Monday, April 7, 2008

The thing about bad beat stories

*NOTE - This is NOT a bad beat post

Despite the note, maybe I lost readers with the title already...

I am not going into any bad beat stories (an example might come up but again, telling the bad beat story is not the point of this post). But here's the thing. As I sit here tonight after getting back from Vegas, I am getting ready to go back to the daily grind in cube hell. Nothing like middle management of a big corporation in a reporting dept on a month following quarter ends. Yeah, hell is here.

Well, here's the thing. I can already see it. Tomorrow morning, I will walk in, say good morning to my team and naturally, they will ask me two questions.

- How was Vegas?
- Did you win any money?

Now most of my coworkers know I play poker. Some even know that I play fairly seriously (fairly seriously in their opinion - I didn't quite tell them how much of a degenerate I truly am). So, they expect to hear some extravagant stories about how I took down pots after pots or at the very least, win enough to cover my entire expense for the trip and then some... except since I basically don't go into details, all they will hear from me are these answers to the questions.

- It was great as usual. It's Vegas, you know?
- No, I, unfortunately, did not win any money.

And this conversation that will happen tomorrow (already happened tonight when I called my parents) made me think about why people talk about bad beats and maybe if there are exceptions to the "no bad beat stories" rule that I personally implemented for myself. Like fellow poker players don't ever want to hear bad beat stories right? I mean because then, it's endless. Fuckin go see a therapist or a counselor or something. Pay someone and you could spend 60 minutes telling them bad beat stories. But don't talk to us. We've all seen our fair share... Now I know some of us still do to an extent and I think that's ok... I mean you need an outlet so sometimes, I just let them slide and I know others do the same for me because I surely need an outlet as well.

Anyways, back to the point though... So, if I tell a nonpoker player or even a person who doesn't know me or how much I've made playing poker, etc, if I just tell them that I went to Vegas and I lost playing poker, they might think that I suck at it or that players in Vegas must be good... except it's quite the contrary (I can already see the comments coming in, telling me I suck esp from clowns like this one or this one... and since I didn't point her out, she woulda come in and left that comment even though, now that I mentioned her, the plan is foiled - damn, I'm good). Anyways, the point being, if I just mention the results, people will draw their own conclusions. I mean if poker is skill based, and if I am as good as I claim, how can I come home a loser right?

With my parents, since they are concerned that I might gamble my money away, I did explain that I made good decisions and that when the money went in, I was a significant favorite in a lot of the big pots that ended up going to the opponents. I kept telling them that I lost hands where I'm a 70-80% favorite and that I couldn't get anything going and that even though I was making good decisions, it just so happened that the bad beats I got were against the guys who happen to have a lot of chips also. Ok, one quick bad beat reference here since I did text Fuel and Schaubs to bitch about this one. On a flop of Q-9-7 rainbow, I shove my $200 into a $200+ pot. Villain decides to call me with A-10. Now, at this point, I am a 82% favorite to win. Of course, after the 8 on the turn and the J on the river, he completes a straight and I lose a $600+ pot. REBUY. This was just how my weekend went. Weakplayer was also in Vegas and when he asked me how I was for the trip, I told him how much I was stuck. However, since he's a fellow poker player, the conversation went like this:

WP - "How are you for the trip?"
RR - "I'm stuck $1,200+"
WP - *shrugs* "Is that a result of bad decisions or bad beats? Are you at least happy with the decisions you are making?"

And THAT, my friends is where there's a difference. To which, I truthfully answered, "mostly yes. I've made a few bad decisions but most of my decisions were good and the money went in good."

WP - "well, that's all you can do."

And ain't that the truth. However, when my coworkers ask me tomorrow the same question, they won't ask me about my decision making. I am comfortable with where I am at in my growth as a poker player and so I don't feel the need to justify my skill or anything with bad beat stories to illustrate that I should be a winning player. However, I do think that people don't want to be thought of as bad players and that's probably a big reason why they all like to tell bad beat stories. At least that way, they can blame luck instead of their donkery... I mean after all, even to nonpoker players, when I tell them bad beat stories, it feels like I'm making excuses on why I didn't win... And I hate excuses...

But Ace-Ten? On that fuckin board!? AAAAARRRRRRRGGGGGHHHHHHHHH..... live poker is so rigged!!! (I'll discuss some other interesting hands from Vegas in a later post)

EDIT - to answer some questions, I had KK in the hand against A-10.


$mokkee said...

any Ace is all tourists need to go to the felt on the Vegas strip. that's why you need more than a few days to even out the bad beats.

also, i don't care what Don says, live cash games suck ballz. table selection blowz, no rakeback, dealer tipping and you can't multi-table.

Mike Maloney said...

Plus, live tables don't have the quality customer support that Bodog has.

Sorry to hear you suck at live poker.

Andy said...

What didyou have on the hand you shoved with?

Instant Tragedy said...

We have passion about what we do, which is play poker. We have read the books, seen the odds and know where "some" of our holes are. I agree that you trade the comfort of your own home for a glitzy place with free drinks. You trade rakeback, no dealer tipping, playing with blogger donkeys and the ability to take a comfortable dump to play with Tourists and donkeys , some of which smell like they've been on a 60 hour get unstuck bender.

What makes you more comfortable? The ability to pick your table and the donkeys within or "Table 4 is our only $1/2 table sir" and as you look over you see eight monster stacks in comparison to your bankroll.

Forget what other people think Alan. You are a decent player ( I won't say good player because there are HH's that show otherwise :-)), and you can take what you are given or look around for that cherry patch and rake in the chips.

Keep fighting my friend.


lj said...

sick timing, you're gonna <3 my post today. :-) just a little blog therapy. glad you're back, now plan another trip in june!

spritpot said...

you didn't say what you held in the Q97 hand...i smell the hammer.

Alan aka RecessRampage said...

I had KK.

kurokitty said...

I also hate having to explain to co-workers, etc. that I didn't win money on a trip.

I usually also tell them that it's hard to win on the road.

Poker Brian said...

hey RR! I saw you in the Hoy last night but I didnt get the chance to stop in and say Hi.

Yeah, I've lost my mind in live cash games anymore. I sit at Foxwood's 1-2 NL and its just donkey city (myself included!)

I've been sticking to tourneys more and more on FT and in RL, but tournaments are getting donkified to the extreme as well.

Just keep doing what you do man, and remember if you are making money when you play in the life long session, you gotta be doin something right.

bayne_s said...

the real question is did you suck at craps too?


Anonymous said...

Can't believe with all that money on the table we both walked away down.

Good seeing you again.