Saturday, December 18, 2010

Trust me: watch it

If you like poker on TV, watch the last episode of the season of the PokerStars Big Game (week 12, episode 5), here. It's about as spectacular as it gets. You don't need to have seen the previous shows of the week to enjoy it. Like online and live poker, televised poker is so rigged!

(There is a lowlight, though. We learn that the loose cannon believes that his dead brother controls both the state lottery numbers and the cards dealt in a poker game. How do people get themselves to such insanity?)


NT said...

Somehow you didn't mention the deuce-four of clubs hand at about minute 35!


As for the supernatural shout out, I think that's easily explained by his situation and psychology. He didn't skillbox his way to victory: he got really lucky and he knows it. Because this was so important to him, and so out of the realm of the ordinary for him, he — like most of us — wanted to assign a satisfying narrative story to it. "I got lucky" is not such a story, no matter how true it is.

He's clearly still mourning his brother's death. (He wanted to find something comforting or redemptive to make sense of that, too, hence the classic pattern-finding story of the lottery.) It was probably the last big emotional milestone in his life. This win is another big milestone, and (just as with his engagement), he felt the urge to incorporate it into the story arc.

We've seen this sentimental impulse before. Honoring a beloved dead person by attributing the good fortune to him also provides a way to fend of the negative thought "I don't deserve this." Combined with the cognitive desire for a "reason" for huge events in one's life (Bobbie the Bus was clearly overwhelmed with his win), you get this kind of utterance.

Whether he truly and literally BELIEVES it or not, it makes emotional sense to him in this context.

John said...

Not even close to my favorite episode. I didn't particularly like the guy to begin with. I really wanted the teacher to win the passport. He was a class act. The brother story had no rhyme or reason in it to my way of thinking.

Rakewell said...

Oh, I wouldn't call it my favorite episode, either. I still love the very first week, when Hellmuth ran it four times against Ernest Wigging when he was an 86% favorite, and lost three of them.

But for sheer drama, this one was hard to beat. The only L.C. who won't have the option of returning for a second week, and the only one who can take the $50,000 bonus from the current leader, starts his last 30 or so hands with only a $5000 profit, and in two remarkably lucky hands rockets to a $170,000 win, with his fiancee standing by watching, and his promise to marry her in the Bahamas if he wins it. If you didn't know better, you'd swear it was scripted by Hollywood.

BWoP said...

I finally caught up on the Big Game episodes. While I was rooting for the teacher to win the passport, I agree that the final 60-minute session was something out of a Hollywood movie.

astrobel said...

The teacher might be a nice guy but the Bus is a real poker player. I'm happy he took the passport down. Also he was playing well and put the money in being a HUGE favorite. This was not the case of catching miracle 1,2,3 outers at key points.
Yes, he was lucky being dealt those big hands but you need some good spots to win big at a poker session.

Anonymous said...

The Big Game is one of my favorite poker shows. I think the commentary is spot on and informative to the novice poker player and the idea of the LC makes the game very interesting. I watched Poker After Dark for awhile but it just doesn’t have the hook of The Big Game. I will miss watching the Big Game and hope very much they shoot another season. ~SLS