Friday, December 14, 2007

The best opponent

I played $3/$6 at Palace last Saturday night, and doubled my $100 buy-in in three hours. A large chunk of this change came from a guy in seat 2, two seats to my right. The first thing I noticed about him was that he was confused about what drink the waitress had brought him, up until the point where the waitress realized how inebriated he was, and politely declined to serve him.

He left the table for a few minutes, and when he returned he staggered over one of the low rolling tables, splashing seat 1's drink. Ten minutes later, I hit an ace-high flush on the turn, raised and capped the pot against him, and he doesn't slow down on the river; I extract another $24 from him. He's frustrated after I show the nuts to his ten-high flush, and I conciliatorily tell him, "that's tough; there no way you could have laid that down." I didn't mention to him that it should have been easy to stop raising, though.

He plays several more hands, including several against one of the best players in the room, someone who is always here, and loses almost every time. The drunk offhandedly calls him "Mr. Lucky", and the rest of the table chuckles. We rib Mr. Lucky for the next 30 minutes, until he leaves to go get some dinner. A few minutes later, I'm dealt J9 on the button. I check, and the flop is JT6. I bet to see who else has a jack, and nobody raises me. The turn is a 9, I bet again, and everyone folds, except for Mr. Tipsy, who raises me. I put him on a 1-in-5 flush draw, so re-raise him. He stares at me, I joke about Mr. Lucky leaving the table, and tell him that I'm trying to make myself the new lucky guy. He re-raises, capping it, and I call.

The river is a Q♠, making a possible straight if he has an 8 or a king. I slyly check, and he asks me if I'm going to check raise him if he bets. I'm non-committal, and he bets. "I call. Two pair." I show my jacks and sixes. He shows me his A6, for a pair of sixes. Awesome.

(Oh, and my four-figure check from PlayersOnly arrived this week. Awesome^2.)

An 827% player edge at the office Christmas party

The theme of the office Christmas party was "Vegas, Baby," and I looked forward to some fun times at the poker table. Everyone got somewhere around $200 in play money to start, and after folding pre-wager on a hand of indian poker, I got dealt KJ in Texas hold 'em, in the small blind. It was $20 to me, and I raised to $40. Six callers, and the flop comes QT3, with one heart. I bet $40 again, and get two callers. The turn is a second heart, so I've got 23 outs on the river. I bet another $40 and get called. The river's a brick, I check and fold. Dang.

The next game is five card draw, and after my draw, I push all in with a set of tens. I'm beat by a set of kings, and leave the table after only three hands.

Ryan tells me that the roulette wheel's got crazy-wrong odds, and gives me $100 to play it. "Bet red and black and you'll come out way ahead," he tells me.

The payout for any bet is 20-for-1, except that individual numbers pay 30-for-1. Betting $20 each on even, odd, black, red, high, low, and the 0/00 split is an average payout of $1157, and is typically $1200. The table ran slowly, particularly because they quickly were running out of $100 bills, but after four spins, I ended up with $4820. I "tipped" the croupier a fake $20, gave the fake $100 back to Ryan, and won first place in the office Vegas pool, bringing home a basket of fancy chocolates, candies, and ... pickled asparagus? Good times.

(Yes, it's sad that I'm calculating the edge for games at the office Christmas party. I'm quite the geek, I'm afraid.)