Devoid of live poker in his country of residence in Lao, Aussie Tim Napper shares his experiences from the recent PokerStars SCOOP series and the frustrations of being a Razz "expert"!
I type “Razztard” into the ‘player notes’. My opponent has done something stupid. This is my very clever name for a bad Razz player. I have a number of clever short-names like this; “Moron”, “SpasticStation”, “Checking raising C*nt” and “Bad beating C*nt”. My player notes are rich with such information.
I’m playing in PokerStars ‘Spring Championship of Online Poker’. Event 27. Razz. Good god, why I am I playing Razz? A more tedious or unimaginative game I could not imagine. Try to make the lowest hand. DUUUH. I duz has A359. I duz min-bet and take another card. Razz - a game for masochists, morons and 87-year old men.
So aggravating, so excruciating. In Guantanamo Bay I understand they used to switch between water-boarding detainees and forcing them to play all night Razz tournaments. No wonder so many people left there psychologically damaged.
So why am I playing? Oh yeah, that’s right, it’s poker. Nick ‘the Greek’ Dandalos won and lost millions gambling, and at the end of it all, he was broke and reduced to playing five dollar limit draw poker in California. When a rail bird recognized who he was and asked him how he could be content playing at such low limits after once playing for the highest stakes, his legendary answer was, “…hey, it’s action, isn’t it?” We’ll, I haven’t lost or won millions, not even close, but I crave the poker action, and though Razz may be the worst form of poker, it’s still poker.
So I played the SCOOP tournament and ended up busting 100th for around $45. Wow. 45 dollars. I keep telling my girlfriend that I’m going to ‘earn the Benjamins’ so we can retire in a luxurious ‘baller’ lifestyle. She’s not sure what ‘Benjamins’ or ‘baller’ means, but I think she’s starting to get suspicious about my extravagant claims when tournament cashes earn me 40 bucks.
But, to give myself credit, my reaction to my bust out hand was pure class. After the last card fell and my opponent revealed a better low, I immediately launched into a tirade at the poor dude, “…you f*cking cap it with a King?” I typed, smashing the keyboard, “FKN IDIOT”. Yes, another dignified exit from another online tournament.
But at least I got my money in good, right? I could be content with that. And yet, as I thought about the hand during the day, something didn’t feel quite right. I capped it when I had A26/Q/9 and he had 234/K/5. Slowly I came to the realization that I probably wasn’t ahead in that spot, even though I had the Queen against the obvious King-low. I ended up logging the hands into a Razz odds calculator online (I am stunned that such a thing even exists – who knew that 87-year old men used the Internet?) and found that I was a 65/35 underdog in the hand. Hmmm. So I’d capped the betting as a two-to-one dog. And then I berated my opponent in the chat box for several minutes for being a moron.
Nice. I guess I’m the Razztard. And a douche. I need to put that in my own player notes: “Razzdouche”.
And all this leaves me worried. Is there more to Razz than meets the eye? Are there subtleties involved? Should I hone my game, practice, look to work my way up to the next level? Is Razz a new frontier for my game?
Well, no. I’d rather be handcuffed to a chair, have my pants set on fire, and listen to Michael Buble all night, over playing another damn Razz tournament. But if I should accidentally stumble into another one – well, at least when I bust out I’ll have a better chance of berating my opponent and being right about the odds.
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