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Nobody Asked Me, But ...
Poker Strategy
by Lou Krieger

When I was a kid growing up in Brooklyn there were still afternoon papers, and often the only part I read was the sports page. My favorite sportswriter, Jimmy Cannon, was a practitioner of Three-Dot Journalism. Whenever he did a three dot column, he titled it, “Nobody Asked me, But ... ” Those three little dots must have been a powerful literary aphrodisiac, because Cannon really let fly whenever he wrote a three-dotter. He skewered the pompous. He dethroned the mighty. His acerbic wit brought the high flyers of the day back to Earth. He also offered his opinion on anything sports-related that came to mind with views that were frequently controversial, usually provocative, and always opinionated. As a kid, I couldn’t wait to grow up and play third base for the Brooklyn Dodgers so Cannon could write about me. While that never happened, here’s the best I can do: a poker player’s tribute to Jimmy Cannon. I’ll even begin it the same way. Nobody Asked Me, But...

... Isn’t it annoying when you’re a new player in a game comprised solely of regulars, and those regulars toss antes back and forth, and slow-play their buddies whenever they are heads-up in the pot?

... Why do certain players continue to give lessons at the table? All they succeed in doing is making poor opponents play better, and worse, their comments are taken for the insults they are, often driving weaker opponents out of the game.

... When it’s late at night, the game is short-handed, and those remaining are either poor players or good players who are stuck, and playing poorly, why do some players keep hol-lering for a prop to fill out the game. Don’t they realize that there is almost nothing more profitable than a short handed game with a few live ones at the table. The last thing you want is a prop — usually a tight player, who contributes nothing to your profits — but who can start carving up your fish.

... Why is there always someone who demands a deck change every time he loses a hand he thinks he should have won? The cards don’t know you’re losing. Losing is the ultimate existential experience. You’re alone in the universe. Nobody understands. No one cares.

... Why aren’t all tournaments a “no-rebuy” format? If there must be rebuys, limit them to just one. Period! I’d rather play against my opponents’ skill than their wallets. And how did Q-7 come to be called the Computer Hand? Why do people still play it? If somebody’s computer analysis showed this to be a profitable starting combination in a Hold’em game, their computer is broken or their analytical methods leave much to be desired.

... Perhaps card rooms should hire social workers to coun-sel players and help them work through their compulsion to tell another bad beat story whenever they lose a hand. They could also work with players who abuse dealers, as though the dealer was responsible for their inept play or bad run of cards. If the average dealer were that good a mechanic he’d be rich by now. In any event, he wouldn’t be pitching cards in a $3–$6 hold’em game, would he? And wouldn’t we be better off with a set of rules that are the same no matter where we play? We’ve been talking about a standardized set of rules for years. Where is it? And why hasn’t it been adopted?

... If the expression, “Ninety percent of success is just showing up” is valid, maybe we ought to emulate the work-ing pros that are in the game every day grinding out a living. While toiling in anonymity, he or she is almost never on the rail. Many of the big players keep on playing bigger and big-ger. I’ve seen more than one player who has won six figures in a tournament and four months later is sleeping in his car. I hoist my glass to the working pro. Keep on grinding.

This story was first published in the October - November 2002 issue of Gambling Times Magazine.

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