Tag Archives: poker sucks

Shit I Learned From Poker: Folding Pocket Aces

pocket aces

I wasted a shitload (100 assloads = 10 shitloads = 1 fuckload) of time as a young whippersnapper (it’s my dream to get called a whippersnapper just one more time) playing poker. In middle school, high school, and the first half of college I played every poker game known to man at least once. It’s an arguable point, but a pair of aces in your hand in Texas Hold’Em before the flop is probably the most powerful betting position you can be in when you’re playing poker. In other words the last thing you should do is fold (throw them away).

But I read an old poker book by Doyle Brunson or somebody that said you’re not a real poker player until you fold pocket aces at least once. Because after that, you’ll be able to let go of any hand at any time if you should get out of it. I ended up doing it in college at a casino I went to all the time. When I did it, I showed them to the guy sitting next to me who called me “his nemesis” because I beat him all the time. I’ll never forget the look he gave me when he saw I was throwing away pocket aces. I knew he’d never have the edge on me after that.

At the core of it is the idea that you are bigger, badder, and better than everything. You don’t need lady luck, because you’re going to win anyway. You’re not grateful for every break you get, you know that you deserve them. If anything, luck should be grateful just to be in your presence. If you believe this to the core, nothing will shock you or take you by surprise. Setbacks are just scenic routes to success and luck is when you find the shortcut. No matter what happens, you’re getting there.

Things in life similar to folding pocket aces are: quitting a great job, dumping a great girlfriend, moving away from a great place, leaving a great party, and throwing away a winning lottery ticket. None of them are logical, but you do it to remind yourself that you’re in control.

And remember, when you fold pocket aces, make sure you show them to somebody.

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Filed under Self Improvement

Randomness: Enemy of Humans

If anything is clear after 10 years of Google and 12 years of the Internet, it’s that supplying an unbelievable amount of information to people confuses things to them more than it clarifies things. One of the most ubiquitous signs that this is the case is the enormous number of:

Coincidence?!?! I DON’T THINK SO!

statements that surround every low-probability A.I. (after Internet) event. Sidenote: B.C. and A.D. are getting old. It’s time to move to B.I. (before Internet) and A.I. (defined above) in the way we define the years. Anyway, let’s make a list of some of these events in no particular order:

  1. Almost every event surrounding 9/11
  2. The non-existence of WMD’s in Iraq
  3. The triumph of Christina Aguilera over Britney Spears
  4. The rise of Apple Computer

I’m not going to sit here and think of other things, you get the point. If you don’t get the point, the point is that people, for whatever reason, can’t accept that a low-probability event is the explanation for something HUGE. They’d rather come up with some storybook explanation that makes it seem like the event was, in fact, predictable. One of the best examples of this is in Sports. You always hear about “this team won the (Championship Game) because…”, even when said team won by a small enough margin to be attributed to randomness. Whenever I hear a woman talk about how she met her husband, and how it was just always meant to be, it just seems so obviously ridiculous to me that I’m not even sure how to point it out.

I mean, what the fuck, people really want to believe that the highest probability event is what “should always happen” and what does always happen outside of extremely unlikely events. That’s not how the world works. The biggest news with the biggest impact is the stuff with a low probability of happening; and the big impact stuff is what matters. The events that happen with high probability are footnotes in history.

I think the disconnect is there because people are very conservative by nature. They look at the probability of success rather than both the probability of success combined with the value of success. For example, is it better to go for an 80% chance of banging a 9 or a 1% chance of banging Rachel Bilson (assuming you could correctly estimate the probabilities)? Keep in mind there’s a 1/5 chance that you fail with the 9 and spend the rest of your life wondering if you could have banged Rachel Bilson in her prime. The risks of failure with the 9 are so unbelievably great that you have to go for Rachel Bilson.

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Filed under Science, Uncategorized

The World is My Living Room

Acting uninhibited in public is probably my all-time favorite activity. It basically epitomizes my ‘I do what I want’ philosophy on life. Caring what other people think is a by-product of passive aggressive behavior that should be reserved for bitches only. I’m pretty sure most people don’t get to this point until they’re 80 years old and too old to care, but with some calculated steps you can speed up this process. Here’s a list of activities that can make the world feel like your living room:

  1. Swear in public, especially in front of little children
  2. Swear at work, loudly
  3. Make fun of teenagers on the Metro
  4. Pick flowers from public places and give them to pretty girls who wander into your part of your living room
  5. “I just say whatever I want to whoever I want, whenever I want, wherever I want, however I want” – Eminem

I think this is best illustrated with a story.

My greatest night at a casino ever came a couple years ago at the fabulous Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. This night managed to beat out my previous ‘best casino night’, which ended when I took down a $1200 pot when I rivered a straight flush against a Chinese guy who had been calling me kid all night. He had the ace high flush.

Anyway, it was close to 4:00 in the morning. I was at the Palms, definitively annihilated after drinking an untold number of JD shot/Bud Light combos (tipping 50 cent chips each time). I was playing some version of pot-limit Hold Em, and it got to the point where I was openly mocking anyone who lost to me by saying “I mean, look at me, look at me!” and laughing hysterically when I took down pots.

Needless to say, I had exactly 0 friends at the table and I couldn’t have cared any less. Everyone, and I mean everyone, was dying to beat me. I managed to notice this even though I was reasonably occupied making fun of this fat guy I nicknamed ‘JoJo’ sitting across from me. I thought the pit boss let me stay at the table because everyone wanted me to stay there and lose so badly. This was confirmed to me when the drinks started coming 3 or 4 times faster then they had been.

My night of poker ended when I was telling a flurry of racist and sexist jokes in the middle of a huge hand I was in. I ended up pulling out a full house and I subsequently took it down. I laughed so hard when I raked the chips in that I fell out of my chair. The pit boss informed me that I was no longer welcome at the poker table, and I cashed out my chips. After loudly counting my winnings, I was escorted from the premises to a round of applause from the other poker players and was told I was banned for life from the Palms Casino Resort.

I went to the casino next door, put every dollar of winnings on my lucky number (24) in Roulette, and lost. I took a cab back to the hotel, recounted my story to my friends, and went to sleep with a huge smile on my face. I haven’t played poker since.

The moral of the story: you don’t ever want to be JoJo.

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Filed under Life