A (Short) Tale of Two Poker Games

best and worst poker times

Friday night was the worst of poker times.

I was impatient and edgy the entire session. Ill-conceived bluffs failed, a flush ran into a bigger flush, top 2-pair ran into bottom trips, QQ ran into KK, multiple hands ran into AA, draws missed.

I ran through many stop signs, pouring good chips into losing situations in spots where I know better. I played too many hands that should be folded pre-flop, and too many hands from weak position. Despite some self-awareness of this, I couldn’t let go of the impatience, couldn’t walk away early from the carnage, couldn’t pivot the mind to a calmer, better, more self-disciplined place.

Several buy-ins later, I sat on the couch eating cookies for another hour, waiting for a friend who had ridden to the game with me to finish getting his weekly poker fix. I’ll never find my A-game again.

Saturday night was the best of poker times.

I was seated near two good friends I enjoy conversing with during poker games. Several great action players were at the table. The Duke basketball games was on the TV and the good guys were winning; that always makes me happy.

After a slow start, I flopped a set of 5’s and one of the action players declared “ALL-IN!” on the turn. Boom!

Noting that all-in bluffs were being called all over the place with weak holdings, I dialed down my bluffing frequency to about zero. My AA held up, top 2-pair held up, QQ ran into JJ, AK hit the flop well and held up, 99 rivered a two-outer and busted someone’s AA, somehow won a sizable pot with an unimproved 77.

The mind was calm, decision making was disciplined. When I was ready to go home, I told my friend who had ridden to the game with me that it was time… and he readily agreed. I’ll never lose my A-game again.

Or maybe, just maybe, for my mathematically oriented readers, regression to the mean is real. Not that it ever wasn’t, but reminders help.


Some of the best poker times come via Open Face Chinese poker. Check out OFC Hub, which I created to offer a real money online option for Pineapple OFC enthusiasts. And don’t forget to enter your email address (below) for automatic notifications of new blog posts and share this post on social media.



  1. Amazing how this game we love toys with our affections. I’ve always like the saying “Some days you eat the bear and some days the bear eats you.”


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