I knew you had nothing!

By self admission, no poker player in the history of the world has ever been fooled or surprised by their opponent’s hand.  It’s an astonishing statistic.  If you were to ask any player at the conclusion of a hand, they’ll almost always tell you that they knew exactly what the other player had.  “Yeah, like that was a surprise,” or, “I knew that guy didn’t have anything!”  It’s a remarkable coincidence, don’t you think?  The very moment the cards are turned face-up is the moment the loser says he knew it all along.

It’s a simple matter of saving face.  Clearly, if players knew what their opponents had, they’d fold the worst hand.  But in reality, they don’t know shit.  They simply want to say that they knew so as to avoid appearing “fooled.”  I never really understood that.  I’m fooled all the time.  If I know I’m beat, I fold.  Otherwise, I’ll call and give you some more money.  To say that you knew your opponent had a better hand than you, and then to continue giving him your money, is illogical.  Nobody should ever believe this person.

If these players do, in fact, know exactly what their opponents’ cards are (and they never really do), why aren’t they using the information?  It seems like an incredible gift to squander.  It’d be like claiming to know the lottery numbers and then not betting the lottery.  I suppose these people’s heightened awareness and immense knowledge is simply recreational; using the information for one’s own financial gain would be irresponsible.

I was playing 8-16 limit hold’em recently and open raised in middle position with QJ.  I was called only by the big-blind.  The flop was 1063.  The big-blind checked and I continuation bet.  He called.  The turn was the 9.  The big-blind checked again and I bet.  He called again.  The river was the 8, giving me the nuts.  This time my opponent bet into me.  I, of course, raised.  He called.  He flashed the Q7 for the smaller straight as he mucked his cards.

As I scooped my pot, the guy says, “I knew you didn’t have anything.”

I was so taken aback by this ridiculous statement that I laughed out loud.  I suppose, factually speaking, he was right.  Until the river, I didn’t have anything but Queen-high.  But at no point during the entire hand was I behind.  If he did, in fact, put me on “nothing,” what did he choose to do with that valuable piece of information?  He chose to call with a worse piece of shit than even I had.  What sense does this make?  What if the river had been another three instead of the eight for the straight?  He would check, I would check behind him, and he once again gets the satisfaction of saying, “I knew you didn’t have anything” …as he still watches me stack the pot.

Do you see my confusion with his statement?  He put me on nothing and, yet, DID NOTHING ABOUT IT!  I don’t think it should be allowed: a player plays his hand like shit, and then attempts to veil his awfulness with some twisted nonsensical reasoning that puts me to blame instead, as if the river stole a pot that was otherwise his.

My response, while laughing, was still, “In fairness, I did have Queen-seven beat.”

His response, sarcastically and without the faintest hint of comprehension: “Well, yeah, whatever.”



5 Responses to “I knew you had nothing!”

  1. kou Says:

    hahaah love this article… i see this “shit” all the time, blame me for ur awfulness! next time, just answer back “yeah u had me read the whole way” puts them on tilt so badly

  2. Erik Says:

    I said it one time and actually did mean it. Too bad I couldn’t get my hands to throw that hand away like my head said to do (K’s vs. A’s pre-flop all-in) Otherwise, yeah it is total BS.

  3. Jaymind Says:

    Oh for sure. Sometimes you do know what the other player has, but you’re just too stubborn to do anything about it. I’ve done that many’a’time! But stubbornness is very different than the typical reason people say they knew what you had: stupidity and saving face.

  4. NewTalk Says:

    This is not true in a sense, there are many times that I have read a persons hand cold and was right.


    Guy from UTG raises in 2-60 to 14 preflop and I call on the button with 7h8h. The flop rolls out Kd 10d 7c, he makes it 20 on the flop and I called. The turn comes out 3h. He bets 40, I call again. The river comes out 5s to lead a board Kd 10d 7c 3h 5s. He looks at the board and bets 60. I didn’t even hesitate in saying your AQ of di is no good and raise to 120. With such a look of disbelief he flips over and mucks AQ of di.

    The whole table was taken back by the fact that I knew he had nothing and that I called his hand cold.

    It’s not always the case when someone tells you I knew you had nothing, if you have studied players, how the act to every situation and how they play, not hard to tell if a player has nothing or not.

    Oh by the way, another quick example, I called 60 on the river before with K8 on an A A 7 9 10 board, cause I knew he had nothing 😛

  5. Jaymind Says:

    If all you’re arguing is that some players are better than others, and that they can accurately put their opponents on hands, the obvious thing to say is: Agreed.