Tuesday, January 29, 2013

First Live Poker Memory

I didn't start playing live poker until I had been playing online for a couple of years.  I had heard that live poker players were supposed to be worse than online players.  The comparison that I frequently heard was that winning 10c/25c NL players could crush a $1/$2 NL live game.  Well, I was able to win at 25NL online, so I brought three buyins--$600ish--to Harrahs in Council Bluffs (near Omaha) and gave it a try.

Because I didn't know much about live poker--except from what I had seen on TV, which didn't give me much guidance--I didn't really know what was abnormal about my first game.  I guess I was too nervous about doing something wrong.  But it turns out that two things were quite strange.

The first thing was Seat Ten.

I bought in for $200, which I believe was the maximum (perhaps $300?  It has been a while) and observed Seat Ten go all-in about every third hand.  At a passive table.  The action would begin with three or four calls, then ten seat would go all in--maybe $90 into a $10 pot--and everyone would fold.

On 10's third all-in attempt, one of the limpers called and turned over something like ace ten.  Ten Seat had QT.  Anyway, Ten hit his lucky queen and suddenly he had a stack again.  I had the feeling that a few players were deflated by the outcome.  They wanted Seat Ten off the table so that they could resume limping and seeing flops.  Personally, I loved Seat Ten, because I was sitting in seat one.

Meanwhile, I kept waiting.  I recall raising a pair of tens and getting one caller.  On an ace-high flop, I chickened out, lost, and resumed folding for an orbit or so.  I was so nervous that my VPIP might have been 5 percent.

Things settled down for a bit until Seat Ten turned on his randomizer again.  A few players called, Ten declared all in, and the action folded around to seat eight, a young guy with a shaved head and a really old looking t-shirt who had a similar stack.  Shaved Head quickly said, "Call."

His trap had sprung!

Before the flop, Seat Ten flipped over pocket aces, and Shaved Head went quiet.

But when the flop came 3 3 2, Shaved Head exposed A 3, whooped, and that's when the second strange thing happened.

Shaved Head, as white as they come, started some kind of wannabe gangsta trash talk.

"That's how I do!" he exclaimed.  "You can't come with rockets against this," he said loudly, touching his chest.  "Oh no, you can't.  This is how I do.  Quads.  Gimme quads.  I don't win without quads."  He said all of this in a tone of voice that previously had not belonged to him.  He suddenly sounded inner city.  But not exactly inner city.  He sounded like a white kid who has measured his toughness by a single visit to the inner city during which he had not been beaten up.

Anyway, quads didn't come, Seat Ten departed with a surprising amount of grace, and I, on my first trip to a poker room, was too nervous to win at the softest live table I have ever found.

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