"Come on... we've got poker to play. CLOCK!!" He was bald with a half fu-man-chu, so some other strange facial hair combination. He had donked his way into a pretty big stack, but had just taken a bad beat. Now he's calling for the clock.
"Are you f----- kiddin' me?!?!" I thought, but decided not to say.
I had flopped two pair with K6s. I bet out and got called by a pretty tight player. The turn gave me a flush draw, too. I bet and got raised. The raise wasn't big enough, however, with the outs I had. The river missed me completely. I checked and he pushed for another $250. Time to think.
"Clock! Get the floor."
I checked on the river, I think because I knew I was beat. This guy was tight and hadn't made a move on anyone in the 6 hours I sat beside him. I wanted, however, to think it through just in case.
But the clock? Really? This guy must have watched one too many episodes of the WSOP. I've played in a dozen casinos over the past three or four years and I have never once heard a player call for the clock in a cash game. Hell, I'd never it heard in a tourney either!
The floor came over and the dealer told him what just happened. I think he was as surprised as me.
"How much time do I have?"
"One minute and 10 seconds."
"Really? How'd you come up with that?"
"I don't know, but your time is counting."
"When do I get a verbal countdown, and since there's no clock in a casino, how are you timing it?"
"I've got a pretty good sense of time."
By now, I had already decided to fold. I suppose given more time I might have talked myself into a call, but I had to lay it down. Two pair couldn't be good. That didn't mean I wouldn't milk it.
"But it's such a tough decision," I said as dramatically as I could. I don't think Mr. Bald was amused.
The next hand I'm in the BB with 85o and it's limped around. The flop comes down 5-6-7, rainbow. I've got bottom pair and an OESD. It's checked around to Mr. Bald who $20. I call. We're heads up. The turn is a Q. I check. He bets $40. I call. Maybe I don't have odds, but I'm not sure he's got it either.
The river is a 5. I check, he bets $100. I really should have raised him here, but I just call. I flip my hand and say wryly, "I don't think my hand is good." He stops in midflip, clearly upset... and mucks, silently. He didn't last at the table much longer.
I hadn't been to the Coushatta in months, since before the hurricanes hit. I had forgotten how much I missed slinging real chips with real people. And I didn't go to play in a ring game, I went to play in a tournament.
It was a $210 + 20 buy in for T8000. Blinds started at 25/50 and levels last 20 minutes. It was not an ideal set up, but not bad. Unfortunately, I played just two hands.
We lost 5 minutes of the first level when a Jackass at our table called for the floor. That's right, I met the floor twice in a day.
Jackass raised from T50 to T300. A player behind him raised to T550. Jackass blew up.
"He can't do that, he has to double the bet. He has to raise to T600."
"No he doesn't, we've been over this before."
"Yes he does, dammit. This isn't limit. Get the floor!"
As we all know, the floor came over and confirmed that the dealer was right. You don't have to double the bet, you only have to double the raise. Of course, that didn't stop Jackass from talking about it for the next 20 minutes. And dammit if he didn't double through Pocket Rockets the next hand when his Cowboys caught a K on the flop.
My first hand didn't come until the second level. I'm in the BB when I look down at my first realy hand, AKo. It was raised to 600 from a guy in LP who played almost every hand. Amazingly, he still had chips.
I re-raised to T1500 and, to my dismay, it was called by the BB. The original raiser called as well, but he didn't worry me. I really wanted to hit this flop.
K-x-x. Jackpot! I bet T5000. And BB immediately went all lin for T375 more. The other guy got out of the way mumbling about needing one more card. I certainly couldn't lay down my hand to just 375 more. I called and he flipped KK. My Big Slick in the SB ran into Cowboys in the BB and the flop came down with the case K.
Someone tell me how I should play that better next time. I keep telling myself it was just bad luck, but maybe I could have done it differently. I guess I had to put him on a big hand when he called my raise, but should I have put him on the that? Ugh.
I was crippled and down to T900. I was out a few hands later.
