Answer the call,
only if you can!

Dec 23, 2003 3:23 AM

Carol, I want to tell you and the folks a little poker story.

This was a few years ago when I was playing poker in downtown Las Vegas in the old Golden Nugget poker room.

But before I tell the story I want to tell you a little about seven card stud poker.

I loved to play seven card stud in those days. I have always believed that seven card stud is the truest test of poker skill and knowledge of all the different games of poker.

I believe that the poker game of seven card stud requires the most skill and knowledge because the player must be very good in so many ways, and must be alert and cognizant of every other player. He also must take notice of each and every card that can be seen during the hand.

The seven card stud player must re-adjust the odds and his/her chance of winning the hand with the each and every card that is dealt, beginning at the start with the up card, then on fourth street, then fifth and sixth street, and then must evaluate each of the hands that are still in play and try to determine which hand he must beat to win the pot.

All of his cards are personal cards ”” there are no common cards.

Each poker hand requires an ante and each poker hand will show a profit and or loss.

A good seven card stud player can sleep half the time and play limit or no limit hold em’ poker, because he can play or not play as he may wish (if it is a 10 handed game) in 80 percent of the action or hands.

Moreover, he will have no loss or gain if he chooses not to play the hand while in seven card stud the player will have a profit or loss in each and every hand.

It has been said that your love is where your money is and in limit or no limit hold em’, when there is no ante, only the small and big blind have any money at risk in the play of the hand.

Carol, you know that I could give the folks a lot more reasons why I love seven card stud poker and why I think it is the truest test of poker.

But I want to tell that little story so if any of the folks want to email me at [email protected] with a question about seven card stud, I will try to answer all of their questions in a future column.

You folks will remember that I said this poker story happened several years ago while I was playing poker in the old Golden Nugget poker room in Las Vegas.

There is a fine old poker player by the name of Joe Reel. Joe has been playing seven card stud with me for over 40 years and still plays almost daily at the Bellagio.

Joe took the empty no. 1 seat in a $30/60 seven card stud game that I was playing in. Joe bought in for $1,000.

On Joe’s first hand, his up card was a 9c; the no. 2 seat poker player received the 2c and had to bring it in for the force bet of $10.

The no. 2 seat was raised to $30 and there were four additional raises before it got back to Joe.

As the Golden Nugget poker club rule was a bet and four raises, the cap had been reached for that round of betting and all Joe could do was call. So Joe called.

On fourth street, Joe received the 9h; the no. 2 player received his second deuce, but no. 3 paired his A and bet the max of $60 and again it was raised four times before it was Joe’s turn to act. Joe called.

On fifth street the player in the three seat with his two A’s was still high and bet the $60, which was again raised and capped before it got to Joe. Joe called.

On sixth street the player in the three seat with his two A’s was still high and bet the $60 which was again raised and capped before it got to Joe. Joe was almost all-in, but called with what he had left.

And a side pot was created. On the river it was again bet by the two A’s and was capped again before it got to Joe. Joe could not call; he was all-in so the bets all went into the side pot.

The hands were shown down for the side pot. I had four sevens and won the side pot.

The other hands were A’s full and four deuces and four fives and a big flush. But I won the side pot which had over $1,500 in it, so I still made a little money on the hand.

When we got the side pot settled,k old Joe turned over his hand.

Joe had four nines and couldn’t bet the pot or raise the pot — all he could do was call each time. He had made four nines on fourth street and did not get to bet or raise!

But Joe did call and won a pot of over $6,000 making him over $5,000 winner on his first hand.

You know that I kissed the Blarney Stone and can at times embellish a story but this one is true.

Go up to the Bellagio poker room and ask Joe. You will find him playing in the $50/100 stud game almost every day.

"Oklahoma Johnny" poker tip of the week

Today’s tip comes to us from a member of "The Seniors" WCOP Poker Players Hall of Fame, Fred Gasperian, also known asThe Poker Professor:

Forget yesterday’s poker game; its history.

Do not worry about tomorrow’s poker game; it is still a mystery.

Enjoy and benefit from today’s poker game; it is your gift.

Thanks, Fred for those words of wisdom , I am bringing the bread to Fred.

Until next time always stay lucky!