Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Alas, No Stomach for the Game. Yet.

Mr. Multi has not played serious poker in a few years. He's been off making beer or something-or-other in his copious free time. That's the sad news. The happy news is he recently decided to try poker again, so he bit the bullet and made a modest deposit on an online poker site. He did a few sessions at the play tables to get the rhythm of the game back, and then jumped into a real money cash game...

...and promptly suffered a stack'em bad beat on what I believe was one of the very first hands he played. So he shut down the virtual table and walked away.

When he told me about the experience afterward, I was actually happy for him. "You suffered a bad beat," I said, "which means that you played the hand correctly. The other guy got his money in poorly. Congratulations!" Said another way, bad beats and coolers and suckouts are part of the game. Variance, and all that rot. You have to embrace the beats and think long term. Bad beats shouldn't be whined about in back alleys and barrooms; nay, they should be relished, shouted from the highest mountaintops: "I made the right decision and the other guy just got lucky! Let's do it again 100 times and I'll be rich!"

Mr. Multi, alas, didn't see things quite this way. The sting of the bad beat, well, stung. I'm not sure if he's actually logged back in since that blip beat on the radar screen of poker felt...

...which is too bad. Mr. Multi has some fundamental skills and abilities that make him well suited to the game. He's generally very patient, for one thing, which is something I personally struggle with. He's also smart in the way of the game that software guys tend to be. Logical flow, pattern recognition, and such...

But, alas. He's not played much. In a long time. And ergo he's back to feeling the sting of a bad beat, and not its subtle joy.

The truth is that Mr. Multi needs to decide if poker is a game for him or not. And believe me, it's not for everyone. Not by a long shot. You need both technical chops and mental fortitude, true, but you also need to be a bit of a masochist, welcoming those stings the poker gods inflict, embracing them, loving them for what they really are: money.

Or else you need to find a hobby easier on your gut, like beer making.

All-in for now...

1 comment:

  1. I keep telling myself what you've just written, but sometimes I'm like Mr. Multi.