Many years ago I watched a period film in which there was a swordfight between an accomplished duelist and a total novice; I think the guy may have been forced into it. Anyway, the novice won. The dialogue that followed went something like: Who would the best swordsman in France fear if not the second best swordsman in France? The answer was - of course - the worst swordsman in France. Apparently the sentiment dates to the 16th Century. I read a book once which said something similar about chess players. At the time I was still quite an enthusiastic chess player, and having played at county level and on occasion beaten very strong players, I didnít pay too much attention to such nonsense.
Poker is not chess though; quite a few chess players turn to poker, and if any of them think initially that skill, analysis, dedication and such count for anything, they are soon sorely disappointed.
My own experience leads me to believe there are indeed forms of poker in which skill counts for something. They are pot limit razz, and limit razz, stud hi lo, and to a very limited degree limit and pot limit Omaha hi lo. Also quite likely badugi and triple draw - whether played limit or pot limit. All the aforementioned applies to tournament play, and only to tournament play. Any game played at no limit is not worth the candle, including and especially hold íem.
The first screengrab below from the William Hill Sunday Facebook tournament is indicative of this. I am informed that AQ made a small raise, the next player raised all-in, there was one caller, AQ folded, and the moronís garbage hand sucked out with a flush. This was a freeroll, so it is probably not too wise to draw any conclusions from his play. I am informed though that he did the same thing the next hand, and won. I donít know his screen name or where he finished in the tournament, but if he kept playing like that, it wouldnít surprise me if he didnít cash.
I was asked how can people like him play so badly so consistently and yet still win. As I said, skill counts for nothing in this game. At the very highest levels, maybe, but if you check out the high stakes cash games, you may beg to differ.
The remaining 11 screengrabs - which are not in strict chronological order - are from two of the three no limit hold íem tournaments I played the same day on a different site. I cashed in one. The moral of this story is if you play poker, play for fun, paying for your entertainment is a vastly different proposition from paying for your education, and just occasionally can be profitable, in this case, a whole two and a half dollarsí worth.
November 4, 2012: Five minutes into the William Hill Sunday Facebook Freeroll, a clown re-raises all-in with the worst hand in poker, and wins.
November 4, 2012: One of three freerolls I played on WPT Poker that day. Here, the clown with jack-deuce re-raised all-in short stacked.
November 4, 2012: One of three freerolls I played on WPT Poker that day. Here, a set of queens improves to quads.
November 4, 2012: One of three freerolls I played on WPT Poker that day. Here, AQ suited rivers the cowboys. My sensible fold cost me half the pot.
November 4, 2012: One of three freerolls I played on WPT Poker that day. Three players all-in pre-flop with AJ!
November 4, 2012: One of three freerolls I played on WPT Poker that day. This is one reason I didnít cash in this tournament; the clown raises all-in with QJ and outdraws my pocket jacks.
November 4, 2012: One of three freerolls I played on WPT Poker that day. Here, I have only one thing to say: What a fold!
November 4, 2012: One of three freerolls I played on WPT Poker that day. Here is the second reason - see above - if I play, I win.
November 4, 2012: One of three freerolls I played on WPT Poker that day, the Bankroll Booster, and the only one in which I cashed.
[The above article was published originally as a blog on November 5, 2012 with these 12 screengrabs].
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