Rub Downs

Rub Downs

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

By Paul Jackson
I thought this month I would compose a compilation of rub downs that might amuse you or even inspire you to opt for a rub down of your own should the situation require it. Obviously, a rub down can be given by accident or, if deliberate, it can be just a bit of fun with someone you know will take it in a light-hearted manner. It can also be a deliberate act to put down someone for whom you have a lack of respect.

For older players this usually means “bad people”; the sort of people Jesus probably disapproves of. For younger players it merely means “bad players” or players who don’t play “optimally”, ie, like they do.

The interaction between old and young can often be quite amusing. Roland De Wolfe (who is now old by poker standards, despite what he might tell you) after beating a young whiz kid who showed up with some strange hand at showdown, will ask him what he does for a living and, if he bites and says “I play poker”, will reply, “Yes, I know that. Sorry, I will rephrase: what do you do when you need to earn money?”

During the WSOP a proper Deep South cowboy-type old-timer was involved in a running battle with a young, chipped-up Scandi player. A couple of times the old boy had got the better of his much younger opponent and at one point the visibly delighted cowboy drawls, “I’ve forgotten more about the great game of poker than you'll ever know, sonny.”

Several hands later, the inevitable happens when the aggressive Scandi traps the cowboy into shoving on him and reveals the nuts, knocking him out. As the cowboy leaves the table crestfallen, the Scandi says something like, “It must be your age, but it seems you forgot more than you realised, sir.”

The older players have some standard rub downs they have used for years. For example, when a fellow pro does his bollox and is storming out wondering how he lost in a game he was “supposed” to win in, Neil Channing likes to shout, “Tell them where you got it”.

At the recent GUKPT in Coventry, after EPT winner Will Fry had been knocked out after playing many speculative hands, Marc Wright (online superstar) advised him that it was a re-entry event. When Will said it was a bit late to re-enter, Marc replied “Oh, come on … please! Here, I will pay the juice for you.” When it was mentioned that Will had won an EPT, Marc’s response was: “What, him? It must have been eight years ago!” Will responded, “Easy when you’re getting it, kid, show some class.”

If someone has, for example, raised pre-flop and bet the flop with a very strong hand and has been called by some ridiculous hand pre-flop that then called for a gutshot on the flop, hit it on the turn and eventually stacks the unsuspecting premium hand (usually held by some old person), I might say after the hand, “You should have raised pre-flop to make him fold that rubbish.” Then perhaps I’ll follow up with, “It could have been worse; he could have called your flop bet with a gutshot.”

Stating the absolute obvious can be a good rub down, particularly when the obvious is completely, intensely annoying, although you have to look out for the right spot if you are doing it on purpose. I was playing at DTD recently and I called a raise with JhKh and the flop came K-K-Q. The pre-flop raiser checks and I bet about one sixth of the pot, half hoping that, facing such a weak looking bet, he might make a move with a lesser hand or that he may even call, thinking a much lesser hand may be winning.

The turn was a two and he had pocket twos. After he had received most of my stack he genuinely said, “If you had bet more on the flop I would have folded”, which I am sure is absolutely true. At the recent Genting Poker Series event in Stoke, I was on the button with pocket kings and a player in the hijack seat raises and I 3-bet him (bottom of my range for a 3-bet in this spot). It’s back to him and he over-shoves, and I call very quickly, at which point he does that resigned shrug that players often do when they have been caught and know they are in bad shape, before he turns over his two aces. The flop is a less than promising A-Q-Q, leaving me needing running kings or queens to avoid an exit, so I get out of my seat, say “nice hand” and start to walk away. As I’m moving past another player, the turn is dealt – a jack – and the player grabs me by the arm, saying, “You can still hit a straight with a ten.” He was serious and he was absolutely correct.

My personal favourite is still from the recent Genting Poker series Main Event in Edinburgh, and I have written about it before. When a significantly “creative” player made a raise of a number of various differently-coloured, chips Barny Boatman asked, “How much is the raise?” to which the player replied, “I don't have a clue”. “I know,” said Barny, “but how much is the raise”.

I tend not to direct malicious rubdowns towards women (unless I think they are completely awful). When I think about it, my feelings about this are a bit of a contradiction. I think women should be encouraged into poker and that they should be considered as equals in the game (as they are, in fact, possibly more than equal as they don’t have penis envy issues at the poker table), yet at the same time I would not give a woman as much verbal grief as I might a male. I think it’s inappropriate, particularly if they are brunettes with large breasts.

Amy Trodd, who engages a lot in social media as marketing manager for iPoker platform Poker Encore was playing in Stoke and she is (when sober) a very respectable and quiet player who would never consciously annoy another player on the table by her words or deeds. And yet, for some inexplicable reason, when she was in a pot with another player who is generally quiet and unassuming – so much so that he has the local nickname of “The Undertaker”, simply because he never speaks – it kicked off. The Undertaker managed to crack Amy’s aces with 4-3. As she is quietly walking away from the table he shouts to her, “Make sure you tweet that one, love!” I think maybe he was bullied a bit at school.

Lucky for him he was not dealing with Caroline Cove, who generally doesn’t take any abuse from men, unless it’s a teenager she’s in the process of corrupting. While playing poker in Blackpool, she had taken a few pots off the same man who wasn’t taking it well, especially because she was making jokes at his expense when she won. After losing yet another pot to her, his retort was, “Don’t get excited, love, or you might get too wet and slide off your seat.” Caroline’s response was, “Mate, for you to get me wet you would have to vomit on my crotch (not the word she used). Not gonna happen any other way!” Probably best to end it there.

Tags: Paul Jackson, Neil Channing, Roland de Wolfe, Barny Boatman