'Hollywoods' need to bust -- in poker

Apr 7, 2009 5:01 PM
From the Heart by ‘Oklahoma’ Sarah |

"Hollywooding" is an undeniable part of poker.

To "Hollywood" is attempting to mislead your opponents’ opinion of either the strength or weakness of your hand through acting.

I used to think I had seen it all until the other day in the Venetian, my favorite poker room. It was the most disturbing case of deception in the history of my poker career.

The room was packed and everyone was vying for a seat. The majority of my table was young college kids, who were drinking quite heavily and treating this game as recreational.

Everything seemed to be running smoothly until 30 minutes into my session. Seat five was a quiet, elderly man who seemed to be lagging just a little. He was probably still hanging around from early in the afternoon and had overstayed his "bedtime."

Every time that big blind would come, he’d find a way to justify his staying and sadly lose a little more. He finally stayed too long and lost his stack.

Seat five was only vacant for about two minutes when a younger guy came over, appearing to have some type of mental disability. I felt sorry for him and didn’t feel right playing against him in any pots.

I wasn’t prepared to stop sizing him up though. Call it a woman’s intuition or a sixth sense, but I felt something just wasn’t adding up.

Sure enough after winning consistently, he finally loses a giant pot. He tries to communicate his frustration to the dealer with what looked like "fake sign language." I have done a lot of charity work with Sign Design Theatre, so it suddenly clicked that this guy was faking his disability!

I felt cheated! At this point he had the whole table making "special exceptions" for him. Within minutes he lost another big pot and couldn’t keep in character any longer. He snapped and went from a mute to an angry, screaming lunatic. He was thrown out when the floor learned of his deliberate attempt to manipulate the table.

If you have to shoot angles or pull out that many stops to be a winning player, then you have no true love or respect for poker. It was definitely one of those nights where I left the room shaking my head and asking myself the question, "Did that really just happen?"

I am "OK"-Sarah and I always stay lucky!

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