Saturday, April 07, 2007

The Ten Plagues of Holdem Poker

Having the day off from work for Good Friday, I've spent the day so far with my family and not quite finishing up yet with screenshotting my post from yesterday detailing my run to second place and the 5 grand in the nightly 30k guaranteed tournament on full tilt. That I will get to this weekend, and I will either link up the updated post, or I may just repost it with all the screenshots and updated explanations when it's done. In any event, today I'm going to post something that I started writing earlier in the week, inspired by the Jewish holiday this week but actually a list that I've been thinking of putting together for some time.

With a 3-year-old daughter who is just starting to figure stuff out and remember things from year to year, this is the first year that we've actually been able to get some mileage out of telling our girls the story of Passover when this time of year comes around. For the first time, my older daughter M was really intrigued by the story as we retold it during our annual seder this week, and there's a part of the story that I really fuckin love: the Ten Plagues. This is where Moses kept demanding that the Pharaoh in Egypt let the Jewish slaves go, but the Pharaoh kept saying no to the point that eventually God caused ten plagues to occur in succession in Egypt to help persuade the Pharaoh to free the slaves.

First there was blood, then frogs, then lice, wild animals, disease, boils, hail, locusts, darkness, and finally the infamous slaying of the first born of every family in Egypt. After each of these plagues, as the story goes, the Pharaoh would immediately agree to allow the slaves to leave Egypt and be free, but then once he agreed and the plague would stop, the Pharaoh would go back on his word and not allow the slaves to leave after all. Hence there was a second plague, and then a third, and so on and so on until finally the tenth and final plague, which saw the Pharaoh's own eldest son slain in addition to all the eldest sons in all of Egypt. Incidentally, Jewish people eat matza during Passover because, as the story goes, after this tenth and most severe plague, Pharaoh was so distraught that he finally agreed "for real" to let the slaves leave, and this time the slaves rushed quickly, not even taking time to let their bread rise, before the Pharaoh once again changed his mind and tried to force the slaves to stay in Egypt.

Anyways, all this talk about the ten plagues has got me thinking this week. What would the Ten Plagues of Holdem look like? In other words, to make the proper analyogy to the story of Passover, if the poker gods were to try to use ten poker-related plagues to convince a poker player to agree to do something he did not otherwise want to do, what would those ten holdem plagues be? So I spent some time this week mulling this one over, and here's what I've come up with, in order from least severe (#10) to most severe (#1):

10. AJ calls my preflop allin against my pocket Tens on the first hand of an mtt and then spikes a Jack on the river to take it down.

9. I run KK into AA allin preflop. This one is equally bad in tournament or cash games.

8. Full tilt servers go down in late stage of large mtt. Later I receive an email with incorrect instructions as to the payout coming to me due to the outage.

7. Waffles wins a blogger tournament and we have to listen to his drivel about aggressive poker play and improving his game for nearly a week until he again donks off a big stack early.

6. My AA is cracked by KK allin preflop.

5. I suffer the infamous "counterfeit bad beat". This is where, for example, I am allin preflop in a tournament with TT against my opponent's A7, and the board comes KKQQ4.

4. My flopped set loses to a higher flopped set. Again, equally painful in tournament or cash game play.

3. I flop a flush and get it allin on the flop, only to be beaten by a higher flopped flush.

2. I flop a full house, get it allin somewhere in the hand, and end up being beaten by one-outer quads at the river.

And my number one worst holdem poker plague, which has happened to me twice this very week actually and never ceases to make me want to barf in my shoes...

1. I'm allin preflop with the same holding as my opponent (i.e., we both have a pair of Tens). I end up getting four-flushed in Joe Hachem runnerrunnerrunnerrunner fashion, like when my TcTd is against ThTs, allin preflop, and the board comes Qh9s7s6s2s. Yeech!

OK that's all for today. I hope everyone has a nice Good Friday and a Happy Easter, happy Passover and a good weekend overall. You can look for my updated 30k post at some point this weekend, or Monday at the latest. And I should be at the tables most of the nights this weekend, including taking some of my newly-won cash on full tilt and making a run at some more bracelet raceage, in addition to some 1-2 nlh cash. Any bloggers looking to try to relieve me of my funds at the cash tables, hit me up on the girly chat, I'll be there.

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4 Comments:

Blogger Jennifer said...

hey, just spent the last 90% of my workday reading through your archives. great stuff! you're quite entertaining :) i just started contributing to blog.pokerletter.org, would be great if i could get your opinion on it! also, would you be interested in doing a link exchange?
email me: jennifer@pokerletter.org

5:56 AM  
Blogger bayne_s said...

Plague #7 is made even worse when the lucksack cracks your QQ with JJ at money bubble and brags about his "tough aggressive ppoker".

Missing plague is when AJ beats your AA r KJ beats your KK all in pre-flop

6:11 AM  
Blogger Scots_Chris said...

Great job on the $5k score and yes, those ten plagues are bang on the money. I think full house over full house is equivalent to the set over set and is equally hard to get away from.

8:38 AM  
Blogger Clare said...

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9:24 PM  

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