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Dear Whiny Poker Player

It's time for my quarterly reminder.

Dear Whiny Poker Player,

I apologize if I am retreading over something I may have written to you about before, but I feel that it is imperative that we clear the air. Your whininess is a nuisance, and you are not winning over anyone with it. I will set forth the sole solution to all of your problems in one sentence, and then, after reading that sentence, you can skip the rest of the letter, if you like. I may go on, though and offer some further insight, but the point of this post is to offer the solution to all of your problems.

If you follow my one simple sentence, you will never again have anything to whine about (regarding poker, although I am sure you will find something else). You will never again suffer the indignity of having your 80% favorite hand all-in preflop lose by the river, sometimes even twice in a row. You will never again suffer the torture of your bluff being called by a donkey with an aweful hand like middle pair. You will never again suffer a string of soul crushing second-best hands, or worse, become card dead entirely. Above all else, you will no longer be subject to the terrible machinations of the poker gods or the blind but vicious luck of the poker illiterate. You will finally be free of the albatross that hangs around your neck, and you will never again have to tell someone of that horrible suckout or that terrible luck. Here it is, your one sentence moment-of-clarity that will allow you to be free of the shackles that bind you:

Stop playing poker.

That's it! Amazing, isn't it. The truth is, those horrible things that you suffer are not only a possibility in the game of poker, they are an utmost certainty! You will lose with your 80% ahead hand. You will have donkeys make "bad" plays against you and then get rewarded while you are left with an aching junk. You will hit strings of bad luck. That is, these things will happen, but ONLY if you play poker.

Let's face it, you just aren't cut out for poker. If you were, you'd be over these things by now. You would have realized that there is an undeniable element of luck in the game, and you would have accepted it, the way the trees accept that winter is coming and shed their leaves. Poker is, in many ways, a force of nature, something that is as controllable by you as rain. You cannot control poker. But you also can avoid letting poker control you. You can accept the rain and prepare by creating an umbrella for yourself. That metaphorical umbrella could be a deep bankroll or the knowledge that, over the long hall, there will be many sunny days too. You must be ready for these sunny days as well, so you can enjoy them and reap as much benefit as you can when they come. Or, you can expect every day to be sunny and squander the sunshine, only to recapitulate when it is rainy and damn the weather for not providing enless levity.

So, just quit. You are too shortsighted for this game. You don't have the temperment for the game, and even if you have some skill when its sunny, there will be many rainy days ahead, and the rest of us, with our umbrellas, don't really care to hear about how you keep getting wet. We are wet too, but we keep it in perspective and do our best to cover our heads (and asses) when the rainy season comes.

Quit, my friend, because if this game is really all about luck, then you could better spend your time playing the lottery, or you can lose money faster by playing high stakes slots. Granted, you'll likely complain when you bust out of the slots too, but at least the only person there to hear it will be the slot machine itself and the old lady two seats over with her hearing aid turned down to 1.

If, however, you do not think that you can quit the game, I offer you two other suggestions: (1) Contact GamAnon, because you, sir, have a gambling problem. You must have a gambling problem if you sincerely believe that the game is against you and yet you cannot stop yourself from playing. The other option is (2) Get a new perspective. Clearly, the one you have is not working, and the only way to survive this game with a modicum of sanity is to accept that not every day will be sunny.


High on Poker

posted by Jordan @ 12:20 PM,


At 4:22 PM, Blogger Eric a.k.a. Bone Daddy said...

But I was a 73.25768 % favorite pre-flop.

Amen brotha, shut up and PLAY.

At 4:43 PM, Blogger MattyEbs said...

So it goes...

Luck is a result of the restricted perspective of probability due to the contingent of time and furthermore order.

Luck is something man invented to explain the successes of his enemies.

But my personal favorite:

It is strange the way the ignorant and inexperienced so often and so undeservedly succeed while the informed and experienced fail.

At 5:35 PM, Blogger Dave said...

Thank you for a well timed bitch slap to my face. I was a whiner today. I'll shut up now and get over it. Maybe I'll learn2play for once.

At 6:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stop whining, Jordan.

At 11:48 AM, Blogger Patch said...

While I think your primary point is exceedingly well taken, I do think there's a place for the quick comment about one's recent bad run, if only to let others also running bad know they aren't suffering alone. Like those folks standing in the metaphorical rain with their metaphorical umbrellas mostly keeping their heads and asses dry, the occasion exchange about the state of the weather is not totally out of place. But it should be short if not sweet.

"Pretty wet out today."


That should about do it.

At 11:48 AM, Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Telling other people what to blog about and not blog about ("whining", "variance", "bad beat stories", etc.) not only makes baby Jesus cry, but it goes against the very nature of blogs and blogging in general. I just love the irony in that. Maybe it's just me. And baby Jesus.

At 12:43 PM, Blogger NewinNov said...

What a sense of relief. All I have to do is STOP playing. The clouds are parting and I see the light. I knew I'd get something useful from reading poker blogs.

Baby Jesus. I mentioned that min raises makes Baby Jesus cry at a live poker game once and just got confused looks. Inside voice, inside voice.


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