For the most spectacular announcement in the history of Up For Poker, see the post below. For another installment of CJ in Vegas, keep reading.
When we last left you, Maudie missed an opportunity to tell a casino host I was her boy toy, and we had been within card throwing distance of the greatest poker players in the world.
Back at the Excalibur now, it was time for more poker. I was immediately seated at a $2-$6 spread limit game with no bloggers. However, I did recognize a couple players from the night before and I was trying to remember what image I had developed for myself.
Let's see... I dropped the hammer a few times and I finished up. I guess that made me really lucky in their eyes.
I settled in and posted five blinds before I ever saw a hand past the flop. You'd think at that point the table would recognize a pretty tight player. Of course, that's assuming these fish actually realized players had table images.
Finally I'm dealt AQs and I raise to $6. I get 4 callers and immediately complain that no one respects my raises. I'm not sure anyone got the joke. The flop comes Q-x-x and I bet out $6 again. I think they all still called. The turn is an A. I bet out again saying, "Why don't you all call?" They did. The river Q fills my boat and they all fold to my $6 bet. What the hell were they in the hand for?
Next hand I'm pretty sure I flopped a set of 8's. This time, we didn't make it to the river and I take down another nice pot.
Next hand, the HAMMER. I raise preflop on the button to $4 and get 5 callers. The flop comes 8-8-2. It's checked to me and I bet $6. Everyone folds. That's when I triumphantly drop it on 'em. The one guy who played with me the night before said, "I remember that hand." To which I replay, "Gotta play the hammer!"
At this point, I'm up big for the night and settling in for a nice run. In the meantime, I'm running back and forth from table to table checking in on bloggers and explaining my latest triumph with the bloggers' favorite hand.
Back at the table, I look down at another AQ, this time unsuited. Three of us see a flop of Q-Q-x. I check, it's bet behind me, a call and I raise to $12. The original bettor reluctantly calls and the player to my right also calls. That's when I size him up.
The only thought that went through my head was Black Bart. He was a Cowboy through and through. But not one of those rough, weathered cowboys. No, this guy was flush with cash. His clothes, black cowboy hat and belt buckle screamed money. He hadn't exactly been giving his chips away at this point, but he wasn't winning, either. I wrote him off... no threat.
The turn was another blank, but it was the second diamond (foreshadowing alert!!, foreshadowing alert!!). I bet out $6 and get called by Bart. Hmmm. The river doesn't fill my boat, but it does bring the third diamond. I hardly noticed.
I bet $6 and Bart calls. "I hope you don't have the boat," I said. "I hope you don't have the boat," he responded.
What!?!?!!? That's what scremed through my skull. What the hell would make you say that? I suppose if you also had AQ, you'd be worried about the boat. I mean, really, what else could you have calling me down with?
That's when he flipped J3 of diamonds. J3 of diamonds!?!?!?!? That means he called a check-raise after the flop with runner-runner flush as his only hope for winning the hand. I was pissed.
I said a few things like, "You called with what? Nice hand. Great pot, I guess it was worth waiting around for," and more. I'm sure the table could tell I was upset, as much as I was trying to hide it.
"You're not upset I won that pot with that big stack in front of you, are you?"
I thought about that. How could I be upset? A really bad poker player just made a really stupid play and won a big pot. It happens.
"Nope, you're right, good pot. Flushes usually bring the chips," I told him.
In my head: "I'm going to take every cent you have before you leave."
It didn't take long, either. The next hand I'm dealt A2s. I raise preflop announcing that I'm on tilt and steam is coming from my ears. I get a bunch of callers, including Bart.
The flop is A-2-x. I bet out, "I'm on tilt!!! Call me!!!" Bart and a few others oblige.
The turn is a blank, there will be no flush this time. I bet again and get two callers, including Bart. The turn is nothing and when I bet this time, only Bart calls me with A-4. He didn't pair his kicker.
Just two hands later I get A8 of diamonds. I simply call this time and 5 of us see the flop. It's got two diamonds. I'm in this one to the river. In fact, I didn't even have to wait for it, the flush comes on the turn.
By the river, my flush takes down a huge pot, with a lot of money coming from Bart's two pair.
Less than an hour later, Bart gets up with his $6 and says goodbye. I told him I enjoyed playing with him, and I wasn't lying. I have to remember, if they're bad enough to suck out on you on a hand like that, they're bad enough to give you every chip they have, if you're patient enough to wait for it.
Bart got the last laugh, I'm sure, because he got onto his private jet to fly back to Austin with a wife who was either naturally or artificially well-endowed. I crammed into a airline seat 3 sizes too small for me with just my dog waiting for me back home. I now remember I do hate Bart. Bastard.
I ended that night winning $125. I headed to bed earlier than I might have considering the fishiness of the table, but I had to get some sleep. I had an important breakfast in the morning. There was actual work to be done... work to be done on behalf of poker bloggers!!!
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