Poker: An Unexpected Kindness


Went to the Trump Taj Mahal to play the $60 No-Limit Texas Hold-em tournament today. The last time I tried it I finished 15th out of about 60 players, pretty good, but not in the money. The time before that I was the Bubble Boy, finishing just out of the money, a very annoying place to finish!

But, hope springs eternal and all that, so I was ready to try it again. I did well in the first half hour, winning some moderately big pots, and doubling up my starting stack. Then there was a long dry spell where I couldn’t get any cards I thought worth playing. Around the end of the second hour I got hot again, winning two large hands back to back, both with pocket Jacks, and another with Kings. That put me in good enough shape to make it to the final table, down from about 55 players to 10, but I was the smallest stack, so it didn’t look good.

Then we were down to eight, then seven, then six. I was still the smallest stack, not getting anything worth playing most of that time. So, it looked like I’d be the Bubble Boy again, until one of the other players spoke up. “I suggest we have a Bubble Bonus,” he announced. How about if everyone gives $15 cash to the person going out on the bubble?” Naturally I thought this was an excellent, if surprising idea, and everyone else agreed. What nice fellows! I asked the proposer why he had suggested this, and he told me, “A while back I went out on the bubble three times in one day. That gave me the idea.”

Sure enough, I was soon all-in with a pair of Nines, and lost to three sixes to that same player. Everyone opened their wallets, and I went around and collected $75, with many thanks. Then I went home happy, instead of annoyed, and actually ahead a few dollars! What a great idea, and it proves that poker players can be as nice as anyone. If I find myself in that situation again, I’m going to suggest doing the same thing. If you play poker, I think you should, too. Make a Bubble Boy happy!

3 thoughts on “Poker: An Unexpected Kindness

  1. David Goldfarb

    That’s nice, but in effect all it does is move the bubble down by one place — seventh becomes the bubble instead of sixth. I guess if you wait to propose it till seventh is already gone, that cushions the psychological impact of it.

  2. Todd Post author

    Yes, well that’s how it was done, and anything else would be cruel! To me, going out one before the bubble is not as annoying.

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