September 16, 2006
Los Angeles -- As I read the article aptly called the "Axis of Kabob" I couldn't help but to write and tell you about the incident that took place at the Commerce Casino just south of Los Angeles last week. I had gone there to play poker and since I was in middle of a bad luck storm, I stood up and started walking around to try to run out my bad luck.
It was around 10pm. As I got closer to the $5,000 buy-in no limit game, I noticed that the game was super juicy; that is, every pot was over $2,000 with many pots approaching $5,000. Seat 1 was a huge white American guy with approximately $15,000 worth of chips in front of him. This guy was easily 6'4" and was sitting on multiple seat cushions, making him tower over the table and everyone around him.
This was an obvious attempt to intimidate everyone. Besides being huge, this guy thought (by the way he talked) he was the professor of poker and the best player on the face of the earth.
Seat 4 was an average looking medium built Israeli man in his 50s. He had around $9,000 in chips in front of him. Kept playing shitty cards and kept losing. Once he would see that he had lost, or fold his cards to the bettor, he would cuss out the casino dealers in what I am guessing was Hebrew. As if the Chinese or Vietnamese dealer would understand him. Nevertheless, his behavior was rude and uncalled for. Let's say he wasn't earing browny points from the dealer or the players at the table. Nobody would miss this guy if he left the table.
Seat 8 was a very young looking Iranian guy; in his mid 20s. He had the iPod thing going on; listening to the music as he was intensly watching every move of every player. He looked liked a very "pedar sookhteh" kinda of a guy, but nice pedar sookhteh. Interestingly enough, he also had close to $10,000 in chips as well. I thought to myself, where did this guy get all this money?
About 10 minutes into watching the game, a new hand started. The big American guy bet $3,000. A couple of players folded and it was now the Israeli guys turn to bet or raise. After about 3-4 minutes of thinking, he raised the original bet to $6,000. Seats 5, 6 and 7 folded and it was now our Iranian bro's turn to call, raise or fold. He thought about his move for 30 seconds or so and called the $6,000 raise.
After it got to our American friend, he raised his bet to all-in or close to $15,000 total. Everyone was kind of expecting this. It was now up to the Israeli guy. He hemed and ha'd for an eternity and also went all in.
The bet to our young Iranian friend now was all his chips or close to $10,000. Again, it took him all but less than 10 seconds to call.
The dealer asked the 3 players to turn over their cards. The American player had 2 Aces, the Israeli guy had 2 Kings and the Iranian player had Ace Jack of spades.
The first 3 cards, or the flop, was 8, 9 and 3. All different suits. The gentle giant in seat 1 got up and yelled YESSSSS at the top of his lungs. The casino walls were shaking! Then he said "that's what you get for donkey plays... YESSSS... YESSSSS..."
Actually, the phrase "donkey player" was coined by the Iranian players at the Commerce Casino because they kept calling other players "khar".
The dealer then placed the 4th card or the "turn" on the table. It was a Jack. Now each player had a big pair; Aces, Kings and Jacks. The American guy was way ahead at this point.
The last card or the river would now seal the fate of this hand. Guess what! That's right, the last card was another Jack and our Iranian friend won a pot over $30,000.
After winning a hand worth over $30,000 this young guy didn't bat an eyelash! Holy crap! What's running through this guy's veins, I asked?
After cussing the dealer for a few minutes, our Israeli friend packed up his things and left. The giant kept saying "how could you call a $17,000 all in bet with Ace Jack off suit? How could you call...." This guy was in shock.
The only response from our Iranian friend was, "Sorry man, that's poker".
Later that night, I spoke to this kid whose name was Hooman. He told me that he was 26 and from age 21 he had been making a living playing professional poker in Las Vegas and Atlantic City with occasional visits to Los Angeles.
He had finished his degree in Political Science from UCLA and to great dismay of his parents, who had disowned him, had turned to poker instead of going to law school.
When I asked him if he is happy with the decision he had made, he said that although he is having a lot of fun and making a lot of money, he missed his parents and his younger brother and was planning to quit playing and go to law school with the hope of rejoining his family. He said he was worried that his dad may not accept him back.
Hooman jan, good luck in law school and enjoy your family's love. A real father would never say no to being close to his son. So, thank you for making my night by winning from the 2 guys I wished I had made broke and thank God for making you see the light. Comment