This weekend I was able to get in three poker sessions at Harrah's Joliet, one of two casinos in which I have had outstanding success in 2015. In my final session I ran into a situation that had me thinking of my poker buddy Rob
and his arch enemy, the dreaded pocket Kings
The set up: $1/2 NL table, $200 maximum buy in, full table of nine players.
San Fran -- relatively new to table, wearing 49ers gear, talkative, friendly, about $200 behind, on the Button
Ali -- relatively new to table, more serious, aggressive, won several big pots right away, about $600 behind, in the Cutoff
lightning36 -- about $300 behind, in the Hijack
A few times in all three sessions, talk centered around the new rules for straddling at Harrah's Joliet. Straddles were allowed from the button and under the gun with utg having priority. Additionally, we were told several times that there was no limit on the amount of the straddle.
Action had been kind of quiet and slow before San Fran came to the table, but he changed things rather quickly. He was talkative and somewhat aggressive, which really picked up the game. At one point he decided to spice things up.
"Okay," he declared. "I'm straddling $15 on the button. I won't look at my cards yet and I guarantee that I'll call any raise up to $40 total."
Play continued around the table. Fold ... fold ... fold ... I looked down at my cards and saw the dreaded pocket Kings
! I cut out eight redbirds and placed them in front of me, and then added a ninth one. I was thinking of raising to $41 just for laughs, but decided to just go with $40. I had not been doing anything crazy, so I am sure that anyone paying attention knew I had a big hand. These guys hadn't been at the table very long and might not have seen it that way, or might not have cared anyway.
I was surprised to see that Ali, in the Cutoff, also called. San Fran looked at his cards and also declared "Call."
At that point, with $120 in the pot, I was prepared to make a big bet and take my chances that neither player hit a set or two pair. I don't know that I would have believed either of them anyway. The only thing blocking my path was if an Ace appeared on the flop. The dealer put out the flop: rag, Ace
, rag. Dammit! Being first to act, I checked. Ali pushed out a bet of $80 or $100. Double dammit! San Fran reluctantly folded and the action was on me. I gave a disgusted look and folded my Cowboys. San Fran and Ali started talking after the hand. Apparently (since neither one showed - but I have no reason to not believe them) Ali had A-K and San Fran had A-2. My pocket Kings were behind both after the flop. Not fair! They really are the dreaded pocket Kings
We all laughed about the hand afterwards. Ali and I speculated on how much fun it would have been if the case King had been part of the flop. Certainly that would have been fun for me!
Although the poker gods were not exactly in my favor in that hand, I was soothed because even though I lost a little money, the game was fun -- exactly what we recreational players live for.
I then thought of Rob and the dreaded pocket Kings