Thursday, January 11, 2007

Poker Superstitions

I have a dumb poker superstition (or "stupidstition") that I can't shake off. It is that I can't bring myself to talk in detail about how well I'm running. I know it's stupid but in the past when I have talked about a good day or a good tourney finish, it seems like I bomb the next day. I can say just that I'm running "good" or "not good". No explanations, no adjectives like "really" or "pretty", and definitely no mention of numbers. It applies to both my speech and in print (like right here). I may post hand histories and such, but you'll never see me post my bankroll status or periodic results ("Never say never"). Like I said, I know it's stupid. But it's worked so far, so I can't bring myself to go against this quirk. Oh well.

I've heard of other superstitions like someone who must play the first hand of every tournament they are in. I've even read about one that is more widely accepted amongst old-timers in the poker world regarding $50 bills. They don't like to accept or carry them for fear of bad luck. The bad luck is rooted in 2 interesting facts that make sense. One is that $50 bills are the least popular bill under $100. It is seen less by cashiers, making counterfeits easier to pass undetected. The other reason is that a $50 bill can be mistaken for a $5 bill by anyone that may be distracted or even a bit drunk. Sounds pretty sensible.

I guess the only way a person can rise above his superstitions is to break them and prove them wrong. The problem is that it's awfully hard to get up the nerve to try it when money is involved.

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