Lessons in Hold ‘Em

I played in my first ever officially official Texas Hold ‘em tourney this morning.

Long story short, I lost $32. But on the plus side, it was a lot of fun, and I did learn quite a bit about how to not suck so much at poker. All in all, the experience was worth the meager cost, and I’m eager to try again some time.

Lesson 1: Don’t play
That is, not unless you know you’re going to win. Be the guy who folds every damn time before he even sees the flop. It’ll make it more impressive when you go all in. You’re not lucky.
I did this remarkably well.
Lesson 2: Don’t be chickenshit
If you have a great hand, and some fool is betting like a maniac, stay in it, and take his money. I lost a big pot that almost killed me by chickening out. I had an Ace King, and there were 2 8s and 2 9s at 4th street. Two people were both betting like crazy, and I was sticking with them for most of it. At the river, a 7 came up, and one of the two guys went all in. I thought, Damn, he’s either got a straight or a full house. Better not lose another 500 on this. and I folded.
The winning hand was 9s over 8s with a Queen kicker. My Ace would have taken it. Damn, but that freaking hurt.
Lesson 3: Don’t get bored and throw all your chips in
This one pretty much speaks for itself. After the debacle with the not-so-full house, I only had 2500 in chips left, and the blinds were up to 500 and 1000. I was getting ansy and impoverished, so I went all in on a Jack 4 suited. Guess what happened.

Special thanks to Joe for transportation, Josh for telling me about the tournament, and Chris for telling me about the super-cheap and super-yummy breakfast special.

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