To be a winner at poker, you must understand the mentality of the other players. After more than 30 years of playing this great card game, I think I understand how a poker player thinks.
Poker players are aggressive people. Some think they can muscle their way to victory. Not so, but they try. I like to play against players like that. They have their eye so focused on the prize that they overlook the danger. I try to be that danger.
The other night i made the two-hour drive up interstate 17 north from Charleston to Myrtle Beach. There is a casino cruise ship called The Big M docked at Little River about eight miles from North Myrtle Beach.
I paid my $20 entrance fee, only to find 14 players had already signed up for the $2-5 no limit Texas Hold'em game. The casino had only one dealer -- the others were off sick. So I had to wait to get into the game.
They finally called my name and I made my $200 minimum buy-in. A few hands into the game I was dealt A-Q off-suit. In the past I would have raised with this hand, but I just call. Another player with a big stack of chips raises. i make the call.
The flop comes a-7-8. i check and the raiser bets. I call. On fourth street, a 3 falls. I check and the raiser makes a larger wager. I call. Fifth street brings a 2. i check. This time the raiser bets enough money to put me all in. I call and turn over the winning hand.
He threw away his pocket 10s and said he knew I probably had an ace.
'I wanted you to throw away your ace,' he confessed.
That is the thinking of many poker players today. They play a bold aggressive game of poker -- too aggressive sometimes. While these tactics will win, they can get you in trouble with the wrong player. I wanted to be that player.
During the two and a half hours of play, I competed in three hands and won all three. The wins gave me a nice profit for the evening.
One of the other players told the others, 'He played in three hands and won all three.' It was a combination compliment and warning to the other players.
Gambling on a boat is fun. The gentle rocking of the vessel is comparable to riding a saddle bronco which I did for years in New Mexico and Arizona. You just move with the boat and you'll never get seasick.
Quite a few of the 360 passengers on The Big M became seasick on the cruise. They could be found lying on the stairwells holding brown paper bags to their mouths. Or lying with their head cradled in their arms at a table.
The Big M is a three-decked ship with an open air deck on top. There passengers can smoke, order drinks and live the free life that much of society restricts. I love it on that open air deck.
Two musicians performed for us. They were Michael Stallings and Stony Bowman. They are incredible guitar-playing blues musicians who can enthrall a crowd with songs like 'Black Magic Woman,' 'I shot The Sheriff' and B.B. King's 'The Thrill Is Gone.'
These guys do blues, jazz, standards and rev/d up country. They're worth a long look anywhere they play. I give them five golden stars.
Author: Geno Lawrenzi Jr.
(Geno Lawrenzi Jr. is an international journalist, magazine author and ghostwriter and poker player who lives in Phoenx, AZ. He has published 2,000 articles in 50 magazines and 125 newspapers. If you want to share a gambling story or book idea with him, send an email to email@example.com ).
19th of October 2017
29th of September 2017