No Royals,No Problem!

February 12, 2008 12:51 AM
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How many times have you, as a video poker player, had to listen to, read or hear about those others hitting seemingly (to you at the time) impossible-to-get Royal Flushes?

Frustrating and irritating to say the least, right? Well, it doesn’t have to be. Clear your mind for a few moments and I’ll tell you why.

First off, forget about how you might believe everyone else apparently gets royal after royal but you. At best that’s selective hearing, reading or both. Those who may actually be hitting lots of royals are either on the most fortunate but short-lived video poker ride of their gambling lifetime or they play nearly every day and have no life outside of sitting at the poker machines.

Certainly, there are multitudes of daily players, even though most of us just don’t understand what drives them to do that. But by default, the huge amount of hours they put into playing the game is bound to yield what seems to the rest of the players as an inordinate amount of royal flushes.

Once regular, recreational, and professional players like myself understand that, it’s a bit easier on the mind when reading about all those royals being hit out there. And, it doesn’t stop there. Having been an advantage player for the better part of seven years, I can tell you for a fact that such players need to get their royals. They really, really need them.

Why? Because they play so long and often that without the royal and that tiny little percent it adds to their overall expectation, they’re dead. That is why you see some of them come onto the video poker forums and others write in their articles, books, etc. Look at Me! Look at Me! That’s how they explain their latest conquests.

Yes, we do see that all the time, only do you think they’d ask for any of that attention just before hitting a big jackpot or series of jackpots? I mean, heaven forbid an advantage player come out and announce how far behind they are in the present time! Royal flushes build confidence, courage and reputation. Losing sends most for cover.

Is there a reason for all this? Absolutely, only I’m trying to reach the normal player who wants to have fun and make money the way they would want to, rather than being controlled by all the casinos around town. And I’m going to tell you why you should never feel slighted when you just can’t seem to locate that elusive royal on your machine.

I meet with many players and chat with far more on a regular basis. Most of them, including myself, rarely see a royal. I’m at times amazed at the occasional locals who tell me how they play twice a week for 10 years and have never seen one. Others tell me of the hundreds of thousands of hands played over whatever amount of time without a royal. For as many players on the streets, there are as many stories.

My own history of royals since becoming a full-time for-profit player in 1999 is hardly exciting. It was taken out of context four years ago over the airwaves in Las Vegas. I was interviewed by Larry Grossman on the You Can Bet On It show. At the time, I was in the midst of the only unusual royal flush streak I’ve ever had as a player.

I don’t recall the exact number of royals I said I had hit that year up to the date of the show, but I was on fire. I seemed to be ending most of my trips with the big hand. I wasn’t given the opportunity to explain how unusual that was, and the critics were off and running.

Do I miss that type of run? No, not in the least. I certainly enjoy seeing royal flushes line up on the screen in front of me because that means more than money. In all of my strategies it means an immediate trip home. Going there after beating the casinos is what it’s all about for me.

While most look at the royal as a necessity of their play, I see it as an unlikely bonus in the several ways I mentioned above. But are they necessary in order to win and required to be a consistent winner? Not at all, in fact, of my 270 winning sessions played since becoming a pro, I guess maybe just 10 percent were ended by a royal.

That’s really the beauty of playing with a pre-determined bankroll, a structured plan and having the self-taught extreme discipline to just get up and leave after attaining a win goal.

Remember, when you think about it, most people are ahead at one time or another during most of their sessions. If you know how to interpret that, you have what it takes to be a winner.

If not, get used to being a victim.