by Mike the dealer
Another weekend of fantastic football is ahead, but first topics of some interest to myself.
Everyone is bad at poker
This will be a running series of comments by me
as I shall attempt to make you, the reader,
Avoid overcalling with nothing.
An "overcall" is to have a bet and a call in front
of you, and then you also call. Overcalling is right
Now at this point you're most likely saying "Hey
Mike the Dealer, this seems painfully obvious,
To which I'd say, that I've seen things, things you can't unsee, overcalls so bad they live on in legend.
Hand #1 is in a cash game, nobody's playing much at all, the game is a bore to deal and is most likely a bore to be playing in, a flop comes out 3, 7, J, two spades. Everyone checks, the turn is another 7, also a spade. The first player leads out for 5 dollars, the second player calls, the third player now raises to 15, first player calls, second player calls. The final card is a pretty much worthless 9 that's not a spade, the first two players check and the third player bets 15, first player calls, and now the second player overcalls.
Now keep in mind that to overcall, you have to be able to beat a hand, for one simple reason, the person who called the bet can not be bluffing. You can bluff by betting or raising a river, you can not bluff with a call, so you have to have something to beat that person.
As it turns out the third player, who raised the turn and bet the river had the Ace high flush, a flush had to be expected from his bets, a check on the flop with a flush draw, a raise on the turn with the made flush, and a bet on the river to extract more cash with his flush.
The first player had a pair of Jacks, with pocket cards of King-Jack, his actions, while not good, aren't the worst of plays I've seen, his check on the flop is a bit confusing, but beyond that, not that bad a hand.
The second player who overcalled had a pair of threes, he had 5-3 to start, and flopped bottom pair and stuck it out to the end. He could beat literally *nothing* but a stone cold bluff on the end and yet paid 15 dollars in an overcall in a sure lose situation. That is just scary bad poker.
As bad as this may have been, our forthcoming hand is even more horrific, you may want to be sitting down while reading this tale of horror, and don't let kids read this either, unless you're trying to scare them into playing good poker.
Our situation is simple, we have a younger European man playing, early 20's, he has some clue as to what's going on, why such a person would ever be in my poker room is beyond me, but that's up to him.
The second player is a somewhat clueless younger woman, she is very passive in the play of her hands.
The third player is a older lady who really has no idea what's going on, I say this not out of bitterness because two hands before this she took a giant pot off me when she made a set (Having a pocket pair hit it's three of a kind on the flop) of 2's on me and beat up my Big Slick (Ace-King for hole cards).
Our final player is a short stacked older man.
The older man moves all in for 300 (This is a tournament), the Euro raises to 600, Young Lady calls, Older Lady calls.
The flop comes out J, 8, 2, no flush draw. It is at this moment that the older man, confused and thinking that cause he's all in, that he can show his cards, he exposes his hand to show he's made of pair of Jacks, (He had Jack-Ten for hole cards) the dealer tells him to conceal his hand, since there is still a side-pot to be contested for.
Euro bets 600 again, both Young Lady calls, Older Lady calls. The turn is a 5, Euro again bets 600, and again, both women call him. The river is another 5, and the Euro leads out one final time for 600 again, and the Young Lady calls, and the Older Lady now makes a river overcall.
The first thing we'd assume here is that we're looking at a *lot* of power here. All three players saw the all in player turn over a Jack, which was top pair on this board, and yet it didn't stop any of them from calling a bet on the flop, turn, or river. So basically to get your foot in the door here, logic would dictate that you have to be able to beat Jacks.
The Euro does in fact have a logical hand and turns over pocket Queens. His play on this hand was solid, he tried to soak the highest amount of value he could out of what he assuredly thought was the best hand.
The Young Lady shockingly turns over pocket Aces, a pair of aces she played insanely passively, not once in the hand did she get a raise in with them, electing rather to just call down the Euro with her Aces, this is clearly not the best way to play the hand, cause a raise at any time would have most likely gotten the Euro to go all in and lose everything.
What did the Older Lady have? Well, a pair of
Twos of course! Her hole cards were Ace-Two and she flopped a pair of twos
and spent the whole rest of the hand overcalling large bets. I asked her
why she did this in the face of knowing a pair of Jacks wasn't scaring
off either the Euro or the Young Lady, and she said to me "Oh I just got
so excited!" So let that be a lesson to you, don't get so excited that
overcalling with a pair of twos seems like a good idea!
Peter King has his coffee section, TMQ has basically his whole column other then whatever macros he uses to write little about football (Cowardly punting! Half naked cheerleader! Blitzing is bad!) and this shall be my spot to give my take on the last episode of Survivor, feel free to skip all this.
The Kota tribe are morons, drooling slobbering morons. When you're heading into a merger with the numbers advantage the most important thing to do is keep everyone happy, keep everyone thinking that the tribe loves them very very much, and that we're going to, as a team, crush the outnumbered tribe into dust, go us! Of course the series of votes removing the other tribe do nothing to truly effect your tribe's group dynamic and once the pesky outgunned tribe is dead, you'll go back to cutting out the deadwood you always wanted to cut out.
So the Kota tribe, with it's impending 6-4 advantage at an expecting merger, just had to keep everyone happy and on board, I know the tribes had done a little swapping and people might not stay loyal to the current tribe, but the safest way to play it is just take your numbers and start crushing. So you have to vote somebody out, and everyone should vote that person out, to show tribe solidarity and to reassure anyone who was afraid they might be voted out that nothing could be further from the truth, we were all out to get rid of that other scumbag, who we did just get rid of.
