You have to ‘work’ to win

Oct 24, 2005 3:16 AM

Do you play poker to win?

Winning at poker requires a lot of work, even though poker is a fun game and a people game. But winning consistently takes a lot of effort.

That’s why I say that the professionals are not playing poker, they are working poker.

Thus socializing, drinking, talking and having fun should not be in your game plan, at least until you are a master player.

Like Amarillo Slim, Puggy Pearson and us old timers, we can sleep and play poker at the same time but we all have over 60 plus years of experience.

And when we do talk to you in a poker game, we are gaining a great deal of information. We are working to evaluate your poker playing ability.

After a while, we can tell how you play by your every action, your ever word.

This takes a lot of practice and you will have to earn this skill from experience. Very few players are born with this talent of reading the other person’s cards by how they play them.

A professional player can read you like a book. When you tell us that you just brought so much money to play and that you have a dinner date at 9 p.m. and it is only 7 p.m., we know how to play with you.

Don’t give us any information; we will use it against you.

So your body and its actions and your mouth and its words can be your own worst enemy at the poker table.

I have developed 65 ways to improve your life and your poker game. I am writing a book of these 65 ways. Email me at www.OklaJohnny.com and reserve your autographed copy.

But for now, I’m going to give you 10 solid tips. And, believe me, some of this stuff are things that the pros would rather I let you learn the hard way.

Rule No. 1: Game selection. Play in a game that you understand, and learn all the rules in the poker room that plan to play in. Do not play in a game in which the the stakes are too high for you. Play at your own comfort level.

Rule No. 2: Do not play poker when you do not have enough time to play. Cards are very selective and they run on their own schedule, not yours, so give yourself the proper amount of time to play. Do not play against the clock.

Rule No. 3: Do not play with important money. If the money you are playing with will buy you or your loved ones something that is needed, do not play with that money!

The poker gods know when you are playing with scared money, and they whisper this information to all the professionals at the table.

Rule No. 4: Be comfortable when you play. Wear warm comfortable clothes and when you are tired, quit and go home. They will deal again tomorrow.

Rule No. 5: Do not get mad at anybody and do not make anybody mad at you.

Rule No. 6: Do not go out to play poker when you are sick or worried about something that is very important.

Rule No. 7: Learn how to evaluate your opponents. I could and will write a complete book on this one some day. But you must be able to know the players and rate them — from one at the top of the list down to 10 as the worst player at the table.

Pick the opponent that you think you can beat. Try to play against the No. 8, 9 or 10 player and stay out of the pots with the No. 1, 2 or 3. When you do play a hand against the best players, play the way porcupines make love ”¦ very carefully!

Rule No. 8: If you rate yourself honestly against the players at the table, you must play accordingly. If you are in the top three, play with confidence. If you are among the bottom three, you are overmatched and might not to reevaluate what you’re doing or where you’re playing.

Rule No. 9: If the games seems funny and the same people win each time you play with that group of players, it may be a game you should not play in!

If it quacks like a duck, and waddles like a duck, it may not be a duck but that is the way I would bet — that it is a duck. And you should waddle away from that game!

Rule No. 10: This is the most important rule of all. When you look down and find that you are a winner, quit and go home and count the money there.

Do not be greedy; be happy and they will still deal again tomorrow!

Until next time remember to stay lucky.