I suck at poker…

…but that’s okay. The idea is that over time I will suck less, and that eventually I will start to blow. (Hang on…)

a starting hand Anyway, this evening I played in my first live (non-internet) game that didn’t involve just me and some friends sitting around a table. The Swordfish and I went along to a £10 Hold’em tournament at the Maybury casino, one of Scotland’s biggest regular poker venues. This was, incidentally, the first time I have ever set foot in any casino, ever.

I expected to be nervous, and I was. I knew it was a pot-limit game, which is not what I usually play, so I expected to be unsteady in my reading of the hands, and I was. What I hadn’t been prepared for, though, and what blew me out of the water completely, was that it was a rebuy tournament.

We started off with £500 in tournament chips, and the blinds started at £25 and £50, which gives each player a mere 10 big bets in their stack. This gave me pause, as it’s not much to go on, and I was surprised to see two guys go all-in on the first hand…until the loser called for a rebuy…and suddenly it all made horrible sense.

There’s no excuse for me not sniffing out the format of the game beforehand, but the realisation that I hadn’t budgeted for rebuys, and was therefore immediately short-stacked against everyone who had, gave me the heebiedabajeebies. After seeing another two rebuys in the next three hands, I played like a total monkey for the following three, and found myself out in 39th place…of 39. I could have called for a rebuy, but my whole plan for the evening hinged on the fact that £10 was what I was willing to play with, and I don’t gamble with more than I am willing to lose.

Don’t ask about the hands. The memory is still…too painful.

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