though.

Also, Tim and Petey got off on some weird tangent on advanced mathematics.  They were trying to figure out what a trapezoid was and how it differed from a parallelogram.  Then the discussed planes.  It was not typical poker table talk, that's for sure.  Fortunately, debates/discussions like this don't have to take too long these days, with everyone having Google in the pocket.

The game was 1/3 and as I mentioned, I was card-dead again.  My stack dwindled down until I was short-stacked, and I was debating whether or not to add-on.  So I got pocket Aces in the big blind and raised to $15.  There was one or two callers.  The flop was low and I bet $25, got one call.  The turn paired the board (7's) and he donked out a bet.  It was almost my remaining stack so I shoved and he snap called.  Now, earlier in the evening I had noticed that a player was paid for $50 for having his Aces cracked.  I had forgotten they had this promotion until then.  Lucky for me I saw it then.  By this time, I knew if I got my Aces cracked I'd get $50.  So I was in a no lose situation.  Either my Aces were good and I'd win the pot, or they were no good and I'd at least get $50 for my troubles.  Once I had bet the $25 and been called, it only made sense to commit my stack there with the Aces.  The river blanked and of course he showed 7-6 for trips.  But I showed my hand and got the $50 promo money.  I probably wouldn't have played it any different if I hadn't know about the Aces cracked promo, but I wouldn't have known to show my hand to get that promo money otherwise.

I'm pretty sure that this was the first time I was ever paid for hitting an Aces cracked promotion.

I added $50 out of my pocket so I could have a little more money to play with, but it was pretty clear this wasn't going to be my night.  I should have left then but I was enjoying the conversation too much.  But I was at my cut-off there, I wasn't going to dig into my wallet again.

Which explains the hand you can actually see me play in Trooper's 360 video from this table, which you can find here. It's near the very end of the video. I was down to $15 and I had pocket 7's.  I shoved, first in.  Three people called and I just watched the rest of the hand.  The flop was Jack-10-8, two spades.  When the turn was the Ace of spades, I think you can see on the video that I checked my hand to see if one of my 7's was a spade and sure enough it was.  So the 9 of spades on the river gave me a flush (and also a straight, I didn't notice that til I watched the video myself).  Was it good enough?  Actually it was.  One guy had a straight another guy had two pair, I'm not sure what the third guy had but my 7-high flush was good.  I didn't realize that Tim had likely recorded the hand until he came back to the table.

I returned to losing and cashed out a few chips.  It was a fun time but again, just couldn't get any cards.

The "regular" video that Trooper made of this game can be found here.  Thanks to Tim and to the Westgate for sponsoring these games, they are great fun and great for the Vegas poker community.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Shouldn't the Dealer Have Told the Floor This?

This takes us back to my first Saturday in Vegas last month, my first full day in town.  Also the first poker I played this trip.  I decided to spend the Friday night I arrived in town seeing The Last Jedi, which premiered that day (or, more accurately, the evening before).  I determined I had to see it right away before it got any more spoiled for me.  You see, some dick on Twitter tweeted out a spoiler that morning.  It wasn’t a dick I follow, but somebody I do follow thought it would funny to retweet that dick's spoiler tweet.  I was not amused.

 Thus, my first poker of the trip took place at the $340 tourney at Venetian, a tournament I've mentioned before—I really like that one. I guess I'd like it even more if I ever cashed in it. Well, ok, I did cash in it once, but that was the two-day version of it.  The single day version of it has yet to be a winner for me and this time was no exception.

I arrived about half way into the first level and the very first hand I was dealt was the dreaded pocket Kings.  Guess how it came out?  OK, it wasn't a total disaster.  An Ace hit the flop and I was able to get away from them fairly cheaply.  A few levels later I got my second pocket pair of the day.  You got it, Kings again!  This time I flopped the second nut flush draw on an all-spade board.  My c-bet took it down.

