Well, it seemed a good idea at the time!

Posted by on Sunday, February 18th, 2018

Most players like to think that they thoroughly analyse all their poker decisions. Every time they play a hand they do the maths, factor in what they know of their opponent’s tendencies, the texture of the board, meta-game considerations, villain’s likely range of hands etc., then decide on the best possible course of action. That’s how you do it, right?

Right! Then why, when you look back at hands you’ve played, do you always think, “WTF, that wasn’t me, was it? Why did I play it like that?“

We’ll tell you why. It’s because “it seemed a good idea at the time.”

What seemed a good idea at the time? Well, do you recognize many of these famous last words?

Philosophical ideas

I know I’m beat, but I just gotta see it.
My Q high flush may still be good even though my gut, and his line, screams it isn’t.
If he has a set, then he has a set … He had a set.
This is a clear bet/fold. Bet …. raise! Shit! Have to call it really.

Good old gut feeling

I can’t fold here.
I’ll just call one street and see.
I’ll bluff him off the hand.
No way he can call if I shove.
I know I can beat this guy.
He has AK unimproved.
No way he is that lucky!
I’m gonna play some tournaments.
Time to mix it up a bit.
One last orbit.
I think I have some fold equity here …
I’ll just play till I’m even.
Haven’t played Omaha in a while …
I’m gonna rep the flush …
It’s the last hand. Let’s raise this 23 UTG and rep aces.


I actually play better after a couple of drinks.
I’ll just watch some porn while I’m playing.
I hardly feel like I’ve had a drink at all.
Must sleep! But I’m still down three buy-ins.


Lots of missed draws out there…
I’ll call for information.
I had implied pot odds.
Well he can’t have a Q because there’s two on the board already ….
He’d do that with a flush draw too.
Worst possible turn is any club or any T or J … Shit! ten of clubs… Okay, let’s represent it.
Hmmm … minraise. Let’s pretend this never happened.
I have deuces, but there’s no A or K … I’ll just call and see what he does on the tur.. Whoa! nope I’m definitely beat now. I’m outta here … … but wait …”
Only a retard would pot that dry board with a real hand.
If he had a hand he’d be value betting this river.
He’s a donk therefore TPTK is good enough to put him all in.
Obviously, this card doesn’t help him in the least.
He’s had the nuts the last three times. No way he’s got it again.


Never fold a set.
I have a backdoor royal flush draw. I have to see one more card really.
Mustn’t … show … weakness.
Can’t win by folding.
I don’t fold to shortstack shoves.

Shame & Pressure

Got to keep playing. Have to make Platinum Star!
Need to up the redline.
OMG I have 5 high, I cant show this down. Raise!
Oh shit, I’m running out of time.

Reading souls

Now he’s playing back at me.
He is just pushing me around, no way he has it again.
He didn’t bet the turn, so he can’t have hit that ace on the flop. My nines are good here.
He would value bet smaller.
Why did he bet so large? He doesn’t want me to call.
But his line makes no sense … oh!
He’s bet the river. But he could have a missed draw.
He’s full of it. He’s 3-betting me light here.
He’s just adapting to my aggression.
He’s repping a set. No way he has it, and we both know it.

Monkey Tilt

Fuck it! All in!
Maybe I should stop, but I’m not really on tilt.
I’m gonna show this bastard.
Let’s gamboool!
I’ve just dropped six buy-ins. Drastic measures required. Time to move up and recoup.
I fucking hate that avatar.
I call because … because … fuck you!

Who can deny that poker is a complex game? So many disparate reasons for making a decision with only one thing in common. That’s right. They all seemed like good ideas at the time.

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