The Gentleman Gambler

Aug 5, 2003 3:07 AM

Carol, a poker player told me the other day while we were playing a little poker out at the Orleans that I would have made a great preacher!

You know dear, that I come from the buckle on the Bible belt and that I can quote the scriptures from the good book with the best of them.

So today I sure hope that you and the folks do not think that I am preaching too much.

But I have a couple of things on my mind. The first is that senior poker players are really not playing in the poker game to win money. They are playing for the fun and/or sociability of the game.

Oh, yes, they will tell you that they win.

But the truth is that there are very, very, few low-limit poker players that ever win. They just enjoy the play and the talk and being out of the house and they will return tomorrow to play again and again.

Carol, of course, there are many seniors who will not agree with me and consider themselves serious poker players . They will laugh at what I am saying because they love to tell their wives that they win all the time.

Just as the wives will only tell their husbands about the jackpots they hit this week. They seem to forget how much they put in the machines in order to hit that royal.

Now, take me as an example. I am a for fun poker player most of the time. I try to tease the cards and do not wait for the best of starting hands.

I know all the correct pot odds and all the percentage plays. But I seldom play in a win-only mode. I want to play for the fun of playing because I do not have enough time to throw marginal hands in the muck.

Carol, did you ever wonder why they call it playing poker and not working poker? Can you see that it has always been a game that we play and not work that we do.

Some seniors have told me that it is the cheapest recreation that they can have and of course there is always the times when they have winning days, weeks or longer periods.

Why is this true? Because playing winning poker may not always be fun. You must be too selective of the hands that you choose to play and therefore you get to play too few hands. You must think and work all the time that you are playing if you are a player that plays in a win only mode.

Seniors are retired and are fun players most of the time. Senior poker players play poker to enjoy themselves.

Carol, you know that a lot of the time that I just play for fun. But I am honest about it and just admit that I am having fun.

I want to see if I can hit that inside straight. The odds may be 10 or more to 1 against me, and if I hit the straight the payoff may only be 5 or 6 to 1.

It is easy to see that you cannot often win if you play in this fun mode.

The truth of the matter is that I play about 20 hours per week and the house rake and the tips etc. ”” I call it the overhead ”” is about $10 per hour. So that 20 times $10=$200 per week and say I take off a couple of weeks a year and just play 50 weeks during the year. That’s $200 times 50= $10,000 a year.

No one I know (me included) plays good enough low limit poker to overcome $10,000 a year in overhead poker expense.

Yes, dear I still know how to go into a win only mode. I can still hear the music and can still dance a jig with the boys.

Just to prove to myself that I still can play winning poker. I will go on down to the Bellagio today and play with the greens ($25 chips) and blacks ($100 chips) today.

It will not be a fun day, but I will win the money.

Then I will return to my senior friends out at the Orleans and play with the white ($1) chips and throw the money around the poker table for a few weeks and have me some fun playing low limit Omaha Hi/Lo split poker.

Of course Carol, when the young etiolate (needing sunlight), callow (those lacking adult sophistication) youths are playing with us "The Seniors" in our low limit poker games, I will be very careful to make real sure that I treat the young players very well and that I exhibit to them my best mode of NOBLESSE OBLIGE ”” I want to behave nobly toward them.

Carol, it is an obligation of the older more experienced players to teach the younger players how they should conduct themselves while playing poker.

Moreover, we must advise the younger players they must move up and play in the higher limit poker games if they wish to pay the overhead and win enough to have any profits left over to live on.

It would require a FORCE MAJEURE (an over powering force or an act of God) for a novice player to win enough to pay the overhead of the game and for that young poker player to be able to overcome the vast experience of the senior players it sure would indeed require a major act of God.

”˜Oklahoma Johnny’ Poker Tip of the Week

A good poker player can be or do almost anything that he chooses to do or be: Doctor, lawyer, businessman or any profession he may wish to do or be.

Yes, even president of the United States.

So, if a player wants to be a winning poker player, the player must want it badly enough to study the game. Study the game again and then when the player think that he knows and understand the game, the player must not play for fun.

The winning poker player must work each hand that he plays to become a master of the game.

Then it will become at the end of his poker career his turn and his responsibility to practice Noblesse Oblige to the younger players who will follow in his card prints.

Until next time remember to stay lucky!