Douglas Adams, “Don’t Panic!”

By Karaoke Phil

It was Douglas Adams’s birthday last week.  Or, more accurately, it would’ve been his birthday if the author of the “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” were still alive.   He would’ve been 71.

If you haven’t read the “Hitchhiker’s” series you should – they’re funny books.  How do they relate to poker??  Well, aside from Marvin the Robot’s self-defeatism mentality we’re going to go with one of the best selling books in the universe.   “In many of the more relaxed civilizations on the Outer Eastern Rim of the Galaxy, the Hitchhiker’s Guide has already supplanted the great Encyclopaedia Galactica as the standard repository of all knowledge and wisdom, for though it has many omissions and contains much that is apocryphal, or at least wildly inaccurate, it scores over the older, more pedestrian work in two important respects.

First, it is slightly cheaper; and secondly it has the words DON’T PANIC  inscribed in large friendly letters on its cover.”

Don’t panic.  I was reminded of this tenant and it’s usefulness in poker last Tuesday. It was another week at Erick’s with the FPN.  Some 50 or so players were there – a good turnout. By the time we entered Level 3, blinds of 75/150 – I was down to exactly 1 black chip.  Value? 100.  My 2000 chip starting stack was down to a chip and a chair. I didn’t panic.  I folded a couple of hands and then got the most powerful had in poker – J/T.  In this case it was even suited.  I figured this was the time.  I only had two more hands before I’d be forced all-in in the big blind.  And, it’s a hand that may avoid before totally dominated – sure an A and/or K could call but, if I avoid matching their kickers then I have two live cards.  I got 6 callers for 700 chips in the pot.  I hit on a T high flop and a guy bets 400 getting everyone to fold and putting me heads up against him – the exact thing I need.  He has K/8 for second pair.  I’m ahead and stay ahead.  I fold the next hand and then get As UTG – I bet 350 (half my stack).  Whether it was respect, bad cards, my tells or a little of each everyone folds and I “steal” the blinds.   It allows me to fold through the blinds and still have 700 chips. 
I won’t regale you with additional hands – suffice to say that using patience (or, not panicking) I later tripled up to around 2300 followed by a fairly quick double up which took me to about 4800.  In the end – where I easily could have panicked and gone out in 41st, I took Adam’s admonition of “Don’t Panic!” to heart and finished in 6th (where my A/K suited got cracked by A/T). 
Keep that in mind the next time you feel like you’re lost and about to bust out – DON’T PANIC!
That’s it for this post.  So long and thanks for the all fish!