Monday, July 5, 2010

Top 10 Casino Poker Players

About a year ago, I wrote a similar list for another Web site, but this last weekend, I took one of my semi-annual trips to Atlantic City and got Fresh Information. So enjoy, and remember why home games are vastly preferable...

10) Fake (?) Drunk Player. This guy spills chips, orders mixed drinks every chance he can from the waitress, has to reminded about blinds, bets out of order and doesn't seem to be paying attention to anything more than his cards, which he frequently lifts high enough in the air to be seen from space. F?DP generally has a lot of experience in playing this way, and it's not as if you can bluff him... so while he's giving up his chips to someone, it's not certain to be you.

9) Slumming High Roller. He's betting at a $10/$20 level at the $1/$2 game, because dammit, No Limit is No Limit. (Also, because he thinks he can kill this game, and might be right.) You can pretty much forget about limping on any hand that he's in, and the size of the chip stack means that your pre-flop bluff move might get called just as a heat check for his flops. He's also playing hands that are fairly unconscionable... and just when you think he's going to be your big donkey, he reads the situation and pounces. Such a joy, SHR is...

8) Angry Quiet Female. I had one of these on my left the other day. Very late in the evening, with a low pocket pair, a pot-sized raise and three callers, I called to see if I'd get lucky, and I did to hit trips with two suited cards on the flop. I bet it to protect against the flush draw, which hit. The turn was checked, and the board paired on the river. My all-in gets called by three parties, but no one had a bigger boat, and my cash night was saved. However, I was momentarily confused by the dealer talking about a side pot, and didn't flip my fours right away. I apologized for the slow roll, but honestly, is wasn't more than 2 seconds.

Needless to say, everything about that play on my part -- calling the big raise with the low pair, sucking out the boat on the river, not flipping the cards immediately -- offended this woman in every way, and the steam coming off her was palpable, though she didn't SAY. A. SINGLE. WORD. Five minutes and two hands later, her entire $400+ stack was gone, and she was off to go explode heads with the power of her hate. Good times!

7) Wacky Old Dude. He's dressed in clothes that were never fashionable, but do have more than a fair amount of comfort and cushion. Skin problems are rife, and the hands shake, especially when he's scraping the cards off the felt to see what he's got. Raises are done with cavalier flips, as if he doesn't have enough time left in this world to count. He'll raise with middle pair, bet just from position, and chase any draw... or so you think. And worst of all, eventually, you are going to be him. Study accordingly.

6) Negative Racial Stereotype. Need a guy to confirm all of your worst and most unspeakable thoughts about a racial group? Well, come on down and try to remind yourself that what is true for one isn't necessarily true for all. Good luck with that, really.

5) Mr. Eater. Want absolute proof that poker isn't a sport? Well, you can't do much worse than this guy pounding down his combo meal from the waitress service, especially seeing how there's no space for the tray, or desire from everyone else to be near the guy when he's stuffing his piehole. Oh, and yes, we are all handling the same cards and chips, too. Hope that doesn't bother you...

4) Super Tight. Probably every one's favorite player at the table, since he gives up his blinds easily, almost never re-raises or check-raises, and last bluffed at the pot in the Clinton Administration. He also rarely goes to the river, since that would involve the other guy holding trips or better, too. Everybody loves this guy. Just try not to be him.

3) The Noob. He bets less than the minimum, has to listen to dealer instructions intently, seems genuinely confused by things like chopped pots or pairs that don't play due to what's on the board, and will miss straight or flush draws, usually to ruinous effect. I take back what I said about Super Tight; the Noob is really every one's favorite guy. Except for the fact that he's a complete card rack.

2) The World Traveler. You know this game that you are playing, right here and right now? It's got nothing on Bobby's Room in Vegas. This tournament is OK, but if you really want action and tough play, you should try the WSOP events -- Europe, of course, Vegas is for peasants. And that last dealer may have been a fumbling fool, but if you really want to see terrible work, go check out Casino X cross-town, which I play at just for camp value. And those new rooms that haven't even opened for business yet in states that are just starting to legalize table games? He's been there already. We know it's impossible, but only for lesser traveling players like yourself...

1) Super Stitious. Holding not only a special hard holder, but a special couple of low chips that he won earlier. Chip tricks happen here, but in the same order and amount. He either looks at both cards at once, or one than the other, but never both methods in the same night. Drink orders, if they exist, are always the same, and so is the behavior on any break. Has "special" hands that he plays, regardless of the math or price... and you only get to learn which hands those are later, when your pre-flop raised high pair gets murdered by 6-9 off suit, aka "Big Lick."

Is there any wonder why I love it so? Feel free to add your own in the comments...

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