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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Three Days at a Dogtrack and the Resulting Psychosis of Said Experience

...okay lemmings, you have been very patient. Today...or late tonight, or actually...early this morning...I give you...POKER HELL!!!!! And why, if you are ever considering stepping foot into a poker room in Florida, you may want to look yourself in the mirror, take a deep breath...and ask yourself; "Okay buddy, is this really what you want to do? Is this something you are prepared for? Because if you answer 'yes' to this...there really is no looking back."

Is that what its supposed to feel like? I don't think so!

If I am standing over your shoulder, anywhere near that mirror, and consider myself even kind of a good friend, I will do everything to talk you out of it...sort of like a friend would try to convince his 157lb buddy to NOT take up MMA.

This is a story about WHY I will most likely NEVER step foot in another Dog Track Poker Room as long as I live.

Observe. And Learn. Lets start with some sexiness:

As you can tell, she wants about as much to do with you as I do!!!

See this hottie? Do you think she was at Pensacola Dog Track this past weekend? Please. Don't be a friggin retard. Of course she wasn't. And good thing too...because I notice she is wearing headphones. Which are inevitably attached to something like an iPod. These are electronic devices, which along with cell phones, iPads and even handheld massage devices, are viewed with as much scrutiny as though you pulled out a live grenade...yanked the pin, and dared make a move in your direction. 

There could be three rule violations occur on the same hand, a player reach across and punch another player, and an explosion happen off three tables away, and if the dealer saw your cell phone on the black bumper of the table...THAT would take precedence. 

I must stress something. I have no problem following rules. For the most part. IF...and this is a BIG IF...they make one ounce of sense. The more we play, and the more time that goes by...we are slowly (and I mean SLOWLY) evolving as a game, to the point where the gaps are starting to fill in, meaning...the rules are getting more and more universal. But then...on a whim, you decide to take a walk into a Dog Track poker room, or hell, your local Moose Club, VFW, etc etc...and everything you thought you had learned (absorbed/had beaten into you mentally) about the rules and policies of what is allowed and not allowed, flies right out the fuckin window. And what makes it worse? The people who are enforcing those rules? You would never win an argument with them on ANY topic.

"Dude...1+1 is totally 2. Are you kidding me? This isn't even a discussion."

Stupid Jackass working the floor at possible poker room: "Sir...I'm not going to tell you this again. In our poker room...1+1 is definitely 3. It is a TDA rule. I would show you the rule book, but I simply don't have time. But I would ask that you stop being difficult or we will have to ask you to leave."


You look around. Someone? Please? Come on? Ashton? You hiding behind the counter over there? No this really happening?

"Ohhhhh myyyyy Gooooddddd....someone has a phone....a PHONE! Everyone hit the floor!!!"

Dealer pushes into my table...during their 'Main Event' (I know...shhhh...stop laughing) and all the locals know him. He knows them. At some point he mentions having been a dealer now for 15 years. Cool. Hopefully knows what he is doing. They have a HUGE issue with people exposing their cards over there...and are quick to pull the trigger on the 10-hand penalty if caught doing so. Oh...and don't accidentally have one of your cards turn over when folding either. YOU'RE BUSTED! To the penalty box for you buster!!!!

I'm in the big blind. A guy in 3rd position raises. It folds to me. I look at 10-3 off for about the 12th time that day. 

"Hey....why wouldn't I have 10-3 off suit again!!?? Sweeeet! I fold!" And flick my cards in the muck face up.

Dealer: "Hey buddy...I'm supposed to give you a penalty for that, but I'm just gonna warn you this time."

Me: "You're kidding right? Huh? You're not kidding? Um...there is NO action behind me. I am not affecting anyone's action. What am I doing wrong? I'm showing my horrible play by folding such a monster? Am I somehow a suspect of collusion? I know, no one in their right mind would EVER fold 10-3 offsuit there, right? What ARE you talking about!???"

Dealer: "Hey look, I'm just trying to be nice to you. I am totally supposed to call the floor over and give you a penalty. You aren't allowed to EVER expose your hand."

You gotta be fucking kidding me??? So I managed to find the current shift/floor manager and ask if they are seriously doling out penalties for those situations. I explained it to him. A look of embarrassment appeared on his face...and he asked which dealer it was. Mmmmhmmmm...just as I suspected. A rogue moronic dealer. But then I asked a question that didn't seem too off base.

