Another Thing I Am Not Very Good At: Texas Hold 'Em

I consider myself to be a fairly intelligent person. I did fairly well at college and have solved my Rubik's Cube a few times. I also do better with gambling when I have a say in the overall strategy of games, which led me to a stunning reality recently: I suck at Texas Hold 'Em.

Apparently I suck really, really bad at it.

My story begins with me entering a charity tournament in a nearby city. It was a reasonable buy in at $40 and I figured it would make a good story for my blog, so I decided to sign up. I have a fair amount of knowledge in Player/Dealer Casino Poker and can tell you which hands beat what, but I had no idea the amount of strategy involved that is needed to do well in Hold 'Em. When I showed up to the tournament room inside of an upscale bar, I was surprised by what I saw. It was a hodgepodge of people, some well dressed, some looking like they belong living underneath the sewer in a vintage episode of Futurama. No problem I thought, I will be able to handle myself against these people. Most were sure to be as novice as me, right?

Wrong.

The first hands were dealt, and I did not see anything I really wanted to put a matching bet on. It was going to be my strategy to play conservatively. I did this until about my 10th hand when I came up with pocket 9s. I matched the Ante bet and was off to the races. Unfortunately in my conservative state I had apparently tipped people off to the fact that I had a decent hand. Everyone else folded their hands except for this guy with two goofy looking eyes. I swear to God this man was the living breathing version of Sesame Street's Cookie Monster. His eyes googled that badly in both directions and he was a hairy son of a bitch. This guy had to have no idea what he was doing here, right? It looked like he belonged working the Tilt A Whirl at the church carnival instead of playing Poker in a tournament at a bar with sharks swimming in a giant aquarium (it really was freaking cool at this poker room, inside of a niiice bar).

This hand was going to go my way; I was sure of it.

Cookie Monster raised my match bet, and I promptly matched his. The first three cards were shown: 4, 10, and King. I conservatively checked, and Cookie Monster raised. I matched. Now I was being foolish, refusing to raise, but allowing myself to match. We got the next card revealed: a 5 (I don't recall the suits and I would be lying if I said I did). Now I am feeling the pressure and want to upstage Cookie. I decide I am going bold. "All in." I say nonchalantly to the dealer and slide my small stack of chips out a bit. Cookie Monster looks at me with his goofy eyes really not pointing in any direction and pulls off my worst nightmare: He matches my bet.

The last card that came up was a King. Our cards were flipped over in advance and I felt like an ass as he got his chips. I just lost my $40 buy in to a freaking muppet. I did this with dignity though and got up and left the table to have a seat at the bar and ponder my stupidity over a drink.

That will probably be the last time I ever play Hold 'Em. Rawr, I am frustrated thinking about my short lived tournament experience!

yobes

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usbarbadosslim93
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31 May 2011 - 1:48am
#1

C is for COOOOOOOKIE!

cookie-monster.jpg
auCL-Ed
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31 May 2011 - 7:09am
#2

First mistake, you don't have to be intelligent to be good at poker!

You didn't say what he had - a king? A middle pair (9s) with two over-cards (the 10 and K) on the table against a cookie monster who is raising before the flop is not a strong hand. Not a good hand to go all in on unless you have to (eg you're running out of chips late in the tournament).

D is for donkey!

donkey.jpg

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usbarbadosslim93
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31 May 2011 - 12:29pm
#3

Sorry Ed, I am still frustrated by my stupidity. Cookie had the high pair with matching 10's. Maybe he wasn't that smart either but he beat the hell outta me!

auCL-Ed
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31 May 2011 - 10:53pm
#4

Oh thats even worse then. He was raising pre-flop with a 10 then calling an all-in with a king on the board. He's either read you like a book or he's a donkey who got very lucky!

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usyobes
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6 June 2011 - 1:31am
#5

Sorry slim but I don't hink poker is your game!