Poker is a game (like most others) where you can literally derive pleasure from the plight of others, specifically by taking their chips away from them. It has the capacity to bring about gleefully vicious comments even by people not involved in the current action In part that’s because any large stack that gets broken down or even a small stack that busts out tends to benefit the rest of the players by making a big stack less dangerous or simply moving people up the ladder to money.
Late last night I experienced a rather large dose of schadenfreude myself in a 6-max $2K guarantee tournament. I entered late, in Level V at 30/60 and was somewhat startlingly seated next to a player using the name of a company I’d once run. By my 19th hand that player was gone and replaced. The guy two seats behind me in action—who’d been raising everyone off with a pot-sized bet practically—was up to 19K, and I was down to 1,000 chips, a third of my starting stack. The other four players at the table were between 1,600 and 2,000 chips.
I picked up Q
That seemed to be a turning point for the big stack in everyone’s mind, though. He still had nine time more chips than anyone else at the table but our inevitable demise was now evitable. Everyone played the next hand but me. The flop of 7
The next hand played out in a similar fashion. Big stack made a big bet pre-flop from the cutoff. There were a couple of callers (big blind and UTG+1, on either side of me). Flop is an innocuous 8
My turn in the big blind with T
He must have been getting frustrated because in UTG position on the next hand (blinds now at 50/100/10) he launches his whole stack on to the table for an all-in. But he gets a call from the button and when the cards flip the button’s holding A
Rather than reassess, he tries it again. The most recent receiver of the big stack’s largesse and I both limp into the pot. The not-so-big stack blasts everything in as the big blind. The player to my right calls by going all-in and I drop out. Big stack has A
Yet another player halves him on the next hand. Then, with everyone limping in ahead of him, he shoves yet again, though it’s with an anaemic 1,976 chips. Three of us (me and the two players on either side of me) call. I’ve got 6
When the other cards flip it’s Q
So, I went out on the same round as the buy who went from 18.5K to out in seven hands, despite having 69% of the chips at the table and a 9:1 lead over an of his opponents. But I suspect I was laughing more.