Confessions of a Dangerous Fish

Tuesday, March 9th, 2004, 9:40 pm

One great thing about the Internet is that it gives every individual a voice. You don’t have to be a member of the liberal media or the vast right-wing conspiracy to make yourself heard–though that certainly helps. Take our little pokerblogger clique, for example–if it wasn’t for the Internet we’d all be waiting by the mailbox for our biweekly copy of CardPlayer magazine, in the hope that this issue’s Phil Hellmuth column wouldn’t be an 800-page whine about getting outdrawn on the river.

What the Internet lacks in editorial censorship it makes up for in editorial irresponsibilty. No matter how screwed up you may be, no matter how inherently loathsome your beliefs, you can write whatever garbage you like and post it as easily as the New York Times. Actually, the more offensive you are the better. In the vast emptiness of cyberspace the best way to get attention to to be as shrill, profane, insane, insensitive, and generally contemptous of your fellow human beings as possible. People like trash. They love rolling around in the mire. They indulge their most base perversions then demonstrate their outrage at those who have equally squalid but slightly dissimilar kinks in their own twisted psyches.

I make these sunny pronoucements as an introduction to a post written by my very own brother, whose socio-political views are, shall we say, a bit outside my own rather liberal ideology. What fears I may have about giving a forum to my brother are counterbalanced by my First Amendment absolutionism. Basically, any nut deserves to have his voice heard, even if what he’s saying is being dictated by the voices in his head.

So here’s is my brother’s first poker post,, with only a bit of editing on my part. I just had to cut a 15,000 word diatribe against the UN and a joke that would probably get me in the shit with the FCC.


I am a fish. How do I know? Because I consistently lose more then I win. Over three months PokerTracker tells me I’ve lost $1,350. But I’m a dangerous fish, because I’ve also won $1,250. Starting from an original $50 deposit that’s a lot. I’ve had my bankroll as high as $475, and as recently as last Friday was down to $11.

I am not the fish who bets a 3-5 offsuit to the river to catch the straight. I am not the fish who re-raises you when you have the nut flush on the flop and I have bottom pair and types “lucky catch” as the chips slide your way. I’m a tight aggressive player who plays strong hands. If you are going for a draw and don’t get it you will pay me. However, I am a fish. How do I know? In the words of Jeff Foxworthy, Mean Gene’s favorite comic (editor’s note—this is a complete falsehood): “ If you lose more then you win, you might be a fish. “ I have spent the last few weeks going over my game and I have found a couple fishy parts to my game.

Flushes: I hate flushes. I hate everything about flushes. I lose most of my money to flushes. There is a reason that flushes start with an F and its not because they are my Friend. If someone is on a flush draw, I can’t get them to fold, and I end up losing huge pots. Unfortunately I play $25 NL, which allows you to bet big, but sometimes you can’t get these people off the draw. Even worse, I can’t see flushes when I hold top pair or higher. The blinders go on, the chips go to the middle and then slide across to the other side of the table. Trying to correct this problem I’ve used the four-color deck, called the suits out loud as the flop comes, and even used four different color poker chips to show what’s on the board. These I call “Fish moves”. But my money still goes the other way too much against flushes. “F” flushes, and if you have beaten me with a flush, F you too.

Flushes drive me nuts, which leads to problem two–tilting. Could be the alcohol, could be the Irish blood, but I tilt. And when I do, my loss limit goes out the window, the beers flow and I take every loss as though you were insulting my mother while kicking my dog. I NEVER start trash talking, as that wouldn’t be proper. But if some chump change says, “thanks for the donation” after his river-drawn 9-high flush beats my trip Queens, then the XXXX XXX XXXXXX XXXXXX comes out. If I’m tilting, you are going to get my money. I’m going to be drunk and the dog will be barking at the profanity spewing from my mouth.

You’ll most likely see me tilting when I’m up battling problem number three—loose players. I can’t beat a loose player. I tend to play to the level of the people at my table. If I’m on a loose table, my play gets loose, and you get my chips. Instead of sitting and waiting to take all of these blind-callers’ money on one hand, I try to beat them 9 hands out of 10. Stupid. Just plain stupid. I waste too much money on these types of games. I’m calling in second position with a 5-8 offsuit, then trying to bluff to get the pot.

Then I make my stupidest move—I RE-LOAD. I’m every shark’s dream. I can imagine that I’m on many people’s buddy list. What am I thinking? Sometimes I’ve re-loaded three times to beat these SOB’s. By the time they quit, or I give up, my bankroll is destroyed. If you catch me in this situation you’re going to have a great night. I usually get the idea to quit when I realize that my beer is gone, the sun is coming up and the dog lets me know she needs to go out by urinating on my feet again.

So I have confessed. I am a fish. But I am getting better. It’s exciting to be able to calculate pot odds and outs without a chart. I am starting to get “the feel” for the game. The moments are increasing where I know what the other player has, and I either call or drop based on that feeling. I am reading more about poker, and understanding it better. Most importantly, I’m addicted to this game, just like all the heroes who started golfing when Tiger Woods showed up and all the yahoos who picked up a hockey stick when Gretzky went to L.A. But I am getting better. And I want my money back.


Don’t bother asking what my brother’s Party/Empire name is ’cause I ain’t tellin’. I don’t want y’all bankrupting him, ’cause I’ll be the one who has to spot him until his wife lets him out of the doghouse and deposit more cash.

I’m going to have a home game this weekend, hopefully my bro can play, and perhaps what we’ll do is post our reviews of the evening’s action and see how they compare. He can complain about how I rivered him time and time again–I can expound on how I played with him as the cat plays with the mouse. My dear readers can decide who speaketh the truth.

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