From the Files of Mr. Loser:
"IT" and his College Degrees
By Frank Lallo
We'd been playing a little more then two hours in a $15-$30 game at a local casino when "IT" walked into the room. The entire place went silent except for a few giggles here and there. The "IT" I refer to was a guy around 6 feet tall, 110 pounds soaking wet. That's with the water still on him.
You had to see this guy to believe him. He had it all, the slicked back hair, the "Attention K-mart shoppers" suit special, with more costume jewelry then those bubble gum machines the kids throw a quarter into for a ring and a gum ball. I'll have to give him some credit here- his fake patent leather shoes had to come from Wal-Mart, a slight improvement over K-mart. The cologne, well i'll be nice and not even go there.
Suddenly I see people moving short stacks of chips into positions with empty seats and I say to myself "Self, what's going on here?" With that, "IT" sits at the table. One guy ups and leaves and another just shakes his head. Now, with all the poker rooms in this town and thousands of seats, "IT" finds the table I'm on.
Then it begins. For the next 45 minutes, this guy rambles on and on, we're not even sure if he had taken a deep breath to refuel his oxygen supply. He has more college degrees than there are chips on the table. I mean, he has BAs, Master's, Ph.D's and everything in between. This guy had the answers to everything, including the location of a secret civilization that resides some three miles under New Mexico.
Now if a motor-mouth is not enough to drive you nuts, this jackass was coughing up a storm without covering his mouth. We asked him politely several times to please cover his mouth when he coughed, as did the card room manager. With this, "IT" attempts to spit into a cup and misses, dribbling all over his shirt. You would think any reasonable person would go to the men's room and clean up, but noooooo, not him. He wipes it with his bare hand right onto his pants, and then proceeds to play his cards.
With this, I blow my cork and let him have it big time. The gentlemen next to me threatens to break both his arms if he pulls that stunt again. Now you can only push people so far before all hell breaks lose, and this table was on the brink of total mayhem. The card room manager asked that the table take a 15 minute break to cool off. We all agreed.
Now that cooler heads had prevailed, it was time to play poker again. Though toned down quite a bit, "IT" was still rambling but he did cover his mouth, and there where no more spitting stunts. It was obvious the table was going to try and isolate "IT" any chance they had (the logic being take all his chips and pray he doesn't rebuy).
The big question now was, with all his degrees, could we do it? As we began our first semester at UPNLV (University Of Poker Nevada Las Vegas), "IT" was quickly heads up with a wise old-timer that had silently built himself a nice bankroll. The flop showed a 9,2,7 rainbow. "IT" checks, the old-timer bets, "IT" raises, OT calls. Fourth street see's a 5, again "IT" checks OT bets, "IT" raise's OT calls. The river comes up 7. "IT" yells "BINGO" and bets, OT thinks a few seconds and raises. "IT" reraises and they cap it. "IT" flops down 2,2. The OT calmly flops down 9,9 and says "Wrong game. This is hold'em, not bingo."
Four hands later, Dave has "IT" heads up. The flop is 6,7,8 all spades. "IT" bets, Dave calls fourth street, shows us an Ah. They both check. The river comes up 5d. With this "IT" again yells "BINGO" and bets, Dave raise's this time. "IT" calls. Dave puts down 9,10. "IT" says "Damn" and trashes his cards. Dave says "Thank you" and tells him "Bingo is upstairs."
Fifteen minutes later, Bob has him isolated with pocket A's. The flop see's 2,10,A. Bob bets, he calls. Fourth street sees a Q, Bob bets, he calls. The river is dead, a 7. Bob does the old check and raise number and bonehead reraises. They cap it. It's show-time.
"IT" shows two pair, 10's and 2's. Bob laughs, says "BINGO" and plops down his pocket A's. With the first semester over, it was obvious "IT" had failed Geography 101 miserably. Bingo was on the second floor in the front of the casino. We were on the first floor on the side.
Our second semester began with a new player and a bang. He was heads up with "IT" immediately. The flop came out 6,6,6. This is a good sign for "IT". We all know what 666 means and he comes out swinging. They cap it from the get go. "IT" smiles and throws down A,A. The new guy smiles and puts down suited 7,6. His quad is worth $550.00. His wife was ecstatic and tells him "Let's go". He looked back at her and she stared him down, and he got up and left. Personally, I think the guy made the right move. She was a toughie and there was no doubt in my mind she would give him a good old fashion ass-kickin if he hadn't.
As the second semester moved on, "IT" was again failing, this time it was Economics 101. The theory behind supply-side economics is that you have a product that the public cannot do without and will pay though the nose for it. Well, "IT's" cards were not working too well, and the bankroll was dwindling fast. At the rate he was going, he would be filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection shortly.
Semester three began rather slowly. "IT" was now real quiet, but still coughing. This cough, however, sounded more like choking and gagging then the common cold. As this semester heated up "IT" was still on a southward slide. Oh, he won a nice pot along the way, but was second best on three others, and about to be again for the fourth time.
This time it was your's truly. One pet peeve of mine is looking for cards that haven't shown up on the board in some time, whether it be suits or numbers. This theory has been very good to me over the years. Now, I'm not saying I use it all the time, nor that it works all the time. It is a spot play and this was the perfect spot. "IT" was sliding south real fast, and he was obviously on tilt big time.
The flop hits the board a rainbow J,9,2. This was not good for me. I'm holding 6,7os. We both check. A 10 comes on fourth street. He bets, I sit thinking, "fold'em or hold'em?" I haven't seen that 8 in quite awhile, and make the decision to go for it. If the 8 doesn't appear, I am going to bluff. Win or lose, I'm going for it.
The river is a Q. My theory has failed me. The battle is lost but the war is not over. He checks, and I look at him smile and say "Bingo." He folds like the cheap suit he's wearing. I show him my cards and boy is he pissed. He was holding two pair.
He had failed yet again, this time it was an understanding of Newton's Law of Relativity. In it's simplest form, it states that once something begins rolling downhill, it needs something of equal or greater force to stop it.
Well needless to say, the next two semesters didn't change much. "IT" failed both. He tried to slow play three Js and was caught on the river and beat with a straight. Welcome to Darwin's theory of Evolution, "IT". You get and "F".
On the final hand of the day, "IT" and another player went all-in on the flop. "IT" laid down pocket A's, the other guy K,Qos. Fourth street brings a K. "IT" is looking pretty good. Would "IT" pass the final semester? Here it comes, a...K. "IT" is devastated. "It can't be! no way!" He fails Thermodynamics, and leaves the table busted and disgusted.
"IT" does however leave with a working knowledge on the theory of instantaneous combustion. This states that 1 dealer + 1 flip of the wrist + 1 very bad river card = 1 puff of smoke, 1 flash, 1 pile of ashes and you're a Loser. We never did get this chap's name, this is why I called him "IT". And this is why we call him MISTER LOSER.
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