Returning the Favor and other Slices of Life

Returning the Favor
Returning the Favor
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Monday, May 14, 2007

In the Box

So after my less-than-impressive early exit from this Saturday's tourney at Big Dog's, it was time to get the cash game going.

What? You want to hear how I went out so early in the same tourney that I cashed in last week? And how I managed to drop $360 over the course of the night at the same place where I profited almost exactly the same amount a short seven days ago? God, can't imagine why, unless, oh yeah, schadenfreude. That explains it all. If you're unfamiliar with the term, go here.

Well, start with getting dealt AK twice and AQ once and getting called in three places for your raggedy flops. Then get AQ again, reraise the UTG raiser from 150 to 600 (blinds are 25/50) and fold to his T1,000 re-reraise. Then run JJ into AK and get sent to the rail by the rivered Ace.

So we had four folks ready to play short-handed cash game, but no dealer. So I look over at Big Dog, and say "I can deal." This is a little bit of a lie. While I'm a perfectly adequate dealer for our home games, I've never had to deal with a rake in play, but I figured 4-handed I couldn't screw it up too badly. Plus Dog was working a light rake anyway, 10% with a max of $5 per hand, far better than the rake at other local underground joints around here, which are usually a stated 10% max of $9, but as often as not 10% uncapped, which can get ugly fast in these freerolling NL cash games.

So I sit in the box, get a rack for my chips and the rake (my chips on the left, rake on the right, and get the drop box set up for the $5 chips. The tables were the standard type poker table you see everywhere for around $150, with the dealer set up in the center with the bottom cut out of a cupholder and a bucket bungee-corded to the bottom of the table as a drop box.

Sounds ghetto, but it's actually better than just using a rack on the table for rake (because then players really can pay attention to how much they're paying for seat rental) or the paint can hanging off the side of the dealer's seat (which beats the shit out of the 10-seat's knees). So I was racking greys ($1) and dropping reds ($5), while trying to keep in my head how much I'd raked so far and what was in the pot. I got it down pretty good by the time I was relieved by one of the regular dealer when the tourney got down to one table.

What I'd do was this - get the blinds out, deal the hole cards. At the end of that betting round, rake it all in, deal the flop. Then I take the rake after I deal the flop. After betting on the flop, deal the turn and then take the rake. There was seldom rake after the flop bet, because if a pot was raised preflop and bet out on the flop, we either reached a $50 pot pretty quickly, or the hand was surrendered. I was given no real instructions on when a bet became rakeable, so if there was no flop, there was no drop. Also if a bet was not called, rake wasn't taken from that bet.

I don't know if that was the "right" thing to do or now, but when Mike took over for me later on I paid a little more attention to when in the course of the hand he took the rake, and he always raked at the very end, before he pushed the pot. I liked my way better, as it didn't give the perception to the winner that I was taking "their" money, but rather chipping away as the hand progressed.

It was interesting to sit in the box for a little while, and I made about $20 in the 90 minutes or so that I dealt, which would certainly have been better in a bigger game, but since I was playing and dealing early on to keep the game going, it didn't bother me that I only got toked one out of every 3-4 hands, but the guys were pretty good to toss me a redbird a couple times. I can see how it could get to be pretty lucrative in a bigger game and as the game went along. No misdeals, and I only exposed one card accidentally by mishandling the deck, so all in all I think it was a successful experiment.

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