apples for the kings and queens

I played for about six hours in a 1-2 No Limit Hold’Em game at the MGM Grand tonight. I planned to get into the HORSE game with the rest of the poker bloggers, but the list was so long, I ended up in the 1-2 game instead.

Just before midnight, a man with a puffy face, tired eyes, and the aura of defeat sat down into the 7 seat. He bought for 100, as his obviously exhausted wife sat behind him, her hand supportively on his shoulder.

He was the worst player I’ve ever seen in my life, and after two painfully quick rebuys, he left the table. When he got up, everything about him said he had played with — and lost — the rent money.

Though I hadn’t taken any of his chips, I felt terribly sorry for him, as he walked, dejected, out of the poker room.

I played for another two hours, and finally cashed out four hundred and ninety-eight dollars better off than when I started.

21 thoughts on “apples for the kings and queens”

  1. Thats got to be a terrible feeling Wil. I don’t think I could take someone’s last buck.
    Hey, off topic- I just watched Lifestories: Families In Crisis where you played Robert the buddy of a teen who committed suicide. One hell of a good job dude! Wish we could see more of you on the tube or big screen! When was that filmed?
    SjN

  2. Great, I had something to say, or maybe ask, then after I set up my account I forgot what the heck I was going to say. Oh well, have fun in Vegas, love the city, I just wouldn’t want to live there :)

  3. Wow. As much as I love to play poker, I don’t think I could sit down at a table with the rent money and honestly be able to play my best game. And besides, that’s the rent money. Kinda makes you think of his story…
    $2 shy of $500 up at cash-out is one hell of a night, man! Congrats! Last time I had a night like that was when my Brunson busted Pocket Rockets _and_ Big Slick. Enjoy it!

  4. Whoa, up $498 your first night in town?? Don’t let it go to your head, or Lady Variance is liable to give you a nasty smackdown.
    Keep up the good work, and keep the reports coming. Say hi to the blogger gang for me. I’m sorry to say that last night’s WWdN tourney didn’t go too well for me: 23rd out of 38. But as always, I had fun. Looking forward to the next one!

  5. i can’t understand why someone would play with the rent money. There was a guy here who flew to Vegas & bet everything he owned on 2 throws of a dice game & lost his business & house (his wife divorce him right afterwards)
    I have always been middle calss (not alot of extra but enough to get what is really needed) I can’t remember not being happy with what I got. The lady across the street from me was one of the rich girls & she told me It didn’t matter what or how much she got it was never enough. So that makes me think, he is like that whatever they have isn’t enough for him.
    who knows, people are strange & keep getting stranger

  6. God bless it, I was told by the poker geek that I apparently missed you by about 15 minutes. I was truly looking forward to making your acquintance! I sat down in that 7 seat, I’m glad I vacated it quickly, it had bad karma!

  7. y’know, i see it all the time here, there are so many people that put down so much money they can’t afford to spend on gambling, hoping for that big break.
    It’s really a pretty sad and pathetic town, and it’s really started to eat at my soul the last few months, so I’m hoping I can move next year.

  8. It’s just unbelievably irresponsible to play with the rent money. That’s rule #1 of playing poker… don’t play with money you can’t afford to lose. It’s doubly careless to sit down at the table with rent money when you’re fatigued and can’t think straight.
    In that situation, it’s almost criminal *not* to take the guy’s money. I mean, seriously, this guy’s practically begging you to clean him out, and if he wins or comes away even, that will only encourage him. So let him learn his painful lesson by playing your game and winning, even if it has to be at his expense.
    I know that probably sounds heartless, but Poker is not a nice game. If you come into and play stupid, you’ll lose… badly. It’s better to learn that lesson sooner rather than later.

  9. I want to completely agree with V.Y.Dawg!
    You NEVER play any games of chance or anything outside the house with money that’s NEEDED for regular bills.
    Many folks do that, and they wonder why we have such destitute folks out there, alcoholics, depression..
    Hey, it SUCKS to have to work to pay the bills, but that’s what you have to do. If you can only afford to play with $100, then that’s what you do. If you can’t, then DON’T.
    And as a personal note, never feel badly for anybody that comes to the table… as VYDawg said, poker’s NOT a nice game. It’s BRUTAL. The whole concept of the game is to deceive, bluff, and out brilliance the other guys/gals… it’s not a gentleman’s game, not really. It’s winners win, and losers suck! You can lose with grace, but some folks lose with disgrace.
    That’s life!

  10. I used to work at Caesar’s in Vegas. When I walked through the casinos I’d see people plugging money into the machines. They’d have this glazed look on their face, like they didn’t even know where they were. $100 slots, a LOT of them, boom, boom, boom. They’d just keep going until it was all gone. Vegas wasn’t built on winners.

  11. Yeah… I wouldn’t doubt that a lot of people in Vegas are quite addicted to gambling. That is one addiction that I simply don’t understand, because everytime I go to play the slots anywhere all I see is the quarter going out of my hand, into the machine, never to be returned again. Screw the joy of winning. I’m not patient enough for gambling.
    Anyway, what I was originally going to say was: great description Wil. The one thing about your writing that always stands out to me is when you describe a person that you don’t know personally. It just comes off very authentic and real, and probably as something that I would think upon seeing the same person. :-)

  12. When I was a kid I had a relative who was a gambler in Vegas. He would visit sometimes and bring presents and tell us interesting stories. The last time he came he stole my mother’s jewelry. We never saw him again.

  13. Not to change the subject but, I still wonder about the pool during “Stand by Me”. After all, Sean Astin gave up the tat.
    If this is not appropriate, two kings and a seven. Fold or go? John

  14. Taking money from people who shouldn’t be there is the single hardest part for me.
    I happen to really like the game and I can’t deny I like winning money. I like most games really as as I’m a bit of a board game geek. I’m not a gambler though, so I don’t understand the compulsion to spend money on -EV things like slots, craps, even blackjack (unless you’re a godlike card counter).
    I’m also generally a very conscientous guy and the fact that as a poker player my biggest gains come at the expense often of those who shouldn’t be at the table is a tough one to rationalize. At .50/1 it wasn’t a big deal, but as I’ve moved up to 5/10 or 10/20, the money isn’t insignificant anymore. The thrill, the pain, and the niggling conscience seem to be magnified. The other day I went to breakfast (I’m in Portland OR) and a lady was panhandling outside. She got a few dollars, came into the restaurant…and blew it quickly on the oregon lottery machines in the corner. Made me wonder how many of the people I play against are just like that lady, blowing money at the table they should spend on food.
    Sorry Wil, shouldn’t post a downer of a comment in a blog on your win :). It’s a part of poker, have to take the good with the bad. Enjoy the victory since, as you well know, the swings are brutal. I’ve been up 200BB, lost it, and back up 1/2 the way again in the last 3 weeks.
    BTW, a friend bought me Just a Geek: Teh Audio book for Xmas. Awesome, and I’ve read the book already, but hearing your tone and emotion behind the words adds a level of depth I wouldn’t have expected.

  15. I don’t want to steal my own thunder, but I was able to take that much money out of the game because I was lucky enough to get into a couple of pots with a really terrible player, and with position on a moderately good player, I set a trap and he fell all the way into it.
    Paul Phillips still pwns me, though.

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