Lapped By the Field

Monday, December 8th, 2008, 1:55 pm

After drinking a pot of coffee and finishing a spot of work I did something unusual this morning–I played  online poker. That’s something I don’t do much of these days, even though I still enjoy it. I checked my PokerTracker stats and since I got home from the WSOP I’ve played less than 4,000 ring-game hands. And maybe 20 sit-n-goes. I dunno, I just don’t have the itch.

So I pony up $10+1 to play a SNG and the table is very cheery, lots of pleasant chat. A guy got crippled when his A-J was outkicked by A-Q and the flop came A-A-5. All the money went in and he was left with just a few hundred chips. The next hand he pushed with A-K and the big blind called with the mighty 8-2. Two deuces fell on the flop and the guy holding Big Slick went home.

“Gotta love seeing 8-2 rewarded like that” one player wrote, a typical jibe you’ll see at an online poker table. What followed, however, was very disturbing. “That was actually a +ev play” one guy wrote, and another said, “He prolly had two live cards and was getting 4-1 on his call”. The player who made the initial comment said, “Yeah, against two overcards he was like 76-21, so had to call”.

Mind you, this was the conversation at a $10 table. It was intelligent and based on calculation and reasoning. And I didn’t like it one bit. “I’m not heartened to hear this kind of talk at a $10 table,” I wrote. “I want to see ‘You fish, you donk, you can’t spell poker, etc etc”. And the other players lol’d and :) and whatnot.

I shortly exited the game when my Queens blundered into Kings. But I had a spot of fun and gained a bit of additional insight. One reason why I haven’t been playing as much poker is that I haven’t been winning. Which is more fun than losing. Over the last two years I’m a break-even player (maybe even down a bit if you combine live and online play). Everyone else is getting better while my skills (ha!) erode. I have the requisite poker library but I can’t be bothered to crack them open. Got a subscription to one of the training sites early in the year but can’t be bothered to watch the videos. I have other interests. Other responsibilites. There are other activities that for me are more +ev. Plus, and I think this bears repeating, I suck.

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