Returning the Favor and other Slices of Life

Returning the Favor
Returning the Favor
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Saturday, July 15, 2006

Cowboy poker at the Imperial Palace

So I’d been tracking this cowboy all around the IP poker room for the last hour or so. No because I’m gay (not that there’s anything wrong with that), and not because of any particular interest in his well-being, but because he’d just taken down the 7PM tourney at the IP, was drunk off his redneck ass, and looking for help with carrying around that extra thousand bucks or so in his pocket. I was determined to help out any way I could.

I was sitting in a donkey 2-4 Limit game (like there’s any other) just racking up my comp points until the tourney broke and they could open a new 1-2 NL table as cowboy walked to the bar for his fourteenth little girly drink with the umbrella. He had a red t-shirt on, a carefully pre-distressed cowboy hat and his pants hanging halfway down his ass. This didn’t appear to be an outgrowth of some gangsta lifestyle, more likely he just had lost all external feeling.

After about $40 of 2-4, my new table opened up, and there sat Cowboy, sorta doing his own little whirling dervish chair dance, the one where you’re far too drunk to sit still so you kinda spin on the axis of your ass in the chair? Yeah, you know the move. He bought in for the table max of $100, and continually had to be told when to bet, how much to bet, and sometimes would just randomly throw chips into the pot when it was his turn. He held his cards so far up that the player in the 1s (Cowboy was in the 10s) told the dealer that he could see his cards. Dealer’s reply “It doesn’t matter to this hand, man.” And Cowboy, as drunk as he was, had the classic betting pattern tell. $10 preflop meant an Ace with a 9 or better kicker. $10 on the flop meant he missed and wanted to buy it. $20 on the turn meant he hit, but $10 meant he missed and could be pushed away. If he bet the river, he was pretty strong. If he checked the river, he was 50/50 to fold or call. I usually pushed him out on the turn or folded on the flop, so I didn’t see many rivers.

Except this one. I’m sitting UTG with 5-7 of hearts, and Cowboy is three behind me. I know that he’s going to see every flop, so I toss out two reds ($10) to play with only him. The rest of the table had been pretty much staying out of each other’s way if he was in the hand, so I got Cowboy and one caller. Perfect for my silly draw.

Flop comes 6h, blank, 4h, giving me the open-ended straight flush draw, and I check it. Cowboy bets his $10 and I call. Other player goes away. Turn is a blank, and I check/call Cowboy’s $10, so now I know he missed and I’m seeing the river for free anyway, since I know a river bet will buy it unless an ace hits. When the 8h comes on the river I think that maybe Cowboy will call a 1/3 pot bet, so I toss out $20. I begin to be sad panda when he mucks, and the dealer begins to rake in the flop.

“Hold on, I’ve gotta show this one.” And I table my 8-high straight flush.

“Floor! Got a high hand on 6!”

Huh? It didn’t have to get called? Cool! What do I get? And the floor walks over with a $50 gift certificate to the 5th floor snazzy restaurants at the IP. Not as cool as the cash you get for one at Harrah’s next door, but they don’t take anything out of the pot for a jackpot drop at the IP, so I thought that was pretty frickin’ sweet.

I continued to play the role of card rack for that session and finished up about $200, then me and E3 went to eat, living Twitch to double his buy-in before finally going to bed.

Oh and Cowboy? He went broke two hands later, wandered off to get more money, and when we came back from food, saw his mom bitching him out at another table for throwing away almost everything he’d won earlier that night.

Viva Las Vegas.

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