Drinking and Playing Poker Don’t Mix


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Drinking Alcohol and Playing PokerI could have bought a flight to Vegas, had a great massage, bought my girlfriend diamond earrings but, because my mind was impaired by alcohol, that $200+ is gone.

I can tell you from my personal experience that drinking and playing poker either live or online is a very bad idea. Never before have I managed to pick up and lose so many big pots. I would play marginal hands and make dangerous bluffs all because of the fact that my perception had been altered by a few beers in which I had consumed just before (and during) the game.

Ya, I couldn’t used that $200+ for a lot of other things, but hey, I had been playing a tight and aggressive game and was up a few bucks already, until I started drinking.

Just a couple of Coronas is all that it took. Of course, I am a lightweight, but the fact of the matter is that alcohol does impair your judgment, whether you want to believe it or not. I could have video recorded my games, or I could go through my hand histories, and ask myself “What the hell was I thinking?” Well, I wasn’t thinking as clearly as I usually do and I was making some wild bluffs and creating huge pots.

You could have called me the “tight maniac” because I would play high quality hands as if they were gold, and just call with marginal hands.

The best hand of the night also happened to be the most expensive (and last) hand that I played. I was dealt QQ under the gun and the game was $200 NL at PartyPoker. The blinds were $1/$2 and the game was pretty loose aggressive so I just made a small raise to $6 to see where I sat with my hand.

One guy called and the button made a raise to $16, which was almost like clockwork for him whenever he held anything playable. I decided that the other guy probably had close to nothing and that the odds were in my favor with the button raiser. I put him on Ax suited or K(face) so I decided to play my odds and I pushed the rest of my stack in (about $100 total) to get him to fold or make a poor call.

I was shocked, scared, and happy at the same time when he made his decision to call me. He showed AKo and I felt that I was in pretty good shape since I had a 10%-15% advantage on him. Of course, he hit his ace on the flop, and to twist the knife, struck a king on the river card. My queens had their last words and I peered down at my $0 bankroll.

The moral of the story isn’t that I got unlucky, but that I shouldn’t have been drinking while I was playing. I was “drinking and driving” if you will, because I was driving the table. I was a very selectively aggressive player and people thought I was just bullying them around. If I had been playing a tighter, less aggressive game before that hand, he probably never would have called me and I would have picked up the $30 that was already in the pot, rather than losing over $100 in a single hand.

So next time you go to pick up a beer, make sure you only play poker when your head is clear!

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