You Have to Know When to Hold ‘Em

I really like poker. I mean, I REALLY like playing – and I’m not really that good. My poker face sucks and I tend to be too cautious so when I do have a good hand, I end up winning far less than I should because everyone KNOWS I have a good hand and bails. But last night, I had a streak that just wouldn’t quit.

Sometimes, you can do nothing wrong. I started off the night with the following:

  • a dealt flush in 5-card draw poker.
  • a flush on the river in Texas Hold ‘Em.
  • a full-house in Texas Hold ‘Em.

Then Steve sat down and muddied my mojo a bit, but I was still doing pretty well (2 more flushes, another full house along the way). All in all, a pretty good night at our mid-stakes ($40 a person, average) dealer’s choice game.

On the other hand, Darius must have pissed off Lady Luck something fierce. He could have had five-of-a-kind Kings and someone would have had five-of-a-kind Aces. It was that kind of night, typified by his luck at High-Low. For those of you who don’t know it, this game involves betting whether you can get a 3rd card between the first two that were dealt. For example, if you are dealt a four and a jack, you’d be betting that the card turned up between them will be a 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10. If not, you pay the pot your bet – in our case somewhere between 50 cents and the whole pot.

Darius, had at least SIX different combinations of 4-J or better, and lost them all. The cards would show up in his favor, but invariably would give him a losing deal. It started becoming a bane to get those cards because you KNEW that you were going to get screwed. But he kept hesitating and then making the fateful bets – and sweetening the pot. And his bad luck didn’t abate after that – he kept hemorraghing cash game after game, giving up a full house to a better full house, losing a straight to a flush, pulling 21 only to have the dealer also get 21 – resulting in a push. It was tragic. I haven’t seen luck that bad since a friend drafted Rob Moore in the 4th round in fantasy football – about 30 seconds before the announcement of his season-ending injury (of course, pundits would say drafting Rob Moore up that high deserved that stroke of luck).

Of course, I came out $35 ahead, so I walked away snickering.

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