Don’t let the title confuse you here; this is not a warning about the twin vices of alcoholism and addictive gaming. Instead this is a cautionary tale about what happens when you try to mix the two. Obviously this is a website which enjoys and appreciates a drink, specifically a real ale, or perhaps a German weissbeer. However we have among our number some poker players also; in fact we have regular casino goers of all types. Some of us play Blackjack, some Roulette, some just enjoy the slots machines.
But this post is about poker and about how long you should play for proportional to the amount you are drinking. Roulette players may disagree, but that pastime does not require any skill; the same goes for playing a slot machine – poker on the other hand is a tough mental workout and one that should not be attempted after too many beers. It’s a recognised game of skill upon which real money is wagered – that’s a combination which, when added to an evening of alcohol consumption, can end in tears.
I can personally attest to this. I’ve been playing poker a long time and I’ve also been drinking beer a long time. Rarely do the two activities come together but read on to find out what happens when it does, with tragic and expensive consequences.
Being on holiday in Thailand probably had something to do with it – at home I know exactly how many pints to drink (two) before my ability to play poker begins to diminish. Late at night in the south-east Asian heat and humidity, I just continued to down the small bottles of Singha beer until I’d had far more than the two pints I can cope with.
It was fine to start with – up to about four bottles my play was fine and I was hovering near the top of the chip lead. That soon changed as my vision began to blur and I started to realise that I was calling and raising where I should not have been and folding where it was unnecessary. My chip stack began to shrink accordingly.
Here’s the thing though – everyone else was drinking as well. This meant that the final stages of the game degenerated into a crazy series of raises and all-ins, with no-one exhibiting any skill and luck becoming the key factor. I lost my cash and have no idea who won. When you’re playing poker, know you’re limits.
P.S. Gambling is illegal in Thailand so this story may be fictitious.