Saturday, April 17, 2010

Still Fuming, Eight Hours Later

A curious statistic: 93% of American drivers believe themselves to be above average regarding skill and safety. It's a phenomenon called "Illusory Superiority," which is just one particularly ironic bit of havoc that an overdeveloped sense of self-esteem can wreak. And besides driving skill, nowhere is it more evident than in your "above average" poker player.

And I'm embarrassed to say that it's evident in me. I fancy myself an above-average poker player; the bottom line on my on-line account is growing, not shrinking, so there's some empirical evidence to support that boast. But I just cannot get the hand that crippled me, and just how awfully bad I played it, out of my mind.

To recap, I was about average stacked, against mostly soft competition, and was the table captain, and looser pre-flop than usual. I was dealt 7-10d. Try as I might I can't remember the situation pre-flop - it might have been a big blind special or I might have raised the pot, which would have been glaring ridiculous horrible mistake #1. The flop came 789 rainbow. And this is the part of the picture where I turn my head, unable to watch what comes next.

I shoved and lost almost all my chips. There was no good reason for it, none whatsoever. I put myself in a significant position of risk, way more risk than the reward warranted. My best move there would have been no move whatsoever - call the hand down and fold to any big bet. My best move would have been to fold that stinker of a hand pre-flop. My best move would have been ANY FUCKING MOVE AT ALL THAT DID NOT INVOLVE PUTTING ALL MY CHIPS AT RISK. I sit here hours later, stunned at my own glaring mistake, shocked at the breathtaking speed with which I went from contender - favorite, even - to railbird, and ruminating on illusory superiority.

Or, to quote Marcellus Wallace to Butch the boxer, "that's just yo pride, fuckin' witcha."

I let my pride and my ego fuck with me. And really, if you allow a stupid idea like "shove with garbage to prove that you're the best poker player here" to get out of committee, cross the corpus callosum, hit the brain stem, and actually be acted upon, you cannot with any sincerity call yourself a good poker player.

I learned a bitter lesson today; if I do not learn from it, I'm not only a bad poker player, I'm fucking stupid as well.


  1. You didn't learn the lesson from yesterday at all. In fact I don't think you even know what the lesson was!

  2. How can you say that? It just happened 24 hours ago. Why you harshin' my mellow, woman?

  3. too mean, Josie. Now I'm all boo-boo lipped.

  4. The lesson is to stop raising with shitty cards. Yes, you raised with that crappy 7-10. And you raised with Jack six, queen five, and those I saw while I was observing.....remember the table talking and saying a few times "Gary raises with anything". That's a bad reputation to have IMO. They're all afraid when I raise - they should be afraid of you too. You're too good for that crap.

    I talked to Cancer Al today. He and Mary chopped...and then they lost it all to slot machines! WTF! It'll be years before they win again and they threw our money away. THAT pisses me off too...$500 in slot machines....and these people beat US.

    Now don't be mad. I just say this because I care.

  5. Well I'm not defending my play - the whole premise of this post was to offer the opinion that I'm a pork chop - but you can't look at one metric, like openers, and make a judgement on one's play. Those hands you saw me play were at a very short table - I think we were down to four or five people, one of whom was critically short on chips. And when I'm confident that I can beat someone post-flop (or get their $5 scratcher!), I'll see all manner of opening hands.

    My main source of frustration was my post-flop play on that hand; it's still bugging me.

    And I suppose my future play will determine to what extent I've learned from this little escapade. Stay tuned!

  6. I have no problem with people who occasionally donate ... : o )