Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Le Poisson du Jour, Five Random Hands, and the Grubby Void

Grubby left Las Vegas for good on Monday as every casino exec in the Las Vegas Valley shed a tear for the loss of one of their most degenerate and dedicated gamblers. During his two year stint in Las Vegas, from poker to slots to blackjack to buffets and strip clubs, Grubby became a Las Vegas legend as I was fortunate to cross paths and share along in the hijinks. His waking life represented a dreamlike and surreal atmosphere as so many of his readers vicariously lived through his posts that were well written and featured literary moments replicating the winner's high to magnifying the testicle shrinking horrifying losses.

I'm lost in Las Vegas without Grubby. The buffets don't taste the same. The poker room isn't what it used to be without spotting Grubby sip a Strawberry Julius as he dropped the Hammer. And the lap dances at the Rhino aren't quite right. Well, that's not true. The lap dances always feel amazing especially from the girls at the Rhino. It was just a little odd going to a strip club and not seeing Grubby entertaining a stripper with witty banter like something from one of my Truckin' stories:
Senor had his hands filled with a not-so-good-looking stripper with a pot belly bigger than mine. When she asked him if wanted a dance he told her, "Look I don't want any lap dances. But if you want to sit down and chat for a while, that's cool. But if you want to go make money, by all means, go visit some other guys."

That wasn't a line or anything. That was the "nice way" Senor wanted to let the strippers down who he didn't think were attractive. That time, it totally backfired. She sat down for over an hour, possibly longer. He did everything to get her to leave. He talked about his wife. He talked about his son. He talked about the dog he never had. He even tried to draw me into the conversation. I avoided that trap pretty quickly. He finally got her to leave when he asked Rebekka for a lap dance.

Grubby was being entertained by an Asian stripper named Sterling. She had it written out in small studs on the back of her black leather panties. I giggled when I overheard Grubby ask, "Are you 24 carats?"

That's when a curvaceous woman in a black bikini came over to me. Her long dark hair cascaded over he round breasts. She looked like J. Lo and had a lot of junk in her trunk.

"Your friends have girls and no one is paying attention to you," she nearly screamed over the loud music and sat down on my lap.

She asked how we knew each other. I told her that we were friends from Harvard Medical School... More
* * * * *

Grubby is back in Chicago, while Change100 went home to LA over the weekend and I'm finally alone and can sit around in my almost empty apartment playing online poker with my pants off and jazz music blasting while I'm ripping bingers.

I finally got some decent sleep on Monday night... almost six hours which is a lot for my tired mind and body. Been catching up on hundreds of pieces of unread emails and playing through my reload bonus at Full Tilt. I stopped playing poker on the crowded Strip and have been splitting my time between at the local poker rooms at Red Rock and Green Valley Ranch. For every hour of poker that I play, I get the equivalent of $1 in food comps at any of the Station Casinos. Over the past few days I've grinded away enough for a free dinner buffet at Green Valley. Grubby would be proud.

I've had a decent run over the last 48 hours both online and playing live. When I'm running hot I don't want to leave. When I get kicked in the junk, I wanna get as far away from Vegas as possible. It's always better to leave this town on a positive note. I've wiped out all my Pai Gow and craps loses and it looks like I'm leaving Vegas with a padded bankroll which is a needed confidence boost. Although I've been here for over two months, I had only about ten days or so of poker. I played rusty the first few days and now I'm back in a groove.

Here are some random hands that I jotted down on some stationary that Grubby stole from Silverton:

6d-7d: 6/12 Limit with a Half Kill at Red Rock

I only played 6-7s to a raise because of the bad beat jackpot. On a board of Kx-10d-9d, I flopped a gutshot straight flush draw from EP and bet out, hoping that someone was playing Jd-Qd and we'd catch the miracle 8d. There was a reraise behind me. I turned the bitch end of the straight flush when the 8d hit. Another 8 fell on the river and I won the pot. A guy about my age said, "I folded eights."