ME: "Do you guys have pre-shift meetings with your dealers? Where you cover the basic rules and policies? Especially as they pertain to poker tourneys? As opposed to cash games? I mean...I asked for permission to use my iPad the first day I was here...was told I could as long as I kept it OFF the table, and wasn't on it while in a hand. No problem...but every SINGLE dealer that has pushed into my table the last three days has made an issue out of it...most of them even calling over the floor person to have them tell me I can't use it. Only to find out I can. I mean...just a helpful suggestion that having a pre-shift meeting and covering all of these things might save a lot of time, as well as player aggravation."

I was told that they do NOT have pre-shift meetings. Of course not. Why would they? That would actually make sense. I rest my case.

A guy I don't know very well...but who is a good guy, and seems pretty non-confrontational in nature decides to share this story with me. Good stuff.

When I think of 'dangerous terrorists' I immediately picture someone like this dude.

Most of you know I carry a bag...some call it a Man Purse, or Satchel, or Messenger Bag...I just call it....'My Bag.' A lot of players have started carrying bags similar to mine. They are very useful. A lot of us carry stuff like iPads, headphones, glasses, wallet, and other various items that you need a bag to transport around with you. Well...a lot of guys choose a more 'masculine' form of packaging. I give you...the backpack. Used by terrorists all over the world, anyone seen walking around with a backpack on immediately arouses the suspicions of everyone, correct? Huh? they don't. In fact, if you travel to Europe...which I hesitate to suggest you will see any of the security personnel at a Dogtrack appearing in their lifetime, you will see a large majority of the citizens over there sporting backpacks. Why? They do a lot of train and bus riding, as gas is stupidly expensive...and mass transit is a way of life.

Hence, when you are at say, the WSOP all see a TON of guys and gals gallivanting around with backpacks on their back. Pretty damn common.

If, however, you decided to walk into the Pensacola DogTrack this past week, or apparently, any other week from what I hear...sporting a backpack, also known around those parts as a 'suicide pack' I are immediately escorted off of the property by two security officers.

This is what happened to my poker associate. And as I would have responded, he at first thought they were kidding. Then when the joke grew into a serious topic, he started to become angry. Then requested to see the poker room manager. It never really did get resolved that night. So the next day when he returned, he left his backpack at home. But then watched as several other players walked in with questions asked. Oh...but wait...then he watched a guy get kicked out. What is going on here?

Finally, someone went to 'THE TOP' which at the Dogtrack...I can only assume is the first person making more than $10 an hour...and they managed to settle the situation. Players with backpacks would be allowed in during the 'duration of the poker tournaments' and then things would 'return to normal (again that is me you hear the word, NORMAL) after the poker tournaments were over.'

If someone can explain to me why I can carry in my bag, which holds close to the same volume as a backpack, or why Jenny Sue can carry in her over-sized purse without any kind of scrutiny, but a backpack is seen as a weapon of mass destruction, I would love to hear it. Holyyyyyyy shit.

This place is chocked full of douchebags. Yes...I did a little diddy on douchebags yesterday, and trust me, I have literally opened a file on my desktop and saved over 50 photos and videos of 'what a douchebag is.' I will say this...I also saw a lot of good folks who I used to play a good amount with in Biloxi. The thing is...they were just as put off by the same douchebags I at least I didn't feel like I was completely alone.

If the glove MUST convict!!!

One such douchebag...was a guy they called Big Mike. Or Big Asshole. Or...fucking douchebag. I did take his picture, but out of respect to his (poor thing) wife...I won't publish it. We had a gal who was friends with my buddy sitting at the bar with us one night...and this peckerhead was disgustingly undressing her with his eyes. Several times she wanted to say something to him. I was all for it. I just asked that she please think of the perfect thing though...then go over and deliver it with majestic precision, so that it would be guaranteed to humiliate him in front of all of his poker playing peers. She relented, and my night failed to improve.

This is a guy who is 39 but acts like he's 13. He is really a fan of the 4 or 5 fist pump after winning a hand...regardless of the pot size. If a player wins a hand against him...he stands up...paces the table...and tells the guy how lucky he got...that it won't happen again. Suddenly from across the will hear that unmistakeable sound...

"Ohhhhh yeah!!! Yessss yesssss yesssss (fist pump fist pump fist pump)....shipppp!!!!!" This assclown clearly just won the Masters!

On Thursday night, I witnessed that. That was Day 1 of my walk through the mental ward. I raised my eyebrows and asked if anyone who would feel compelled to respond...."what in the hell was that!???"

