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Are You Listening, Are You Listening, Poker John?

It/s the new year, and like most, I have made many New Year/s resolutions. This year, I vow to listen. Would you like to join me?
As I was growing up, I was a mischievous kid and was constantly reprimanded. My mom or dad would tell me what I did wrong, and then I/d hear those infamous words, “Are you listening?”

Happy Holidays!

It’s time to say happy holidays to all of my friends, and you. Is it that easy to do? Well, sure it is. I mean, I guess it is. After all, I try to beat my friends out of money every day. But, everyone has been very friendly – well, everyone except the guy who slow-rolled me! I have such a list of great memories for the year gone by that this is going to be a piece of cake!

Dreams Do Come True, it Can Happen to You

Recently I was reading RGP (, an Internet poker newsgroup, when I came upon a post about a tournament in Ohio that is sponsored by the American Heart Association. I clicked on the link and found a website dedicated to poker in Ohio, and it contained all the info on the tourney. There was even a web page dedicated to Ohio’s own poker son, Jim Lester.

Let’s Go to the Videotape

When I was in my 20s and living in New York, I could not get enough sports on television. This was very early in the life of cable television and ESPN. Many places didn/t have cable available, and SportsCenter in those days was a microcosm of what it is today. So, I got my sports from radio talk shows and the 11 o/clock news. I loved watching the highlights, and CBS at the time had a sports reporter by the name of Warner Wolf who always cried, “Let/s go to the videotape.”

Christy Asks for Help

A few issues ago I wrote about ladies-only tournaments, and that I believe they help in getting new players into our game. I wrote about how these tournaments tend to be a great starting point for new players, and that with a little luck, these players will move from tournaments to live-action poker games.

Reread Your Read Until You Believe What You’ve Read

I was chatting with a friend of mine recently at Commerce Casino, where he plays in the pot-limit hold’em game. I consider him a very good player in that game, and he will admit that it is his best game. We were talking about how he’d been running, and he brought up a hand that he lost and asked my opinion as to how he played it at the end. I say at the end because based on his explanation, he played it perfectly up to the river. Here’s a quick rundown to illustrate the point:

Research the Reverse

I remember the first time I walked into Binion’s Horseshoe in Las Vegas. It just happened to be during May, and the World Series of Poker was in progress. I saw throngs of people lining the rails to get a glimpse of what turned out to be the final table of the big event.

Learning to Play With the Bishop

Earlier this year in the Jan. 18, 2002, issue (“A Tale of Two . “), I wrote about Carlos and Jay, and the two different roads they took to learn, play, and win at the game of poker. Carlos took the route of going to the casino many years ago, sitting at an instruction table, and learning the ropes by playing the game. Jay, on the other hand, made analogies to chess and therefore took a more conceptual approach to learning the game. As I said then and I’ll say now, neither approach is wrong. Jay just has many more tools available to him than Carlos had. These tools are the books, computer software programs, online forums, and so on that I’ve mentioned many times.

Luck Be a Lady . All Right!

When I was very young and going to the Catskills for the summers, one of my favorite things other than softball, swimming, camp, and Monticello Raceway was looking forward to those great weekends when my father came up and I got to sit behind him in the big poker game. Of course, poker wasn’t legal in New York in those days; in fact, it wasn’t legal when I was of age, but we played anyway. All the guys would circle the table looking for their usual seats, and it would turn into one of those great men get-togethers – you know, no women allowed. Of course, there was the usual wife walk-through: “Hi, honey, how ya doin’?” I kept thinking to myself that only men played the game. With all the off-color remarks and the bold play, a woman would become intimidated. Besides, in those days, the men were the breadwinners in the house.

Equal Opportunity to Come and Join Us

Below is a classified ad. Are you the person it seeks?

Our industry is looking for individuals, male or female. In fact, females are encouraged to apply, as special meetings are designed with them in mind. This is a fun industry in which you’ll get to interact with many, many people. These people will have varied interests and backgrounds, and we seek those who make friends easily. We also ask that you bring along with you to our industry as many of your friends as you’d like, to make you feel comfortable. You must meet the minimum age requirement by law to enter our industry. Other than that, you may be of any age (young, midlife, retired, and beyond). In fact, senior citizens are encouraged to apply. You must have the ability and desire to learn all that you can. Skills required for our industry can be learned, and will be taught from the day you start. No previous skills are necessary. Skills are acquired and improved via books, videos, and actual practice. There are no physical requirements for taking part in our industry. Rocket scientists may participate, but their IQs are not necessary for participation. The physically challenged individual is encouraged to excel in our industry. You must be able to get to our industry locations; however, if you cannot, you will be able to participate at home on a computer. At this time and in the future, all shifts are available; we are open 24 hours. Does this sound like an industry fit for you? If so, “come and join us.”