This isn't directed personally at the original poster, but he brings up a topic that I've been thinking a lot about lately. It never ceases to amaze me at the amount of whining people do online when they get a bad beat. "But you weren't supposed to call my re-raise with that!! You suck!" What?
Sorry to those who might like to think poker is all pure skill, but I disagree. Over time, sure, we all know applied skill and proper strategy will be more profitable than luck. But there is always a factor of luck, and there is always a factor of gambling involved. When you bluff, are you not gambling? If you chase a draw, are you not gambling? When you push with 77 from the short stack are you not gambling? Doesn't matter how strong your draw or TPTK is, you have no guarantee of making it or having it hold up. Within the immediate context of a particular betting round, it very often comes down to a coin flip. And probably 75+% of online poker players don't study the math and science of the game, instead treating it like Bingo or Blackjack
-- just another gambling game. Sometimes they'll win and suck you out, other times they lose and quit, or reload and keep going. They thrive on the thrill of the gamble, especially those who can afford to lose. They can't be bothered with "math," that would take all the fun and excitement out of it.
The other night I was playing 20NL at SportsBook and most of the table were pretty cool, we were chatting and NH'ing each other, laughing off our own bad plays, etc. This one kid (and it had to be a kid, I don't know grown men that act like that -- well, aside from Helmuth), was getting called down by another player that, according to my Poker Tracker HUD stats, was playing fairly well, not too tight or too loose. Maybe 25/6/2 if I remember his stats right. Certainly not donkish play by the usual standard. Anyway, this kid was furious when he got drawn out by something like TT to his AA or KK and BUSTED not once, not twice, but three times. Three times he re-buys for $30 and each time he loses it, whining the whole time about how awesome he was and how everybody else played like crap. Obviously, the irony was lost on him. The rest of us took great joy in needling him into full tilt, despite the fact it distracted me from own game. This guy was bragging about how he was the top player on Sportsbook, had just cashed $6600 out of his account that he had made in the past month. Yeah, right. Playing 20NL and whining like a baby? Please. He even challenged me to heads-up for any amount of money to "prove" how awesome he was.
Sometimes people just get a "feel" for a hand or the other players, and play outside of character or "proper strategy." It's part of being a good poker player, and Phil Ivey posted something just to that effect in one his FullTilt tip articles:
Online Poker at Full Tilt Poker
- Phil Ivey Pro Tips: Pro Tip 125
So while I'm honing my strategy and paying attention to all the books and helpful hints I glean from sources like CC, I also learn to trust my gut and take a shot sometimes. Sometimes it pays off, other times it doesn't, but sometimes playing "correct" doesn't pay off either. You've got to mix it up lest you play like a robot and give away your entire strategy.
Sorry for the long-winded post, but this is something that I keep running into online and it just blows me away how childish some people act, as if their *right* to collect any given pot had been stolen from them. Sure, I roll my eyes when a donk calls all-in with 23o (yes, it happened last night), especially when they manage to suck out. But I don't whine about it other than perhaps a sign or mutter under my breath. Those people can be your ATM machines if you just figure out how to play them instead of whining about them.