Learn to talk the poker talk

Apr 14, 2009 5:03 PM
Back in the Saddle by Johnny Hale |

The ‘walk the walk’ part will come later!

Carol, did you know that Confucius died in 479 B.C.? That’s almost 2500 years ago!

I cannot get Confucius’s approval to change any of his quotations – not even just a little bit, but if he had played no limit hold’em poker, I think he would have said: "The Poker Player who cherishes the love of comfort is not fit to be deemed a poker player!"

I often think of this poker saying!

A poker player will play poker on the roof, in the rain or in a crooked game, if that is the only game he can find to play in.

I was taking a look at the Internet and found a listing of the 100 most quotable sayings that have been mentioned over the years about the playing of poker.

Yes, there was one or two in there credited to me. Here’s one: "I never saw a poker player’s money that I did not like!"

Well, after playing poker for over 75 years, I doubt if there is very much that I have not said about the playing of poker.

But the nomenclature of poker changes, colloquially along with your heritage and your nationality.

There is a rule here in the Vegas poker rooms – and many other places in the world – that you may only speak English during the play of a poker hand.

Toward that end, it is time to break out some "Western" talk.

Here are a few examples:

Honey, it is time for the Spring Round-Up!

Be sure and bring some empty saddle bags!

Le’st leave the Mustangs here with the chuckwagon!

They’ll have some fancy fixings!

Some of the players will be a little long in the tooth and in need of a grub stake!

Expect to see some sidewinders, tender feet, whiskey hounds, rail birds, jailbirds, swappers, claim jumpers, and a few sharpies will show up with the gamblers and their fancy ladies.

I sure do trust you cowpokes, but cut the cards!

They went that-a-way!

Did they put them in the hoosegow?

How big is your kicker?

Roland Waters will be the trail boss again this year!

All right, enough is enough, but if you show up in Pendleton, Oregon on April 15-26, Carol and I will be talking more Western talk.

If you can, join us for the Wildhorse Resort and Casino’s Spring Poker Round-Up. If nothing else you’ll be talking the talk and walking the walk.


You have to struggle with your poker game. If it were easy someone else would have already done it.

You have to struggle with money or you have to struggle without money; either way it’s a struggle!

You have to bet the winners and toss the losers – the struggle is to know which one to keep and which one to throw away.

You have to struggle to keep laughing and remembering that 100 years from now, it really will not matter!

Try to live with style – not fancy-schmancy – but with a way that is present and meaningful!

Yes, find some beauty in it.

Remember until next time stay lucky.