Another Poker Douche

Gunther invited me to a poker game at his place last night.

Normally I’m not much of a poker player but I’ve been feeling down lately, like I’ve lost some of my talk-to-strangers mojo, so I thought it would be good for me even if I lost my fifty dollar buy-in.

When I sat down, I knew Gunther and his sidekick Gordo. The other four guys I didn’t know. So in between lulls in the play I asked questions, mostly stuff like, “How do you know Gunther?”

That in itself is always a good one since Gunther doesn’t have a real job and knows people in the weirdest ways. One guy literally said, “Skydiving camp.”

One of the guys was a heavy-set douche with a beard who not only won a lot of hands, but told everyone what they did wrong to lead to their loss. (This is the second time I’ve played poker this year and that table had a poker douche, too. What’s up with that?) Everyone seemed to know him and his douchey quality and they just ridiculed him mercilessly, like “Hey, maybe if you spent less time reading poker books you might get laid this year.”

I did not enjoy listening to him tell me how many outs I had or what my pot odds were. So when he went after me one too many times after I lost a big pot, I said, “Jesus, man. Do you have Aspergers or something? Can’t you just tell when people have had enough of your little ‘helpful’ comments?!”

The table went kind of silent. Then the guy said, “Yeah, I do have Aspergers. Sorry if I upset you.”

Shit. I turned totally red. Obviously everyone else knew this but me. Thanks for the head’s up, guys!

At the end of the night, I apologized and said I didn’t know. He apologized, too. And then a weird thing happened. He said Gunther told him about my project, and was wondering if I could tell him about it so maybe he could get better at meeting people.

So it just goes to show you, that for every poker douche out there, there’s some actual mental disorder (or trauma) causing it. I think I’m going to help this guy.

Poker Douche

I played poker Thursday night with Paul and some of his friends. I used to like playing poker growing up. I played 5 draw as a kid, of course, but in college we used to play 7 stud, Omaha, and yes, some Texas Hold ‘Em.

But now the only thing anyone plays is Texas Hold ‘Em and everyone is such a know-it-all expert, it’s no fun to play anymore. But I’m a people person, so when Paul said they needed another played, I said fine.

The game was a Hold ‘Em tournament-style game with a $40 buy-in. (I know, lame.) There were ten players, including two married couples, and one guy who I later named Poker Douche. This guy was about 45, he was single (no surprise), and when he wasn’t hanging out at Commerce Casino, he worked as an IT guy at some company.

Poker Douche’s main goal in life, apparently, is to educate lesser players in the fine art of poker odds and strategy. The lessons are especially strident when you make a “wrong” play and win through “sheer luck.” But Poker Douche also likes to tell you when you should have made a “value bet,” shouldn’t have risked your whole stack “on a coin flip,” or should have made a “feeler bet.”

All of these annoying poker-speak terms are straight out of the many poker shows on TV so it’s not like any of the other players appreciated his comments. It made me wonder if he was trying to piss everyone off so they’d play badly. That seems super-douchey for a $40 game.

I don’t know why but my reaction to these type of people is always the same: I fuel their douchery with innocent-seeming questions to draw them out. For example, I said, “How do you remember all the odds?” That garnered a ten-minute answer about counting outs that any idiot already knows.

I’d also say things that didn’t make sense mathematically, like, “People say aces is the best starting hand, but I like 6, 7 suited. I think it wins more often.” He really went off on that one. And, my favorite, “Sometimes you just have to play a hunch.” I said that when I won a hand from him and he nearly punched me.

Anyway, Poker Douche made it to the final two (I busted in 6th place). But the woman who won it all beat him on a “questionable call” with nothing but a pair of two’s. Poker Douche was bluffing but the woman “should have folded” when he pushed all-in because the pot odds “weren’t in her favor.” But as she scooped the winning pot, I was pleased when she said, “Just playing a hunch.”