Fat Feet, Cakes, and Ducats: d’Artagnan’s Hand

Persuadeo.nl welcomes d’Artagnan’s first post.

Poker is a learned man’s game.  We accumulate experience and become professors in our own minds, postulating all sorts of convoluted rationalizations for the ways we choose to play.  So here’s one.

Early position raiser, Free Lunch Guy, a portly and affable reg, has been raising light all night.  He makes it $20, and Gargamel, our favorite light dimmer at the Village (get it), flat calls with no real tell concerning the strength of his hand.  I look down on the button at AK.  I decide to make it $60 and see where this progresses.

At this point, I am only concerned with Gargamel, as I felt like that night he was playing fairly tight and not getting too out of line, but at the same time i was wondering what sort of devious machinations he had in store for Free Lunch.  He’s all about whips and chains that guy.  I need more information.  FLG thinks for a second and calls, at which point Gargamel shows his true intentions and makes it a solid $200.

At this point i briefly considered folding, knowing this isn’t some sort of hair brained squeeze play type situation.  I figured he almost certainly has a pocket pair, and if my ace or king hit i would know if i was good, as well as having position might give me a few additional opportunities, and that FLG would just get out of the way.

Wrong.  Free Lunch waffles for about a minute and decides to come along.  We see a flop of JT5, and they both quickly check.  I fire out a $225 bet in greens.  At this point i was a bit lost in the hand and felt like I could actually take it down here by a smallish info bet.  In huge preflop raised pots like this, that kind of bet can represent a few different things, but I assumed it would come across as strength, as I had been playing fairly well all night and not getting too out of line.  I’ve shown most of my other three bets that night and they were all in the range of 10’s, Q’s, etc.

I was extremely confused as to why Gargamel would leave all those dangling berries out there, when he had already declared his intentions preflop.  I figured he could only be extremely strong here (set) or weak (pair of 6’s, 7’s, 8’s, etc.).  Pretty straightforward.  And knowing that the poker gods would be grieved if I checked that flop I was almost obligated to put some sort of bet out there, anything.  I assumed FLG was not connecting with that flop in any meaningful way and with Gargamel behind him he would kindly leave, and that Gargamel would quickly follow.

Wrong and wrong.  Free Lunch Guy steps up to the counter and tanks for about three minutes before deciding that yes, he will indeed take his free lunch now.  He quietly separates $650 from his stack and moves it forward.  Gargamel is in shambles now.  This is not going according to plan.  All the troubles of the world have descended upon him, and he is aging before our very eyes.  He is Willy Loman, Silas Marner, Elvis in the 70’s.  Having baked a cake, he has some sort of existential crisis and exits the building, cake intact.  He folds.

Now I am beyond confused.  Gargamel is the last person to leave his precious ducats out on the green like that.  Why did he do it?  What compelled him to abandon his children out there that way?  He built the field of dreams and forgot it was HIS dream!  I’m disgusted.  There is no recourse from the shitstorm I have just witnessed from the shelter of my flimsy AK cardboard box.  I promptly follow his lead and exit the hand, the building and my sanity.

That is where it ended for me.  And it was only noteworthy because I chose to involve myself in a ridiculous hand with Gargamel, my least favorite type of poker player.  Someone who views the game only as a means to an end, if that.  There is no beauty to it, or finesse.  Poker is simply an anthill awaiting Gargamel’s fat foot.  I choose to play the game a different way, and because egos are involved we both believe our way is the best way, and that we individually are masters of this game.  Unfortunately, the facts as they are have shown that, regardless of motivation, he is clearly the better player.  In poker, the one with the chips gets the last word, and Gargamel is giving speeches at this point.

“What is best in life?  To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentation of their women.”

A quote from the cult classic Conan the Barbarian, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Also the tattoo Gargamel has across his back.

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Coming up: Gargamel’s side.

5 thoughts on “Fat Feet, Cakes, and Ducats: d’Artagnan’s Hand

  1. I don’t know which ghost writer d’Artagnon hired to pen this blog entry, but it was sublime. A fresh voice in poker literature!

    An opponent’s perspective on Gargamel is certainly welcome and few poker blog entries include truthful statements in their retrospective analysis like “At this point i[sic] was a bit lost in the hand and felt like I could actually take it down here by a smallish info bet.” d’Dartagnon shows his human vulnerability and it is captivating.

    “He is Willy Loman, Silas Marner, Elvis in the 70’s.” hahahahaha. Wonderful! Gargamel! Defend yourself!

    The bet sizing seems very small for sure, but d’ArLAGnon suspected he was facing a polarized range without draws, so why waste money bluffing large into the nuts or into garbage that will fold anyway?

    That said, it would seem that a pot sized bluff instead of a 1/3rd pot bet would have taken it down though. FLG could have been on a draw or a bluff since the whole situation seemed peculiar.

    This might also be an issue of friendly players implicitly protecting each other and as a result doing out of character things and playing worse poker.

    Only one martyr per grenade please.

    Great write up!

  2. Yep, good work, d’Artagnan.

    I don’t think “whips and chains” Gargamel was taking it easy on anyone, though, Fiddy. This was a real decision, it seems to me.

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