"Oh. Yeah. Well....that's 'ol Mike. He's kind of a peckerhead."

Kind of?

Mmmmm..yeah...I kind of just figured that out. On Day 2 of my visit to the Looney Bin...while playing cash game...after losing the nightly they have over there...he was wandering around my table. I had just enough courage juice in me to ask him a few questions.

Me: "Your name is Mike? I'm just old are you?"

He tells me 39. Then he goes on to tell me that we have played together before...a few years ago, at the Beau Rivage. Tells me we didn't get along (no way!) and that I was put off by his incessant crowing to 'ship it' whenever he won a pot. 

Me: "Really? Wow...I find that so incredibly easy to believe. I do not, however, remember ever playing with you. I probably pushed it to the back of my psyche with whatever powers I possess to suppress traumatic poker experiences."

He goes on to tell me why a guy like him and a guy like me would never be friends. I think he was babbling something about him being a Type A personality and me being the same...which, sorry...I have no idea if any of that has any validity or not...but I went with a much more simplistic explanation that I felt held a lot more weight.

ME: "Um, no, I would have to disagree and say the reason why we would never be friends, is due to me being cool, and you being a douchebag. Yup...that, I think, would be the main reason...and I will just stick with that diagnosis."

It's really not all that you can see.

Another such douchebag at this place was a guy named 'Chuck.' After three days of playing poker at Pensacola Dog Track...I now, 100% officially hate this guy. He is despicable. My initial experience with him...and there were a lot of that he seemed to materialize at every damn table I was placed at, was in the Thursday night Mega satellite.

He is one of those old guys who likes to intentionally slow the game down. He thinks his talking like Bobby Bowden is charming...when actually, its just fucking annoying. He thinks his fun little stories are entertaining...when they are anything BUT. He does appear (somehow) to have some money...and he throws it around by staking the local skanks...most of them between the ages of hopes (OBV) that it will score him a piece of pity pie...and by pie, don't be confused, I am not referring to that round thing that Auntie May puts in the window to cool off. 

Another thing he likes to do is angle-shoot the shit out of the poker table. When the blinds are 100-200...twice I busted him trying to complete using green chips and trying to get away with sticking 150 or 175 out there and hurriedly tossing it into the pot. Then playing stupid when he was caught. Scumbag. He was real big on acting out of try and dissuade the person behind him from raising. He also liked to grab his whole stack, acting like he was about to go all in...when the person behind him was contemplating his act. Just a dickhead. 

But the one that really took the cake...was on another hand that he massively overbet (first to act) which he did CONSTANTLY...he makes it 1800 at 150/300...under the gun...and this nice little hispanic guy, who really hadn't uttered a word to anyone, and had really had a frustrating tourney up to that point...goes all in for 2400. It folds back to Chuck the Asshole...who haws and to not have much of a hand...but then finally calls. The Hispanic guy turns over 99. Chuck he is way behind. But doesn't turn over his cards.

Me: "Hey dealer...this isn't cash game...tell him to turn his cards over."

Dealer does nothing. Why? Are they afraid of Chuck? Does Chuck just get to play by a different set of rules than everyone else? I hate Chuck. The flop goes out...we still don't see Chuck's hand. The turn is a go with 7-10-3. Finally he lets us all see ONE ACE. Leaving the other card unexposed. 

Dealer? Are you fucking serious???

The river was an 8. This other guy is almost positive he has won, and doubled up. I for one, am happy for the guy...then all of a sudden, SUPERPRICK...slides his ace over to bout that, another ace. What a fucking jerkoff. And the nice Hispanic guy was eliminated. Squirrel and I saw Captain America the other night. They had these weapons, developed by the Evil German dude...that just vaporized people when fired at them. That is what I wished I could have done to 'ol Chuck right there. Douchebag??? Ohhhhh I think so.

Chuck would haunt me all weekend. Probably the biggest, most gut-wrenching moment occurred when...while playing the $700 Main Event...which, of course, he was at my table...I had worked my stack up to 26,000 after struggling all day. He limps on the button for 800. The lady in the SB...who he had staked, completed. I look down at KK. I make it 2600 to go. He snap calls (big shock) and she moans and grimaces...and asks why I didn't 'tell her' I was going to raise? 

"Um...because that would be colluding maam...sorry."

