Mini Trip Report from Commerce Casino

A one-armed Chinese man, a drug dealer wearing a gaudy gold Virgin of Guadelupe pendant on a gaudy gold rope, and Shane Nickerson.

Yeah, it's just another night in the $100 NL game at Commerce.

Shane, I've decided, has the worst luck in the universe. I watched him lose a buy-in to a donkey who called him all the way down with an underpair, only to catch her one-outer on the river to bust his flopped top two pair. I also saw him lose a buy-in to the guy we're pretty sure was a drug dealer n Shane flopped a set of nines against the his pocket queens, and the villain caught running clubs to make a flush. Aiyah!

When I got home, I wrote to Shane:

The Flush Suckout Guy has this great set of speakers in his van that he can sell you, straight from the factory. I think he has some designer cologne, too, but he may have to run around the corner to pick it up.

Shane wrote back:

That guy writes himself, man.

Indeed, he did. His fingernails were stained black, the same color as his black Los Angeles Dodgers cap. His huge adam's apple pushed out against two or three days worth of stubble. His blue eyes were bloodshot and pinned, and when he walked up to the table, he bounced his head around, pealed a one hundred dollar bill off a thick gangster roll from his pocket, and said, "Yeah-heah-heah-ha-ha-hah-heaaah!" He was one of the worst players I've ever seen, and that wad of bills came out of his pocket for several rebuys while I was there.

While it's very convenient to play online, one of the major benefits of playing live poker is seeing characters like Suckout Guy and One Armed Man. Shane and I also saw a guy in a floor-length oilskin duster who had a Texas Rangers star to accompany the feather on his fedora, as well as a gaggle of outrageously hot girls in too-tight cowboy shirts. (As if there's such a thing!) The guy in the 8 seat at our table said he took the SAT with me at Granada Hills High about sixteen years ago, and at one point stacked up over $500 in front of him by making boat-over-boat.

The game down there is extremely loose, and if you're not careful, you will get killed by some jerk who calls your fifteen dollar pre-flop raise (the blinds are 2 and 3) with a raggedy ace and ends up making two pair on the turn to bust your AK. So I played outrageously tight, raising with Group I and II hands only, and only limping with all other pocket pairs or medium suited connectors if I could get in late with at least two limpers ahead of me. I didn't play many hands, but I got paid off twice with pocket queens and a successful continuation bet with AQ when a king hit the flop. I played for about three hours, and I left $53 to the good after tokes and blinds. Not great, but better than losing, and when is the last time you got to say that you played with a one-armed man?


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