I've been gambling online for a while now and I consider myself somewhat of an expert. I've made some good money on a few sites, but I feel weird going into a Casino and doing it in person. Can you help me get my poker face together?-Not Ready to Go Public
Dear Not Ready,
It sounds like you've got a good grip on your gambling technique. Now it's time to get acclimated to another game. And that, my friend, is the game of life. Though we have certainly instant-messaged ourselves into a new era, it remains that some things will always be better IRL. I think you'll find that gambling, much like sex, is more satisfying in person. It may be awkward at first if you're used to chillin' in your boxers and casually betting away your paycheck, but there are several benefits to gambling in a casino.
For starters: Adrenaline. No matter how glitzy your favorite website is with music and sound effects, the rush of winning is a heck of a lot stronger amongst human beings instead of anonymous cyber players.
Next: Human interaction. Updating your Facebook status does not count as a social life. This society has still got a few more years before technology takes over and makes human interaction obsolete. Even if you don't become chummy with the guy next to you at the card table, it's always good to make eye contact with a few real live people each day.
Finally: More moolah! I can tell by your mention of money that you're a sensible guy. Though there may be opportunities to win big online, the best payoffs are in tournaments. On the other side of that, money can disappear pretty fast when you're having an off-day online. In real world gambling you can see your real-life money disappearing and make an educated decision about when to stop.
Take your time getting adjusted to the light of the casino, as opposed to the light of your computer, before you raise the stakes too high. If you really want to bring your A-game, go back to your old friend, the internet, for some helpful resources.
The real trick to a good poker face is more than just an elusive attitude of cool, it's a Zen state that comes from being prepared. So do your research and then go play (with someone other than yourself!). It may take some practice to perfect your poker face, but chill out and give it some time. Get out of your head, take a deep breath and reach within. I'm sure you'll find your dot-calm in no time. But don't go all-in on my advice...
WHAT WOULD JOKER DO?
No need to go all Lady-Gaga, dude. Keep your emotions under control and get yourself psyched up to win: An appropriate poker face will follow. Just make sure you put your pants on; the Casino is not your living room.
Ace is a 27 year old pokerbrat with a knack for the written word and a self-proclaimed ability to tell it like it is. If necessary, she is also willing to provide character references from several Facebook friends. She credits at least half of her savoir-faire to her father, a well-known aficionado of all things gambling. Joker is a long-time friend of Ace. You may not ask directly for advice from Joker, but whether you admit it or not, most people have, at one time or another, wondered W.W.J.D? If you're in need of advice on any topic, you've come to the right place. Direct your questions, comments and complaints to DearAce@pokerplayernewspaper.com and who knows, you may be the next lucky contender to see your advice inside the pages of Poker Player.