Monday, February 25, 2013

She Gives Asians a Bad Name

Fellow blogger Poker Meister recently started a series of blog posts about “Stereotypes and poker” and it reminded me of an amusing story.  Like his series, this post may easily be considered politically incorrect.  So be it.  You will note that the first two “types” he described were Asians, and this post involves Asians as well.

This took place a day or two after Christmas when I played in the Aria 1PM tournament.  Early in the tournament, a young, attractive Asian woman comes to the table.  She was super chatty, ultra friendly.  She started chatting with the dealer like they’ve been pals since High School.  I couldn’t tell if she was a local or had just been playing at the Aria a lot as a tourist but she definitely knew a lot of the staff.
She’s a very active player, seeing most flops, She wins a few hands but is slowly bleeding chips with her aggressive play.
About 20 minutes or so later, another new entrant joins our table, sitting near me and away from the woman.  He too is Asian, and in the same general age range as the woman (late 20’s, early 30’s maybe).  They do not know each other.  But he had a similar style, playing a lot of hands, with mostly poor results.  He seemed a little more likely to raise pre-flop, but otherwise, they are very similar players.  His personality is very different, however, he is not talking much.
Both of them have diminished stacks, but it’s still early and neither one is anywhere close to “shove or fold” mold.  Neither one has to make a move yet.
So a few people limp into a pot, including the woman and me.  I had pocket 3’s.  The Asian man announces all in.  It folds to the woman, who said, “OK, I want to get out of here, let’s go.”  And announces a call.  The guy has the woman covered, but not by all that much.  Everyone else, including me of course, folds.  
The guy has Ace-King, and the girl shows Ace-deuce.  It wasn’t even suited.  The only thing that hits is a King, so the guy takes the pot and the woman takes off.
Now you would think the guy would be happy.  He just got a near double up, and now he has a lot of chips to play with, relative to the blinds.  But no, he started to complain about the woman’s play.
As he is stacking up his chips, he starts talking.   "Ace-deuce?  Why does she call with Ace-deuce?  She just threw away $125.  Does she have so much money $125 means nothing to her?  Why the hell does she call with Ace-deuce?"  The $125 is a reference to the buy in for the tournament. 
Honestly, he was complaining more than almost any other player does when they lose a hand!
I couldn’t figure out why he was complaining so much, but finally he revealed what his problem was.
To any of the nearby players who were near him, he said, “"You know, people think Asians are all crazy gamblers.  That’s our reputation. She just played right into that.  And it reflects badly on me."
Aha.  Well, that explained his unhappiness.  Nobody really responded to that, wisely staying out of the guy’s heated discussion with himself.
He didn’t really take advantage of his new found chip position.  He stayed overly aggressive and chipped down.  Still, it was early, and he didn’t really have to make a move yet.  Nevertheless, he went all-in in early position.  This time he got two callers, both of whom had him covered.   Turns out he shoved with King-3 offsuit.  He was done for the day.
After he left, the guy next to me said, “King-three, huh?  And he was complaining about calling with Ace-deuce?  Isn’t King-three worse than Ace-deuce?”
True .  But I pointed out that at least he had shoved first, unlike the woman.  So he had fold equity.  Still, for his position in the tournament, it was a needless risk.
As for me, I made a relatively early exit.  My best hand was when I three-bet with the dreaded pocket kings.  The original raiser called.  Low flop, and he folded to my flop bet, showing pocket Jacks.  Later, getting close to desperate, I shoved with King-Queen off and ran into a luckbox who had been hitting hands all day.  She easily called with Ace-King, and didn’t hit anything on the board, but she didn’t need to.  Ace high won.
And I was done, but at least I had a nice politically incorrect story to talk about.


  1. I've seen so many players no matter what ethnicity put down others for the way they play. They can be perfect ladies and gentlemen until that specific hand that they lose all their chips with or get crippled with...and when they lose, they accuse the opponent of playing it badly...or they will do something even worse than what they just got done accusing some opponent of doing, and still think they're justified in bad-mouthing their opponent's play. Amazing game this poker is, what it will do the minds of otherwise sane people.

    1. Thanks, Anony. My only disagreement with you is that you imply sane people play poker. Not sure I buy that. :)

    2. Thanks for the link love! It's funny how aware each segmented group is aware of their own stereotypes as well... and that they sometimes inadvertently live up to their stereotype.

    3. Absolutely. A really good player I know, around my age (i.e, OLD) told me a couple of times that its actually easier for us to getting away with bluffs because no one expects our "type" to ever do it, thinking we're naturally nits.

    4. @grrouchie.....I take issue with that. I've seen the way you play poker.