I had a nice session last night live at the casino near my house playing  $1-$3 blind NLHE.  There were some interesting spots that revolved around a drunk guy (thus the title).  I thought I would blog about this session because there’s some good poker lessons in the middle of a pretty good story, which makes for a good blog.   Also I’ve decided to break this into segments, revolving around each individual spot that came up, largely because putting this all in one single blog would be way too long, and this will be easier for comments or questions as well. 

So I got to the casino about 7pm, and they had 4 tables of $1-$3 NLHE going, a $1-$2 PLO and a $3-$5 PLO.  Interest lists for $3-$5 and $5-$10 NLHE but all the regs who would normally play these levels were in the 3-5 PLO game, which has sort of taken over as the “big game” in this small 8 table card room.  The floorperson informed me she was about to open a new $1-$3 table as there were now 6 ready with several call ins still on the list, so I bought chips and took a seat at the new table.  I buy into this game for 3 stacks of red ($5) chips ($300 is  the max buy in), and I put $200 more in green chips (8x$25) in my pocket for topping off if my stack shrinks.   The new table is going to be a must move game, a feeder to the  other  tables, and as I’m 2nd on the list having called my name in before going over, I don’t expect to be at this table long.  I win 1 pot before I’m called for a table change to one of the main tables.  I’m seated in seat 2, and unrack my now  ~$340 in chips.  The guy in seat 3 is a regular in the room who I’ve played with many times.   “How’s the game?” I ask.  “This guy has been unbelievable” he says, pointing to a vacant seat 1 with about $400 in front of it.  “He’s up, he’s down… he had about 1K not too long ago but lost some here, some over there... really nice guy, but he’s hammered and he’s terrible.  Makes some weird bluffs and call downs.  He’s all over the place.”    

Great I thought, he’s on my right, it’s perfect.  This should be fun!  The drunk guy came back, bottle of beer in hand, and he was clearly very sauced.  He tried to post in between the blinds and when the dealer told him he’d have to wait one hand, he said fine and wandered off again.  He returned in the middle of the next orbit advising  my half of the table that the trip had cost him $300 at the craps table. lol   It didn’t take me long to get into a hand with him.  There were 3 or 4 limpers in our blinds, he called the SB and I checked from the BB with 55.  The flop came  A87  rainbow, definitely not a flop I’m stabbing at in a multiway limped pot.  The flop checked around and the turn was a 5, putting 2 clubs on the board.  Now the drunk bets $7.  I raise to $20 since there’s now more draws present and I think the drunk guy will give me value with so many worse hands.  Everyone else folds back to him and he calls.  The river is an offsuit K.  He checks and I made a value bet of $35.  Now he goes into the tank, hemming and hawing (not even academy award material), talking, counts out the $35, then he says, “maybe you got me” and after another brief mumble announces “raise”, and puts in $100 on top.  Uh oh.  Despite the warning about this guys weird bluffs, his behavior and especially the whining that I’ve got him then raising, is a huge, huge tell of a very strong hand.   This presents me with a pretty large problem, since I have a strong hand myself with a set.  So I tanked, trying to decide if this guy would consider a 2 pair hand like aces up a very strong hand in this spot.  Given his state of inebriation, and general info gathered from the other players when I first sat down, I decided stronger 2 pair hands probably did qualify, so I made the crying call.  He tables 64o for the straight, I guess the 5 on the turn was my disaster card.  lol

It’s an interesting spot, I know he’s strong here given the obvious tells, but I have to determine what constitutes strong  in his drunk, not so skilled poker mind.   In the end I’ll never know if I was right or not (that he would check-raise 2 pair).  Most low stakes live players would not in this spot, but the alcohol added an extra element to the equation that made this a more tricky spot. 

He was nice about it, and I congratulated him on the hand… we joked a bit about it and laughed.  He truly was a friendly guy, and it’s so crucial not to be a jerk to opponents at the table or whine like a baby when you take beat… you want to be friends with the fish, make them feel comfortable winning a big pot from you, so they’ll make more mistakes trying to do so and guess what, will also feel ok losing a big pot to you (if they like you).  I had a feeling I’d have more chances against this guy, and I wasn’t wrong.

I topped off my stack with green chips and patiently awaited the next opportunity to clash with my new friendly foe.