Friday, January 2, 2009

Is tiddlywinks fun?

I played in the tournament last night at the Goldstrike Casino. I overheard the dealers talking about all the bad beats that were being delivered. Dealers cracking aces was almost de rigueur, so to speak. Apparently it had been going on all day. Online, people would say it's rigged, but it happens in real life, too.

About an hour into the tournament, a guy limped in, the next guy raised and another guy re-raised. The limper called and the first raiser moved all in. This was called by the other two, and they turned their cards over. The first limper had 8 7 and announced "It's my favorite hand, I had to call." Um, sure buddy. The next guy who first moved all-in had A A, no surprise. The third guy turned over Q Q.

According to the Card Player web site's Odds Calculator, the aces were 61.10% to win, the queens were 16.92% to win and the 8-7 hand was 21.8%. I've always heard that the suited connectors have a better chance to crack the aces than (something like) the Q-Q hand.

The flop was 8 7 2, giving the suited connector guy two pair. Two more cards were dealt, and his hand held up. Now he jumped up and exclaimed "Yessss!" and jumped around flapping his arms. The guy who had aces, was not amused and told him, in so many words, to sit down and shut up.

I take both of them to task. Folks, it's just a game. There's no need to be a sore loser. If you win a big hand and can't be at least slightly considerate of the two who lost, then you're a bad winner. A bad winner and sore loser are just two sides of the same coin. Just because you've seen complete asshXXXs players on TV act like total jerks, doesn't mean you should, too. I'm just sayin'.

After we had played through seven levels, my stack was getting short. The blinds were 1000/500/50. I checked my hole cards and was delighted to see K K. I had 7000 in chips and bet 3000. This is suspicious, of course (because my bet made me pot committed), but I wasn't playing against Phil Helmuth. These are mostly tourists who play home games with other donkeys lesser players. After two players folded, the next guy moved all in (we had similar stacks). It folded to the button, who was also short stacked. He thought for a while and called. I called as well, of course.

We turned over our cards. The first guy had A Q. The second guy had A 9. According to the odds calculator, I was 67.7% to win, AQ was 17.18% and A-9 was 13.81%. The flop was 4-5-10 in three different suits. I was now at 87.9% and A-Q was 9.3%. The A-9 was down to1.0%, but sometimes funny things happen. The turn was a 9, now giving the A-9 player a 9.52% chance to win and the A-Q guy was drawing dead; he had no chance to win! You know what came on the river, or I wouldn't be blogging about it. One of the two remaining aces in the deck was dealt, and I was out of the tournament in disappointing fashion.

I'm proud to report that the A-9 guy didn't go crazy and I didn't get mad. I merely said "Nice hand, good luck everybody." A MOJO atta-boy for the A-9 player and me, and a lesson for the two guys involved in the other hand.

When I can't treat poker like the game it is, I'll give it up; I'd rather play tiddlywinks.


  1. I'm sure that somewhere in the back of your mind, you also knew that being a sore loser would earn you a spot at Famous Last Words.


    Not being rude can sometimes be the hardest.


  2. Thx for the link, Joxum. I reread the Famous Last Words and had a good chuckle.

  3. Horrible bad beat. I feel your pain, but congratulations for acting with class.

  4. "It's my favorite hand, I had to call."

    The worst words in poker to justify a bad call.

    Aces do get cracked, but I don't know how I would react to that player jumping around unless he was either short stacked or had a monster stack to make the call. I tend to be pretty polite, but he wouldn't want to know what I would be thinking.