This is one of my most passionate blogs, due to the fact I believe poker is one of the most amazing games this world has produced. I know a lot of people will read that sentence and automatically turn up their nose to even the idea of these ‘gamblers.’ Far from the rough and tough cowboys days that the majority of people know poker from, it is now a game that exceeds millions of dollars in prize money and is a game the truly anyone has a chance to win!
I hope you’ll read this blog and understand why I love this game and the people who play it!
When I first begun to learn the game of Texas Hold’em, I had no idea about blinds, betting, bluffs or even what the hand rankings were. Why are people ‘calling me’ and why did my hand not win?! For everyone that begins their poker life, they either become engrossed in its amazing complexity or are overwhelmed by the amount of rules and information that surround it. For my next blog in the poker album I am going to post ‘How to Play’ and also a “dealers guide” for those wanting to learn more.
I’m happy to say 2 years after my first introduction into poker I now run events for one of the top franchises of poker events in Aus. Since I’ve been working as a tournament director (the host of the poker tournaments) and dealing cash tables, I’ve been blessed with the amount of truly amazing people I’ve come to meet and the more appreciation I have for the game. People from all walks of life play Texas Hold’em, the game hit its highest peak for players in Aus after Joe Hechem (Aus Poker Pro) won the biggest Australian event called the ‘Aussie Millions.’ Making everyone believe that they had as much chance at being the next champion! Now its settled down til the next great wins!
But its not the money I play for, its the people and the complexity that I love. Trying to out play an opponent, bluffing a nice pot or just making a new friend. Running events 6 nights per week this blog took a bit of time to create but every time I work the people remind me why I love it. I watch people from 18yr olds up to 80yr olds play, laughing and having a great time. You get the odd bad beat and grumpy player but sure enough they’re back next week to have a great night.
My view on poker is that it is the ultimate ‘game of life.’ In the space of 3hrs (the usual length of a game) you can meet new people, learn a new skill, take a bad beat that can endanger your tournament life and even though that bad beat you can come back to win the whole game! It makes me laugh at how I see poker and no doubt these reasons are some of why others love it too.
I’m quite a ‘passive’ player, I like to play premium hands and hardly chase ‘gut shot’ (where you need 1 card to link up 4 more. eg Needing a 5 to link up, the 3, 4, 6 and 7.) This doesn’t mean that one an off day I won’t try my luck! Every game is different! Just like life, you adjust yourself to deal with different issues on different days!
I’ve taken the time to speak with some of my fellow players that I respect (even when they take my money) and asked them what they love about the game. Here are a couple of their views on Texas Hold’em.
“I was very nervous the first time I had played poker… I distinctly remember actually having sweaty palms and that I had a gentle tremor in my hands every time I touched the cards or went to shuffle to deal…
When I sit down now I’m totally at peace, it’s my most favorite place to be… I still get nervous every now and then but only really when I experience something I haven’t before…
The first time I won was Awesome, it was just a free league poker game so I didn’t win any cash… After 3 months of playing live tournament poker I finally broke the ice and within 7 months I had 13 wins…
My least favorite thing about poker is not having enough time to play it when I want to…
Poker is something that breaks down all barriers… It doesn’t matter where you come from, color, gender, religion we are all there to battle on the felt with our minds and nothing more…”
Region Owner in WA
*”The first time I played it there was a feeling of sitting beside James Bond and his enemies at a poker table like in Casino Royale. Obviously it wasn’t like that, but it was still enjoyable.
* My mind proclaiming: Let the mind games commence!
* When I won my first game in APL a few years ago it was an exhilarating feeling. Your mind pushes up your ego, making you feel like a pro when you really know it’s but one step on your journey to mastering the game of poker.
* Favorite thing about poker is sitting down with like-minded people who enjoy the game. Least favorite thing being chip bullies who raise on any two cards.
* Poker is like an intricate dance of minds. You make moves at the right time and lie low when the timing and table positioning is not favorable.”
Australian History Researcher
“I was terrified the first time I ever played (in Aus,) now I get extremely excited when I play.
The first time I won money I felt like I was a pro and a bit big headed haha! Then when I won a trophy I was dead proud!
I hate aggressive players people who call or raise on anything!
My favorite thing about poker is I learn every time I play even online!”
Scottish Traveler in Aus
These are just a few of amazing people I’ve come to be friends with through the poker community. It’s not gambling with rough necks who drink too much and act like idiots. It’s where people love the challenge and the excitement of playing a game that is stimulating to the mind! Great friendships and fortunes are created at the poker tables around the world everyday and I hope to see you at the felt next time!!