Instead of this, Kota freaked out over the hidden immunity Idol, a tool someone can use to save themselves. They feared that Dan, one of their targets might have it, their other target was Suzie, who they all hate. Now the odds Dan had the idol were slim, and if he did have it, he was 100% playing it, since he clearly didn't feel good about his standing in the tribe, so logic would dictate just kicking Suzie out.
But of course, Kota makes it all to hard on themselves and instead does a split vote, giving 4 votes to Dan and 3 to Suzie, basically reassuring Suzie that everyone hates her, and that when the merger hits, that she should run, not walk, to the other tribe and try to cut a deal with them. Well played Kota, well played.
The National Gambling Addiction (Or Football League, either or)
Last week I drilled my 106 star stone cold pipe
as the Titans crushed the feeble Colts.
Last Week: 7-6
Home team in CAPS
VIKINGS -5 Vs Texans
The Texans had a weird start to their season and now go on the road for the first time in ages. I really have no feel for this game at all, except that the Vikings are consistently depressing.
Result: Texans 24 Vikings 23 on a last second drive by the Texans to steal it, mobs fill the streets of Minny demanding Childress be fired.
Jags -7 ½ Vs BENGALS
Man the Bengals are so bad, they may be the only team I'd give more then a touchdown against to anyone in the NFL. With Palmer most likely finished I can't see this team mustering up much of anything.
Result: Jaggywires 31 Bengals 6
Bucs -8 Vs CHIEFS
Oh wait, there is another team that bad! Oh lord, the truly rancid in the NFL's sea of suck are out in full effect, back to back home dogs getting more then a TD. I think KC can hang on here and lose with honor.
Result: Bucs 20 Chiefs 13
BROWNS -2 Vs Ravens
I feel this game is a sucker bet designed to get people to take the Ravens, but then again I think people should tend to be wary of a rookie QB in a road game anyhow. Browns take this, this is one of my stronger predictions, sadly it falls short of my 113 star play of the week.
Result: Browns 24 Ravens 10
BILLS -5 Vs Jets
The Bills fall back into a tie with the Patriots for the AFC East lead after blowing a game to the vaunted Fish last week. I expect a rebound as I can never ever really trust Brett Favre to do anything but kill his team with mistakes. For the record I hate the media fan worship of Favre with the passion of a thousand burning suns.
Result: Bills 27 Jets 7
Cards -3 Vs RAMS
The Cards, a three point road favorite, who would have thought it possible? If that doesn't tell you how messed up this NFL season is, nothing will. The Rams have been frisky as of late, I expect it to continue.
Result: Rams 20 Cards 17
BEARS -13 Vs Lions
I'll put this down as a blowout victory for the Bears only because Obama is a Bears fan and we need all the good omens we can get before Tuesday. Honestly I really just came up with that now and didn't think about it when I made McCain's home team lose the pick before. I hope all this works out.
Result: Bears 381 EV's Lions 157 EV's
THE UNBEATABLE TITANS -5 Vs Packers
I'd almost make this my pick for the week, but I still like one game even more. The Titans will crush this game, that much I assure you.
Result: Unbeatable Titans 28 Packers 13
BRONCOS -3 1/2 Vs Dolphins
Denver's defense is a horror show, I don't know that the Fish have the firepower to impact it, but really, I think I'll mention this every time I write about Denver, god their defense is bad, and the offense is sputtering. I still just can't quite pull the trigger on the Fish, I'll regret this pick.
Result: Broncos 27 Dolphins 20
Falcons -3 Vs RAIDERS
A rookie QB giving three points on the road?! I don't care how bad the Raiders are, and they are six shades of horrible, sign me up!
Result: Raiders 17, Falcons 13
GIANTS -8 Vs Cowboys
Big number to be putting on this game, but the Cowboys offense under Brad Johnson has been a disgrace, if the Giants put up points this one could get ugly in an awful hurry.
Result: Giants 35 Cowboys 17
Eagles -7 Vs SEAHAWKS
Another home dog getting a touchdown, man just when you think everyone in the NFL is equally bad, teams dig deeper to suck even worse. Last week's Seahawk win has be unnerved, perhaps the Golden Arm of Seneca Wallace will lead the Seahawks to glory.
Result: Perhaps not, Eagles 27, Seahawks 13
COLTS -6 Vs Pats
I really am just totally baffled by this game, the Pats have been winning with smoke and mirrors all year, the Colts are just dreadful awful, I have no idea what's going to happen, but since I usually expect the worst for the Pats.
Result: Colts 45 Pats 3
And once again on Monday Night!
****The 113 Star Play of the Week****
REDSKINS -1 ½ Vs Steelers
This line opened at 2 ½ for the Redskins and I instantly said to my friend who was at the sports book with me "This is a trap line, everyone's going to bet the Steelers and the Redskins will win". Sure enough we're not even into the weekend and the line's already moved a point, I half expect to be able to get it at 1 to a "Pick-em" by kickoff, wait as long as you can before you put in your bet, the points are only going to go in our favor.
Result: A "shocking" Redskins win. Skins 34 Steelers 21
Talk to you all next time (Hopefully when we're all celebrating "President-Elect Barack Obama")
If Mike's doing a good job - let him know.
He might print your letter in his next Sports Column!