1 November 2010

Quixotic pokering

The poker Gods are testing me again. They read my blog entry about standardisation in poker and now they're testing my faith. They're pushing me and I don't like to be pushed.

I explained how I frown upon a lack of imagination and auto-pilot poker and suddenly I find myself at the tables with poker's equivalent of Don Quixote and Captain Chaos.

Now I love the Don Quixotes of this world. I'm all for anyone willing to go toe to toe with a windmill, either literally or metaphorically. The world would be a very dull place indeed without such optimism and lunacy, I just don't want to meet them at the poker tables.

There is of course a fine line between a quixotic approach to the pokers - which perhaps might see one optimistically chasing flushes and other drawing hands - and just a chaotic punting nonsense where folding is only an option when the big hand of ones watch is pointing to an even number and raises are made purely because it sort of seems like the thing to do.

How do we combat such a style? How how? The truth is we can't really. Don Quixote's friends burnt his books and bricked up his library - what's the poker equivalent? Shoving all your stack in and making those draws pay hoping he'll see sense? Even if he does, you've still got Captain Chaos to get through who might call you just because his food is ready and he wants to eat it in peace.

He might call because he has the Ace of spades and it's lucky for him. He'll limp/fold his Ace-Queen to a short stack shove and the very next hand with Ace-ten he'll call your shove even though it's the first hand you've played since the break three hours ago and it's 75% of his stack. And he'll have no explanation for you why he chose to play his brace of Aces that way round.

No, he'll just look at you with glazed eyes and chuckle while raking in the chips with his enormous hands with dirty finger nails, which he'll donk off to all and sundry over the next twenty minutes impervious to your frustrations from sitting their patiently mucking 8-3's for hours in the hope of being dealt two cards which add up to more than 15 before it's too late and busting when one finally arrives.

Meanwhile the Gods keep on pushing you, poking you, prodding you. Testing your faith. Now I know how Job must have felt. I shan't be surprised if I wake up tomorrow covered in boils.

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