Tuesday, October 31, 2006

What you threw away

Everybody complains about having to listen to other people's bad-beat stories. And rightfully so, because bad-beat stories are annoying as hell. So I'm not going to start this blog with a grump about poker players who tell bad-beat stories. Instead, I'm going to start with the second most annoying announcement that players inflict on each other: what they threw away.

You know how it goes: You sit through what appears to be a pretty unremarkable hand, with a board of something like 8-8-Q-3-9. Then, as the dealer is clearing the board for the next hand, the guy next to you turns your way and says, "I had an 8-3 and threw it away. I would have had a full house."

I know that he wants sympathy, but it's impossible to give, because I simply don't care. I can't care. It's just part of the game that any starting hand has the potential to develop into a monster. The player seeking sympathy did the right thing by tossing it. He knows that and I know it. So why in hell should he seek or expect sympathy for making the correct move?

More fundamentally, that guy knows that he doesn't give a shit when somebody else tells him what potential huge hand got tossed in the muck pre-flop, so what on earth possesses him to think that I'm going to give him the Balm of Gilead to soothe his momentary sting of regret?

I try my best to pretend that I didn't hear such whines, or that I'm so engrossed in doing something else (restacking my chips, calculating pot odds, ogling the cocktail waitress, checking myself for excess belly-button lint, etc.) that I can't respond at the moment. If I can't seem to get away from the situation without saying something, I try to come up with a retort that will encourage him not to inflict such stupid observations on me again, without being quite as rude as down deep I'd like to be ("Nobody gives a flying fuck, lardass.")

My favorite is along these lines: "It's pretty damn stupid to throw away a full house." With just the right lilt in the voice, it comes across as funny, while still allowing me literally to tell him that he's stupid (though not exactly for the reason stated). It gets even funnier, though, when the poor sap doesn't get the joke (the excessively literal-minded never do), and follows up with an explanation, "Oh, it wasn't a full house when I folded, but I would have hit a full house on the turn." Oh really. Gee, thanks for explaining it to me, Einstein. Now shut the hell up until you've got something at least mildly interesting to say.

Maybe nobody will ever read this or any of the other grumps I intend to post. But if you play poker, and if you read this, do us all a favor, and take this opportunity to swear on all that is holy: "I will never inflict on another player the stupid, boring, idiotic announcement of what garbage cards I folded, no matter how big a hand it would have become if I had played it."

There--doesn't it feel good to have made that pledge? Don't you wish everybody would make and stand by it?


Donny The Nuts said...

What an fantastic grump, this is one of my poker-peeves as well. I deal for a free poker league in new jersey where you'll see more rabbit hunting than pot-sized bets. Horrendous play is the soup-du-jour and every other hand you hear, "AAAGGGGGHHHHHH! I folded a K3!" My favorite way to respond to these players is, "How many times do I have to tell you, Never fold the winning hand." Occasionally I've been known to do this but usually I'm just trying to convince others I just went on tilt... or i'm lying outright. :P

Anonymous said...

I love players like this when they tell me the just threw away the nuts. (i.e. 83) My response is, you play too tight.......lol. Keep the good reading coming.

rakethetable said...

I so wish I could tell these stories. However, Alas - it would show that I am a tight player and I wouldn't want them to think that!

NewinNov said...

This is actually worse than a bad beat story IMO. Great blog.

sevencard2003 said...

only an idiot would be upset by this, i am always glad to hear what someone throws away so i get a better idea of his play.