The entire table including the dealer looked at him like he was burning stacks of $100 bills. He made the right play in folding his 8-8 on a board with three overcards, a straight possibility, along with a bet and reraise in front of him. I would have done the same thing. He needed running nines to catch quads. The old guys were bitching at the 8-8 guy for playing his hand right. They were bitching, moaning, and complaining about losing approximately $200 each (every player in a Station Casino poker room shares in the jackpot when it's hit) when I should have been the one yelping about missing $30K or so.

Of course I didn't think about that at the time. It wasn't until I told Grubby about the hand when he mentioned how much I lost on that hand. If anyone fucked up, the guy who raised me on the flop should have drawn the ire of the table. If he just called instead of raising me, the 8-8 would have seen one more card and then stuck it out when he hit a set on the turn. Alas, everyone played their hands the way they should be in the normal world. But when bad beat jackpots at local casinos are involved, the locals play any pair and any suited connectors through the turn. Most of them check the flop especially when they flop a set. This makes these BBJ games at Station casinos slightly more profitable because your premium hands get paid off because everyone with a pocket pair pays to see the flop and the turn.

partypokerad.gifAs-8s-Kx-8c: 2/4 Pot Limit Omaha on Party Poker

I like the action at the PLO tables on Party. I flopped quad 8s and played them fast. Too bad I got felted and pissed away over $400 when I lost a monster pot to a straight flush and lost a side pot to quad tens. All the money went in on the turn on a board of Jh-8h-8d-10x. They rivered both their hands when the 10h spiked.

K-K: 3/5 NL at Green Valley Ranch

A solid and pensive player who just had his Queens cracked two hands earlier was on mega tilt. He's one of those quiet guys that lets all the bad beats and suckouts build up to a point where he turns beat read and instead of kicking his chair over and screaming at the table, he internalized everything and tilted off most of his stack with bad calls.

I sensed weakness with his raise to open the betting. A guy who's a dead ringer for Sweet Sweet Pablo flat called my re-raise of 40 and so did the Silent Tilter. I flopped a set on a rainbow board of K-Q-10. Only A-J beats me and I try to peak in the souls of the other two guys to see if they have it. Silent Tilter bet out half the pot, I raised to the size of the pot and Pablo's Clone smooth called. That scared me.

The turn was a Queen. Only quad Hiltons busts me and I'm hoping for action with my boat. Silent Tilter moved all in for the rest of his stack. I didn't but him on quads. I had him covered and just called. With about 700 in the pot, Pablo's Clone moved all in for another 300. I counted out 260 or so and called. Silent Tilter showed A-K. Pablo's Clone showed A-J and slammed his fist on the table when he saw that his flopped Broadway straight was outdrawn. River was a blank and I picked up a monster pot.Too bad I let about 200 of that get away when I got Aces cracked a few orbits later.

Jc-9c: 10/20 Limit with a Half Kill at Red Rock

I saw a cheap flop in the big blind with junk in a four way pot. On a 10 high board, I flopped a flush draw. I fired out because anyone with a decent hand would have raised preflop, so I thought. I got one caller, a young Asian guy in a Dodgers hat, and everyone else mucked. I bet out on the turn when I picked up a gutshot straight draw. I made my flush on the river, but the board paired so I was afraid of a boat as well as a higher flush. I check/called the river with my baby flush. He showed Q-Q. If he raised preflop or on the flop, I would have mucked. I tilted the Dodgers fan but I couldn't take advantage because the game broke five minutes later.

A-Ko: 5/10 Limit on Party Poker

I call this the "Party Poker Wet Dream." Raised in EP with Big Slick. The CO and BB called. The flop was A-K-Q rainbow. I bet out and got raised by the CO and re-raised by the BB. I figured that I ran into J-10. I called and the CO capped it. I turned a boat when a King hit. The betting was capped on the turn. River was a blank. Only K-K A-A beat me and I took my chances. Betting was capped on the river. I showed A-K. One of the other players didn't show, but the hand history revealed Jc-8d and Ks-9c. Neither of them had J-10 nor A-A and I led all the way. Had no idea what the CO was doing, but he was quickly tagged as Le Poisson du Jour and shall be hunted down in the future.

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