Schadenfreude

Schadenfreude, like its bizarro-world cousin hubris, is something we’re taught to resist – I think it might have something to do with this other concept, karma – but DAMN can it be fun!

Watching people you dislike lose and be sad is especially easy to do in poker, where even the best lose so much of the time, and no matter how many times they bust out of a tourney, it still stings, visibly, every time. Of course, the opposite is also true: looking for justice on the tournament felt is utter folly, as bad play (and bad people) wins, and wins a lot.

One of the most frustrating things for Hellmuth haters is (in recent years ) how gracious he has become after busting out of tourneys – the 2013 Main Event was no exception, and I’ll try to find video of Hellmuth’s post-bust interview. ESPN hasn’t put it up on Youtube, because it’s just not very good Hellmuth TV. But I digress.

What disturbs me is just how quickly I can decide I hate a poker player on TV. Okay, it doesn’t disturb me all that much, but let’s just say it’s not my favorite quality in myself. ESPN (who must’ve been insanely happy they caught this on tape) switched from the feature table to the hand below – it’s the first and last time we meet college drop-out and poker pro Carter Gill. I mention the drop-out part because one of the best arguments against poker is how many kids drop out of college thinking they’re going to live the poker dream they saw on TV, but more about that another time.

Let’s just say it took about fifteen seconds before I was rooting hard against the guy. Let’s just watch before I spoil the ending:

Luckily, at about the same point I decided that Carter was an arrogant little prick, it became clear that ESPN was showing us this one to satisfy exactly the vicious urge that lurks within.

Readers, do you feel the same way about young Carter, here? Why? (or Why not?)

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