No end to poker tales

Jan 14, 2008 4:07 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.