There is nothing in the world quite like playing poker in a small town. It was a sin that the other townspeople didn't look down on. Everybody in the neighborhood knew the game was going on, who played in it, and how long the game would last. The game was more about the characters than the odds. In my home town of Sutersville, PA., everybody knew Junebug was the bully. He owned a bar, restaurant, and hotel in a pink building with his name on the roof. He served good pizza and meatball spaghetti. Several times a week Mom would call in an order for Dad or me, or one of my brothers to pick up.
Since the world began, women have been striving to become equal with men. Feminists have challenged all-male bastions in just about any category you might want to consider, from military academies to sports events. You have to give the ladies credit. They are persistent, insistent and they simply will not quit! There is one event that the gals have not penetrated and that is the World Series of Poker Main Event. Only one woman, Barbara Enright, was able to make the final table. That was in 1995 when Enright finished fifth. The tournament was won by Dan Herrington.
Poker games can get wild. Really wild. The wild games usually happen late at night. The tournament is over, you are playing against hardened cash players whose pockets are deep with $100 bills, and they want and crave action! I was playing $2-2 no limit Texas Hold'em on a warn January night at BestBet in Jacksonville, FL. The table was an interesting mix of players -- a silver haired grandmotherly woman; three black men in their 30s; a couple of veteran white guys; and an Asian who looked like he stepped out of 'The Karate Kid.'
I receive a lot of emails from the members of these websites and believe me, I am glad to get them. The one recurrent theme my regular readers want to know has to do with the advice and strategy I give them on gambling. They want to know, for example, if I follow my own advice. The answer is - you bet I do! I worked as a staff writer for Card Player Magazine published out of Las Vegas, back in the days when June and Phil Fields published it. We had a lot of top poker players who wrote columns or contributed articles to our publication. While most of the stories were pretty good, I noticed something that bothered me.
Some of my readers are not going to like this, but most American filmmakers bore me to death! They have NO imagination. Except for special effects which they are good at, all their films seem to be cut from the same cloth: sex, drugs, foul language, car chases, violence, and rock and roll. For this reason I became a fan of foreign sub-titled films. Give me a French or Italian comedy any day of the week, and I guarantee you it will be superior to an American movie.
Ever since childhood, I have been a fan of Western movies and books. I grew up with Joel McCrea, Roy Rogers, Gary Cooper, Randolph Scott, Zane Grey and a hundred other men who wore wide-brimmed hats, leather boots, and six-shooters to tame the wild, wild west. Western movies were morality plays, with whiskey and gambling tossed in. The plots of the films didn't vary much. It was always a battle between the good, the bad and the ugly, and the good guys almost always won. Their characters might die in the end like Gary Cooper did in 'For Whom The Bell Tolls,' but always for a good cause and the moral lesson lived on.
Poker tells are everything. At least that is what poker players believe, and the proof is in the pudding. It's true that poker players notice everything. Nicholas Dandolos, better known as Nick the Greek, discovered that one evening at the Flamingo, a popular joint in Las Vegas, when he lost a $250,000 pot because of a tell. The year was 1947, the Flamingo had opened just a short time before that, on Dec. 26, 1946, when Jimmy Durante, the Xavier Cugat Orchestra and a slim singer named Rosemarie provided the opening acts to a packed house.
You meet all kinds of people in the wide world of gambling. Some are memorable characters who stay in your mind forever while others just pop up and fade away. Lucky was one of the people whose memory stays with me. He was a slim nervous man who wore glasses. His wispy hair was light colored, and he had a nervous habit of fumbling with his chips over and over until he raised or folded his hand. That NEVER changed. I met him at Binion's Horseshoe, a casino hotel in Tunica, in the early 1980s.
Have you ever watched a one-legged pirate dance? I DID. Blame it on Jack Parker, who owns a restaurant in St. Maarten called Peg Leg Pub. Jack is a native of Scottsdale, AZ., who moved to the friendly island of St. Maarten some years ago to go into the restaurant business. His Peg Leg Pub specializes in fresh seafood and is one of the most popular restaurants on the island which is half Dutch, half French. A stuffed pirate with a patch over one eye hangs from the ceiling.
What would you say if I told you that poker may have played a major role in winning World War 2? Aha, I can see the smirk. You don't believe me. That's understandable, but I am about to present the evidence to prove my theory. The two U.S. generals who led America's fighting forces to victory in the second world war, were Dwight D. Eisenhower and George Patton Jr. Eisenhower who went by the nickname of Ike, while Patton was called Bandito or Old Blood and Guts.