I lasted to the 7th level, but by then I had a really short stack, definitely fold or shove territory.  They broke our table and I moved to my new table with my pathetic stack.  I recognized one of the players at the new table.  I had actually seen him walking around earlier so I knew he was playing in the tournament.  It was successful pro and WSOP bracelet winner Dan Heimiller.  I had actually seen his picture posted on Twitter once or twice recently as the winner of some low buy-in Venetian events.  I've stated before that I don't recognize a lot of poker pros but I immediately recognized Dan.  That's because I once spent an evening watching him play against our pal MemphisMOJO when they were playing for the Seniors bracelet back in 2014.  I wrote about it here.

I wasn't thrilled having a bracelet winner at my table, as I'm sure you understand.  Worse, he was one seat over from me on my left.  Ugh.  I didn't say anything to him—in a situation like that, I'm always looking for some clever way to acknowledge that I know who they are instead of just saying, "You're Dan Heimiller, right?"  It didn't happen while I was playing. And honestly, there was a part of me that wanted to kick him for making that bad call and knocking MOJO out of the Seniors event back then.

Meanwhile, with my short stack, I looked down at pocket 6's in early position.  It folded to me and I thought I had to shove.  The guy on my immediate left shoved too—he had me covered by a ton.  He said to me, "I'm giving you protection."  Everyone else folded and he showed Ace-Jack.  I survived the flop and the turn.  But not the Jack on the river.  I was done.

For some reason, I felt compelled to say hello to Dan.  During the brief time I was at his table, he had spent most of his time looking at his phone, not really engaging with anyone.  I got up from my seat with all my stuff and waited for him to fold the next hand.  Then I said that it was honor to play with him, however briefly, and put out my hand.  He shook it and just said thanks.  I added, "You're a great player."  He pointed to his stack, which was on the short side and said, "Well you can't tell by my chips."  And with that I took off.

Later that night I was playing cash in another room.  I won't mention which one because I don't want to get anyone in trouble if I'm right and the dealer make a procedural error.

My results in this cash game were unremarkable.  I somehow managed to lose only $20 while continuing to be card dead.  There were no hands worth reporting on.  Well, none of mine, anyway.

But something interesting did happen.  This particular room has high hand bonuses and the payout for a Royal is $500.  The pot must be $20 to qualify for any high hand bonus.

There was a small, heads up pot.  A player who was fairly new to the table made a bet on the turn and didn't get a call.  The dealer flipped the board cards over and started pushing the pot to the player who had bet.  That player struck me as either a newbie poker player or perhaps just a newbie at playing in a brick and mortar poker room.  Anyway, he turned over his cards, which were the Jack-10 of hearts.  I hadn't been following the action much but I had noticed at one point that a Royal was possible on this board.  The turn card was the Queen of hearts and the flop contained the Ace and King of hearts.  At least, that was my memory.

The way the player turned over his cards without saying anything, I'm really not sure if he did it because he knew about the bonus or if he just wanted to proudly show his Royal.  After all, if I was in a room that didn't have a bonus for it, I think I'd show a Royal if I had one anyway (note:  I have never had a Royal in any kind of real poker game).  The dealer apparently hadn't paid much attention either.  He looked at the two exposed cards, froze, and then said, "Was this a Royal Flush?  What was on the board?"  A few of the other players, including me, confirmed that it was indeed a Royal. By now, however, the board cards he had turned face down had gotten confused with the muck.  But he seemed to have two stacks of four cards each that were isolated.  He turned over one stack and it was all black cards, definitely not the board.  He turned over the other stack and sure enough, the Ace, King and Queen of hearts were all there, with some other random card.

But then he had to make sure the pot was big enough and that was a big deal for him.  He counted the pot--$17 he was about the push to the player with the Royal.  There were two dollars in the rake slot about to go down the chute and another buck right next to the slot for the promo drop. Yep, $20 exactly.  And then, he even re-created the betting action mentally to confirm the $20.  Again, he convinced himself it was $20 and thus qualified for the $500 bonus.

