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Redditor Called Out For Staying Sober During Poker Game And Winning Big Off Of Drunk Friends


When it comes to a game of cards where a good deal of money is at stake, there are either sore losers or good sports. Or there are unfair winners.

Redditor velez_cool is figuring out where he fit in with the scenario when he played poker with six of his friends and the odds wound up in his favor.

After collecting his winnings, his friends gave him flack for the manner in which he played the game.

When he realized he may never be invited for another night of playing poker with his buddies again, he visited the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit and asked:

“AITA for not drinking as much as everyone else at a poker game and cleaning them out?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“This past weekend, I went to a poker game at a friend’s house. There were 6 of us playing.”

“We started with $50 in chips each, and people could buy in as much as they wanted throughout the night. I brought a six pack but I like to stay clearheaded when I play poker.”

“I only ended up drinking 2 the whole night while pretty much everyone else got pretty drunk as the night went on. We started out evenly, but people started making stupid bets as they were drinking.”

“We all had fun, but I did clean them out. I took home over $900. At the time, they were all good-natured about it.”

“They laughingly called me some names but did Venmo me what I won. I thought that was it, but a couple of them texted me this week saying that was a dick move to stay sober and take advantage of them being drunk.”

“They said I was egging them on and as a friend I should have suggested we play lower stakes instead of pushing them. I felt like I was playing the game, and we were all free to bet what we wanted. I didn’t make anyone drink.”

“We all had money on the line, and if I’d lost I wouldn’t be crying over it. I’m sure I won’t get invited if they ever do this again, but AITA for playing at full level when everyone was drunk but me?”

Strangers online were asked to declare one of the following:

  • NTA – Not the A**hole
  • YTA – You’re the A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everybody Sucks Here

Redditors weighed in after assessing the OP’s dilemma.

“Depends on how the game athmosphere was.”

“INFO: was it serious since the beginning or was it minimum bets and those stakes went higher the more drunk they got? Did you egg them because you saw you could bait them to make larger bets?”

“At the end of the day, they are responsible for the money they waste and the bets they make, and you didn’t have to get drunk to be on equal footing as they were the ones who chose to get out of control.”

“They have no one to blame but themselves for the money lost, specially since they started to drink while they were betting, and not started to bet because they were drinking. But as a friend if you see a friend about to make a stupid expensive mistake, the nice thing is to try to stop them even if their mistake would benefit you, not egg them on to make sure you get even more money.”

“A drunk friend could bet me a thousand dollars that they are able to fly by flapping their arms, and I wouldn’t be a good friend if I took up that bet even if I would have ‘won’ that money fair and square.”

“The fact that you say that you won’t get invited if they ever do this again points to the fact you probably are aware you stepped over a boundary, and what isn’t clear is if you knew that boundary was there or not.”

“If it wasn’t a big deal and people aren’t too offended over it, you could do a fun good gesture with part of the money. That way, you still keep part but they feel ‘avenged’ in some level (I can’t think of the low stakes word I want to use here, but the meaning can be kind of understood)” – Slow-Bumblebee-8609

The OP replied, in response:

“So, we never were playing small stakes like $0.25 bets or anything. We were all playing seriously. But the bets just went up and up because everyone was calling and raising as they got drunk. And it wasn’t just because of me.”

“I could fold a hand and they’d raise and re-raise each other into the stratosphere. I did make higher bets when I had a good hand because I knew they’d call or raise me.”

“I wasn’t drunk but I guess I was kind of caught up in the gambling aspect of it. Like if someone is sitting at a super hot slot machine, it’s not easy to pull yourself away. So, yes I probably got carried away too.”

“Like when we started counting things out, I was surprised at how much I’d won. Probably at the time, I could have said to just send me their original $50. But I didn’t, and it seems lame to give them a refund. Especially since not everyone complained.”

“In fact, only two of the five complained. I think the solution is no more buy ins after the original bet, and I’ll be generous with the group like with food or beer as kind of letting them have some of it back. Thanks for your response.”

Redditors continued with their varied responses.

“NTA. They should treat this a an expensive lesson you just gave them. When money is on the table, there is no ‘nice guy.’ They FA&FO.” – egv78

“OP gonna be out here having a tantrum because nobody will play with him or invite him over in a couple weeks. He talked everyone into betting $180 a head while he’s sober? That ain’t a friend.”

“If he wants to do that, go to a casino or play online, don’t play with friends. YTA.” – xasdfxx

“Yeah, no. This is Reddit ‘nobody owes anyone anything ever’ logic at its finest.”

“When friends are trying to have a fun low stakes night and one asshole goads them into betting more so he can walk away with more of their money, he’s an a**hole. You can play within the rules and still be an a**hole.”

“This wasn’t a tournament, this was guys passing the time. YTA: – aytayjay

“You are not the a**hole for not drinking, but i don’t think you’re a great friend either. Most of us have been drunk at some point in our lives.”

“Usually when my friends are drunk and are doing stupid stuff i look out for them and try to stop them from doing said stupid (or expensive) stuff. They do the same to me. Sure, we are all responsible for how we act when we are drunk, but these are your friends, and you deliberately took advantage of their drunkenness.”

“In my eyes, that makes you an a**hole. You should be happy with your $900, because probably that was the last time you were invited. ESH.” – onewiththecake

“There is a difference between playing for fun and playing to win. It seems to me like this was a night of playing for fun and you were there to play to win.”

“NAH, but yeah, don’t expect to be invited again.” – Shebalba64205

In an update, the OP wrote:

“The majority are saying NTA, but I think I probably did get caught up in the moment. Yes, I was sober but winning money is its own kind of high too!”

“If you’re curious about the end result, we’ve been talking about going in on a pool table to put at my friend’s house, since that’s pretty much the only place we go to hang out.”

“I just put in the group chat, ‘If we’re still thinking about going in on a pool table, I can throw in $800.’ So, the guys are pretty stoked again, and some even threw in more.”

“So, we’re up to $1250 and we’re looking for the best one to buy. And no more multiple buy-ins with poker! Thanks again.”

Fortunately, it appears the OP made a reasonable peace-offering with a contribution benefitting the whole group.

Written by Koh Mochizuki

Koh Mochizuki is a Los Angeles based actor whose work has been spotted anywhere from Broadway stages to Saturday Night Live.
He received his B.A. in English literature and is fluent in Japanese.
In addition to being a neophyte photographer, he is a huge Disney aficionado and is determined to conquer all Disney parks in the world to publish a photographic chronicle one day. Mickey goals.
Instagram: kohster Twitter: @kohster1 Flickr: nyckmo