No big deal ...she is going to win the hand anyway. The flop comes A-A-5. Great. I won't try to surprise you. I will just tell you what she has. Pocket fives. And this is how a lot of these clowns played over there...would she check raise the flop there? Hell no. Why would she ever want to get any value out of that hand? Nawwwww...she just shoves all in. Yeah, well...pretty easy fold for me. But dingleberry Chuck? He has A9. No way he can fold. Some how...he failed to hit a 9 or any other random collection of bullshit that would save him. Fortunately, she was only all in for he merely doubled up his stake pony.

VERY NEXT HAND: 6 players limp for 800. I complete in the SB with K9. Granted I would have completed with a deuce and an inadvertently placed Joker card in that situation. Ready for the flop???   Q-10-J. That's all. Just the second nuts. And since I was pretty positive no one limped in with AK...I was quite certain I was good. And it was a rainbow checking the flop seemed pretty safe. Which I did. The big blind...who held Q5...goes all in. For 3900. This other guy tanks...forever...and just calls. Then good 'ol Chuck the Fuck goes all in...for 22k. I snap call. Back to the tanker...who tanks some more...then finally folds. 

Chuckles has J10. And tells the dealer....'Come on baby...I only need a Jack or a ten sweetheart....give 'ol Chuck a Jack or a 10..."

So what does she do? She gives that son of a bitch a Jack...right on the turn. And I just lowered my head...stared at the black bumper of the table..and asked why God is being such an asshole to me this year. Why...of all times...when, if there was ANY kind of KARMA swinging my way...would this fucktard NOT hit a damn boat right there? I could be rid of this piece of sitting on 53k...and probably cruise to the money? Why?

Earlier...when I had raised...and he had done another one of his patented 'one move only' all ins...I just about lost it. I folded 99. And he shows AA. Huh? Great move. Brilliant. This is when he starts in on me.

"Oh...Mr. wouldn't have done that I suppose? You know as well as I do that if you had AA there you wouldn't want to get them cracked...and would have shoved too!"

Okay. Two things. (1) I told him "Chuck, I can tell you with absolutely 100% certainty that NO, I would not pushing all in with AA...especially with the stacks being what they are. I happen to be a player who is not afraid to play after the flop, a player who doesn't feel the need to push all in nearly every time he raises because I can't play postflop. And (2) Why is it that whenever I go to play in a place like this...and dealers recognize me as a pro, as well as a few other players...that it is suddenly something that the local jokals like yourself decide to use against if its an insult. 'The Big Pro this' and the 'The Big Pro that.' Am I supposed to be hurt or offended by that? Am I supposed to apologize to you because this is what I do for a living? 

Are you threatening me????

I don't go around to small venues touting myself as a Bigshot Pro or anything. Ever. In even imagine acting like that or letting those kind of words escape my face, would make me want to slug myself. It just doesn't ever happen. But do I see dealers and players who know me and might tell the table that I am who I am? happens, a lot. And it's always somewhat embarrassing, not that I think the dealer is trying to make me look bad. Its just awkward. So why are these fucking dickwads like Chuck deciding its a sport now to declare war on me? Like I said...I really hate Chuck.

That's right sir. I am who he says I am...what are you gonna do about it!!!???

Eventually, Chuck would get moved from my table. Didn't happen soon enough. And I was trying to rebuild my crippled stack. It didn't work out for me. I got it in...with 6000 chips left at 800/1600...with J9 suited...and mainly did it when I did because this lady in the BB would fold to just about ANY raise unless she literally had a top 5 hand. She was tighter than an 8 year old in Amish country. Wait..that works, right? But waking up with AJ was the same guy who just took a majority of my chips a few hands earlier when his AJ found my AK....and promptly three-outed me.

"I'll give you back your chips." you won't...guy who has me dominated...and me who never three-outs anyone. I was out. 

I promised you some awesome hands from my experience over there. Ya ready? Before I say this...I should express...that over-betting the shit out of everything, is all the rage at the DogTrack. Often times, they overbet SO much...that when a small stack goes all in, behind a huge overbet and 4 callers (not that anyone would ever want to three-bet over there...its just so much easier to flat the 6x raise and hope you get lucky on the flop after you have put 25-40% of your stack in preflop!!!!) the betting was cut off from being able to isolate with a re-raise. Some of the shit I saw over there was beyond comical. Actually, for those who have been reading my blog for know what it most closely resembled? Easy. The way they played at that fucked up charity event in Lafayette, Louisiana. Remember that nightmare? Almost an exact replica.

