Play is heads-up. One player has A-K and the other player has A-J. The flop is A-5-6. A-K bets, and A-J calls. The turn is a 10, and the same actions ensues. The river is a Jack. A-K bets again, and, of course, A-J raises. A-K calls. The man with A-J shows his hand, and the man with A-K, justifiably upset, broods and steams as he looks at his card. A few seconds pass. He continues to do nothing. He takes one last look at his hand, lets another eight seconds pass until he finally angrily throws his cards in the muck.
What is this? Why do we do this? The hand is over, and although we took a terrible beat, staring at your cards with contempt will not regain you the pot.
I think, if nothing else, this maneuver speaks to how social we are as poker players. We lost the pot, but we have a yearning to let everybody know just how unlucky we got. ”Look,” our hesitation seems to say, “I’m not bad, I got really unlucky. See!”
I know there is frustration, and believe me, I understand the emotion. It’s tough being 3-outed to lose the pot. But the hesitation in releasing our losing hand has always been fascinating to me. I find myself doing it from time to time, and I can’t necessarily pinpoint the reason. Why do we Hollywood without cameras or an audience?Jacob "Jaymind" Westlin is a semi-professional limit hold'em player with a strong, sarcastic wit. Jaymind also frequently contributes to Minnesota Poker Magazine's monthly publication. Email Jaymind at email@example.com