I almost left right there. I had only been there an hour. And, for some reason, I thought Pauly's tourney started at 2pm and I could just about get home in time to play it. I was wrong about that, so I'm glad I decided to stay and play a little No Limit.
I bought in for $300 and sat right down. It's a good game. Blinds are $2/$5 and buy in is $100/$300.
It's always nice to win the first hand you play (foreshadowing). You start up and maybe, just maybe, you never have to drop below your starting stack (not foreshadowing).
I limp with K8s from MP. There's a few callers and the BB min-raises to 10. I have to call, as do 5 others. Six of us see a flop of A-8-2, two clubs. I've got the nut flush draw and middle pair. The BB leads out with 20 and I'm the only caller. The turn is a blank. The BB bets 20 again and I call. The river is another blank. The BB bets 20 once again and I think for a bit before calling. He flips KQo and I begin the day up. I guess he thought I could be pushed around by $20.
I got knocked back down after my pocket T's ran into a nut flush on the flop. I didn't lose too much, but I also wasn't seeing much in the way of cards.
When I finally got my first HAMMER, I raised it up to 25 preflop and got two callers. When the flop came 2-3-5, I bet 50 and they all folded.
"HAMMER!" I said, flipping my hand. I'm not sure they were impressed.
Things got better from there. Pocket 4's tripped up, I'm up 100. AQs caught a Q high flop, I'm up 170. Snowmen catch a straight on the turn, I'm up 275.
Then I see my nemesis hand. Big Slick.
I raise to 25 UTG and get two callers. The flop is K-T-x. I bet 50 and get one caller. The turn is a 9. The SB checks, I bet 100 and he goes all in for 65 more. Ugh. I call and, of course, he has QJ for the nut straight. I'm back down to just +25. Did I play it wrong again? Should I have recognized the straight?
AQo wins on another Q high flop for me and I'm back up 140. K9s rivers a flush and I'm now up 370. Then I donked off a bunch of chips playing 62o out of the BB. The flop was 9-6-x and I never gave the guy credit for the 9. Which, of course, he had. I know what I did wrong on that one.
Then it's Big Slick again. I think I should have just floded it pre-flop.
Instead I rasie to 20 and get two callers. The flop is 4-2-2, two clubs. I have the nut flush draw. I bet 40 and it's raised another 100. Is this where I'm supposed to lay it down? Someone tell me. I call. The turn is another 4. We both check. The river is a Q. I check and he pushes for 200. I fold and I'm up just 50 now.
Thinking back, I think he was trying to make me believe he had a 2 on the flop when he really didn't. He didn't think I would call. That may mean my AK was good at the river. Maybe good enough for at least a chop. I suppose discretion was the better part of valor?
A few hands later I played AA out of the SB and ran into a set of 3's. I'm now down 45 for the day. Boy, that was fast.
But here's the beatuy of NL. I limp with Q8s and the flop is 9-T-J. Nice. It's checked to me and I bet 15 and get one caller. The turn is a 7. He checks, I bet 20 and he calls. The river is an A. He bets 100, I raise to 200 (no way he has QK), he calls, and my straight takes it down. I'm back up 220.
Of course, I donk half of that away playing T9 out of the SB when I flop middle pair and an OESD. Two pair took me down. I'm up just 110.
My first look at the Hiltons wins me a nice pot despite the A on the flop. And on the next hand, AQo wins me a big pot when the flop comes down A-high and I get a Q on the river. I'm back up 350.
Later, Rockets hold up for me and I'm up 405. By 10pm, I'm up 500, my high water mark at that point.
I actually played for a few more hours after that, but didn't take any notes. I doubt many of you made it this far anyway, so I figured I wouldn't bore you with much more. Eventually, I was up to about $875 in front of me, but I gave 75 back and walked away with 800 in my racks.
With the $40 I won at blackjack waiting for the tourney to start that meant I finished up $300 for the day. Not bad at all considering my tournament performance was so pathetic.
It's a NL game I love, and I'll definitely be back.