Editor's Note: This feature is an adaptation of material that is part of Ms. Eolis' book in progress, Power Poker Dame.
When Matt Savage, premiere tournament director and current co-star in the highly anticipated Lucky You movie, calls, poker players listen! Matt has more connections than the ubiquitous poker gods when it comes to putting players center stage on television.
Almost sixty years ago, I used to play a little poker in a number of very rich homes, country clubs and private clubs in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the oil capital of the world. This was back in my first salad days--and I had no fear-Hell, if I lost a pot or if I lost in the game, it was not the most important thing in my life. I would just reload-and come back-I had just put the money in one of my poker banks and the players were just taking care of it for me-for a little while!
In 2004, Hurricane Ivan swept up the east coast. It's remnants dumped several inches of rain onto my area in a couple of hours worth of time. I woke up the next morning to find about three feet of nasty, brown floodwater pooled in my basement. It was a truly bad beat. I lost my furnace, washer and dryer, sofa, television, microwave, and even some poker supplies! It swallowed several days worth of time as my wife and I cleaned up the complete mess, and it cost several thousand dollars to replace the ruined items.
Donna Francesca says, "Gyp asked me to look through his nonno's things for something about a Card House. This was all I could find."
It's a $25 poker chip from a notorious bust-out joint called THE LIMP INN.
"I must get back home," say Donna Francesca, "Ever since his father and nephew were killed by this double-barreled shotgun-wielding maniac, my son Paulo worries I will die in the same manner." I walk her out to the street where Vittorio and Jake stand by her town car. I open her car door. She stops, asks, "What is a bust-out joint?"
Read the first part of this article.
"What are you doing this weekend, Joe?" Hobby asked.
I try to keep up the semblance of being a writer. "I'm working on a story. What's up?"
"It's the annual Avalon Poker Run. I signed you up; we can bring the girls along, too."
I agreed. Inviting Kim- with whom I am seriously behind in brownie points after forgetting our last date-may get me back in her good graces. She asked if she could show off her new bikini. I readily concurred; too bad if others were jealous.
Let me ask you two questions. First, are you a winning player? Second, how do you know? If someone tells me she's a winning player, I expect her to be able to back it up with evidence... cold, hard proof. I expect to see data sheets and printouts, or at least hand-scrawled entries in a notebook, indicating her performance and results in every session she's ever played since, ah, well, the dawn of time.
Last time I listed some ways I'm dumb at poker, and asked you to do the same. Well, did you? If not, it may not be because you're lazy. It may be rather that you're afraid: afraid to confront yourself openly and honestly. But it doesn't hurt. Truly it doesn't. Let me show you what I mean as I finish listing the principal ways I'm dumb at poker.
Setting up the Bluff
Successful bluffing involves, usually, a combination of ingredients to be successful. Ideally, you'd want to have some value to your hand, some possibility that your hand might improve on future cards, timid and tight opponents, and good scare cards. But I'm not going to focus on any of those items in this column. Instead, I'm going to look at something less tangible - something you can't touch - but something that is ultimately very important and something you can actually do something about. I'm going to look at your image in the mind of your opponent.
How often have you had a pocket pair before the flop and wondered whether they were worth playing. Let's look at three pocket pairs and you are in middle position with each of these: [2s][2h].