poker stories for the soul


Drunk Money

It’s Friday night and it’s late. No, it’s Saturday morning and it’s early. I’m on 2/3 and I’m stuck about $160. I’m fatigued and starting to get hungry, but I just can’t leave this table. There are three drunk players on the table with about $3000 between them. They are decent players, but they are drunk, and sooner or later they’re going to trip up, and that is when I will clean up. The table is going mental with $75 three bets. The guy on my left has a big mess of chips which he continues to refuse to stack.

Sting on my left opens under the gun for $15. Coldplay calls. Scruffy calls. Mel three-bets to $80. Fold around to me. I have QQ. At first this seems a pretty ugly situation for me, with a three-bet from one of two players at the table whose raises are worthy of respect. But then I reconsider, because I realise Mel is thinking, just like me “As soon as I get a hand, I’m going to double up from these lunatics.” I think her range here is 99+. I shove for $240. Fold around. Mel groans and calls for $165. She has TT and gets lucky with a set. Unlucky!

Just then, Suz and Dash run by. Dash has a scarf tied around his head.

“Dash! What the fuck are you doing,” I call out. He turns to me and says “Shhh…” as he runs up the stairs towards the bar. I get up from the table and go up with Dash to the smoking court. He has been banned from the cardroom for 24 hours again. Though I don’t think it makes a lot of difference to him at this point, considering he just lost his entire bankroll.

“What the hell happened man?”

“I’ll tell you… I had a couple of drinks and I was kind of buzzed. I had two Long Island iced teas.”

“You realise those aren’t real Long Island iced teas, right?”

“What, because they’re not from Long Island?”

“Ha, no. A real Long Island iced tea has about seven shots of assorted spirits, and a dash of coke.”

“I’m all about the dash. Of coke. Anyway two drinks and I was buzzed. I was playing PokerPro and it was going well. I had a little stack going. Then this guy cracked my aces… All in pre flop.. With king-deuce. I was so upset, I ran to another table and pressed all in on this guy’s screen. I didn’t press confirm though, and he folded. I saw him fold. But he told the pit-boss that I’d pressed all-in and then confirm – total bullshit.”

I laughed. “You retard.”

He laughed. “Yeah I know.”

“What happened the other night when you got banned for sexual harassment – you still haven’t told me.”

“It was borderline, borderline sexual harassment. I’d just won a $200 pot on 1 / 2. I came up here to have a smoke and I was feeling good – on top of the world. I was feeling so confident. I came down the escalator and saw this cute butt in front of me. I didn’t even see the girl’s face, just her butt. I went up and swung my hand back and made the gesture of slapping her butt. I didn’t actually slap it though. My hand was still at least two inches off.”

As he’s telling me this story, this cute girl that has been checking me out from across the court walks past. “Hey, how’s it going,” I say. “Good!” she says, and walks past. I make the action of slapping her butt.

Dash laughs “Exactly – just like that.”

“I didn’t notice what the girl was wearing, but it turned out she was Crown staff, and the pit-boss came over and said ‘Excuse me sir, I’m going to have to ask you to leave.’ So that was that.”

I come back down to the basement, go to the cage and reload my stack to $175. I post in the cutoff and pick up 45s. It’s a limped pot, about six runners. Flop comes 852. Scruffy bets $15 into $18. Fold around. I call. Turn J. He barrels again for $25. I call. River Q. He barrels again for $55. I consider. He’s not going to make a value bet with a single pair, so he either has a big hand or a shit hand. I quiet my mind and I can smell his fear, tension in the air. At the same time I think, what am I doing – I just reloaded and now I’m calling off my stack with a lousy pair of fives! There’s a moment of doubt. Then I call. He announces: “Ten high…” Fives for the win.

So now I have about $240 sitting in front of me, and I’m in for $500. I pick up KQ on the button. I make it $20 to go. Little China calls from the big blind. Pretty much everyone calls. The pot is about $100. Flop is K84 with two clubs, and I have the king of clubs. I think, this is just about the perfect flop for me, and I am committed. Check around to me. I make a bet around ¾ the pot, $75. Little China check-raises me all in, for another $150 or so. Fold around. My intuition is that there’s not a lot of substance behind his raise. He’d won a huge pot around $700 about half an hour ago, and his stack has been whittled down ever since. I call. He has a flush draw and misses. So now I’m about even.

The very next hand I pick up kings in the cut-off. Sweet. Scruffy opens for $15. Mel folds. Sad Panda three-bets to $45. Sean four-bet shoves for $220. I think, WTF. Sean is a tight-aggressive player. He knows that Scruffy will open wide, but he also must know that Sad Panda isn’t a drunken idiot (though tired and tilted), and probably has a reasonably narrow three-bet range. However, I have the second-nuts and I cannot do anything but move in. Fold around to Panda, who calls. Coldplay says in a drunken English accent: “Roll ’em! Aw c’mon guys you gotta roll ’em innit!” I roll my kings. Sean turns to me and says “I have aces.” I say: “Oh.” Then he turns over ace king. Sad Panda rolls the ace of hearts. Dealer runs it, and fifth street is the six of hearts, completing a three card flush on the board. I look at Panda expectantly. He gazes into the distance with a shell-shocked thousand card stare. The kings are good, and after two hands, I know have more than a month’s rent in front of me. At 7am, the table broke and I cashed out $418 up.

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