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Southern Hospitality (New Orleans Trip Report Pt 1)

“You don’t know who your fucking with, bro.”

It was true. I didn’t know who I was fucking with, bro. But neither did he.

I was at Harrahs New Orleans, and had been playing poker for at least 5 hours by the time this conversation happened. The speaker was a bald, goateed prick on my immediate right. He had joined the game about 2 hours before the heated exchange. And for the greater part of those 2 hours, he had been peppering his never-ending jibber jabber with weak digs at me, with the apparent intent to get me off of my game. His main line was almost comical: “Look at these guys, playing tight.” He’d then point at me and say, “These guys only play pocket pairs and suited connectors.” In reality, I was literally playing any two face cards, any suited Ace, any pocket pair, and a slew of suited gappers. It was actually the right strategy to play, because there were a couple of absurd donators at the table. I had used them to open up a 300 profit, but I had already given most of it back by the time the bald douche sat down.

The jibber jabber wasn’t tilting me, but I was tired of being the target of his commentary. He knew at least 3-4 people at the table and his constant shit talking was getting old.

I tried every trick in the book, but was having little results. First, I joked. “Yep. That’s me. Super tight.”

A little later, I tried a different tact. “Haha. You are wasting your time, man. You are not going to get me off of my game.” I figured this was a polite way of calming him, but no such luck.
I tried another move, opening and closing my hand in pantomime like a moving mouth. “yap yap yap. Do you ever shut up? It’s just yap yap yap. No bite.”

Finally, I started to have some fun back at him. He kept saying that you couldn’t make money playing super tight, so I pointed out the obvious: “I took five or six pots from you already. I don’t remember losing any chips to you.” He barked back, “Yeah. You are up 62$ in the last 2 hours.” I was actually up over 200 in that span. I cut off a stack of my chips: “I might only be up 62 but this part of my stack is from you.” I cut off some chips from another stack. “and this is from you,” and I cut from my third stack, “and this is from you.” It was mostly true too.

It kept coming, so I finally started doing it back. He contemplated a call in a big hand before folding. I chimed in, “How can you fold there? You are too tight.”

That’s when he said, “You don’t know who your fucking with, bro.” He was livid and his words were intended as a thinly veiled threat. I’m not idiot, but I’m also not one to back down. I knew that he had more friends in the room than I did, but this was a poker room. If it got physical, I expected it to be over in a matter of seconds. And frankly, even though he probably had me on size, I’m willing to get scrappy and I know where to hit to hurt. Of course, I never expected it to come to that, but I was ready if it did. Not one to simply shut up and take it, I fired back: “And you don’t know who the fuck you are dealing with. You can dish it but you can’t take it? ”

“Shut the fuck up,” he barked back. I couldn’t help myself. “Hey man, you started it. You’ve been jawing off for two hours. I say one thing and you lose it? Don’t tilt, man. Don’t just start giving away your money. I was fine playing poker and taking your money the old fashioned way. I don’t need you to tilt.”

“You don’t even know who you’re fucking talking to.” There it was again. “I don’t give a fuck who I’m talking to. If you want to play poker, then play poker. If you want to talk shit, then you better be able to handle it.” I copied his Creole accent, which came out much thicker when he got angry. “Oh, you play so tight! You only play suited connectors and pocket pairs! You’re a fucking joke.” The rest of the table was clearly vacillating between an uncomfortable laugh and waiting for a fracas.
I then turned away as the next hand was dealt.

By this point, I had enough. I didn’t have to listen to some Creole fuck threatening me. I considered packing up and walking with my 200+ profit, but the table was too soft to leave. That, and I only had a few hands before I was the big blind. I would have been happy to just fold, but on the very next hand after our verbal scuffle, I was dealt 99. I probably misplayed it by limping in EP, but ironically, this saved me a lot of money, when I folded postflop after 77 flopped his set. Go figure.

The very next hand, though, was a whopper: I held AKo in utg+1 and the bald douche was utg. He opened for 15$. I considered raising, but this was a push-heavy table and to be frank, I didn’t want to lose a monster pot to the bald douche. Maybe he did get me off of my game.

There were maybe 4 players or more to the K86 flop, with 2 spades. He bet out 50 and I flat called. Everyone else folded. I intentionally never looked back at him. I just played the hand, knowing that he would bet for me.

The turn was an offsuit ten. He bet 75 and I paused, considering a raise before just flat calling. I didn’t put him on the flush draw, but I was mildly concerned of a set.

The river was a 6. He bet 75 again. If I were to raise, I’d also have to be willing to call an all-in, and since he and I were two big stacks, I didn’t want that sorta exposure, especially since I only had about 45 mins left to play before picking up wifey Kim at her conference. I called.

He announced two pair. I thought I was beat with my TPTK, but I didn’t trust this prick, so before mucking, I insisted, “If you got it, show it.” He did: KJ. I tabled my AKo. “Sorry, man. I wouldn’t do that on purpose. I didn’t think of the pair on the board.”

“It’s alright man. I know you’re not an asshole. You’re a douche bag. I can tell a douchebag a mile away.”

I sat there for a moment and considered my options. I won a nice pot from him and if I continued to play, I couldn’t see a better ending. I could’ve potentially won more, but I only had a short window and the heated confrontations were taking its toll. Plus, I was about to be the big blind again.
I stood up and started racking up. Across the table, one of the other locals, a morbidly obese guy, chimed in: “Hey man, don’t let him run you off.” I replied, “I’m not going to sit here and listen to anymore of his bullshit. I’ve got his money, and that’s what I came for. Besides, I got better things to do.” I then walked off.

I made a weird path to the cage, since I didn’t know its location, but that was probably a good strategy, in case the prick was going to follow me. I cashed out up $540, which was a good take. I then walked over to the convention center to meet wifey Kim.

As I walked, every few minutes, I’d look back to make sure I wasn’t being followed. I’m too fucking smart to get jumped.

I returned to the poker room the next day, but we’ll save that for another post. I will add this, though. It was not quite as successful as the first day. In fact, it was pretty dreadful. But, that’s poker.
Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 3:13 PM,


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