Returning the Favor and other Slices of Life

Returning the Favor
Returning the Favor
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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Tilting at Blondemills

She was born to tilt. I couldn’t tell it right away, but it only took a couple of hands for me to figure it out. She was hot, blonde, educated, twenty-something and had a poker-pro boyfriend who wore his sunglasses at the $1/2 NL table in the Imperial Palace at 1AM. I couldn’t get a read off of him, he was so stoic I figured he was asleep. But she was a different story. She pegged me for the donkey the minute I sat down. Maybe it was my disheveled hair (I prefer the playful, spiky look), maybe it was the move from the $2/4 game. Maybe it was the fact that I announce myself as the biggest donkey in the room the second I sat down, and informed the table that “the dead money has landed.”

Or maybe, just maybe, she figured me for a donkey because she watched me play the Hammer on Twitch for a $25 re-raise to push him off his top pair. But whatever.  She raised me preflop every big blind, and I folded a lot of them. The one time I re-raised, she caught two pair with her AT against my AK. No big deal, I was making up for anything she took by pillaging the drunken cowboy in the 10s. She was in the 2s picking on me, never noticing that there was far easier prey at the other end of the table.

Then it started. I picked up 89 soooted UTG, and made it 8 to go. I knew she’d come along with anything marginal, and I was right. Flop of 67x gave me two overs and an open-ender, so I called her $15 flop bet, chasing. Turn was my 8, giving me top pair, and again I called her $15. I was pretty much gonna call her down for the info, but I also thought I might be good right there. When the ten came on the turn, I knew it was going to get a touch volatile, and when she called my $25 raise to $40, I knew she was beat but wanted to see. I showed my straight, and she threw her A7o face up into the center of the table, muttering about chasing.

“If it makes you feel any better, I was ahead from the turn.” Never mentioning the fact that with my draw, I was probably a favorite to win from the flop. No point in confusing her, she was already pissed.

About six hands later she hasn’t bothered to reload and makes it $25 to go from middle position. I look down at AQ diamonds, and figure that all her money is going into the middle at some point, so why not make it happen now.

“How much do you have behind?”


“How much do you have left?” A fairly simple question, I thought. Not requiring a translator. But obviously I was wrong.

“ Whatever, I’ll call.”

I look at the dealer, shrug, count out enough chips to put her all in, and she throws the rest of her chips in the middle of the table, followed by the powerhouse of ATo. I turn up my AQ, neither of us improve, and she sulks off to the bar for a drink, glaring daggers at me the whole way. I look over at the Piltdown boyfriend, shrug, and continue to stack her chips. Boyfriend, I think, snored a little.

The next day I repeat the process with a blonde that was far nicer about getting stacked twice by a hillbilly card rack, but did say that she wasn’t playing any more hands with me. I responded by telling her that was the nicest thing anyone ever said to me at a poker table. She followed this declaration by playing every single hand I was in for the next hour, recapturing about ¼ of her chips in the process. She didn’t have a statue for a boyfriend, and didn’t sulk. I liked her better.

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