Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Poker Hand

What? Huh? Is this a post about poker? Well... yah.

From the heady days of two weekends ago, when I was in the city by the Atlantic.

On the last night there, I finally sat down to some live cash. I'm far too accommodating to my friends, which usually results in a TON of craps being played, and not so much poker. I keep meaning to change that, and then don't.

I digress.

I'd been at the table (1/2 NL) for a couple hours when a new guy sat down at the opposite end of the table from me. Typical 20-something skinny white boy who thinks a bit too highly of his game. He also happened to have a pretty smokin' girlfriend sitting at his elbow, providing plenty of... distraction.

He was all kinds of weak-tight. By the time he had sat down, there were at least 2 or 3 sizeable stacks to his right, and the table had become fairly cordial. He would limp or raise, and then fold after the flop to any pressure. Even the minnows like me could smell the blood in the water.

Anyway, a standard pre-flop round goes down, with some bets and calls and whatnot. I folded my crap, so from here on was merely an observer.

Flop comes KK6. Check, check, check.

Turn comes 9. Check, bet, call (new guy), call.

River comes J. Check, bet $100 (overbet the pot), call (weak guy, and he's shaking while doing it), all-in by the big stack for somewhere in the neighbourhood of $700-800, all-in call (another $500+), and the new guy looks like he got hit by a truck.

He's got maybe $100 behind here, and there's around $1500 in the pot. Granted, he's only got access to maybe $600 of it, but even that's the biggest pot of the night. He's shitting his pants.

He keeps debating. Those of us not in the hand start mumbling. It's obvious there's at least a boat-over-boat out there, if not quads over a boat. I figure KJ vs JJ between the two big stacks and maybe a smaller boat with the new guy, but something like a naked K isn't out of the question at this table either.

The old guy to my left leans over to me and says "how can you think with that much in the pot? Just put it in!" I nod, but have Jordan's mantra in my head of "If you're beat, fold." With all his thinking, he HAS to have a small boat, so the only question is if it's better than the at least one other boat that's out there.

He hems, he haws, and shakes his head. He says, "I flopped the nuts." We all know this isn't true, because he's insta-calling with quads.

Now, a brief tangent. In my biggest hand of the night, I had QQ and had a paired flop of undercards. I bet, got re-raised by the big stack (same big stack as this hand), and I thought about it and shoved. He debated what to do, and asked if he could show a card. The dealer said "no, not in this room, it's a dead hand if you do." So he didn't, and folded an underpair to me. This was before new guy sat down. /tangent.

The new guy still can't make up his mind. It's been a couple minutes now. He again states that he flopped the nuts and doesn't know what to do... and then... SHOWS BOTH CARDS. He doesn't drop them, he just hold them up for all to see. 66. So not even the 2nd nuts, but the THIRD nuts on the flop (okay, technically the 2nd nuts, since KK and K6 couldn't exist in the same hand here), and on a 6KK9J board it's the 7th (6th) best possible hand. Bottom boat.

There's nearly an audible gasp, because he's just killed his hand, and doesn't realize it. He keeps debating, but the dealer says - "It doesn't matter, it's a dead hand."


"You can't show your cards, it's a dead hand."

A couple players chime in with "but he's last to act, everyone else is all-in!"

"Doesn't matter. He just got reactions from TWO players. It's not allowed."

The other players realize this makes sense and agree.


"Your hand is dead, toss in the cards."

"But, no... I call. I mean..."

"Hand's dead. It's heads-up now."

"No! What?"

New guy is completely confused. It's obvious his ears have shut down in the panic of what he's done and the message isn't getting through. He tosses the rest of his chips over the line, indicating the he's calling. I shake my head at his stupidity. He just saved himself $100, and the whole table knows it, but he doesn't realize what's going on.

Dealer: "Take your chips back, the call's no good."

"What?" [sulk] He leaves the chips alone, intending to will his call to be good.

Dealer ignores him and has the other two show. Big stack has K6 for the flopped nuts (ie.- had the kid beat from the flop), and the 2nd big stack has KT for just the trips. Kid would have lost anyway, which surprises nobody.

Dealer gathers the chips, and gives the kid another heartbeat to take his back before shrugging and scooping his extra chips into the pot as well. Big stack takes it all, and the table is dumbfounded.

From the moment he showed his cards, his girlfriend started zipping up her hoodie (sigh) and looked embarrassed, trying to hide inside the white hood. She knew he was a moron too.

He got up and left, much to our disappointment, but apparently sat down at a 2/5 table a little later. Apparently 1/2 was too easy for his nuts-flopping ways.

What stuck with me the most wasn't that he showed his cards without first making sure it was okay (an easy enough mistake if he's not a regular), or even that he blanked on what was going on when he did and tossed in his chips (it's a confusing and panicky moment, and he wouldn't be the only player to have done something like this), but that he was POSITIVE he had flopped the nuts, when it wasn't hard to see that sixes full of kings isn't the nuts on a KK6 flop. The excitement of flopping a boat blinded him to everything else in the game. Such is the way of playing so weak-tight, when you get a big hand, you forget that there could be bigger ones out there.


Dawn Summers said...

He got up and left, much to our disappointment, but apparently sat down at a 2/5 table a little later. Apparently 1/2 was too easy for his nuts-flopping ways. I absolutely love bad players who think the problem is that the stakes are too low!

However, as a weak/tight player, I take exception with your conclusion. I think true weak/tight players are *always* mindful of the better hand being out there. Too mindful, maybe. That's why we're weak.

Riggstad said...

"I shake my head at his stupidity."


I can see you there dreaming up some lamb concoction (being out of the hand), and all this action bringing your attention back to the table.

I'll bet the shaking of your head was more towards the thought of him wasting your (and others) time than it was you actually being aware of his stupidity! LOVE IT!

Astin said...

Dawn - okay, I'll revise it to the weak-tight-dumb :)

Riggs - True, I was't really paying that much attention until the betting picked up at the river, and was getting increasingly annoyed by the futile delay, but his blank stare once all the shit started going down capped it off. When you're given multiple chances to keep your chips and you literally donate them, it's hard to hold back a head shake :).

HighOnPoker said...

Another one of my standard moves is to ALWAYS ASK before showing my cards. I like to show them, but I know the rules are so screwy from room to room that you have to ask.