7.30.2008

News Flash: Cube Denizen Talks A Big Game in Vegas

The first time my aces get cracked, it's a huge pot for a low-limit hold'em table. A third ace on the flop notwithstanding, the guy two to my left is in to the end because it's a large pot, and he makes a flush on the river. That's common in a low-limit game. A limit structure makes it better to chase straights and flushes as the pot approaches 12+ bets in size. Say there's $64 in the pot, and the maximum bet is $6. Whoever holds a made hand (two pair, three of a kind) will bet. Chasers needing one card will typically call. The pot is now $76 (or more), and the river card is coming. Assuming no other cards in the flush suit are out, there are eight ways to make the flush.

But now and then there's a certain guy at the table. Let's say he gels his hair, smacks his gum, fancies himself an action player, a hip cat, a slick talker and -- big surprise, wait for it -- sports a 7x24 boner for the Yankees. And let's say he clearly thinks he's done something clever by driving up pots to increase the payoffs so his chase odds improve. And for the time being he's experiencing what is called "good luck" outside of the George Steinbrenner Event Horizon, or "destiny" within it.

Later there's a hand with a pair on the board, meaning someone could be holding a full house. The river is a fourth heart. No fewer than four people have flushes. I don't need to tell you who had only one heart in his hand. He is mentally tatting the words Chosen One on his own forehead as he rakes in the pot.

He uses "sir" to everyone, but deep inside is a roughly-handled Inner Child who badly wants to replace that with "asshole." Then he uses the universal opening to attention-starved dweeb rejoinders worldwide: "Actually, sir..." as in

Me to table neighbor: Man. Two power hands for large pots and I get sent down river. I bluff, no one wants to play, and I make $4.

You-know-who, unsolicited: And that's because I wasn't in the hand

Me: If you want to me impress me, reraise with the best flush when a pair is showing {That is, learn the difference between skill, playing with nerve, and getting the best cards)

You-know-who (working hard to inject the breezy laugh): Actually, sir, I'm not here to impress you.

Right. You just win the hands you play. Keeping me informed, no need for thanks.

I let it go for the sake of the table, but mm mm mm. He quieted down anyway. What a curious mass of catechism-inspired raging insecurities is that, who decided early on that saying what you think only works with people who can't rap your knuckles for it. What a curious life, thinning hair in your 20s, years already of practicing the third-tier New Yorker chant, that what comes your way has to be hustled off the masses. Having had years of training to see sour grapes in the Manhattan skyline, you'd much rather have your regional manager job and report to the Toronto office, and remind yourself and everyone along your office floor walk that upstate people are the real deal. How pleased you must be to finally meet your associate's horse-crazy cigar-chomping friend in the sportsbook, even though you have nothing else to say to him.

That guy, I noticed, you didn't say "sir" too. What's he got that you want?

3 comments:

SkylersDad said...

How many gold chains was he wearing?

And, welcome back!

GETkristiLOVE said...

Hey, that's how I play!

Michael said...

sd: He was that kind of guy, just younger and non-Mediterranean.

gkl: Did you know your eyes dilate when you get a good hand?