I’m pleased to present this special guest post from qdpsteve, a long time reader of the blog. Steve has left many comments on previous blogposts and you can find him on Twitter here. Take it away….
First of all, I want to thank Rob for the opportunity to share my poker experience here. I hope I can help keep his blog going and that others will make contributions as well.
A little background about me: I am not a professional player of any game or a professional writer, and in fact am quite up and down on my overall poker record; some days I win a little, others I lose big. I also don't play in Las Vegas nearly as often as Rob. I most often play at Hawaiian Gardens Casino, a card club that's close to my hometown of Lakewood in Southern California.
Okay, poker karma. Let's share our stories of things that went bad, and then good. I'll start.
So last week, Thursday, I was playing my usual game at HGC, at one of the $40 NLHE tables. This is in effect their "1/2 game" as that's the blinds on it, except that HGC has a strict rule you can't buy in for more than $40 to see your first hand. Anyway, I was doing okay for a bit. After about an hour of play I had grown my stack from $40 to about $90 and was hoping to continue to run well.
For the first time in the session, I got a pocket pair. Unfortunately I don't remember it exactly; let's call it 9-9, both black. But I made a major poker mistake: I fell in love and couldn't let go of it. Post-flop, nothing matched me and I was up against one opponent, an Asian gentleman I'd guess was about the same age as me (late 40s) who hadn't made much of anything, but this time rather than folding to my bets, he kept calling. By the river he was the one betting, though not outrageous amounts, and I was calling. Turned out this guy spiked a full house on the river with 6-5, which also—believe it or not—happened to be the hour's high hand. (HGC pays $200 for the high hand of the hour during certain periods of the day.)
Well, that's poker. Except that suddenly, although he had been quiet before, this guy thought the time was ripe to gloat. "You're finished! I hit my boat!! You got nothin'! Ship it, dealer! Thanks for calling!!" Based on his behavior, and in honor of Rob's history of naming people by their table characteristics, I'll call him "Mr. Gloater." Geez, I thought, you got your pot and$200 high hand bonus. Why the bad attitude? I checked the time on the wall clock behind him: 2:54pm, so he got his high hand just under the hour, too. Sigh. I admit that in response to Mr. Gloater, I returned the favor by smiling, looking him in the eye and saying, "thanks for gloating and being a sore winner." But I didn't escalate the situation.
I have a personal rule about gloaters at the table: if you're going to do it, you better have your tongue way inside your cheek at the time. I can handle joking and ribbing at the table but if you're going to seriously gloat when you win a hand, I don't want to play with you. And as Mike Caro has written, all it usually does is inadvertently encourage others to play better, which is what I started doing. I got tighter with my remaining stack (about $35) and kept my mouth shut as I've found most gloaters quit after about 15 seconds. In fact once he got his chips he shut up, until a few minutes later.
Three or four more hands passed, all of which I folded pre-flop. A couple of minutes passed when Mr. Gloater, who was also playing another hand at the time, suddenly decided to gloat some more. He turned to me and yelped "Again, I just wanna thank you for calling!!" It came out of nowhere, for God knows what reason. I didn't know what to say. By now I was pissed, but still didn't want to make things worse.
Just then the river came on Mr. Gloater's current hand, the first player went all-in and Mr. Gloater called. Mr. Gloater's opponent had four of a kind, Tens, made on the river no less. Mr. Gloater, on the other hand, only had a spade flush made on the turn. The dealer pushed the pot to his opponent and called out the high hand to the floor.
Just then I had the good fortune to catch the aforementioned wall clock, and could not believe it. The time was 2:59, just five minutes after Mr. Gloater hit his previous high hand against me. Mr. Gloater's jackpot had suddenly gone away to his opponent with one minute to spare in the hour!! So, I just couldn't hold back. I laughed out loud at Mr. Gloater. "Four of a kind!! You lost your high hand jackpot with six minute to go!!"
Now it was Mr. Gloater's turn to be butthurt. "Why you getting personal?" He had a look on his face like somebody told him his cat died. I knew I wasn't being personal, just giving as good as I got, so I kept going and said "It's cosmic justice. That wouldn’t have happened if you hadn’t gloated." I could tell by the look on this guy's face, I was hitting him where it hurt. So at long last I made Mr. Gloater shut the #@*& up. Chuck Mangione was playing in my head; even though I hadn't won or even recovered my earlier lost money, it "Felt So Good."
Mr. Gloater promptly went on tilt and left the table broke about a dozen hands later. I left a few hours later myself down about $80, but losing was made so much easier by the fact I got to see that kind of karma at the table, just when I thought the poker gods had forgotten about me. I've learned numerous times, if you see the right things and/or are playing with good people, playing poker can be a great experience, even sometimes when you lose.
To conclude this piece in Rob's grand tradition, here's a pic of some nice-looking women. Unlike Rob, I'm a leg man, so I'll split the difference and post some Hooters waitresses as they usually have the goods on both ends.
Hope and plan to have more blog posts for everyone in the future, courtesy of Rob.
Rob’s added note: Hey, I like legs too. But if you feel I have been shortchanging you in the legs department, I’m going to add a couple of more pics myself, as a thank you for a great story.