Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Why you shouldn't drink while you play

I was playing at the Palms tonight. The action was completely driven by two classic maniacs battling for dominance. In one hand, they got it all in on the turn--$500+ pot. After the river was dealt, neither one wanted to show. Maniac A told Maniac B (correctly), "I called you." Maniac B therefore dutifully showed his A-K, pairing the ace on the flop. As he exposed his cards, Maniac B said (unwisely), "You got a heart?" There were, you see, four hearts on the board, and Maniac B had none. Maniac A didn't answer--perhaps didn't hear. He held his cards up in his hand to show Maniac B: Js-9h. (Jack on the flop had given him second pair, which was consistently plenty for him to either shove or call an all-in, in proud maniac style.) He then tossed them back to the dealer. Face down.

Surprisingly, nobody at the table said a word until his cards had been quickly mixed into the muck by the alert dealer. In my experience, there is virtually always at least one person at the table who will pipe up (in violation of both rules and etiquette), and say something like, "You made a flush," or "You've got the winner," or "Don't muck--you win!" Nothing like that happened this time. Of course, once his cards were irretrievable, several voices chimed in simultaneously: "You just threw away the winner."

All he had to do to pocket an extra $500 for that session was turn his cards face up on the table rather than face down. Strangely, in this situation he wasn't even protecting any information, since he had flashed them to his opponent at the other end of the table so that nearly everyone had seen them. The final bit of irony is that he didn't show first at his own insistence, with that "I called you" comment.

Maniac A realized what he had done, accepted it gracefully, and announced the moral of the story himself: "That's why you shouldn't drink when you play poker."

1 comment:

Joel said...

hey grump. I was playing at this table with you, directly across from you....when you left, 5 people switched their seats. The thin african american guy, moved to my right. The quiet guy from the other end of the table took your seat. The maniacs both moved to seats 2 and 4......the guy in your seat and the guy in my right both flopped sets, and your seat rivered quads to take down a monster. I stacked a new player with AJ agains his AA, when I flopped 2 table.....good to play with you.