I've spent the last few days showing Big Bad Babar around the Bay Area poker scene. We've done The Oaks, stopped in at Artichoke Joes, and then played at Bay 101 and Garden City before and after doing In 'N Out for lunch. The Oaks was the most fun though.
So it's Tuesday and I've been playing in the 30/60 since 1:02 pm (according to the records I keep in my phone). It's now 6:45 or so and I'm up something close to a rack, which is not much for the game but still close to 1000 American Dollars and plenty for me to happily call it quits and enjoy my evening. I glance towards the Asian Games side of the casino and see Bravos strolling around aimlessly with his phone pressed to his ear, clearly looking for me but clearly in no rush to succeed. Babar has spent "the day" (which for Babar starts at the comfortable hour of 2pm) in San Francisco playing tourist with his college buddy (Berkeley grad student at present) and according to Bravos will be here in "20 minutes". I declare this to be false, stating that if Babar had cell phone reception he could not already be on the BART and therefore couldn't get here in 20 minutes and that it'd be at least 40. Turns out I was wrong about one thing; he wasn't taking the BART. 60 minutes later he arrived in a taxi.
Thanks to excellent planning on my part (and zero thanks to Babar) when he arrives Bravos is already seated in a 6/12 game and he and I are first and second up. I quickly get a seat and within seconds a black man at the table is bitching. "They came together I don't want to be playin with people that know each other it's just not right" yada yada yada. My first hand passes without incident, but on my second I raise and Bravos 3-bets (he has excellent position on the table fish, me) on this man's big blind. He bitching ratchets up another notch, and he check/folds the 9 high flop, with me calling a bet. I tank for a minute before mucking my Ace Ten suited face up on the turn, hoping that Bravos can show like pocket kings and the man will be more at ease (even if you're not doing anything shady at all, which we of course weren't, nobody likes to be called a cheater). Instead he flips over Ace Jack off and the man's mood does not improve. It should be noted however that I play good.
At this point they call Babar for a game and he just sits there like the live casino fish that he is. The kid plays online like it's his job, but his experience with brick and mortar casinos is limited. Lists, floor men, and table changes are a little outside his comfort level. I stick up a fist and say "he wants it" while Mrs. Davis looks at me a little confused from the 30/60 table. He eventually makes his way to table 8 (Bravos and I are on 16) and tell him to "Put in for a table change" to which he responds "Yeah, OK". Ten minutes later (after Bravos and I have ordered our first beers), I realize that leaving Babar alone to deal with a table change is like hoping my dog will take himself for a walk and get the mail while he's out. It's just not gonna happen. I tell Bravos as much and walk over to Babar's table. I return defeated, declaring "Can't ask him now, he has a hand." Bravos nods politely and takes a sip of Sierra Nevada. Note that if Pete were in a hand here I'd ask away, but Babar might overload from too much stimulation and I can't risk it. 60 seconds later, after taking and mucking my next hand, I walk over and am once more defeated. "It's worse. He's check-raising 4 people on the turn," I report back to Bravos. I muck one more hand and walk over once more, this time greeted by Babar sans cards and, curiously, not stacking chips. "What'd you have?" I ask. "Aces" he says. "I played it like I would online, and then I got 3-bet on the turn." Note that there was no Ace on the board....and Babar check/raised 4 opponents with one pair in a live 6/12 game on a big street.
Moving along, I ask him if he's put up for a table change. His simple response is "No, how do I do that?" I cringe and ask Janice to list him. 5 minutes later they call him over the loud speaker and I'm forced to lock it up for him when he doesn't hear his initials (not fake ones either...his real honest to goodness initials). Eventually we get him seated in the one hole at our table (bravos and I are in the 4 and 5) and the real fun starts. I declare that we should order 3 beers and pot for them. After explaining what this means to Babar (my god, you've played poker full time for 3 years and don't know how to pot for beers), he agrees whole-heartedly. I flag down a waitress and order 3 Sierra Nevadas and her response is "Wouldn't you rather have a pitcher?" Now, has anyone ever said no to this question? I know I haven't. "Yes! Bring us your finest pitcher of Sierra Nevada!" I declare. A good while passes before the beer comes, and in general Babar makes a mockery of the game and me by calling out my exact hand not once but twice over the course of 5 minutes. On a board of A52-X-Y I donk the flop into like 5 people, lead the turn and get raised by one of my two remaining opponents. I call and check/fold the river, and Babar says "Nice hand Mr. Ace Four suited." My only response is "Yeah, but which suit?" He doesn't know, and I feel somewhat better. A few hands later I open aces and he 3-bets from one of the blinds (with the customary 4 or 5 callers stuck in between). I declare "No cap heads up sir," which honestly I was just saying because online there is a cap even heads-up (probably to prevent money laundering) but Babar responds in rhythm "Aces! He's got Aces over there!" and I can only laugh. My aces fail to win the beer, however.
So now laggy player opens and a few people call, and I glance down at the Ace-Three of clubs in the small blind and call 1.33 bets (it's a 2/3 blind structure at The Oaks). Bravos calls in the big blind and the waitress arrives with the pitcher of beer. We haven't yet decided who will pay, and I ask her "One sec please" while tidying up my poker space and preparing to check/fold the flop against like 5 or 6 opponents.
9 7 4
I donk with my right hand, pay the waitress with my left and ask Babar "Is that a tell?" Bravos turbo mucks his hand and looses a little beer out of his nose and fist bumps Babar from across the table. Meanwhile somebody is calling my bet and someone else raises. I 3-bet and the caller somehow goes all in (I thought he folded) and the other guy 4 bets. I attempt to 5-bet in rhythm but am informed that I cannot do that since another player is in the pot. I shrug as the dealer pushes my 5th bet back to me, add 3 more chips to it, and dark bet the turn, which is actually a 4th . "Ruh Ro!" I hear from Babar's general direction, which translated means "I hope you just lost a little action and not the whole pot." My opponent calls and also calls the river, and I table my nuts.
Right after this a guy walks over to the table and says "Does one of you work for Deuces Cracked" and all three of us instantly put our heads down and are like "No, not us" "unh uh" and "Nope, never heard of it" and the guy walks away scratching his head. Then Babar realizes "Wait, I work for Deuces Cracked!" and hunts the guy down. Apparently he wants some coaching. Babar lobbies for his full two orbits and returns only after they
1. Call the lobbiers back.
2. I tell him he should come back.
3. They call the lobbiers back again.
4. He's done talking to the guy.
To close the evening I raise Ace Jack off and play a pot 5 ways. The flops KQ7 and I let it check by me and the other players check through. The turn is a deuce or some such and I check, but this time the nutty Asian LAG can't help himself and bets. Two players fold and I realize that I can't muck. I call, as does the last player. The river pairs the 7 and I can't believe what is about to happen. I check, the other player checks, and the nutty Asian LAG fires once more. I tank for a minute to confirm that our opponent is telegraphing a fold (he is) before calling with Ace High. The nutty LAG shakes his head and says "Nice call" and does the thing where he picks his cards up and wants to muck them but can't quite bring himself to do it. It's his turn to show first (I called him) but I decide to go for the jugular and fast roll my hand. He looks across the entire felt squinting and says basically "wut?". "Ace High, jack kicker" declares the dealer, who knows me from 30/60 and is desperately fighting back laughter. The LAG is beside himself....he's probably never been called by ace high at a live 6/12 game. Babar declares "ship it!" and a good time is had by all.