No end to poker tales

May 15, 2007 1:35 AM

Carol, I meet and talk to a lot of poker players and get to hear them tell me about how they beat me a few years ago in a World Series or other poker tournament.

I always assure all of my poker friends that I remember each and every detail of their success in sending me to the rail.

This is only a small price for me to pay to make their day. They beat me and they sure as hell want me to remember just how it happened, so I pretend to still be upset about the bad beat they put on me.

Obviously, there are a million poker stories in the Naked City, and quite a few poker books that chronicle them.

I like to read a lot and last night I took down a book from the autographed section of our library that was written by a friend of ours by the name of Jim McManus. The title of his book is "Positively Fifth Street."

Now you folks know that at least 97% of everything I tell you is true, and this is not a part of the 3%.

As many of you know, in most poker books the author gives poker advice about one thing or another and how they played to win a big hand or capture a major tournament.

I began to read Jim’s book by giving it first a quick read — I opened it to page 173 by accident and there on the page I saw my name, and Jim is telling the story of a poker hand.

Well, as I told you before most of the time folks are telling me of how they beat me. But this was a complete reversal — Jim was telling a poker story about how I beat him!

Here is what Jim had to say:

Halfway through the second round (of the World Series of Poker), I’m dealt pocket queens in early position. As I would in a for-money tournament, I raise the $400 big blind to $1,600. Naively hoping to take it right there, I get five serene callers, creating exactly the sort of ”˜Family Pot’ that seldom occurs in serious no limit action.

We all watch the flop come 10-9-Q. After the guy in the small blind bets $1,000, Johnny Hale in the big blind throws in an orange $5,000 chip towards the pot.

With top set, I decide to re-raise all in. With ten other pocket cards in action I have to assume that someone is holding Q-J, J-J or K-J or maybe even a J-8 with this looney mob.

But my bet got the small blind to fold so at least I have narrowed the field. I’ve put Johnny Hale on a straight draw but even if he makes it I have fourteen outs.

Jim goes on to say some really nice things about me, which of course I will not repeat here.

Yes, I called Jim’s re-raise and turned over K-J for the flopped straight — and busted Jim!

Jim really had 17 total (seven on the turn and 10 on the river), but I won’t tell him the next time I see him.

Honestly, until I read it in Jim’s book I did not remember beating Jim. The same as I do not remember the stories that folks tell me when they beat me, so it was a complete reversal of fortune.

OK-J Poker Tip of the Week

I have told you before that Harry S. Truman (1884-1972) was my favorite all time poker playing president of the United States of America.

I love his quote, "The buck stops here," but this one I use for poker: "If you can’t convince ’em, confuse ’em!"

So in poker, do not be a pattern poker player: never do the same things over and over, because that way you can confuse ’em.

Then, you can take the money home and count it there.

Until next time, remember to stay lucky.