Its not very often that I would choose to write about anything negative in poker. Even less likely that I would take a swipe at someone who was obviously a newcomer to the poker scene. After all, it's due to the influx of these new kids that has helped our game to explode. However.....
I went to the Mirage early on the Sunday (the day before the WPT event), looking to play a one-table for the $10K. Already having a seat for the main event- I was basically playing for cash. However, it was still early in the day and the only game at the time was a $175 buy-in, onetable. Seeing a couple of friends sat at the table, I decided to join them with a promise to gamble and to have some fun. Then the last player to join us suggested a last -longer bet. Six of us threw in $100 each. My promise to gamble had now been retracted - pride was at stake!
But the fun still came thick and fast. O.K, we all wanted to win - but we played with as much banter as you can get on a table. Anyhow, now fivehanded, I moved all-in with my shortish-stack. The new kid was taking a long time in making a decision. No problem - I stood up and walked away from the table while he made up his mind (nipped away from a quick smoke - I really must stop this bad habit). But suddenly, the game was no longer fun. He wanted a Floorman to kill my hand because I was not in my seat! All the players at the table knew what the outcome would be - but our young friend insisted on a decision.
While waiting - I decided to offer him some free advise. I suggested that looking to win at poker by killing your opponents hand, was perhaps a bad reflection as to his skills. Also, that it possibly showed a lack of faith in his own ability to beat me? I actually felt sorry for him that he should have such a negative approach to the game - especially as I had asked all the table and the dealer if it was O.K for me to walk away! Should I get angry at this? Should I go on tilt? Yeah right!
If the last-longer bet was not enough of an incentive - this incident sure was! So I thanked him for the incentive. I was now going to play this one-table like it was the WPT final itself! Two hands later, the young kid was busted by my one of my friends at the table. I went to win the lastlonger bet and also chopped the prize money. But the story does not end there. When the one-tables for the main event finally started - I saw the kid stopping by our table as we played. With $10,500 at stake - I was obviously playing to win. However, it would be fair to say that I perhaps had a little extra incentive. Well, I didn't quite win it all - but got the lion's share from a split. Funny how things can inspire - if you take the right approach! I think that we both learnt a lesson that day.
These kinds of incidents are very rare. Even when you consider the fact that some players are playing under immense financial pressure - there still a lot of fun to be had at the poker table. And these newcomers? Well... they bring with them a great sense of enthusiasm to the game. Reminds me a little of myself in my younger days. Oh to be young and to be a poker player in today's world!