Sunday, August 05, 2007

No Friends in Poker?

Still smilingDid take another shot at one of those $6.00+$0.50 6-max PLO satellite tourneys the other day. Have to admit it didn’t go so well, with yr humble punter knocked out fairly early, well short of the prize. Should’ve been a pretty forgettable tourney, really -- I never got anything going for the mere half-hour or so I lasted.

Something interesting happened on the last hand, though. Check this out.

I had chipped up to 1,790 during the first couple of orbits, then lost about a third of that to a short stack who managed to suck out a runner-runner flush on me. Was somewhere around 800-900 chips when the following hand took place. (The hand history didn’t get saved to my hard drive for some reason, so forgive the fuzziness here.)

I was in the big blind and picked up something like Qc9c-X-X. The UTG called, as did PrimeBud420 in the small blind. (As always, I’m making up names.)

Flop came queen-high with two clubs, and in a now-or-never-type gesture I bet pot. Both players called, and the turn card brought another low club, completing my flush. I hesitated for just a moment, then went ahead and put my last 600 or so chips in the middle. (The pot was slightly larger than my stack at the time.) The UTG player quickly folded. Now just PrimeBud420 was left to act. He had me covered by a few hundred chips.

About 10-15 seconds went by -- enough time for me to think PrimeBud might either have a K-high flush or, perhaps, I might even be okay here. Finally he reached the end of his allotted time and took the extra time bank. The timer ticked down . . . 25 . . . 20 . . . 15 . . . 10 . . . 9 . . . 8 . . . . At first I’d thought perhaps he had disconnected. But no. We weren’t getting the “trying to reconnect” messages. 7 . . . 6 . . . 5 . . . 4 . . . . Jeez Louise, what could this guy have? 3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . . . Finally, at the very last moment, he calls.

And shows AcKc-X-X!

I quickly typed “slow roll” as the turn and river cards fell. (I believe I was drawing dead.) Bounced from the tourney and thus unable to chat, I could only watch what followed.

A player still at the table with whom I had played before -- NoSoup4U -- asked PrimeBud420 what the hell he was thinking.

NoSoup4U: why did you slow roll so long
NoSoup4U: it is considered rude

A moment or two passed. Then came the reply.

PrimeBud420: punch [Shamus] in the heart

Nice. Dude wanted to punch the little smiling frog in the heart.

NoSoup4U: if you guys are friends or something I get it if not it just rude
PrimeBud420: im just rude
PrimeBud420: no friends in poker

NoSoup4U continued his defense of me a little longer -- even throwing in some praise of my ability as a player (which though more than a little exaggerated I appreciated nonetheless). Another player chimed in with a not-so-nice epithet directed toward PrimeBud420. By that point, he’d stopped responding, having turned his thoughts toward punching his remaining opponents in their hearts, no doubt.

Made me think momentarily of Otis’ recent post in which he took a kind of moral snapshot of the poker landscape at present. Otis began with a reference to a particularly rude comment he’d received at the tables, then segued into a dissertation on the lack of communication -- and, in some cases, common decency -- he’s noticed sometimes occurring on poker forums and at the tables. Otis speaks of a subsection of young players whose “grasp on morality, etiquette, and the golden rule is as weak as their handshake. If there is a gray line, they are happy to cross it if they believe they can benefit from it financially. What’s more, they feel more than entitled in doing so.”

Now I know PrimeBud420 is likely not even old enough to drive a car and has little clue that slow rolling -- not to mention boasting about it afterwards -- ain’t exactly recommended behavior. And I also know that his transgression isn’t nearly as disconcerting as the sorts of actions and attitudes Otis is alluding to in his thoughtful post. Even so, I think PrimeBud420 does illustrate, in a way, what Otis is talking about. The “poker world” -- however you want to define that -- is one big playground, really. A place where a whole hell of a lot of immature nonsense is not just tolerated, but in various ways encouraged. Or at least that’s what I assume PrimeBud420 has learned from his exposure to poker thus far.

I’m as competitive as they come. But I’ll never buy into the “no friends in poker” line. We all make it mean what we want it to mean. And for me poker mostly means fun, friends, and (of course) the occasional chunk of change.

Which is why I’m still smiling.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don´t come across rude or aggresive chatting at the online poker as much as I´d like to. It offers a great opportunity to have fun. I have no elaborate examples but in the simplest version it goes like ´you are a donk´, ´yes, but only on saturday evenings CET´. You can really set someone up.

8/06/2007 6:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I knew a player like that. Used to play against and chat with him on a regular basis at the tables. He'd always gloat when he won and make disparaging remarks when he lost, which usually turned into flame wars. In someways it helped him as a player, but his tendency to blow up eventually got the best of him and he stopped playing.

8/06/2007 4:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You´re not talking about Mike Fasso, are you? (Ante Up! podcast inside joke)

8/07/2007 4:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nope. Someone else. Dammit I hate when I don't get the inside joke. I feel so left out. Haha.

8/08/2007 4:14 PM  

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