The two best known Civil War generals were as far apart in temperament, as Mars and Jupiter are in distance. Robert E. Lee, who headed the Confederate army, was a strait-laced general who believed in family and honor, and who was a patriotic Southerner who hated drinking and gambling. U.S.S. Grant was the exact opposite. While he was considered a patriot he loved to drink and his gambling at cards and horse racing scandalized his family.
Hurricane season is a strange time of year in the Caribbean. You can feel it rather than see it. I was living on the tropical island of Nevis in the Eastern Caribbean. My home was a cottage on a multi-million dollar estate known as Caribbean Glory. The property included two cottages, a great house, a swimming pool and a rain forest. It was owned by Gerald Staines, an investments banker and a poker-playing friend who was worth $30 million.
I don't know about you, but rattlesnakes scare me to death! My lifelong relationship with rattlers started in Quay County, N.M. when I accepted the position of sports editor of the Tucumcari Daily News. I was a hunter in those days and there were countless jackrabbits to hunt in the prairie land of Eastern New Mexico. A typical Saturday would find me climbing into my little Ford, and driving to a ranch just east of town. The spread was owned by a friend who would host poker games on weekends in his spacious ranch house. His name was Ed, and he had a foreman who broke horses and who competed in weekend roping events at the Quay County Fairgrounds.
The Arrowhead bar is located on a dusty two-lane road just six miles north of Wickenburg, AZ. on the road to Las Vegas. It's a small nondescript tavern with a pool table and a handful of old West paintings. Customers range from local cowboys and dude ranch owners to grizzled prospectors. There are a number of weekend gold seekers living on their Social Security checks who are regulars at the bar and they are full of stories about gold, women, rattlers, and whiskey.
Every true gambler needs a library. It doesn't matter what your game is, you never have too much knowledge to take on those odds! For more than 40 years I have enjoyed the ups, the downs, the joys and the defeats of trying to beat the House or my fellow poker players. It hasn't been easy, that's for sure. But it has been worth the effort. Gambling is as old as mankind. Geologists and anthropologists have discovered crude gambling devices as far back as primitive man. Their caves were filled with bones, rocks and other gambling tools designed to help them outwit their fellow man.
You meet all kinds at a poker table: from milquetoasts to maniacs. Beware of the maniacs! They can be dangerous to your bankroll. It was Thursday night at the BestBet poker room in Jacksonville, FL. The place was packed because of the room's special Christmas promotion. Following the Yuletide theme of '12 Days of Christmas' the casino was offering tempting payoffs each hour for high hands. On Dec. 12, for example, the payoff would be $1,200, raising $100 each day until Dec. 25.
Being broke is never a good thing. It's especially BAD when it happens just before Christmas. That was my situation in Phoenix, AZ. I had moved my family to the Valley of the Sun expecting to go to work for a new publication. The publisher had promised me a good starting salary with stock options. The package sounded too good to be true, but I ignored the warnings flashing in my head and took it! After paying for my moving expenses and renting a U-Haul, I arrived in Phoenix a week before Christmas with less than $400 in my pocket, only to discover the job wasn't ready for me yet.
There are many weapons a poker player can bring into a game to help himself win. These tools include knowledge, cash and tricky moves. But in my opinion, the most important weapon is confidence. Every poker player will run into bad days. There are days when nothing you do seems to go right. When that happens a person can lose confidence and when that happens, the best thing you can do is get up from the table and take a long walk to sort things out. Let's compare poker to football. If an NFL team like the Steelers or Kansas City Chiefs would go into a game lacking confidence, what chance would they have of winning?
I love variety in a poker room! The MORE games that are available, the better I like it. Most poker rooms managers are smart enough to realize this and will provide their players with as much variety as possible. Some managers, unfortunately, do not understand this. These managers have often been moved from another job in the casino to the poker room. Some of them don't even understand poker, but are left to learn the game, usually to the poker room's loss. Poker players are different from other gamblers.
The ONE great thing about traveling... ...is that you know at the end of your day - you will arrive at your destination, have a comfortable bed, and a well defined air conditioned room at your disposal, and be able to relax in total comfort from the outside world! There is a certain motel chain that runs a series of commercials on radio and television. A voice over says: The motel will 'leave the light on for you' or something similar. That is the way I feel when I think of Hampton Inn.