You Know That Feeling?

Flopped set

I’m at home playing poker online.  You know that feeling?  You don’t have to be fully dressed, and can put your feet anywhere and fart out loud because Mrs. isn’t here to act all offended.

You know that feeling when you open raise with a middle pocket pair in middle position?  It’s a middling feeling, like it’d be perfectly fine if everyone else folds and you win the blinds, because most of the times you get called, you’ll be out of position with cards that are hard to play aggressively.  I know that feeling.  Meh.  There’s nobody else to talk to but nothing to say.  We’ll see what happens.

Flopped setYou know that feeling when there is just one caller and you flop a set?  Let’s say you have 77, and the flop is KQ7, rainbow.  Yahtzee!  Even though you have bottom set, it’s highly unlikely the villain has middle or top set as he would have re-raised pre-flop with KK or QQ.  But this flop does hit a lot of his calling range, and you can get value from hands like AK, AQ, KQ, KJ, KT, QJ, JT.  Make that a Double Yahtzee!


So you make a continuation bet a little more than 1/2 pot, and the villain raises, big.  Make that a Triple Yahtzee!  This is when online poker is fun.  You know that feeling, right?  I do.  You can fist pump, yell “Yee-e-e-e-HAH!” really loud and make a general fool of yourself in a way that would be unbecoming in a live game.  You still have a decision to make… shove right now or call and check any turn so the villain can finish himself off?  These are great choices to have.  You remind yourself that poker is a game of skill.

Flopped setAs Napoleon said, never interrupt an enemy making a mistake.  So you call and check when a ten comes on the turn.  You know that feeling of anticipation as the timing ticks down?  Will he bet?  Will he shove?  What if he checks back, should I shove on the river?  And that energy surge when the villain goes all-in?  I know that feeling.  What on earth is this poor sucker holding?  Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay; My, oh, my, what a wonderful day.  I kind of which I had somebody else here to celebrate this with me.

And the villain reveals KJ suited, and you note the turn card gave him not only an open-ended straight draw to go along with top pair, but also a flush draw.  Jeez, now you have to fade a shit ton of outs.  You know that feeling?  When a pit suddenly forms in your stomach, when you try to count the villain’s outs before the river comes, when you stop prancing around the room because what-the—-?  If this was a live poker game instead of playing online, there would be a dramatic pause here.  If it was televised, an even longer pause.  Then you’d have time to notice your heart racing, time for a nervous laugh, because even though you are still a 68% favorite (down from 91.4% on the flop), that’s far, far away from a sure thing.  I know that feeling.

You know that feeling when you see an Ace on the River?  If you were Barry Greenstein, that would be the title of your poker book:  Ace on the River.  Good for Barry Greenstein.  It’s a soul sucking feeling.  You feel empty.  You remind yourself that they always have it.


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