Saturday, July 18, 2009

Germans, Goths Chicks, and Mai Tais

By Pauly
Las Vegas, NV

I went to the Venetian to tilt-a-local. It's a post-WSOP tradition where I hit up the tables and do everything possible to throw a local player off kilter through a series of maniacal moves and plays. After a lengthy assignment, I'm always seeking out a little fun at the tables. And nothing gives me more pleasure than getting people to piss away their stack to me.

The gang was embroiled in a juicy 4/8 Omaha 8 with a half-kill. I'm a PLO-high junkie but limit 08 is not my cup of tea, despite the fact that AlCantHang, Poker Shrink, Otis, Change100, and Bad Blood were at the table. Heck, there was even a cameo from Amy Calistri early on.

I signed up for a 1-2 NL game and eyed the 2-5 tables. Since there were a bunch on the list, a new table was opened for us. I love it when a poker room starts a new table because everyone is evenly stacked (for the most part) and no one has a solid read on everyone else yet. I tend to process information in a shorter time period than the average poker playing tourist so I always feel like I can exploit that edge in the small window that it presented itself. Before we even played a hand, I had more than half the table pegged. Before the first orbit ended, I had already made a move on one player.
The Table:
Seat 1: Middle-aged convention guy
Seat 2: L.A. Douchebag #1
Seat 3: Matt Stout-look-alike
Seat 4: L.A. Douchebag #2
Seat 5: South American tourist
Seat 6: Crazy Asian 20-something (girlfriend of L.A. Douchebag)
Seat 7: Your Hero
Seat 8: German female 20-something tourist
Seat 9: Hipster with girlfriend sitting behind him
Seat 10: Innocuous young tourist
The hipster insisted on straddling. Both L.A. Douchebags raised the pot to $20 preflop. They didn't know each other, but one of said douches had his girlfriend at the table. She was a calling station so most of the time, there was $60 in the pot before action got to me.

There was one hand where everyone limped (the straddle bet) and I bumped it up with Qc-Jc. Three players called. The flop was Ax-Qx-3c. Action checked to me and I bet 2/3 the pot. The hipster called. The turn was the 10c. I slid out a stack of red birds. He tanked for three minutes while he executed every single chip trick possible before he flashed A-J to me and folded.

I didn't show but when he asked me if I had Big Slick, I nodded.

"I knew it!" he said as he turned around to tell his girlfriend about the "sick laydown" he just made. I smirked while I stacked up his chips.

One orbit later... I was the button. Hipster was the big blind. The guy in Seat 10 straddled. UTG called. L.A. Douchebag #1 re-raised to the standard $20. Matt Stout's doppelganger flat called. L.A. Douchebag #2 called along with his girlfriend. I found A-K on the button and almost jammed but just called. The German girl to my left re-raised to $121 from her small blind. Everyone got out of her way except the L.A. Douchebag #2 who tanked for a few minutes. I used the extra time wisely and tried to get a physical read on the German.

Like most Europeans, she gave off very little info. She barely spoke aside from an incident when she initially sat down and the cocktail waitress harassed her about not having an ID. The German girl looked young, maybe in her early 20s, but without an ID she was not going to get served. All she wanted was a Mojito and could not understand why she was getting carded after playing there every day for over a week. The waitress left without serving her and a few minutes later, a bulky thick-necked security guard tapped her on the shoulder. He said something about needing to see her ID and how it's against the law to be inside a Nevada casino without a picture ID. She gave him her players card but he demanded that she go up to her room to grab her ID. She wasn't happy but complied.

At that point (this is still a flashback), I thought she was Russian by her thick accent. We didn't find out that she was German yet. She had light brown eye brows but her hair was dyed black. I started to wonder if she was on the lam and part of a criminal team of operatives from the Russian mafia. I expected her to not return. I was a bit surprised when she returned with her German passport and showed it to the security. He gave her the thumbs up and the cocktail server took her order. All she wanted was a Mojito.

"I'm sorry sweetie," said the server. "We're out of mint."

"I'll have a Mai Tai," said the German.

I said a few works in German and she perked up. Aside from the initial greeting, she retreated into her shell. She looked like Isabelle Mercier's goth cousin from Munich with black fingernails and black hair and black eye liner. The only thing missing were the fresh scars of cut flesh. Then again, I never asked to see her wrists.

Back to the hand... the German girl was already having a rough day before she got in the hand. There was about $120+ in the pot and she raised to $121. The L.A. Douchebag #2 folded along with his girlfriend, so it was back to me. My initial thought was that she jammed with A-K because that's what I should have done with my hand. I really couldn't get a read on her but there was so much dead money in the pot. She had around $50-60 behind, so I knew that I'd be calling off $160 more of my stack. Even if I called, we'd get it all in on the flop... even if I missed. It was shove or fold. If I wasn't running so hot at the tables, I probably would have folded. I was in a gambling mood. At worst, I was a coin flip against a middle pair and up to Queens. At best, I caught her with A-Q or below. I never considered that she would have K-K or A-A.

I called for time and pulled a quarter out of my pocket. I said, "If it's heads, I'll call."

I flipped it up and the L.A. Douchebags thought it was the funniest thing they ever saw. It landed on the back of my clenched hand. I covered it up and then peeked at the my favorite hemp-growing former President's head... George Washington.

"I'm all in," I said.

"Call," she said quickly and tabled... K-K.

"Oh, shit. Fuck me," I said.

I counted out $180 or so and was ready to ship it to her as the dealer fanned out the flop. All low cards and a rainbow. The turn was another blank. I stood up and then the dealer burned and dropped the river card. He flipped it over and the table exploded when the Ace of spades spiked.

She unleashed a short burst of obscenities in German. Change100 heard the commotion and rushed over from the other side of the room as the L.A. Douchebags quickly discussed about how sick of a beat that was.

Yeah, I three-outered a German goth chick. And she wasn't happy.

She said something about losing a $500 pot on a two-outer the night before. When you run bad... the world is against you. When you run good, the world is a magical place full of unicorns and rainbows and spiking your Ace on he river to stack a European tourist.

I got a ton of action after that and won a few more pots while the German goth girl pounded Mai Tais. She was trying to drink off her tilt which is never a good thing. It just leads to more gloom and doom.

The game started to lose players and we were five-handed at one point with me, the German goth chick, and L.A. Douchebag #1. That's when I stacked her again. L.A. Douchebag opened. I popped him and she smooth-called from the button. I had A-K and the flop was K-x-x. I checked to the German and she bet half the pot. I called. The turn was another blank. No straights. No flushes. I checked. She shoved and I called. She didn't turn over her hand and I assumed she had some sort of King with a crappy kicker or a middle pair. My hand held up and she got stacked a second time. More German swear words came out of her mouth.

She stood up and bolted out of the poker room, but I was worried that she might return with a sharp object and shank me while I walked to the cage cashing out a few racks of redbirds.

Original content written and provided by Pauly from Tao of Poker at All rights reserved. RSS feeds are for non-commercial use only.

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