Poker Comment: Blinded by the Blindingly Obvious

I get the impression Ed Miller is a little more stunned by this than I am. Just a tad, maybe. The idea that people can start talking up the powers of Jack-Ten over Aces and actually start believing themselves.
But then Ed didn’t have my dad for a father.

I had an early wake-up call as to the bizarre ways in which different people can look at the same situation idn poker online indonesia.

Watching a soccer game with Prest snr in my teens, I was amazed to hear my dad say that he’d rather his team won a corner kick than a penalty kick. There was something about all those bodies piling into the penalty area to get their head to a corner kick that he felt made a goal inevitable. Even compared to a penalty.

Before I lose all you non-soccer people, here’s a corner-kick.

Now, here’s a penalty kick.

All right, so I’m being flippant with my examples but seriously, which looks more like soccer’s version of ‘the nuts’ to you?

The seeds of eccentricity lie within all of us and they find no more fertile soil than the long, repetitive hours spent at a poker table. Whose mind hasn’t turned just a little when his cards are as dead as Tutankhamen and he’s lost all track of time?

We are an enquiring species: it’s how we invent penicillin and map the solar system but give our minds long enough to mull stuff over in a detached, artificial environment devoid of everyday reference points and those same minds, either through boredom or just trying too hard, will cross to the dark side.

From such a place comes the notion that Elvis is alive, the Government has a camera in your bathroom and JT holds up better than Aces.

As with many such half-baked poker theories, you can see where the notion sprang from. Like the idiot son, rag hands get the easier ride because no-one expected much of them to start with. If JT misses the flop completely, you throw it away with not a scrap of ill-will. It was JT, for crying out loud, give it a break.

Now try mucking Aces when two kings flop and you get multiway action. Not so easy, right? This was the prodigy you were going to ride all the way to the bank; how can it let you down like this? That tearing noise you hear as the cards leave your hands for the muck: that’s your sense of entitlement being aggrievedly ripped in two. Go through this process too many times and damn right you start feeling jaundiced towards the best hands in poker.

They don’t always pull their weight, either. Two aces in your hand means two less for everyone else to work with. It only needs another one to flop and the chances are no-one will want to play, no matter how gently you nudge your own hand along. Collecting just the blinds and loose change when you’re holding aces is like having Al Capone and Lucky Luciano running the enforcement side of your loan-shark business yet recovering only 90 cents in the dollar.

Jack-Ten on the other hand, is the over-achiever. The devious little rascal that latches meekly onto a Q-K-A flop and hauls in a jackpot after everyone else holding paint started blasting away with his trips and two-pair. Those are the hands we remember, while the routine hands in which Aces or Kings took down a humdrum pot are swiftly forgotten.

Plus, JT makes you look smart. There’s no mileage in talking loudly about Aces being your favourite hand. Duh…

Singing the praises of unsuited connectors, on the other hand, makes you sound like a guy who’s been around. Which rookie doesn’t swoon over a player so gifted he can make a silk purse from a sow’s ear like JTo? All hail the poker sorcerer.

Is it any wonder that stuff like JT off-suit takes on a mythical romantic status in our heads, while premium pairs are the muscle-bound dullards that never seem to produce as much as they should? The human mind is selective and flawed, often sliding thoughts across the serving counter that should have gone straight down the garbage chute.

We interrupt this reverie to bring you a newsflash: AA versus a random hand wins 85% of the time; 79.8% minimum against any other pair; 87.8% against AK suited.

JT off-suit, meanwhile, triumphs 55.2% of the time against random. Against low to medium pairs, it’s in coin-flip country. Against AA, its a 17% dog.

Hard, immutable numbers and the longer you play, the more they will prevail.

Everything else is just gossip.

And Elvis is dead.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *