Monday, October 27, 2014

"Good Luck, All In"

Of all the, um, “traditions” (for lack of a better word) in poker, the one that baffles me the most, the one I just don’t get—and the one you’ll never hear out of my lips—is saying “Good luck, all in,” when someone moves all in is at risk of being felted.

I mean, I’m ok with saying “nice hand” when someone sucks out on you, when what you really mean is “f-you”—because it would be extremely rude to say “f-you” to someone at the poker table (and most anywhere else, for that matter).  And then there’s always the “I’m sorry” when you suck out on someone, and of course you don’t mean it.  You’re just being polite. 

But “Good luck, all in?”  Who the hell came up with that bit of stupidity?

You seem to hear it more often in a tournament, so let’s discuss that first.  Here, it is mind-boggling moronic.  If you’re in a tournament, you pretty much never want the person all in and at risk of busting to get good luck and win, right? Every player that busts out puts you closer to cashing.  The person who says this insipid phrase isn’t in the hand, but if he or she had even a single functioning brain cell, he or she would be wanting the short-stack to bust and thus reduce the field by one player.  So if you have any smarts at all, you can’t possibly mean it. 

In a cash game, it might be a little different.  All things being equal, you might not care one way or the other, since, if the persons busted out and left, another player would take their place. But let’s assume the person who is at risk is a really, really bad player, and you figure that this bad player won’t rebuy if they bust.  I suppose you could seriously hope they win the pot, stay in the game, and then hopefully bust out to you instead of the player who they’re up against at that moment. 

Maybe.  Except that, I’ve rarely heard “Good luck, all in,” come from any player who was good enough to have actually thought at that level.  No, it’s usually just said reflexively, automatically.  As if it is something you’re supposed to do.  Like saying, “gesundheit” when somebody sneezes.

Now I suppose you might make an exception if the person who was at risk was someone who was really, really hot.  And you were really enjoying ogling her company, and you were even deluding yourself into thinking that you had a shot with her.  Maybe that woman (or a hot guy, I suppose, for those female poker players out there) you might sincerely wish good luck, because you didn’t want her to leave.

So I suppose if the poker player who was all-in looked like the woman below, I might make an exception and say, “Good luck all in” and maybe even mean it.


But aside from that, there’s no excuse for saying it. 

You see, what people who say that don’t seem to realize is that when you wish one player in a hand good luck, you are in fact wishing the opposing player (or players) bad luck.  It’s inherently implied. In poker, one person’s good luck is another person’s bad luck.  And why is the player with the shortest stack more worthy of receiving good luck than the player with the bigger stack?  It’s actually damn rude to the other player(s).

Every time someone says “Good luck, all in” to my opponent, I’m always just a little bit irked.  In my mind, I am thinking, “Hey, what’s wrong with me?  Why aren’t you wishing me good luck?”  Fortunately, the very first time I heard it, I wasn’t in the hand, or I might have said something.

So you’re saying something you don’t mean, and you’re inadvertently saying something not very nice to another player at the same time.

It just strikes me as a really dumb thing to say.  Where the hell did it come from?

25 comments:

  1. Well played Sir, i agree (see what i did there !). Anyway, the only time you will hear a nice hand or well played from me, is if the opponent has played well to win the hand. Chucking all in with Aces, although mostly a winner, isn't really level 2+ thinking. Outplay me and you deserve the plaudits all day long (and i might learn something to improve my own game). Suck out on me, you deserve nothing.

    On another note, Damn Raiders, ruining weekends for me since 7 weeks ago !

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    1. Thanks, Ben

      Yeah, you picked a helluva team, didn't you?

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    2. it rains on the just and the unjust alike BUT it has been monsoon on my Raider Nation for 10+ years

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    3. anger, since you live in Colorado, maybe you should switch to the Broncos. I hear they're pretty good.

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  2. good luck on her top falling off????? A on the pic like the post. i think it is something ppl say to fill the silence like " nice day" or " r u getting an half oz" when in line at yr MMJ dispensary.

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    1. Actually, one of the weirder ones is "god bless you" when you sneeze.

      Why does a person sneezing deserve a blessing from god?

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    2. or something completely off topic. i dont smoke cigs but some ppl i know do and when ppl bum cigs off ppl. u dont c that with ppl that enjoy coffee or mountian dew like "hey , can i have a sip of that delicious drink??"

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    3. Very interesting observation. OTOH, people do try to swipe french fries from other people.

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  3. Two reasons to say it. 1: If one player is obnoxious (like many say TBC is) then you say good luck to the other player. 2: You say good luck to a short stack which means "it was nice playing with you and good luck with your next tournament." I don't say it to someone who is in a hand with me directly.

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    1. Thanks, xdex....I've actually heard people say it when they're in a hand with the short stack, or they say (before the action comes to them), "Good luck, all in....unless I call.")

      BTW, xdex, did you see my recent post that I more or less dedicated to you? Surprised you didn't comment on that!

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    2. I have not seen it! I'll go back and check on your last few posts.

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    3. It's this one here:

      http://robvegaspoker.blogspot.com/2014/10/dont-let-him-look-at-your-boobs.html

      The one with "boobs" in the title!

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    4. Just read it, very well done. Enjoyed it!

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  4. I don't like it (saying good luck, all in) in cash games, but I understand it in tournaments when it's for their tournament life. We've all been there.

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    1. True enough, MOJO, but we all understand the rules of the game before we take our seats. The object of the game is to get all of your opponents' money (if a cash game) or all of your opponents' chips (if a tournament).

      As I said in the post, every time a player in a tournament busts out, that puts you closer to the cash, or moves you up on the pay scale.

      It ain't beanbag. It's war. You should be willing to check-raise your own Grandmother.

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  5. http://pokergrump.blogspot.com/2008/01/good-luck-all-in.html

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    1. I'm still in 2007 in my journey thru you archives. Not at all surprised you had addressed this topic yourself....or that you agreed with me, since you're a pretty smart fella.

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  6. I'll admit I've said it on occasion, but it's situational. I don't just reflexively do it to every all in player. Usually it is when a particular player has been on the bad end of some cooler or bad beat type hands and they've now decided to ship the tiny amount of chips they have remaining. I guess I'm not opposed to any small gesture such as this that promotes civility and courtesy at the table.

    I would never wish an all in player good luck if they have their opponent well covered or they have a large amount at stake. It's usually just in that instance when they have a teeny tiny amount left from earlier bad luck.

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    1. Thanks, Jeff. You're too nice. This is poker. :)

      Note, this doesn't mean I approve the other extreme, wishing bad luck on a player openly, even if they deserve it. If the person is nice and a victim of bad luck, I just say "nice playing with you, better luck next time" when they bust and leave.

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  7. good luck all in is rarely nice to one person and mean to another...the guy/girl with the best hand, even if it's only a 53/47, doesn't need luck...he/she only needs to not get unlucky...so I think it's appropriate if the all in player is behind....even though nobody really means it....as you said we want everyone to bust out and it's just a pc thing to say.

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    1. Thanks, bill.

      So...it's pc huh? One more reason to hate it..I HATE PC!

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  8. Good luck all-in....unless it's Rob in the same tournament as me. :-)

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