|random thoughts and thoroughbred selections|
|"All life is 6-5 against" - Damon Runyon|
Saturday, August 04, 2007
Poker Ethics - What Would You Do?
So last night I'm playing in a home game with a bunch of guys I don't know all that well (yet), and who don't know me either. We're through our tournament (took fourth of twelve, it paid +$4 thankyouverymuch), and into the cash game portion of the program. I'm in a hand where my pre-flop raise put me heads-up against a player who had sat at my table for most of the tournament. He had been lamenting all night that he couldn't put me on a range, as I didn't have to show down that often due to playing raise-or-fold poker.
So anyway, I popped the pot pre-flop, he called. Popped it again post-flop, got another call. Fired again on the turn and he went into the tank. As he's talking it out, he mentions a few hands he thought I could have, and narrows it down to an assumption that I've got top-pair-big-kicker. The guy on my left, who I'm friendly with, starts speculating too, and to shut him up I showed him my cards.
Now, this isn't the first and wouldn't be the last time that a player in a hand flashed his cards to someone out of it. Friendly game, not for serious money, this was nothing unusual.
I put my cards back on the felt and the guy in the hand starts staring me down and continues to speculate. As he's doing this, the guy on my right (who hadn't seen my cards) starts nodding and gives him an exaggerated thumbs-up (as in, "you're good here, he's bluffing out his ass, go ahead and call him already"). The guy who's in the hand immediately loses his temper and starts haranguing the guy who gave him the thumbs-up, telling him how he can't call now, and that he shouldn't have done that and it's corrupted the hand for him and all that.
He tosses his cards into the muck, I sweep and stack a pretty big pot.
Now, obviously, the guy to my right shouldn't have goofed around like that. That much is obvious. My question is, what should I have done here? I'm guessing I should have offered to split the pot and called it a dead hand, right? Well, I didn't. I stacked the chips before that thought crossed my mind. Am I an asshole for taking the pot and saying nothing about it? Should I have given him his money back once it dawned on me to do so a couple hands later?
I think the answer to that is probably "yes," although none of what happened there was technically my fault (although I did start it by showing the guy on my left my cards).
I really tried to piss away some chips to the table later on, but ended up tripling up instead. Whoops.
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
I'm a Conceited, Self-Serving Evil Bastard
Or, at least eharmony.com seems to think so. Here's a snippet from the "Agreeableness" section of my personality profile:
You are best described as:
CONSISTENTLY TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF
Words that describe you:
A General Description of How You Interact with Others
When someone needs your help or wants you to do something you think before you act. See, at heart you believe deeply in personal freedom and individual responsibility. You think it is vital that people learn to take care of themselves so that they don't become dependent upon others. You believe that actions have consequences, and people need to accept the consequences of their actions if they are to learn from their mistakes and grow. You believe you wouldn't be doing anyone a favor if you lift someone out of trouble; they will never learn to lift themselves up if you keep rescuing them. And if you keep giving people a second, third or fourth chance, you have seen that people seldom develop the character they need to live decent and responsible lives.
You believe that compassion has a role to play in your life, in a structure of values that is encourages people to take care of themselves. Uncritical tenderheartedness does as much harm as good. You much prefer if people understand, in factual, empirical terms, how they got into trouble, and how they can lift themselves out of the mess they are in. In an emergency, of course, you're there to offer help and if someone has helped you out in the past there is no question about your loyalty. But whenever it is realistic, you are convinced people should take care of themselves.
Along with this you devote adequate time to taking care of your own needs and wants, in part because it makes you happy with your life and in part because that's what you truly believe every person should do. You cherish personal independence for yourself and others. Fostering such independence is the best way you find there is to love and care for others.
Negative Reactions Others May Have Toward You
Your emphasis on personal independence and personal responsibility may seem to lack in compassion to some people. Undoubtedly you have encountered people who feel this way toward you. And some may find you to be rather selfish. You do stay focused on your own life, take responsibility for your own problems, and are not always moved by situations in which some people think some action is required. That is part of you and your basic beliefs about life. And some people will inevitably want you to be different, but that is simply not who you are.
Positive Responses Others May Have Toward You
You're true to your beliefs and you hold yourself to the same expectations as you do with others. You are critical and tough with yourself, which gives you a consistency when you are critical and tough with others. And even when others don't agree with you, people are likely to admire your frankness. You say what you believe, even if what you believe runs counter to the motives and beliefs of others.
And you keep reminding people of two things that few people can argue with, even if they don't believe in them with your single-mindedness. Personal independence and personal responsibility matter to most people, and even the very compassionate admit that sometimes their hearts get in the way of what their heads know, which is to say that people should take care of themselves whenever they are able to do so. You remind people of this, in the honest way you live your own life and in the ways in which you respond, and don't respond, to other people
By the way, it bears mentioning that they couldn't find this honest atheist a match. Twenty minutes filling out their damned questionnaire, and it takes them four seconds to put me in the circular file. Beautiful.
Bill Simmons @ ESPN
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