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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?
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!
C is for COOOOOOOKIE!
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!
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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!
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!
Sorry slim but I don't hink poker is your game!
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