Homage to the Grump

Carlos the Crazy never met a hole card combination he didn’t like. All the regulars knew that, but what could they do about it? After Roderick the Rock opened for 150 (three times the big blind) from the cutoff, Carlos found an easy call (for him) in the big blind with 4♠2♦, knowing that if he hit the flop, he’d at least pick up Rod’s continuation bet by checking.

[CC] The flop was the best he could hope for: A♥5♦3♣! Not only was he sitting on the nut straight, but his opponent likely had top pair. “Check”, Carlos uttered as calmly as he could.

[RR] Roderick was indeed sitting on a big Ace, A♦Q♦, and pushed two blue chips in front of his stack. “200.”

[CC] “How would I act if I were sitting on an inside straight draw?” Carlos wondered. He paused for what he thought was about the right length of time to calculate if the effective stacks merited chasing a four-outer then matched the chips. “Call.”

[RR] Life kept getting better, as the Q♣ appeared on the turn. Carlos continued his deception with another check, and Roderick couldn’t help from smiling as he put out a single green chip. “500.”

Still pretending to be on a weak draw, Carlos thought maybe a small Ace like the A2 would call here to see the river, so he did after another brief pause.

[RR] After a harmless 9♦, Carlos knew a final check would maximize his profit. Roderick was sure his hand was good, since Carlos would surely have raised at some point with a set, and no draws had hit. Still, his conservative nature kept him from getting greedy, and he contented himself with a value bet. “500.”

At last the Crazy one sprung his trap. He wanted to look like he was bluffing but didn’t want to scare his prey away, so he settled on a medium raise to 2,000.

[RR] Roderick was blindsided by the sudden pushback and considered out loud, “You know I have at least the Ace, so you must have at least two pairs. Did you get lucky with the Nine on the river for two pairs?” he added rhetorically. “I call.”

[RR] Carlos wasted no time showing off his straight, and Rod screamed, “How can you call a preflop raise in the big blind with that junk!?”

[CC] “The powerful 42 is known as ‘The Grump’, named for an awesome poker blogger I’ve been reading for the last few years. The Grump is similar to the ‘Spanish Inquisition’, which is the Six and the Three, because ‘nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition’1. When these hands hit unexpected quads, full houses, flushes, and straights, you disbelievers always pay off handsomely.”

[CC] “I’ve never met the man known as the Grump, whom I was introduced to by a woman I’ve never met either. I discovered Cardgrrl when the Boston Globe Magazine gave her a brief mention, and I eagerly followed her blog for the year and a half that she was writing it. I have no dreams of becoming a professional poker player, but I wanted to improve my game, and she was going to document her attempts at doing exactly that.”

[CC] “Along the way, she met and introduced her readers to the Grump, the poker player and writer, and I’ve been reading him ever since. He lives in Las Vegas and regularly writes interesting stories about his poker adventures, mostly at the table but occasionally online as well. Although he’s a better poker player than Cardgrrl or me, he always keeps his analyses understandable. True to his nickname, he’s a stickler for the rules, to the point that he would challenge whether a casino’s rules were even correct in the first place. Mostly though, he keeps a low profile, flying under the radar, and quietly walking away with a profit.”

[CC] “He probably wishes that the peak of his fame had never happened, but his blog really took off when he was backroomed, that is ‘forcibly taken to a private area by casino security for the purposes of educating you, either subtly or violently, verbally or physically, regarding a transgression that they believe you have committed’. One of the Grump’s regular blog features was a ‘Guess the Casino’ photo, but most casinos have areas where they prohibit you from taking pictures. After being politely requested to stop shooting one day and obliging, he was surprised to be asked later to see the photos. Declining that request-that-wasn’t-really-a-request led to the Grump finding out that not all businesses agree that the customer is always right.”

[CC] “Alas, in a few days, the Grump is leaving Las Vegas to be much nearer to Cardgrrl (aw!), which doesn’t mean that The Poker Grump blog will be stopping but will certainly significantly reduce the frequency of his posts as he will no longer be near a casino. I’m gonna miss him.2

Footnotes:

  1. The Spanish Inquisition is a series of Monty Python sketches that repeat this line as a catchphrase.
  2. Many thanks to the Poker Grump for his efforts and inspiration. The THETA Poker Blog doesn’t have any pretentions of filling his shoes, but if you suddenly have a few more minutes a day for reading poker blogs, please stop by here, where the Hold ‘Em at Home crew will try its best to entertain and educate.

Flash replayer version of the hand

Full Tilt Poker formatted version, suitable for inputting into various poker analysis tools

Full Tilt Poker Game #0000000006: $25 Home Tourney (000003), Table 1 - 25/50 - No Limit Hold'em - 00:00:01 GMT - 2013/02/04
Seat 1: CrazyCarlos (5,800)
Seat 2: FishFigaro (5,750)
Seat 3: AlmostAl (6,100)
Seat 4: EagleElias (6,150)
Seat 5: YoungGunYuri (6,400)
Seat 6: RockRoderick (6,000)
Seat 7: MildredMouse (5,850)
Seat 8: LionLeroy (5,950)
LionLeroy posts the small blind of 25
CrazyCarlos posts the big blind of 50
The button is in seat #7
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to CrazyCarlos [4s 2d]
FishFigaro folds
AlmostAl folds
EagleElias folds
YoungGunYuri folds
RockRoderick raises to 150
MildredMouse folds
LionLeroy folds
CrazyCarlos calls 100
*** FLOP *** [Ah 5d 3c]
CrazyCarlos checks
RockRoderick bets 200
CrazyCarlos calls 200
*** TURN *** [Ah 5d 3c] [Qc]
CrazyCarlos checks
RockRoderick bets 500
CrazyCarlos calls 500
*** RIVER *** [Ah 5d 3c Qc] [9d]
CrazyCarlos checks
RockRoderick bets 500
CrazyCarlos raises to 2000
RockRoderick calls 1500
*** SHOW DOWN ***
CrazyCarlos shows [4s 2d] straight, Five high
RockRoderick shows [Ad Qd] two pairs, Aces and Queens
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 5,725 | Rake 0
Board: [Ah 5d 3c Qc 9d]
Seat 1: CrazyCarlos (big blind) showed [4s 2d] and won (5,725) with straight, Five high
Seat 2: FishFigaro folded before the flop
Seat 3: AlmostAl folded before the flop
Seat 4: EagleElias folded before the flop
Seat 5: YoungGunYuri folded before the flop
Seat 6: RockRoderick showed [Ad Qd] and lost with two pairs, Aces and Queens
Seat 7: MildredMouse (button) folded before the flop
Seat 8: LionLeroy (small blind) folded before the flop

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