Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Does a dog know it’s a dog? Does a donk know he’s a donk?

Self awareness across the animal kingdom is pretty rare – apart from humans the only species which show higher elements of self awareness are primates, elephants, dolphins and some birds. Humans generally only become fully self aware in their mid to late teens but I’m sure that some people never reach full capacity. We all know people who live in their own little bubble and have no idea how their actions affect anyone else.

If you’re starting to think this is a bit heavy going please bear with me as it has relevance to a recent poker session. I’m sat enjoying a few beers and am running relatively well on a pretty standard $1/2 table. I’ve got around $500 in front of me from a $300 buy in and I’m enjoying a very friendly chat with a guy on my right hand side – amongst other things he’d told me that he was on a PhD programme studying philosophy and psychology. I’d realised he was a bright guy (I’ll call him BG for bright guy for the rest of this story) but now he’s said he’s on a PhD programme I know he’s far brighter than I could possibly hope to be.

We’ve been playing together for about 90 minutes when a new player joins the table in seat 7 or 8 (I’m in 4 or 5 but new guy is 3 to my left, and BG is obviously in seat 3 or 4 being one to my right). I’m going to call the new guy CL – for crazy loon. Because he was a crazy loon.

I can usually judge how someone plays within 5 hands of them sitting down. Crazy loons just can’t help themselves – there must be a voice in the back of their head saying “must raise with 8-4 off”. Our CL raises the 1st hand he’s dealt, and the 2nd, and the 3rd. I think he won 2 and lost 1 hand but now he’s UTG for his 4th hand and raises. There are a couple of calls round to me on the button and I look down at QQ. So I raise to about $60 (CL had raised to $12 and there’s nearly $40 in the pot already). CL shoves for about $250 and it folds round to me. Normally this means I’m behind but given CL has a 4/4 raising average I decide I’m well ahead of his range and call. I table my hand but CL doesn’t and we see an Ace high board. CL shows A4 off!!! I tell him “nice hand” and he thinks I’m congratulating him. I’ve found there’s no point berating the idiots as they are usually too dumb to realise what’s actually going on so I continue talking to the bright guy. CL continues to do what CLs tend to do by instinct and he’s up to $700 or so, then lost it all and rebought, lost it all again and has rebought again – all within the space of about 2 rounds.

I’ve been chatting to BG and we somehow get taking about self awareness when this hand happens. I raise from UTG+1 with AK off and CL 3 bets, it folds round to me and I shove (probably around $275 and CL has about the same). I table AK and again CL doesn’t show until the river – 6-10 suited and he’s paired his 10!! What a fucking clown.

I rebuy (so now I’ve lost my winnings plus a buy in – all to CL), turn to BG and continue our conversation by saying “Does a dog know it’s a dog, does a donk know he’s a donk?” which elicits a laugh from BG. CL now pipes up with “What did you say? Did you call me a donk? I won the hand so you’re the donk”. I just laugh – there’s no point arguing with this idiot and I don’t respond back to him.

CL continues to play this way – at one point he’s up to around $1,500 but within an hour or so his luck runs out and by the time he leaves he’s burned through 5 or 6 buy ins. Unfortunately none of those came back to me and I leave after a 4 hour session down a buy in but having had a good few beers and a far more intellectual conversation than I usually do at the table.

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