For many players, the main object of playing poker is to win money. Others enjoy the challenge presented by the game and others hope to one day become insanely famous while playing poker.
Regardless of your reasons for playing poker, anyone that plays live poker knows that it can be an adventure with stories to last a lifetime. Today, I present to you five “funny yet true” stories from some of my travels playing live poker.
Everyone Forgets You – Including the Dealer
Ever look at your hand, see its crap and start to zone out? Guess what. People will notice this, including the dealer. Some players will tune out to the hand to the degree that everyone ignores them, including the dealer.
How do you know this has happened? When the hand goes to showdown, the dealer ships the winner the pot and you still have your hole cards because you mentally checked out pre-flop.
Imagine the shocked look on the dealer’s face when I flicked my cards to him.
Admonishing the Dealer Because You’re Not Familiar With Lingo
The very first time I sat down to a live Sit N Go was at the Tunica WSOP-C stop at the now defunct Grand Casino Tunica (Harrah’s Tunica). Not having played at the venue, I was looking all around and being all touristy.
The dealer goes “Sir. You’re big.” I post and we continue. A round later, “Sir. You’re big.” I again post. About 15 minutes or so later, I’m not paying attention again and the dealer says, “Sir. You’re big.”
All of a sudden, this older lady from middle position starts admonishing the dealer. “Young lady! I think it is incredibly unprofessional for you to keep commenting on that young man’s size.”
Both the dealer and I were looking at this lady as if she had grown a third head. The person to the lady’s right leant over and said, “Ma’am, she’s telling him he’s BIG BLIND.” Cue laughter and an embarrassed apology from the lady.
Letting Your Pocket Aces Change to 7-2
You pick up pocket aces but don’t want to look excited. Your buddy is at the table next to you and turn and you talk to him a bit. After a bit, the player to your right alerts you that it is your turn and you immediately raise in the hopes of throwing your opponent off their game.
You are called in two spots and the flop falls three spades. Not remembering which suits you have, you look down to check your cards. Your heart sinks when you look down to 7-2 with no clubs. Someone bets ahead of you and you’re forced to fold.
Did this happen to me at the table? Yes. Apparently when I was talking to my buddy at the other table, there was a misdeal and I was oblivious to what happened.
Don’t You Know Not to Mess With a Redhead?
If you’ve been playing live poker for a while (as in pre-2010), you at some point have interacted with Beverly Cheney. She was a tough as nails Tournament Director that didn’t take crap from anyone and a ton of fun at whatever event she ran.
One evening she was running satellites in front of the Grand’s poker room and there was a drunken gentleman causing problems in the poker room. She told him to calm down or she would be forced to call security. He said something along the lines of “Don’t make me smack you B****.”
Not only did she call for security but did so while walking across the poker room and getting in the man’s face, practically daring him to do something.
He didn’t do a damn thing. Two of the floor staff held Beverly back while security escorted the drunken man out the poker room.
Dude, Why Are You Following Me?
I was lucky enough to make the money in the first WSOP event I entered (2006 $1,500 Limit Hold’em.) As with any poker tournament, there are players we remember and other that just come in and out and we never see again. One particular player would make an impression for the most unusual reason.
I drove cross-country to cover the WSOP from 2008 to 2010. Driving across country, you end up staying in various hotels. Sometimes you never stay in the same one twice. Coming back from my 2008 trip, I stopped at a hotel in New Mexico and run into a player I spent about four hours playing against in 2006.
This guy wasn’t a particularly good player and told me when I saw him that he was still trying to “build a bankroll” to go back to the WSOP. Nice little coincidence that I never thought of again – at least until 2009.
On my way home in 2009, one of my stops was in Sparta, TN. This is one of the few towns that I frequented on my trips home because it was a good stopping point that didn’t make my final drive day too long.
I go into the hotel there and the guy at the front desk says “What the F***! Are you following me?” It’s the same guy from 2006 and from the New Mexico hotel. This time I get another story of how he had to move home and lives with his parents but he is “doing well in cash games” and hopes to build a bankroll soon. He then asks me if I will stake him, at which point I politely decline and go to my room.