Friday, September 20, 2019

Call the circus. We’ve found their missing clown

I read an article recently (and apologies for not posting a link as I just can't find it again) that better players tend to feel unluckier than worse players. The main gist was that anyone paying the wrong price to hit is essentially a worse player, with better players knowing the merits of folding when a play becomes unprofitable. As with all things in poker it's the long term profitability of a play that should be considered, rather than the short term outcome. But worse players will pay unprofitable prices to hit draws and will mathematically make those draws a fixed percentage of times, making them the "luckier" player, albeit that they will lose money over the long term if they make the same play every time.

Whilst I certainly don't consider myself a "better" player I probably fall into the unluckier category. I know this is all in my head but it always seems to be me on the bad side of another player's unprofitable play. Or maybe that we're all programmed to remember the negatives over the positives as, in evolutionary terms, a negative result is a far worse outcome than the reflective positive would be on the flip side. An example would be wild berries - it's far better to be cautious over strange food as a positive result only temporarily staves off hunger whereas a negative result could potentially be fatal. But anyway - I'm rambling.

I'm new to the table and have only just ordered my first beer when the players directly to my right and left get into an all in situation. The player on my right flips over a 4 high flush draw on the turn and the player to my left already has a full house. No idea of the preflop action but it's an early indication of the "any two will do" attitude that the player on my right possesses.

It's my first time in the blinds and I look down at Kd-Jd and I call a raise from MP and we're 4 way to a flop (the other callers are the button on my right and the BB on my left. Flop is K-J-2 with 2 hearts. I'm going to check raise this but the preflop aggressor elects to check although the button throws out a half pot raise. I raise and the only caller is the button. Blank on the turn and I bet enough to put the button all in - he snap calls. Fuck. Has he got a flopped set? River is a queen but not a heart. He turns over 10-9 off (no hearts) for a rivered inside straight. Errr - ok. So you've got your whole stack in with 4 outs? Clown.

I get some money back from a different player when I flop a set of 8s to beat his pocket queens but I just can't seem to pick up a hand against the clown on my right. He's playing virtually every hand and really doesn't seem to know what he's doing. Which is great for the table as he's donating chips left, right and centre. But unfortunately non back to me.

About an hour in to my session now and the clown has switched seats (I have showered today so I'm not taking it personally!) and he limps UTG. There's another couple of limps and I look down at J-J. This is the session immediately after my epiphany over how to play Jacks (detailed here I raise to $25 and the clown is the only caller. It's a 7-2-9 board and the clown donk leads for $30. He only has $50 or so behind so I shove and he snap calls. Blank turn and river and he turns over 7-2 off for a flopped two pair. Utter clown. 

I'm in the blinds holding 6-6 and we're 4 or 5 ways to a flop of 6s-Jc-4s. I lead out and our clown is the only caller. Turn is 9c and I bet again which is called. The river looks safe as it's the ace of clubs - the front door flush draw has missed so again I lead out. Clown snap calls and I turn over my cards. He announces he has the nuts and turns over Kc-5c. So not only has he called with K high on the flop he's not reraised me on the river with the nuts. 

He also gets lucky in another hand I'm not involved in - he limps UTG then calls a raise preflop. Flop is K-2–3 and he check shoves holding Q-4 to go runner runner 5-A and hit a straight against K-K. 

So it's a major disappointment when he leaves, having dropped at least 3 buy ins whilst I'd been sat down but undoubtedly more over the course of his session. 

As soon as he's gone the table starts to talk about him and how he'd basically play any two cards and wouldn't fold if he'd connected slightly with the flop. I'm annoyed that I've not been able to catch a break against him and all that I comment on his play is "I think someone should call the circus as we've found their missing clown". 


  1. Wow - talk about a donk on an absolute heater. Most times they get on a hater, get a huge stack, then donk it all off or go running away from the table when they get back to about even. It's especially frustrating when they suck out on you and everyone else at the table benefits. Dang ...

    1. I think it’s because some people come to Vegas to gamble and just see poker as another gamble. I love people like this at the table - just sucks when I can’t catch a break against them though!