You’re not bad, you’re just unlucky


unluckyHow long do you have to go before an unlucky streak becomes a confirmed trend?

At the request of one of my friends, I rejoined him for a night of poker down near his home.  I had been playing with them twice a week last year but got tired of it for a few reasons.

One, it’s about a 40 minute drive at the edge of rush hour and by the time I got home it was nearly 11 pm.  Two, the players were the definition of “grumpy old men”, long-time players with each other who had their long-time gripes with each other, leading to the inevitable flare up two-to-three times a night.  Finally, I couldn’t win.

I could live with the first two if the third could happen occasionally but it never did.  Oh sure, I would win a few hands over the course of the night, but by game’s end, I would be in the red.  Granted, we’re only talking about $20, but losing twice a week for months got ridiculous.  So I took a break and when I rejoined last month, I said it would only be for one night a week.

And I still haven’t had a winning night.  I commented last night that I must not know how to play the game, since I’m in the red all the time.  This sparked a general uproar and, in one case, outrage.  I was surprised, since I wasn’t whining or saying I wasn’t going to continue to donate my money to them, I simply couldn’t draw any other conclusion from the facts.

The response I got was, “You’re just unlucky”.  Stubbing your toe on the bed is unlucky.  Locking your key in the car is unlucky.  Leaving the poker table with less than you came with every time you play for six months seems to me to suggest personal incompetence before lady luck.

I wish I could believe that it’s not bad decision making. I wish I could believe I have just been unlucky at cards.  But I’m just not that lucky.



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