But the badness just wouldn’t stop. It was one of those sessions plagued by what seemed an inordinate number of SIGHs or “So It Goes Hands.”
In an earlier post, I tried to make a distinction between SIGHs and other varieties of “bad beat” hands, although I suppose one could call a SIGH a bad beat. And thus call SIGH stories bad beat stories. And thus, very rightfully, complain “Hey, Shamus, enough already with the sighing! No one cares!”
The distinction that makes a SIGH is that you find yourself getting “whamboozled” (to use a Norman Chadism) without having ever really made any conscious effort to get yourself into the situation. In other words, it is not that you played the hand well and lost. You just played the hand as any sane person would and lost, often the maximum. Basically what we’re talking about here is a hand that played you, not the reverse.
I actually don’t want to lengthen this post unnecessarily with examples -- indeed, I imagine you don’t want that, either -- but I’ll give one just for the purposes of clarification.
Table folds to me on the button and I raise with . Both the blinds call. The flop comes . Checks to me, I bet, and only the SB sticks around. The turn is the . Again: check, bet, call. The river is the and my opponent bets. Really? Okay, let’s see. I call. He turns over .
Maybe someone somewhere plays this hand differently. But I doubt it. From my perspective, the hand played me. Thus, I call it a SIGH.
Like I say, endured a high number of these sorts of situations in the session, and so afterwards found myself muttering to poor Vera Valmore such applesauce as “Why do I even play?” I continued with my whimpering, noting that after several years of this, I am still just a recreational player piddling around in the lower limits who even when things go well can’t really earn more than a couple of bucks per hour, anyhow.
In fact, I’ve been becoming increasingly conscious over the last couple of months that whenever I play, there’s always something else I could be doing, something more profitable -- not just money-wise, but health-wise (physical and mental). Which now that I think about it, could be a bit of a distraction that may not be hurting my game, but certainly isn’t helping.
Vera, as wise as she is lovely, stopped me with a simple reminder: “You love to play. You like the strategy and you like the challenge. It doesn’t matter if you only make two bucks.” It would matter, she added, if I were losing significantly every time I play. But I’m not. Overall, I win. Not much, but like Vera says, that doesn’t matter.
What matters is the game -- being able, once in a while, to play (and not “work”). Just play the game, Shamus. You love it. Don’t let it play you.