By George “The Engineer” Epstein
An aphorism is a concise and usually witty or humorous statement of wisdom or opinion, such as “Lord, what fools these mortals be!” (from Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night's Dream”). In his “Essay on Criticism,” Alexander Pope wrote: “To err is human, to forgive divine.” Perhaps the most familiar aphorisms are: “Children should be seen and not heard,” and “People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.” I am sure you have heard/read some of these.
Paul ‘Dr. Pauly’ McGuire
I’m an avid reader of both fiction and non-fiction books. In my previous column, I discussed four non-poker books that influenced my poker game: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (Robert Pirsig), The Gambler (Fyodor Dostoevsky), The Art of War (Sun Tzu), and The Warrior Within (Bruce Lee). In this column, I’m going to share three more non-poker books that radically helped me think outside of the box: Blink (Malcolm Gladwell), Switch (Chip Heath and Dan Heath), and Hamlet (William Shakespeare).
by Sarah Hale
In recent columns I’ve written about poker tips. Today I’d like to touch on the topics of collusion and soft play.
Collusion and soft play are often overlooked at the most common poker games. How many times have you played against a group of friends or even just a group of regulars? If you can remember any of these situations, chances are you’ve run into soft play, if not outright collusion. You might even be guilty of it yourself.
by Paul 'Dr. Pauly' McGuire - @taopauly
Editorial By Stanley R. Sludikoff, Publisher
In this segment it is my intention to take up the issue of the alleged illegal activities of poker celebrities Chris Ferguson, Howard Lederer, et. al. I say “alleged” because no indictments have been handed down, and everyone should be granted the supposition of innocence until proven guilty.
by Barbara Connors
If ever a concept appeared to be a perfect fit for the game of poker, it’s schadenfreude. A German word now commonly used in English, there’s no precise translation but essentially it refers to feeling pleasure from the misfortune of others. Schadenfreude is the opposite of compassion—instead of experiencing pity and a desire to help when we witness a fellow human in distress, we feel a secret (or not-so-secret) sense of delight.
“Just because you’re paranoid, doesn’t mean they’re not watching you.”
Black Friday changed the way a lot of us play poker.
I enjoy and give full credit to online poker: it is an excellent training-ground—the place to learn the game and begin to understand betting patterns, where you can use tools like PokerEdge, Sharkscope, and Hold’em Manager, not to mention a handy little sheet of paper with hand rankings and percentages you can post next to your monitor.
But from the start of my poker career I have maintained that the authentic poker player is the live cash game player.
Back in poker’s Pleistocene age, before television and the internet changed things forever, poker meant cash games. But when poker and television discovered each other, it was love at first sight. They were made for each other. Tournaments provide the viewing audience with winners and losers, heroes and villains, and the same sense of drama found in all sorts of sporting events.
“If you pay attention to the wrong things, the very best you can hope for is to get lucky.”—Lou Krieger and Richard Harroch, Poker for Dummies
How did you first learn to play poker? How do people generally learn to play games?
If you are like most of us, somewhere between the ages of five and twenty-five, someone—a parent perhaps or a sibling or friend—taught you the rules and how to play the game. The same applies to any game—poker, chess, Monopoly, tic-tac-toe, you name it.
In Act I of George Bernard Shaw's famous play Caesar and Cleopatra, the two main characters meet for the first time at the foot of the Sphinx. Cleopatra, still very young and inexperienced, does not realize who Caesar is and confides to him her terror that the invading Romans are barbarians who "are coming to eat us all." Without revealing his identity, Caesar tells Cleopatra that if she behaves like a grown woman and a queen, then the Romans will not harm her, but if she continues to act like a silly child, she will be eaten.