A coach can help keep you in line

May 2, 2005 2:56 AM

Hi folks: most of the time I put my Oklahoma Johnny Poker Tip of the Week at the bottom of the column, but all of this week’s column is my poker tip of the week for you.

Many cardsmiths win huge amounts of money on a consistent basis, but they have some bad habits.

They may bet the sports to excess, like the girls a little to much, go drinking too often, get into dope, or visit the craps table too frequently.

Like the little Dutch boy who used his finger to plug the leak in the dyke, poker players must plug their personal leaks and curb their bad habits, if they are to be successful at playing poker.

I know a top tournament poker player who has immense earning power at the poker table, but he has one very big problem — he loves to play craps. He can talk a game of control, but he has no control at the craps table.

A few months after he had made a particularly large tournament win, he got his head cut off at the craps table. He was flopping around the casino like a chicken that had also lost its head.

He saw me playing poker and asked me for a little assistance.

"Friend, leave the craps alone," I advised as I provided him with the funds he was requesting.

"Oh, I’m going to, Johnny," he promised. But he hasn’t.

And yes, you guessed it, he forgot to repay me!

If you are a poker player you must not use your playing bankroll, the tools of your business, for anything except business.

If you were a carpenter, you would not go to the pawn shop and hock your saw and hammer.

In the same way, you can’t hock your bankroll playing craps or any other gambling game in which you are at a disadvantage to the house.

Other top professional poker players love to bet sports. One in particular, a man who has held high executive positions in many cardrooms, cannot handle his sports betting habit. This excellent poker player can win all the money he’ll ever need at the poker table, but loses it in his other activities.

You must have strong discipline to be a successful professional poker player. You cannot and must not deviate from what it is that you do well. If you do, you’re somewhat like a pilot who can fly an airplane really well but who takes a job with a jackhammer.

Most professional poker players are on their own, and it is not possible for them to have a coach or a trainer at the table so I recommend that they consider the possibility of hiring a keeper.

To make a comfortable living as a professional poker player is almost impossible. It is a roller coaster ride with a lot of ups and downs, highs and lows.

A "keeper" can be an external focus of control that can help a poker player smooth out the bumps in his life.

Tune in next time and I will tell you more about how a "keeper" can help you with your life and your poker game.

Until next time remember to always stay lucky.