Sunday, September 16, 2007

World Series of Poker

Why I like poker:
1) It’s a game of luck and skill. A few years ago an online amateur guy, Chris Moneymaker, won the world series of poker. There are others like Doyle Brunson who have been playing for years. They hone their craft and win big.
2) "No-names" are becoming “sports” stars. They say, "all you need is a chip and a chair”, and you can do well.
3) I like the psychology of the game. There is nothing I love more than to see a guy with a 2 of diamonds & a 7 of clubs say “all in” covincing the guy with 2 kings to fold; that’s poker at its best. They are actors who could do Hamlet, but would rather play poker.
4) There is the other side of the coin too, the physiology of it—the poker face. Actor and Texas Hold’em aficionado James Woods told David Lettermen how he clocked a guy bluffing a muck hand and watched the pulse of the bluffers neck bulge after calling “all in”. Wood called his bluff and cleaned up. The game is not only mental, it’s physical body language too. They even need to mixup the game to let the other think you’re doing the opposite of what he thinks you’re not doing (I just confused myself!).
5) Finally, I am bewildered of these players’ mastery of math. They know the probability of almost every combination of cards and suits. Some MIT have left science to become poker players.

Poker is a game of skill, art, acting, body control, luck, math, and unfortunately time and patience, something few of us have. I don’t advocate gambling but I do like the sport of poker.

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