Friday, October 12, 2007

"No Free Rides!"

The helmet guy was back today, only this time sans helmet. Even without his signature accessory, he's easily recognizable as the ostentatiously dressed 6'8" jacked bearded black guy with a huge gap between his front teeth, which he frequently displays with his large grin. Today he was wearing a cowboy hat and a brown pin-striped suit-jacket over mesh navy-blue tank-top reminiscent of a gym-class pinney. I'd been playing in the $100 NL game for an hour or so when he joined the table. According to a woman at our table, he is a well-known reggae singer, but I have no idea who he was. He did have the awesome Jamaican accent and a couple friends who would stop by who appeared much more stereotypically Rastafarian, with dreadlocks and whatnot.

Occasionally, a player will try to get a slow game going by raising indiscriminately for several hands, essentially daring his opponents to play with him. Usually this goes along with frequent comments meant to annoy his opponents, to goad them into playing looser, or just to gain attention. I think the reggae guy may have been parodying this sort of player; he incorporated all the normal characteristics of the goading player, but in a humorous and seemingly self-aware sort of way. On the other hand, maybe he's just good-naturedly insane. In any case, for about 45 minutes he raised 95% of the hands to $10 preflop (from $3), saying "no free rides!" every time, without fail. Well, he did occasionally fail to raise because he made string-bets, but he never forgot to say "no free rides!" Unfortunately for me, the guy to my left liked to occasionally reraise allin for another $300 or so, each time winning the $30 or so that was in the pot. The majority of the time, though, this didn't happen, and we'd get to see a flop with a pot of around $50.

Often a stereotypical attention-seeking player will call out for something just before the flop, turn, or river is put out. For example "2!" or "diamond!" The formerly behelmeted reggae singer, though, took this to new heights, hurriedly spouting off "No high, no low, no middle, no straight, no flush!" before each flop. Then, regardless of the cards on the flop, "Perfect!" If he decided to check on the flop, he'd declare, "okay, free ride."

At one point I beat him and another player in a hand where I caught a flush on the river. The pot ended up around $300. Lots of players get upset if they lose on the river, but this guy stood up in his seat, reached across the table to me and, smiling, said "gimme five!" in his Jamaican accent. I obliged. Despite his maniacal behavior, he still managed to be a much better sport than my average opponent.

Other guys I've played with or seen playing at the casino recently: Norman Chad, this guy, who co-wrote the movie "300," the guy who plays the main character's brother on "Big Love," and an NBA hopeful who supposedly played for NC State, was at one point signed by the Clippers (not sure if he played), and thinks Atlanta is going to sign him soon. I can't remember this guy's name either, and I couldn't figure it out doing some google research. Some more info for anyone who may want to try to figure it out: he's under 6'5" and had a horrible motorcycle accident in which he suffered an open fracture of his leg. Obviously, if he were anyone notable I would have been able to identify him already.

1 comment:

Keith said...

It occurs to me that there was another guy I had mentioned who wore a helmet at Hollywood Park. I haven't seen the original (and much smaller) helmet man for several months. The guy I played with today is the one who wore the WWII type helmet, not the chrome one.