It’s so cold in here

August 22, 2007

Have you ever been so angry at the game of poker, any game will do, that you start thinking things you’d never guessed would have entered your mind?

I’m not talking about a bad beat, and I’m not talking about making a wrong bet and seeing it come back and bite you in the butt. Those things happen, and people make mistakes. And the later is something that you as a player actually can control, and hopefully learn from somewhere down the line.

But when the cards come cold, hand after hand, seemingly week after week, your skill can only take you so far (most of us). And let’s put the tilt aside for this article, it’s not the point of what I want to focus on.

So, this is currently happening to me on Full Tilt Poker.com and in the poker home games, and it was never so evident as my last Saturday night game of cards. 6 hours worth of playing….I didn’t think that many 2-7 hands even existed.

It’s enough to turn you into a day-after drunk.

“I’ll never drink again, man….that’s it….vomiting sound (i sat here for a minute trying to figure out how to spell out a vomit sound, but I’ve since given up)…..I’m NEVER DRINKING AGAIN.”

You’ve said it before, too, you know you have…definitely about drinking, possibly about cards. And the thing is, I truly love playing cards, so it pains me to think about giving up the game, even for only a couple months. But after Saturday night, that’s what I was thinking. I had had enough of slowly losing my antes, betting guarded but smart, trying to make a move here or there, and the cards just continuing to put my head in the toilet.

I seriously felt like Chris Farley after that SNL skit where they tell him he’s drinking decaf coffee.

“How do you feel, sir?”

“Annnngryyyyy.”

So, what do you do? How do you as a player handle it?

Some go crazy and bet disproportionately over the top, lose even more than they should, we know the terminology. But usually in home games there’s a limit on the table, and usually it doesn’t make sense to try to bluff a 4-10 offsuit when the max is like 4 or 5 bucks, because someone’s gonna call, and you’re gonna lose again.

I think my question is more trying to figure out how you handle it in your head. Do you pull yourself away from the game? Do you tell yourself a hand to break the drought is just around the corner? Do you lie to yourself or sugar coat your losings by saying ‘it’s not that much’ or ‘I’ve lost 4 times as much as this before, tonight is nothing.’

I definitely went through the last one myself. I was only down about $20 bucks, which in the wide world of poker really is nothing, right? Somehow, though, I can remember when I’d lost in the hundreds, and it didn’t frustrate me as much as slowly getting nickel and dimed to death.

I know, it’s part of the game, there are ups and downs, there are hot runs and cold runs, but it pisses me off. And I know that luck is luck and I’m the schmuck. But….I WANT better cards. Show me a face card more than one out of five hands. Help me out here.

Some people think getting up for a few hands will switch things up, some think changing decks or cutting 1 more card than you would randomly somehow will put luck back on your side.

None of them work any more than a coin flip puts you at 50/50 odds. You just have to ride it out, baby.

And besides, you and I both know damn well you’ll be drinking again next Saturday night.