He called the floor over.  I expected him to show the floor the Royal but also explain that he had had to turn the board back face-up because he had flipped it over before he saw the player's Royal cards.  But that didn't happen. Instead, he went into a long explanation about the pot and the rake and the jackpot drop and how it all totaled $20.  He repeated this at least twice to the floor.

But at no point did he ever say anything about having to flip the board back face up to verify the Royal.

Is that ok?  I mean, I would think for his own sake he would want to make sure the floor knew that.  I actually wondered if, upon hearing this, the floor would call surveillance and have them verify that the board was what he "re-created" before paying out the $500.  But the dealer didn't mention it.

My thought is, he could easily get in trouble for it.  If someone looks over the footage and sees what he did, they would confirm (or worse, deny) that the Royal was made.  Wouldn't they want to know that he had pointed this out to the floor?  Would he get in trouble for trying to cover up what he did?

Or….is it a case of them routinely checking the tape on any high hand bonus payout so he didn't have to call it to his floor's attention?  I only thought of that when I was writing this up just now.  I don't know how it works.

All I know is if I was that dealer, I'd sure as hell cover my ass by letting the floor know exactly what happened. I would think if you're a dealer and anything out of the ordinary happens—especially if there's a bonus involved—you'd want to let the floor know. If somebody in surveillance did see it, they could easily think that maybe the dealer was cheating for the player to get him the bonus.  And if somehow, we were all wrong and the player really didn't have a Royal Flush, oh boy.  I said that I thought the player was a newbie. I can't recall if he won any other hands this way previously—it's at least remotely possible he turned over his cards because he thought he had to to claim the pot.

Can you imagine if they gave the guy the $500 and then later someone noticed the tape, saw what the guy did, examined it further and saw there was no Royal?

Maybe it's nothing.  But I thought about it a lot.  Any dealers/floor people out there think this was handled poorly by the dealer?  Or is it standard?

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Where and When? The Tony Bigcharles Game

This post concerns the famous (and infamous) Tony BigcharlesI'm sure most of you follow his adventures to at least some degree.  If you have no interest in Tony, you can skip this post and come back in a couple of days.

So if you do follow Tony, you know he just now returned to Las Vegas.  He left Toledo (via Detroit) very suddenly, mysteriously leaving behind his clothes and luggage (and who knows how many pizza turners).

Whenever Tony relocates, it's fair to wonder how longer he'll remain in his new "home" this time, and where he'll go to next.  He never stays one place very long, as we all know.

So I started thinking someone should start a pool to bet on where Tony moves to after he inevitably tires of Vegas, and of course, how long will that be?  Sadly, I don't have the time or the desire to set up an actual pool for this, you know the kind where people bet actual real money on this and someone holds the money until Tony leaves town and we have a winner.

Besides, with two factors involved (where and when), it might be difficult to determine a winner.  What if one person nails the date but a different person gets the location and nobody gets both.  Who wins?

If someone wants to do this as a real pool, be my guest.  But for now, I just thought I'd throw this post up here and let people give their best guesses in my comments section below.  There's no cost to play--and also no prize for the winner(s).  

So just post your best guess as to when Tony will leave Vegas.  And also where he will go when he does.  Actually that could be tricky.  Sometimes Tony makes very short stops on his way to his next "permanent" location.  If I'm not mistaken, last time (before this) he returned to Vegas, he couldn't catch a flight at the right time (or right price) to Vegas so he flew to Phoenix, spent a day or two there, and took a bus into Vegas.  So I'd say he has to stay at least a week at his new location for it to count.  I think that's fair,no?

Again, this is just for bragging rights, no prize, but feel free to guess away.  Does Tony leave Vegas next month, or March (give a specific date, person closest wins) or even later?  Is his next home Reno?  Los Angeles?  Louisiana?  Toledo?  Louisiana?  Some part of Florida?  Give it your best shot.

Note:  If you are wondering about this picture below and what it has to do with the subject of the post, I will remind you that it is well known that Tony hates girl-on-girl action.  So it seems appropriate, doesn't it?  I mean, I could have just posted a pic of TBC himself, but I'm sure everyone (but Tony) will agree this is better.