Thursday, March 05, 2009

Tilting Lee Jones

Well, despite good intentions, I just don't have the motivation to write up the rest of the Mastodon weekend. It was awesome on a whole other level. That's all you need to know.

That said, I promised a post about Tilting Lee Jones, and here it is. Let me spoil the surprise right here in the beginning - you can't tilt Lee. But, you can make him raise an eyebrow. Unfortunately, "Lee Jones Raises an Eyebrow" isn't a catchy title for a blog post.

First of all, let me say how cool it was to sit in a home game and have one of your poker heroes volunteer to be the dealer. Seriously - he dealt PLO, PLO8 and NL Hold 'em until 4 am. He was right there with correct bet amounts whenever a random drunk (i.e. ME) yelled, "POT!" He was courteous, kind and conversational. In short, he's the kind of guy I would want in MY home game. Oh yeah, he's also the guy that wrote the first poker book I ever read, "Winning Low-Limit Hold'em." I told him a story about the book (which I don't think he believed, but it's absolutely true), that I played in a tournament with a young kid and beat him soundly. Afterwards he came up to me asking for advice. It was obvious to me that he didn't know the basics. He asked me what to read and Lee's book was the only one I recommended. Well, that kid came back two weeks later and busted me out early from the same tournament.

When I told this to Lee he seemed confused. You see, his book has nothing to do with tournament play. Why would it be helpful in this situation? Well, it does such a great job at covering the basics that it really applies to all situations. If you are even remotely interested in poker, pick it up.

Now the hand. I have position and we are playing PLO. Lee pots it in early position and I call with A-2-6-Q rainbow (or something really close). The flop is 3-4-x with two diamonds. I have basically nothing at this point. We are heads up and Lee pots it again. I call. My call here was for one reason only. Namely, I'm about to make a play on Lee F-n* Jones. Well, the miracle card comes on the turn - it's the 5 which completes my straight to the six. Lee pots it again, and I do something very strange. I raise him $100. Why didn't I just pot it, you ask? Because I was drunk and excited and I made a mistake. Sue me.

Lee goes into the tank. After probably a full minute, he announces to the table, "I never do this, but if I fold and show you my hand, will you show me yours?"

I'm reminded of a story about a young amateur playing golf with Jack Nicklaus. Jack is minding his own business when the amateur hits a great iron shot. Jack comes over and casually asks, "What club did you hit there?" That one moment will be frozen in time forever. The Master shows interest in the neophyte! I felt the same way.

When I turned over my hand, Lee exclaimed, "A gutshot? You were chasing a gut shot?!"

I replied, "Look at my hand. I had nothing. I called the flop simply to make a play on you. If a diamond comes on the turn and you bet out, I was going to re-pot. As it turned out, I got lucky." **

Well, I don't think Lee believed me. Further evidence of this was that after the game, he gave me an invite to his next home game. It was probably the same way Doyle Brunson would butter up would be "producers" back in the day. Still, I'd take him up on that offer any day. He's true class.

* Not actually his middle name.
** Based on what he was holding, it would have worked. He would have made a flush, but only to the 9.


BamBam said...

It reads every bit as good as it was told !


*not my real first name, despite how many times it comes out that way!


Shrike said...

Great post.


BWoP said...

NH, sir.

The NL Wife said...

Good write-up, dear. Still think you were a moron for being in the pot with him in the first place. But good on you.

Unknown said...

I hope you realized Lee is a fairly accomplished PLO player, probably beyond his hold em' skillz.