Poker games surely not for timid

Dec 23, 2008 5:00 PM
Back in the Saddle by Johnny Hale |

Poker is a people business. If you do not like being with people, you should not play the game.

You can learn more about a person when playing poker with them for a few hours than you could ever learn in many years of knowing them in any other venue while living in the real world.

On Sundays we all go to church, clean up, dress in our best shirt, make sure the shoes are shined and use our very best manners.

We say "good morning" and "how are you" to everyone we meet. Butter would not melt in our mouths and everyone tries to act like Goodie Two Shoes!

In this type of church setting, it is really hard to know who you could trust.

If you were picking a buddy to guard your back in a time of war would you choose the preacher, lawyer, politician, doctor or Indian chief? If you needed a buddy to guard your back, who would you select to be in that foxhole?

My personal opinion is if it were not for the church where the folks clean up and are on their very best behavior at least once a week, we would have to build a prison 10 feet high around most of us.

The action of taking time out of life’s problems to be clean and good for just a little while is one of the most important things that gives worth to our life. I would want to of course include you folks who are the readers of my column in GamingToday, which is the oldest gaming newspaper in the world.

Now we also want to include all the poker players who clean up and act really nice during the time they spend playing poker. Yes, a poker game is not going to church and I do not expect the whippersnappers to conduct themselves at all times as if they were in church.

Yes, as a matter of fact a poker game is similar in many ways to a war rather than to a church setting. Poker players really take off the gloves and you can see what their true value system is made of as they play and interact.

You may learn more than you wish to know about them like how they treat their wife and children, how they respect the rules of engagement and how they interact with the human race.

It has been said that poker is not life or death. It is more important than that.

A few years ago one of my wife’s friends from her college days (his name was David Hayana, PhD) made a study of people as they played poker. He wrote his doctorial thesis on the mannerisms, action and interactions of poker players with each other.

It is really easy to tell how poker players react to certain poker situations. Then you can relate their poker actions as to how they would act in difficult or happy life events with people on a different playing field.

I have spent a lifetime separating the wheat from the chaf, the good guys and girls from the bad apples that spoil the barrel. Over the last 70 odd years of playing poker, you can kind of tell what kind of a person you are.

Playing poker within just a few minutes time brings out all the hatred, greed, goodness and meanness.

OK-J Tip Of The Week

My tip is not the golden rule of life, but it is very close.

In life the rule is, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

In playing poker games the rule should be, "Play with other poker players as you would have them play poker with you!"

Carol, OK-Sarah and I wish all of you folks happy holidays and a very prosperous new year! Until next time remember to Stay Lucky!!