To this day I am continually amazed when I am at a poker tournament and see people chug back beer after beer during the course a game. Let us not forget why alcohol is free at casinos in the first place - a drunk player is a losing player...especially at a skill and thinking game like poker!
I remember a time back in CT when I had a regular weekly game at a club of guys twice to three times my age that had many drinkers around the felt. You'd figure they would use their additional years of wisdom for their benefit, but alas, they usually would not. Don't get me wrong...I do love these types of players - it means less work for me! You can pick them out pretty quickly and then avoid conflict with them for a few levels, all the while they get plowed and you watch their every move. Tells and betting patterns don't change when a person becomes inebriated, they are amplified...less work for me!
One time, on a particularly crowded night at this club's tournament (about 60-70 players), I was delighted to see one of my favorite drunkards moved to my table after we lost a few short stacks at once to a big Set a player caught on the turn. More interestingly - he came with a pile of chips and his signature Bud-Light ('when you want to feel the buzz, but not be weighed down with all those calories'). It took only another hour or so for him to lose track of things and develop the need to see every hand down to the river and bluff in a lot of really bad spots. Somehow though, he made some lucky comebacks and started running really good again, managing to hang in there right down to the last 9 players; final table.
It was then that I decided I really needed to take him out. Since the tourney paid only to the top five - I wanted make sure I didn't finish the night unpaid or worse...on the bubble because of a lucky drunk. I knew that luck runs out, and when it does, all he's left with is a cloudy head. Additionally, I had a moderate stack, but mine plus his would be sweet! The moment we came off of break to start the final table I wanted to ensure he was ready, so I bought him a beer. Oh yeah - that's right, a $3 investment in my future.
Long story short - I finished 3rd that night and Bud Light finished 7th or 8th.
Friends shouldn't let friends play drunk, but top players should buy the round.
Delik James' Chronicles
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