And we're off:

#1  at 100/200 in middle position I raise with El Diablo...suited. (that's K10 to you newbies to the Monkey Zone) The raise is 525. I get looked up by the button with K8 off and the BB with Q8 off. Flop comes 5-6-7 rainbow. BB goes all in. I fold of course (idiot) and the button calls. Brick turn, Brick river...K8 gets all of morons chips.

#2. at 100/200...two limpers. Guy to my right in Seat 3 (that evenings ejection seat) who has literally JUST sat down, with a relatively decent stack...decides to make it 700 to go. Only one caller. The flop comes Q-7-9...two spades. First guy leads out for 1500 (he has AQ) Dipshit new guy shoves all in. The other calls, begrudgingly..and turns over AQ. Moron...just flicks his cards into the area of the pot...face down. We all sit, blank expressions aplenty...wondering just WHAT in the FUCK this clown is doing. It's obvious he has been caught bluffing with total air...but he seems to think he is drawing dead. When clearly, he isn't...not with ANY two cards? So the dealer insists he take them back and turn them over...which finally, he does, and reveals 4-8h. Nice hand sir. And no...he does not suck out. Fun hand.

#3.  This was a hand where a guy raised from 50/100 to 300 with Q10. No one called except the BB...who was holding J3 off. Nice hand. The flop comes J-3-A...rainbow. BB checks. The raiser bets 500. The BB goes ALL IN! For 4500! And did the Q10 snap fold? Nope! He snap CALLED. Yeah...and turns a King, of course. Fun game. I sat there shaking my head...asking if what I just saw really happened. The guy with the J3 starts berating the guy. I snicker to myself...reminding myself that this fool also called the preflop raise with J3. Skill baby. Skill.

#4.  This lady...ugh...who in Vegas would be a .5, maybe a 1...if she did her makeup just right (and was wearing boots)...but in Pensacola was looked at as one of the local 'hotties' and yes...again, I am giggling as I type this...played about as horrendously as any player I have seen in a long time. Rumor had it she won a recent event there...while I would typically find this hard to this place? No I don't. I'm sure she probably did. The blinds are 50/100. She raises UTG to 600. Not one, not two, not even three or four...but five people call her. Nice table image! Then the small blind goes all in...for another 475. Whoops. Your overbet means you won't be able to isolate by re-raising. In fairness, I don't think she would even if she could have had the option. It's just not how she..or a majority of these other buffoons play poker over there. So they ALL call...and now you are looking at about a 6k pot 50/100. The flop comes Q-10-8. She is first to act. Guess what she has? I shall tell you. J-9. Off suit. Oh! Did I mention? It's her favorite hand. I see why. Guess how she plays it? Check raise? A little bet to maybe induce action? Nope. ALL FUCKING IN! Of course no one calls, well, except the guy who is already all in. And he has nothing. Nice hand lady. Well played. Now go bury your face in the trough and eat some more of those oats that the farmer put out for you.

#5.  Good 'ol Chuck. Sitting under the gun...he is the chipleader early in the Friday night tourney. The blinds are 50/100 and he has close to 15k. He announces 'ALL IN' which everyone just sits there with that astonished 'wtf is he doing' look on their faces....we all fold, and he shows AK. Hmmm yeah...solid play Chuck. I watched Chuck make this play (also with AQ and AJ) about 5 times in three days. 

And the other hand I had on my list...which I was writing in my ledger book, and had titled "Holy Fucking Shit Did I Really Just Watch This Hand" was that one where he slow-rolled the shit out of the Mexican with his AA. No need to repeat that horseshit again.

So there you go. That blog entry just took me over three hours. Wow. That is a long time. Hope you enjoyed it. And I hope this helps in your decision...whenever that time may come for either go or avoid like the torture chamber...a trip to 'The Track' to get your poker on. 

Good night now...the owl flies at 4:32am



Brian Heptinstall said...

This poker room and Auburn share the same directions on how to get to the two places: drive around till you smell it, stop when you step in it.

fook u said...

Its sad, but true there.

KTeller Inc™ said...

This all is dead on accurate; sad for those people who want to play and can't make the 1.5 drive all the time to Biloxi.

Paul said...

Monkey- your poll should have never included Vick's future dog. Think about it, all the scrutiny that man is under any dog he gets would be treated like a king! He has no choice.

For me Casey Anthony was an easy pick given the list. Who would want to live the rest of their life racked with guilt over murdering her own daughter? Not to mention she will be looking over her shoulder for the rest of her life!! That pick wins easy IMO!