Friday, August 31, 2012

The Poker Diaries, Or How To Lose In An Extremely Irritating Fashion Over Many Hours

And Man, That Was All She Wrote
In the past 3.5 years, I've played poker 116 times. (Yes, I keep track. You are surprised?) In that time, I've worked out the following ways to lose. They include:

> Idiotic hero calls

> Wildly aggro bluffs that get called

> Overly timid play where I eventually get blinded out

> Being crazy card-dead, and tonight's spectacular new addition to the mix

> Waiting for big hands, getting them, betting them, watching them improve on the flop, then lose on the river. Over and over and over.

Part of this was, like all poker, my own fault. We were playing limit at Parx, the local house of horrors, and the trouble with big hands in limit is that you can't end the hand early, simply because guys with draws are going to stay in them. But still, here are the hands that lost tonight:

> Pocket kings that improved to trips on the flop, only to lose to a flush on the river

> Suited ace that turns to a pair on the flop, losing to trip deuces on the turn

> Ace-9 turning to a pair of aces on the flop and a straight on the river, losing to a flush

> Pocket kings that improved to trips on the river, losing to the flush that was also made on the river

But the real benefit of playing limit is that instead of being out on just one of these hair-pulling beats, I got to endure them all, in succession, over many patient hours of waiting for playable hands. Good times! (How good? On the last hand, when the other guy said he had a flush, I replied, "Of course you do." And left. Without any trace of surprise at all, really.)

Anyway, it happens. Learn from it, assume that next time won't be so bad, understand that, well, you've been running hot the last few times out and regression to the mean is, well, a thing. And then, have the Boss play you out. Play me out, Boss...


Anonymous said...

If you are serious about poker, you don't play limit. That is where the hacks hang out.

DMtShooter said...

I am serious about poker. But playing 1/2 at Parx requires a 5/10 bankroll, and a 10/20 taste for chip swings. And, well, I'm a mid-stakes guy, 40s, with kids. That shouldn't mean you can't play, but at Parx, it does.

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