Wednesday, May 23, 2007

My current poker hand

Well, I love the idea of making decisions in relationship to texas hold 'em poker hands.

Okay, so it's not the best method. Surely the safest method is coming up with all the pros and cons in a list. Then, you decide what to do weighing the positives and negatives of any situation.

Unfortunately, this decision making process doesn't always work well for me. Sometimes, even if there are only a handful of pros on the one side, some of those pro reasons are pretty powerful (i.e., need to be weighed more than the cons).

Then there are always the unknowns. Some factors we may not know - which way the market will go. If we will go to war with Canada. If a piece of property will suddenly increase or decrease in value. If your job will be outsourced to another country. Likely things and unlikely things could happen. They are factors that impact what you do. Something (like a home) could be an asset in one situation, or a liability in another.

On the other hand, I can't sit around and wait for things to change - since our
country/culture is by its very nature unstable. So much of what I do is just my best guess with what I know of myself and what's happened in the past. And tomorrow, who knows if I'll need to re-evaluate the list of pros and cons.

So instead of manually listing out pros and cons, as far as money and my job go, I am currently holding a jack/nine of the same suit. I'm either in the big blind or the small blind, and we haven't seen the flop yet.

I understand that this sounds completely cryptic.

Translation for the texas hold'em impaired?

The goal is to create the best of 5 cards, with the two you have in your hand and three of the cards from the flop, the turn and the river.

A jack/nine suited can actually be quite a good hand. It has good odds. On the flop, the three cards that display after all people in the game either bet or pass - the jack or the nine could become a pair. Or, there could be two or three of the same suit (creating a flush). Finally, you could flop three additional cards (higher or lower) from the same suit and create a straight. Obviously, a straight with an Ace and a king would be the ideal.

But in poker, it's the odds of the other players having those cards - and what will appear in the flop/the turn and the river.

So, if there are only 5 other people in the game, and I already have money invested due to the big blind (you're forced to bet a certain amount with each hand) - I might as well stay where I am.

What's that saying - a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush?

That's my situation currently. I have a handful of unknowns. Some of my career unknowns could be very problematic. I just hate to jump out of the game - fold my cards without knowing more of what will happen. Because I don't know what will happen if I go to a new game either. And I don't know what cards the other players hold. Someone could have two aces - one of the best hands to have before you see the flop. There are also the odds that everyone else will have 5 and 10 - not matching suit. But even two aces would be worth nothing if there are two 5s on the flop.

I find this decision making process more comfortable for me than the above list on a sheet of paper.

Trying to determine which poker hand I hold based on my situation, and what kind of poker game I'm in. Am I one of 13 other players - or one of four? How skilled are the other players? How much do I have invested - but what are the risks of walking away. What are the benefits to staying?

While it may sound completely strange (especially to someone unfamiliar with texas hold 'em) - it makes just as much sense to me as reading the bible and praying for personal revelation. Who can say which method has more or less risk?


Freckle Face Girl said...

I guess I am more like you. I don't really trust the lists of pros & cons even when I take the time to make one. I go with my gut instinct. At the very least, it makes life more interesting.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely love this concept. I know nothing about Texas hold 'em, but you have made me want to learn!

Aerin said...

Thanks FFG. Like I said - it makes strange sense.

Thanks NN - it's an interesting game - I love the percentages. And trying to guess what kind of hand someone else has.