Cool & sober best strategy to win poker pots

Apr 21, 2009 5:07 PM
From the Heart by ‘Oklahoma’ Sarah |

The other day at my local poker hot spot, the beautiful Venetian, an interesting debate arose.

I was nestled in a juicy 2/5 prepared to post up a long session. I was tuned into the game and paying full attention to the hands at the table even when not involved. It was easy to stay focused because there were a lot of action players with personality to boot.

Seat 3 immediately caught my attention with his undeniably flagrant shirt soiled from repeated spills of umpteenth captain and cokes. Not only was he shoddy, but his arrogant attitude could barely fit in the room. He kept his barely legal girlfriend practically sitting on his lap, gloating after each lucky pot taken down.

Seat 9 was the polar opposite of that guy – quiet, poised and polite. He waited like a tiger, patiently watching and calculating all of his prey’s careless moves. Within seconds the gazelle, disguised as a drunk and bumbling idiot, stepped carelessly out onto the terrain.

The first duel between those players started with Seat 9 well in front, but Seat 3’s luck prevailed on the river and he took down the pot. Time and again these two were like magnets drawn to play a plethora of pots together. It was no secret they were playing for more than chips. There was plenty of pride at stake.

The debate presented itself during yet another pot between them. Seat 3 opened in early position with a $40 raise. His range was vast, playing anything from small-suited connectors to trash. At this table a $40 raise was more of a pot sweetener than a meaningful raise. Three people called, the big blind at Seat 9.

The flop came Ad Qh 2h (ace of diamonds, queen of heart, 2 of hearts) and Seat 9 checked. Seat 3 fired a bet of $100 and two players folded. Seat 9 called. The turn brings the 9h and Seat 9 checks. Seat 3 bets $150 and Seat 9 calls.

The river brings the Ac (clubs). Seat 9 bets two black $100 chips and Seat 3 says, "I call" and puts out 10 red $5 chips. The dealer explains that he is $150 short and Seat 3 freaks out stating that he thought the player was betting green and the bet was only $50.

The floor is summoned and makes the player call the remaining $150. The debate boiled down to this: Seat 3 berated the dealer taking the position that it was her responsibility to announce the raise. Three players took his side when my friend asked for my opinion. Usually I stay out of arguments and let the dealer run the game, but since asked directly I defended the dealer.

I explained that poker is a visual game and it’s the player’s responsibility to know what denomination of chips are played. The dealer is only there to perform the mechanics of the game and must not influence or manipulate the action. My biggest pet peeve is when a bet is made and the dealer automatically starts counting down the stacks without the request of another player in the pot.

The drunk promptly went on mega life tilt after the incident and lost all his chips. He spilled yet another drink and picked a fight with every human being who was still listening. All in all, I was impressed with the floor, the dealer and Seat 9. I cashed out and went on home to count the money there!

Until next time … this is "OK"-Sarah and I always stay lucky!

Try out your poker strategy with our new poker odds calculator.