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The Art of LEAVING

Posted by Hemant Arora on 2011-05-07 at 12:00 AM

Hi friends,

Although I am a newbie to the game of poker; have won and lost enough to have realized that Poker isn’t a game of chance alone; its surely skill more than chance. The skill to call atrocious bets when u have a good enough hand and the skill to LEAVE when you don’t want to but should.

I have had my moments; when I have called atrocious bets on a decent hand without blinking an eyelid and on good days; have won good pots on such calls. Similarly, have also made many stupid calls in greed which were most avoidable. Frankly, I don’t mind accepting that I cannot really READ opponents. I base my calls on my gut, chip count and of course my situation (particularly take stupid calls either when I am in abundance or when I need to recover a lot). I know it is not right to do so and that’s why I call myself an amateur yet (accordingly have chosen AM as my nickname). But; its a promise to myself and to my opponents – I shall surely practice the art soon and I shall be a decent player very soon:)…. I know most amateur players like me feel the same but what the heck…. just shows I am normal too.

Coming to the topic I chose; I guess it is the Art of Leaving that is the most crucial in poker. Hope to have someone who becomes a Guru in this technique and teaches it akin to The Art of Living. I am sure there would be a decent base of followers queuing up.

I am in no position to talk on this topic really but just chose it as the subject line to go along with a hand that I wanted to sound out. I flopped a nut straight with a 10 & J in my hand and the flop as 7, 8, 9 with no flush draw. This was mid-way thru a bad day and hence instead of playing slow; I bet a decent 1,500 (which was the pot size). And what do I hear?? Something which was music to my ears at that moment. RAISE!! is what I heard from my single opponent in the game. He raised it to 5,000. Lucky ME!! I thought. I had a total of 8,000 in my bank at that moment and knowing the opponent shall not drop it; I raised it to all-in. He called instantly. The turn was an 8 and the river was J.

I LOST!! My opponent was holding Pocket 7s. And even though I was supreme on the flop; I was dead on the turn. The river was inconsequential – I could have just drowned into it.

I am sure the Art of Leaving didn’t really come into practice here as I had bet all-in on the flop itself but even if the game was live on the turn; I wouldn’t fold a nut straight even when there is a possibility of a full-house with the opponent. Now; the million rupee question is; HOW DOES ONE FOLD SUCH A HAND?? Is there a way to practice that or one has to live with the fact that if you play poker; you agree to succumb to such hands and stay Doomed if you flop it and yet lose!!!!

Hope I come across such games only as an opponent….

Signing off till I flop it again….

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Hemant Arora

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