Monday, May 19, 2008

Kenny Rogers was a genius

There's a reason why I don't play poker in the real world. I never know when to call it a night. With the way my luck is going play Texas Hold 'Em on my Xbox 360 I should have learned my lesson by now. I even changed my motto to "no poker with friends" but I didn't heed my own advice.

I've had a couple of nights where I was up anywhere from 1,500 to 6,000 chips from my buy in and I should have walked away. Instead I end up losing it all . . . including my buy in. I finish the night negative instead of positive. But there's just something about the game that keeps me coming back for more when I'm not in a killing mood.

That nonkilling mood suited me just fine last night but once again it didn't pan out. I joined my first tournament and had to wait about two minutes before the table filled up. Once it did and the high card was dealt I got the message "the host has ended the match" message that I just love so much. I've waited longer to fill a table so I don't think that was the host's issue. And if you know you're going to leave then why play a game, or even start one for that matter, that might take awhile? Personally I think the host was doing that disconnect/reconnect the ethernet cable that boots everyone from the game and they end up winning. You have to do that little trick after the high card is dealt to see who gets the dealer button but before all the cards are dealt for the first round. I should have quit right then.

But I didn't.

I joined another game and this time we got started playing just fine. But things went downhill from there. On the second hand in one player was able to knock out three other players. Except the game screen froze after the last player bowed out. Nobody could do anything except talk to each other. Someone suggested we just bow out ourselves and I was considering it, but then I had a stroke of genius. If everyone else bowed out then I would win the match and that would be the easiest $2,000 I've won in a long time. Heck, I wouldn't have even played a hand (I folded the first two hands). One by one people started quiting the game. Once the player who won the big hand quit, the game unlocked and there was me and someone else left to play.

Our chip counts were pretty even (I had $4 more because of the blinds) so we started to play. After about 10 hands I went all in before the river on a gutsy play. My options were a straight, a flush or nothing at all. I got the flush and the win to finish the game but the other player backed out as soon as the cards were revealed and just when my winning music started to play. I was just starting to think the other player might have been a sore loser when the message popped up saying I've leaving the game in 8th place. What?

I was stunned and speechless and there wasn't a damn thing I could do about it. But that's Texas Hold 'Em for ya. At least when I'm playing with friends I should know when to walk away, but when you're getting screwed by the system either by manipulation or just plain wackiness it's not fair. Despite all my problems connecting to an online game with Catan at my apartment, but not having any problems while at my parent's house, Texas Hold 'Em has got to be the glitchiest game out there. It's too bad too because I like the game. I just don't like losing this way.

So Kenny Rogers got it right when he sings The Gambler. You DO gotta know when to fold 'em; know when to hold 'em; know when to walk away; and know when to run. And right now I think I'll be running as fast as I can to something else. Something where glitches and glitchers won't take my money. And where I won't be supply the bankroll to my friends to feed their gambling habits.

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