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The Coin Toss

How long will it take for me finally accept the variance inherent in the game of poker? When things are going well, I feel like I'm playing well and deserve my success. When things are going poorly, I can't help but blame the bad play of my opponents. Instead, I should just accept poker for what it is: a coin toss.

Maybe a coin toss is a little harsh considering my results and past performance. However, I'd rarely give myself better than a 53% chance of coming out ahead on any given evening of poker. That's enough to keep me going: even a 3% edge is enough to guarantee me a little bit of money down the road if I stick with it.

Lately, I've been flipping that poker coin and coming out a winner more often than not. I made a post last week detailing some of the horrible luck I'd experienced amidst a losing streak of thirteen straight sit-and-gos. SharkScope declared me a Fish with an awful ROI printly boldly in red and an embarrassingly bad average profit per sit-and-go.

Well, I'm happy to say that Lady Luck has definitely smiled upon me since last Tuesday. I've managed to dodge bullets, make the right moves at the right time, and the wrong moves at the right time as well. In my last fourteen sit-and-gos, I've managed to make the money on twelve separate occasions: four 1st place finishes, five 2nd place finishes, and three 3rd place finishes. By my count, this means that the coin's come up heads in forty-eight of the last fifty trials: now that's lucky indeed.

The other two non-money finishes both happened to be bubble finishes:


  • In one finish, I made the right move at the wrong time by pushing with QQ pre-flop and getting called by the button's AT. I flopped the set, he rivered the straight, my wife called him an asshole, and I moved on to my next sit-and-go.
  • The second bubble finish saw me making the wrong move at the wrong time. I pushed with 7♠5♠ from the small blind into the squeaky tight big blind: he insta-called with A♠ K♠ and that was that. In this case, my wife called me an asshole for being a push-hungry monkey.

I'm hoping to continue my hot streak for the foreseeable future. There are, however, a few likely scenarios that may slow me down at this point:

  1. The virus slowly spreading throughout my body, infecting anything and everything in its path, may force me to stay away from the tables or, in a more likely scenario, play poker at reduced capacity (a.k.a. donkey time).
  2. My wife going into labour: when it's baby time, poker time goes bye-bye.
  3. Lady Luck deciding that I've won my fair share of coin toss situations and passing my good fortune to the next unlucky soul.

In any case, I've thoroughly enjoyed running hot and will continue to enjoy my time on the happy side of variance until one or more of the scenarios above come to light. Until then, I'll just keep tossin' that coin...

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