I’m in the basement, baby; drop on by

I neglected to mention: before the Super Bowl on Sunday, I played some poker.

Like most pursuits, poker only requires a little effort to get from poor to average. The only thing that keeps me in the game, when the ringers like Bobby S. and Michelle McN. are splitting $60 pots, is very conservative play. I fold about three times as many hands as I play, and I’ll never chase a hand for more than a round or two. Playing like this will keep you in the game long after some of the others.

My weaknesses (that I know about):

  • I can be bought out pretty easily. Raise me by twice my bid or more and I probably won’t call you on it. Fortunately, I have a poor enough understanding of poker odds that the times I should fold to your bluff, I won’t. If there’s a 6, 7, 8 and 10 showing and we haven’t seen any 9s yet, you could probably bluff a better player into folding. Not me. I’ve got no clue what cards I should be looking for. My ignorance keeps me alive.

  • I stay in on strong hands and lose to stronger ones. This happens to every poker player from time to time: standing on pocket 9s while the other guy’s building two pair. If there’s a defense against it I don’t know it.

Playing like this will never win me any poker games – except against monumentally poor players, and they’re never the ones who host a poker night. However, it will minimize my losses and keep me in the game for a while. And when I sit down to play with the best at ImprovBoston – as I did this past Sunday – free beer and good company are reward enough.

(I walked away with $17 after a $20 buy-in, if you must know)

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