Monday, June 20, 2011

$5 Bad Beats

Player 1: "Listen to this terrible bad beat I just experienced--"
Player 2: "Did you lose with a royal flush?"
Player 1: "No."
Player 2: "Then I've heard it before."

The Guru imposes a rule on any new student he takes on: you can whine about a bad beat, but every time you do it costs $5. Why? Because it's annoying, that's why.

Well, it turns out that it's worse than just annoying. Telling bad beat stories is actually detrimental to those around you.

I saw a story in the news this morning that described an experiment performed by a professor of psychology at a New York university (SUNY - New Paltz). In the study, participants were asked to do simple math problems while listening to a variety of "annoying" sounds.The test subjects had to perform addition and subtraction exercises while alternately listening to an infant crying, regular speech, silence, a high-pitched table saw, "motherese" (i.e., exaggerated baby talk), and whining. The researchers wanted to understand which general type of input was the most distracting.

Guess which one was considered to be the most annoying and distracting? Yep: whining. In raw numbers, people made significantly more mistakes when subjected to whining than any of the other input sounds. Said another way, telling bad beat stories is, well,  bad for those around you.


In other words, me thinks, the next time you're at a poker table and want to throw your opponents off their game: Whine. Tell bad beat stories. Complain. Moan. Whimper. Wail. Grumble. Lament. Grouse. Gripe. Mutter. Keen. Carp.

You won't win any friends doing this, but you may actually increase your edge a little; the opp will have a harder time doing simple math, like calculating the pod odds.

So whine away, my fellow poker players.*

All-in for now...
*But not around me, please. I've heard all those bad beats before.

1 comment:

  1. At the poker table, what effect does the "whining" have on the whiner? Seems to me it would mess them up too .... all they are telling themselves is how unlucky they are, no matter how well they play.