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It was about that time I had slot hoki a fantastic idea.

“Albania,” I said, “do me a favor. Say this: Give that man his money.”
For some reason, Albania indulged me. And suddenly, there, sitting at the back table of the Excalbur Poker room sat none other than Teddy KGB.
I couldn’t have been more pleased.
I think it was around the time the room erupted in slot hoki another monkey-cheer that I remembered the remaining lyrics to the Albania song:
Albania, Albania, you border on the Adriatic. Your land is mostly mountainous and your chief export is chrome
Actually, at the time, I accidentally replaced the word “land” with “hills,” to which G-Rob (who had finally arrived at 6am after a 12-hour nap) said, “Your hills are mostly mountainous? What the hell does that mean?”
Prick.
Eventually, Albania refused to do his Teddy KGB impression anymore and got more and more cranky as the morning wore on.
I thought I might cheer him up by asking if he knew what Albania’s chief export was, but it didn’t seem to help.
On Roofies and Iggy’s Greatest Tell
Before long, the table was starting to look like a Party Poker blogger table. G-Rob, Dr. Jeff, Marty, Iggy, and I were hamming it up with Albania and the others. Joey Two-Hands had already left to catch his 6am flight back to Denver, but the rest of us were going strong as the sun again started to rise on Las Vegas.
My plan to go to bed by 5am had again been thwarted and already I was facing the possibility of going into another day on no sleep. Still, I was feeling okay and having the time of my life.
When Iggy sat dow in the four-seat, I couldn’t help but revel in his love of the game and his fellow bloggers. Here’s a guy who just quit a fairly lucrative job to go out on his own and play poker. He doesn’t write a great deal about his play (which, frankly, I wish he would do more), but one can assume he doesn’t build his bankroll playing $1-$3 spread at six in the morning. He was there simply to have fun.
All of that said, just because he’s playing for little more than pride, he doesn’t dial back his game. Within thirty minutes of him sitting down, I drew the Hilton Sisters and started to build a pot. Iggy and I went to war, raising, re-raising, capping pre-flop, then doing the same on the flop when no overs came. When an ace came on the turn, I still bet into him, but he raised me and I dialed it back. I check-called the river to see his pocket kings. Only on Party Poker, my ass.
“I like the way you slowed down on the turn,” he said.
To this day, I still don’t know if he was being sarcastic.
From the other end of the table, Marty asked Iggy his name.
“Hank,” Iggy said.
“Hmmm,” Marty said. “I thought I heard you say your name was Iggy.”
Marty is a law-talking guy and is not to be trifled with. But he’d been up for a while as well, and he didn’t press the issue.
As for me, I was still steaming from having my Hiltons cracked, and raised pre-flop with pocket sixes. Of course, Iggy called.
Note: I don’t have any notes on this hand. I’m pretty sure this is how it played out. Iggy may want to correct me if I’m wrong.
The flop came down 589. Again, Iggy and I went to war.
Now, I know I’m not necessarily favored to win this hand. In fact, I should assume that Iggy is ahead. Maybe a set. More likely, A9 or A8. If he is ahead, I know that I only have six outs to catch up. Still, having played low-limit with him before, I know Iggy can sometimes be aggressive when he’s way behind. I could only hope he was on a draw.
I think I maintained my poker face when the turn brought a seven, giving me the straight. I check-raised Iggy, who cold called and gave me a look.
The turn was a blank, as I recall. This time I bet into him and the sonofabitch raised me. I re-raised, and he capped.
But as he put in his final bet, he turned to the dealer and said, “You know, in a lot of cardrooms, when play gets to be heads up there’s no limit on the number of raises.”
It was at this moment that my heart sank and I picked up on Iggy’s biggest tell: When he has the nuts, he’ll turn to the dealer and ask for the game to be no-limit.
The dealer said we could do whatever we wanted, but I already knew what was about to happen. I put in my final crying call and watched Iggy turn up Vince Van Patton’s favorite hand, JTo.
Iggy began raking the pot and eyed me from behind his locks, “Drawing at the dummy end of the straight,” he said with a playful scoff.
In one moment I felt both chastened and so happy to be alive that I didn’t mind losing another big pot to Iggy.
After a while, Iggy prepared to depart to play craps with Hdouble, Grubby, and Mrs. Can’t Hang. As he left, he gave Marty his drink as a peace offering, admitting finally that he was, in fact, Iggy.
As Iggy walked away, Marty asked, “You don’t think he’d slip me a roofie do you?”
“Nah,” I said, thinking, but if he asks the dealer to go no-limit, I’d fold. That’s his greatest tell.
Coming up…after the holidays…
*Playing the Rock Garden
*No-Limit—Making back the losses
*Sherwood Forest Pt. 2
*Social Anxiety Disorder and the Bellagio

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