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Poker tall tales and incredible claims

July 16, 2020

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Long-time poker players have heard it all. Chasetheriver, Replay’s Poker Operations Manager, shares a few common gripes he’s heard throughout his career. Have you fallen into these pitfalls of thinking?

Having been in the poker trade for a number of years, I have overheard or been directly involved with many tall stories and improbable claims.

As poker players, we like to think we are a cut above the normal casino ‘punters’ because we play a game of skill. We usually bait the roulette or slot players with such things as, “System going well, send more money,” or “I lost, so I should bet more next time.”

There is a fable about a guy who confides in a friend that he has gambled on soccer, golf, basketball, baseball and hockey this week and lost on them all. The friend says, “Hey, it is the final of a tennis Grand Slam today,” and he thinks the over on number of sets is a good bet. At which point the guy says, “No way, I don’t know anything about tennis.”

Here are some of the poker-oriented stories that you too may have been presented with:

Always and Never — Clearly they have rarely consulted a dictionary

The river card ALWAYS beats me. I NEVER make a flush. They ALWAYS have a better hand when I play. That player NEVER loses.

The ever-changing story

Them: Unbelievable! I just lost with AK against 7-2. That guy went all-in with nothing.

Me: Oh?

Them: Yes, we we both all-in and they hit a flush last card.

Me: You were all-in pre-flop?

Them: Yes. Listen, we both called to see the flop and it came one heart. He had two hearts and I bet.

Me: You bet the flop, so not all-in pre-flop?

Them: Yes … no. I think he bet on the flop and I called because I knew he had nothing. 

Me: Ok …

Them: The turn was another heart and he still has nothing, right?

Me: Ok, but now there’s a flush draw and you still have no pair as well?

Them: Right, but I’m winning! So I bet.

Me: A big bet? Like the pot?

Them: No, just a small bet to keep them in, because I know I’m winning

Me: *groans*

Them: And the river is THE KING OF HEARTS, can you believe it?


It was 100,000 to 1

Sometimes the beauty of math escapes people. There are only 52 cards in a deck, and the worst it can get with two cards to come is never more than 1000/1. Which is rarely the case when you query the actual game situation.

Shifting the blame

  • It was the Dealer’s fault — he doesn’t want me to win.
  • The 2 seat is the lucky seat tonight.
  • I never win with Aces.
  • You won because you played bad. A good player would have played your hand completely differently.

You cost me some money last night by not being here

When you bump into someone who owes you money and they tell you that they won big last night but because you were not there, they lost it and it is your fault. Can you lend them another $20?

It is impossible to call me there — that’s the fourth time this week

You hear this when the narrator makes a “calculated” all-in, usually against someone who has very few chips or never folds. They expect that their opponent will have changed their mind from the previous bet, perhaps.

I am never going to borrow from you again if you keep hounding me to pay it back

If only they meant it.