What the Hell Is Wrong With Me?: It was the evening before the first ever Madcity No-Limit Poker Invitational and Bert, inventor of the Bert Classic and digital photography, and Ivan, poker player deluxe and designer of this here website, met up with me to get down on some Chinese food at Joy Luck (yeah, the name is lame, but the food is tasty). Afterwards, we went to my big bro’s house to set up for the MNPI.
It didn’t take us that long to get set up, maybe an hour, and there we were, three poker players in a room full of poker chips, our pockets full of green, and with a couple of hours to kill. Can you guess what happened? That’s right, my people, we had a little three-way Hold 'Em action. Over time, Omaha has been dealt more and more at our game because there’s a lot more action, but the MNPI was going to be strictly Hold 'Em, so we decided to work on our Hold 'Em techniques.
We played until almost one in the morning, and I was up and down the whole night, but never getting that far behind or ahead. It’s the same ol’ routine: I don’t make the big moves and I only ever win when I get into showdowns (nobody folds to a guy who doesn’t bet it up) and my cards hold up at the end. I get the little pots and everybody else gets the big ones.
What’s the problem? Somewhere toward the end of February, I became gun shy, which is a horrible thing to be for a poker player. I’ve made myself into a low-variance player, and, over time, we tend to get chewed up by high-variance players. They’re all trying to kill each other with baseball bats and I get scared and fold or call when I should be swinging my bat, too.
What does this all mean? That after about four hours of action, I was down exactly $2.75. How embarrassing is that? I think that I’d rather be down $50 than $2.75 because that would mean that I was out there, in the fray, trying to take care of my goddamned business. Instead, if you look at The Not-So-Grand Total, you’ll see that, since the end of February, I’ve had nights where I’ve won or lost $8, $6.25, $10, $10, $1.50 (that one’s particularly embarrassing), $5.50, $9, and, finally, $2.75. And most of our games last at least six hours, which means that I’ve had hourly rates of winning 25 cents. Yeah, that’s gonna buy daddy the pec implants.
But Wait, It Gets Worse: After the conclusion of the MNPI, it was still pretty early, so Bert, inventor of the Bert Light and fluorescent lighting, Ivan, Jesse, and myself decided to go back to my big bro’s for some post-MNPI action. I was already out of my head because of how I had done at the MNPI (I might never get over it; thanks a lot, you bastards) but here I was playing with the three guys who had cashed at the MNPI. I proceeded to take an ass-kicking for the four hours that we played.
I was so messed up by what had happened at the MNPI, mostly having to do with me getting great hands cracked by what came down on fourth- and fifth street, that, if somebody came out betting post fourth street or post fifth street, I would fold, even if I was holding something that war really pretty. What did I see when everybody else turned over their cards at the showdown? That I had folded winning hands. It happened three times. No, that’s not accurate. I let it happen three times.
At the end of the night, I had lost $27.50, which isn’t too bad considering I was down about $45 after two hours, but there had been a period when I had actually been ahead. If I hadn't been such a coward and bet those three hands that I could have won, I would have finished with a nice little profit.
It was probably one of my worst performances ever at a poker table. In fact, Bert, inventor of the Bert Death Spiral and the meatball sub, and Jesse commented that I wasn’t playing like myself. Great, you know you're really sucking when your competitors are worried about you.
Back to the drawing board.
Poker Problem: Why does everything pretty have to die?