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Poker And Morals

Ok, So I got up early and got to the card room just in time for the 2nd to last seat on the new game opening up. One of the end seats that I like also. It looked like a great table, lots of tight passive players, My favorite. The over all day was a good day, and won a full buy in in about 6 hours of play. So I got home at a good time and took my dog for another long walk. Which I guess I really need to do more because just before I started this blog I split a pair of pants right up my ass. I don’t think I have ever done that. I’m not a fat person 6’1’ 200lbs. Anyway it might be enough to keep me exercising. I have gone 4 days in a row now so just another 26 more to go. (I was told once that it takes the brain 30 days to develop a habit)

Here is what I ran into today. Poker and morals. There were two instances that I thought were interesting and maybe people would like to weigh in on them. First Looking at someone’s cards. Now I don’t mean leaning over and looking, but if a player happens to be showing you his cards, do YOU look? Most of my friends say YES. Flat out no questions. I would have to say not usually. We all play at a limit where its your responsibility to protect your cards. But I really feel like I am cheating, although its not if they are flashing them. Also I would never want to be caught by another player and lose respect. I take pride in being a respectable honest player. I also find that if I only get a quick glimpse of one card I try to use that to my advantage and out play them. Unfortunately I don’t know what the other card is and sometimes it could be anything. What I have found is that I have more practice at playing without seeing the cards, and so usually seeing them has only brought me very little advantage. What I usually do is tell the person that they are showing me their cards. If he is a nice person I will try hard not to look and maybe even warn him again. If after that I see his cards, then honestly I do look. Although I would rather not. I know this is just for live play, but anyone else not look?

The second moral issue I had today. Was that a older man +80’s was dropped off at our table by his daughter (older woman also) and she said she would be back in two hours. He bought in and proceeded to lose hand after hand. He was calling down with anything but he never got lucky and won. He lost three buy ins in the first hour and 15 minutes. Then all he did was stare down the hall at the escalator hoping that his daughter would come back soon. I found myself praying that he would win just one hand. He was directly to my left so on my big blind he and 5 other people limp into the hand and the button raises. I have QcJc and call. The flop is Ac 10s 7s. The old man bets the flop and including the preflop raiser 3 others call. I wanted to fold my hand but really couldn’t. Even though I was going for the gutshot, at 13:1 the odds looked right. Now One of my outs was possibly dead because if a spade comes my straight might not be any good. But that was covered by my implied odds. For the one small bet I could win a min of 22. If someone had flopped a set, the implied would be much more. Anyway the turn was the Ks and the old guy bets the hand out (with AK) and one other person calls it down so do I. If it wasn’t the old guy I would have raised the river. But I knew only he would call and I really didn’t want to take his money. It felt like taking money from my grandpa. So the straight was good.

So As this shows I have a soft spot for people who seem like they are in way over their heads and need the money they are losing. This is a really bad trait for a poker player, but I think it keeps me separate from the mean old people who go to the casino every day, not just to play poker, but because they have no friends anywhere else. Its even worse when they have no friends in the casino also. These are a few more problems that I never had playing online. Good luck at the tables everyone.


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Comments (3)

Great post. Here is my 2 cents. I try not to look when someone flashes their cards, but if it is obvious, sometimes you can't help but look. It isn't cheating, but it is angle-shooting, and people have varying opinions on the topic. In the end, it'll all depend on where I am playing. In a home game, I'll tell the flasher. In most other games, I won't tell unless it is so obvious that people will catch on that I am getting extra info. Devious, I know.

As for the old guy, I know what you mean. Sometimes its sad seeing someone who is in over their heads. In those instances, though, I feel free to take their money, but I do the best to soften it by being friendly and engaging them in conversation or my "witty" poker room banter. This way, at least they get some entertainment for their dollar.

I don't play live as much, but I think I'd be inclined to say something, then if they keep doing it, just do my best to avoid it. I play for pride as much as cash, since I'm a lwer level player.

As for the old guy, the people you see in casinos, whether at the tables or pouring checks into slot machines are kind of sad. Half the time, they don't look like they are even really enjoying themselves. I'd probably do the same thing you did and just call it down. Sometimes going for every last BB you can get may be good for your game, but it isn't so good for your soul. You have to decide where to draw the line.

When I'm playing online I do not care who I take money from. They could be a student, a single mum, an old war veteran, they are there to take my cash and me theirs! I suppose live is different when you can see the old man is uncomfortable but if he can't afford to lose it then why is he there in the first place? Raise that river and get the tru value from your hand, you never know when that extra bet will make all the difference!

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 12, 2006 10:52 PM.

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