Poker is a game of skill and at the same time, a game of chance. One player’s immense skill can be crushed by another’s lack of skill combined with a treasure trove of good luck. Bad players make poor bets and even worse calls by not understanding the game fully.
Playing in the Texas Hold'em tournaments at the World Series of Poker and winning one is the "carrot on the string" for casual players from all over. Fill a table with players, half of them skilled and half of them casual players. Have them play ten short Texas Hold'em tournaments, and the skilled players will win a majority of the time. The problem in this scenario, lady luck will get involved, and one or more of the casual players will win occasionally.
Why is that a problem you may ask? For the casual player, this will in the long run cost him or her money. The skilled players want the casual player to win occasionally. What reason would a casual player have to come back if there is no chance of winning?
Poker is also a game of cliches. The game almost has a language of it's own. Even world famous players in the World Series of Poker will occasionally use one or more of them. Some of my favorites are listed here along with my thoughts on them. Most of these apply to Texas Hold'em tounaments.
1. “Can’t win them all if you do not win the first one”. I do not care about winning the first hand. I only want to win the last one. I actually heard this at my first World Series of Poker.
2. “I’ll pay to keep you honest”. Sitting at a poker table trying to keep someone honest is a waste of time and chips. Part of poker, a big part, is being able to mislead your opponent.
3. “Sorry”. I hear this every game. When a poker player beats another, many say they are sorry. I am never sorry to take another player’s chips. That is exactly why I sat down at the table.
4. “I was ahead going in”. Often this is coming from a player who just lost a hand. If I won the hand and took his chips, I will ask him to wait a minute, “I am busy stacking chips”. Usually creates a great atmosphere don’t you think?
5. “A chip and a chair”. This term is used often. Maybe my favorite thing to hear from another player, it simply means they have not given up on winning. This is also the subject of my next article, “The best comeback I have ever seen”.
Yes, poker is a game of cliches. If you have a favorite cliche, or one that gets under your skin, feel free to post it in the comment section below.