Posted by Dr Fro 9:46 AM
As promised - here's my comments on our recent trip to Vegas....
As a woman poker player, there are a couple of things I've learned about the game. Whether I want to admit it or not, there are different rules that apply. This is not true as much for the home games, tourneys, etc..., where friends and colleagues know you (at least not for the most part.) This applies to any other scenario where you are not known. My husband and I went to Vegas this past weekend and played 3 different times at the MGM - (great poker room, BTW) All 3 sessions I played $1/2 No Limit and each time was the only chick at the table.
Session 1 – Bought in for $200.00, (max buy-in), played for 5 hours, and left with $206.00.
Session 2 – Bought in for $200.00, played for 3 ½ hours, left with $462.00.
Session 3 – Bought in for $200.00, played for 1 hour, left with nothin’.
Session 1 - 10 players
1 - Vegas – local guy - aggressive
2 - Drunk guy from NC – Friendly and drunk - loose
3 – x
4 – Drunk guy from NC guy’s friend - loose
5 – me
6 – down on his luck and pissed – tight
7 – x
8 – macho man
9 – macho man
10 – WMD (English guy with a “Fear of Weapons of Mass Destruction is the biggest weapon T-shirt – tight
Most of these character/stereotypes you all know and are self explanatory. I’d like to talk about seat 8 & 9. Macho men. These guys 1) don’t believe women can play poker, 2) want women to play poker so they can take all their money, and 3) don’t give women any poker respect when playing poker. (I don’t mean I want respect because I’m a chick, I want respect b/c I’ve sat down to play.) I love these guys when the cards are coming! They call everything, they re-raise most of the times I raise, and rarely fold when I was in a hand.
My conclusions when playing with macho men -
1) No sense in calling mediocre hands – they will call or re-raise my pre-flop bet/raise.
2) Wait for a good hand and make a move.
3) Be willing to go all the way when making a move, you will most likely have to.
I wasn’t getting a lot of action – a lot of crappy cards and I was trying to establish myself at the table. JJ in mid position. 1 caller so far, and I raise to $15.00. Everyone folds but Macho man. Flop comes J-4-x. I bet $25.00, Macho calls (he doesn’t believe I have anything.). Turn – J-4-x-x (no flush possibility.) I bet $50.00, he calls. River – J-4-x-x-4. I go all-in, and he severely contemplates calling me. He folds and is now pissed. (I’m pretty surprised he didn’t call me, but it proves to me that he had nothing and just didn’t believe me.) I played a couple of hands like this with him, and it wasn’t until this next hand that the guys finally realized that I was there to stay.
Dealt A9 suited – limped in in early position. Flop – A-9-x. Vegas checks, I bet $20.00, fold, fold, fold, Vegas calls. We’re heads up. Turn – A-9-x-x (no flush or straight possibilities). Vegas bets $20.00, I raise to $60.00, he calls. River – A-9-x-x-x (I don’t remember, but the card was of no consequence.) He checks, I check. He has pocket nines making a set of 9s to my 2 pair. He was playing pretty aggressive, so I could have put him just about anything the way he played. The table loved my re-raise on the turn as well as the disciplined check on the river. Though I lost that hand ($82.00), I gained their respect, and had a no more bullshit from them any more. They saw me as a player, not just some chick. I played for a while, and had a great time even though I left with only $6 more than where I started.
“Just a little patience, yeah, yeah, yeah”
No macho men at this table, but it took forever before I saw any cards. Normally I would begin to get a little impatient, but I waited it out to make my move. I limped in on a couple of hands and flopped nothing. This time, Q9 in the BB – checked. Flop comes Q-9-x. I’m first to act and bet $20.00 (I’ll take my measly $10 from the limpers to win this thing before someone makes a straight.) Asian guys calls me. (He’s been playing pretty aggressive. I’ve seen him re-buy $100 three times in 30 minutes due to all-ins with crap.) River Q-9-x-x. I check to feel him out, b/c I know if I bet, he’ll most likely raise, and I don’t think I’m willing to risk my stack on 2 pair) - he checks. River comes – Q-9-x-x-9. I make a big bet, he goes all in, and I call. He flips over nothing. I won $150 or so on that hand. I had some monster hands after that, and did well for myself, leaving the table with $262 more than when I started.
My conclusion when being dealt crap cards – wait it out and then make a move.
“These boots are made for walking”
Saturday night, I had to wait for a table. For lack of a better way to describe the guys I sat with – they were mostly a group of young frat-daddy ass-holes from the north east. (No offense to frat-daddies, or to the yankee I married) Lesson learned - leave a table if you’re not feeling it. Call it women’s intuiton, call it whatever - I had a bad feeling about these dick wipes from the moment I sat down – not one of them even acknowledged me. I got NO CARDS the whole time I was at the table, and when I could limp in with something mediocre, the flop didn’t go in my direction. On one rare occasion, I did get something, I raised pre-flop and everyone folded. But usually, they called and raised every freaking hand I tried to play. They were out to beat up on everyone, especially me, because I was a girl (talk about major macho man syndrome), and I didn’t have any cards to call them on.
My conclusions when playing with loose macho men:
1) LEAVE THE TABLE - I so wanted to stick it to them, but never got cards to do that and instead took it up the you-know-what. When I was pretty short stacked, I made a couple of all-ins in an attempt to double up. Limped in with K8 in the BB. Flop – x-x-8. I go all in, and the other short stack goes all-in. He has A8. He won, and I’m left with about $30. Next hand – I’m the dealer and have A8. 1 caller so far, I go all in, the small blind bets $50, and his buddy raises all in. SB calls. SB has 77, and his buddy has KK. Hand ends with K-x-x-A-A. I leave miserable and pissed, and mad for not LEAVING THE F---ING TABLE earlier. These guys got under my skin and affected the way I was playing.
2) Be more willing to call occasionally in showdowns where you might typically fold, so they’ll know you’re not afraid to call. I flopped a couple of sets that I bet big on the flop and a couple of them called me, and then the turn or river came, and at least one represented the flush possibility which would have been typical for these guys – they played a lot of suited connectors. Instead of risking the loss of my stack and knowing I could buy back in, I folded to them, and they attempted to walk all over me after that. Some of my thought process in not seeing the showdown was, why would I want to buy back into that table where they had already gotten under my skin and where I was clearly not having any fun whatsoever. I so enjoy playing poker and was miserable at this point – so I folded as to keep some chips in hopes of catching some cards and then making a move – never happened.
All in all, I learned a lot about my game, and feel like I can hold my own in Vegas. That’s all from this chick’s perspective. I’d love to hear comments.
I obviously can't relate much to the woman's perspective. However, I like the thought about "Be more willing to call occasionally in showdowns where you might typically fold". At J's, all the players are 21 yr-old kids with a lot of testosterone and bravado. Once the pot gets over a certain amount, you know that they will try to put you all in, whether they have the goods or not. I, of course, fold bad hands and call with great hands; it is the mediocre hands where I adjust my strategy. I don't always call with mediocre hands, but sometimes I do (maybe 1/3 of the time). I rarely do it on the first 1 or 2 opportunities because I figure each time I fold it only decreases the quality of the hand they will bluff me with the next time. Opportunity #3 comes along and boom goes the dynamite. Then they back off.