I am not the greatest poker player this world has ever produced. I’m ok. I haven’t played in a long time – the landscape here in Georgia is barren and I don’t particularly feel like finding underground games – but when I did play, I was a decent low stakes player. I’m ok, if I failed to mention that.
Like anybody who has watched the World Series of Poker, I have had fantasies about making a deep run in the Main Event, making the final table, being on television, and winning a boatload of money. And like most poker players, there have been times when I thought to myself, “I could do that. I’m good enough where, with some luck, I could pull off a deep run.”
But then the devil sitting on my shoulder would chime in and remind me how bright the lights would be at the featured table and how everyone in the poker world would be able to see my cards. Everybody would know when I was too much of a wimp to raise, everybody would know I was donking off chips with air.
So without ever having gone through it, without ever having aired a single hand of my poker play, I empathize with poker pro Kevin Martin.
Martin, who signed on with GGPoker just a couple weeks ago, was streaming his online poker session last week. Just a regular, every day poker stream when a seemingly innocuous hand came up.
Martin held 7♠-8♠ in the small blind when the flop came down 6♣-5♠-2♣, giving him an open-ended straight draw and a backdoor flush draw. Not bad. One player bet and Martin called, bringing on the turn 9♦.
Just what he needed! Martin now had the nuts, the 9-high straight. Certainly, there were better hands that could be made on the river, but for now, Martin was in the driver’s seat.
Then, his stream viewers must have collectively raised an eyebrow when he said, “Not exactly the card I was lookin’ for.”
Uh, yes it was. Exactly. Ok, maybe a non-club 4 would have been better, but you have the nuts!
Martin proceeded to check, something that might have looked like a shrewd play if we didn’t just hear what he said. You could feel what was about to happen.
His opponent bet, to which Martin said, “Hmm…probably just have to fold.”
Oh, no. No. Oh, no.
Martin had a great sense of humor about it, posting the “wtf” moment on Twitter. He added that he never would have realized he folded the nuts if he wasn’t streaming, as his viewers went crazy after the delay caught up.
He called it, “the most embarrassing play possible.”
A couple days later, Martin posted another video on Twitter, running the hand through a poker solver to see if he made the right play in the most tongue-in-cheek way possible. His conclusion: poker Twitter was correct. He should have continued in the hand.