Thursday, October 18, 2007
Bonus Code IGGY On Party Poker, damnit!
Things are beyond crazy right now. We had a huge contest over at MMAjunkie, giving away a ton of tickets for this weekends UFC event here in Cincinnati. Between my job and the website, I don't have much time for anything else these days.
But my main man, Johnny Hughes, sent me this fine poker essay for ya'll to enjoy.
Poker, Tolerance, Forgiveness, and Diversity
by Johnny Hughes
When I used to lecture about 400 modern college students at a pop, I would often use poker examples, always casting poker in a favorable light. Poker is one of the best examples of how diversity really works. Any age, gender, ethnicity, or nationality can buy some chips. If there were any doubters left about the fantastic success of the young people in poker, Annette removed it.
What you really notice in most casinos and at the Rio, is the wild assortment of all types of people and costumes. Poker promotes individualism and this unspoken agreement of reciprocity. Treat me right, I'll treat you right, whoever you are. I will let you be you if you will let me be me. We are real busy evaluating your play and betting patterns, way too busy to be judgmental of your personal life, sex life, drug life, outlaw life,
I remember this guy that played at the Shop, West Texas' legendary outlaw joint and poker parlor. There was this one guy that had been in the joint for robbing a bank, I think. He had unimpressive impulse controls and never lasted long at all in the poker game. You know the type, he seemed big surprised when he lost a big pot and then fell apart. The kind of guy that is proud of tilt. "Bring me three fingers of cheap whiskey in a dirty glass." So one night I am laying on the couch and there is this video of the guy leaping over the counter to rob a local bank. I am a poker player, not a cop. I had no thought whatsoever about calling John Law. Might bring heat on the spread.
In the early days of poker, the majority of the players at the bigger games were some type of outlaw, especially bookies, loan sharks, thieves, and an occasional pimp. When the laws bust in the door and take us all to jail, they don't say, "Hey, you honest gamblers like up over there and wait while we bust these outlaws."
Treetop Jack Straus was playing with this guy once who would leave the game to rob a bank. The FBI followed him back to the bank. Jack Straus spoke for gamblers of that era when he truthfully said, "We don't ask or care where people got their money."
I walked up to the big game once after the sad loss of a curvaceous lovely. Longoodie asked, "Why aren't you playing?"
I said, "There are two reason, one I am broke..."
Someone said, "Just keep that other reason to yourself." Money talks. Bullshit strolls.
ZeeJustin and Matusow and others did something or other which I never looked down on for a nanosecond. If you are going to be an uptight, Assistant Jr. High School, Youth Director of the Baptist church kind of a guy, maybe you should play jacks or hopscotch because you aren't going to be too comfortable in the world of poker.
It is up to the gambling joint, whether it is a sawdust joint or a rug joint, to prevent angles and cheating. It is also up to the professional players to prevent cheating and angling. You do not want to run off the fruit. What I have seen in fifty years of poker is that even outlaws will act very nice around the poker game. People that you would not trust on most exchanges will do everything on the square around the poker.
Let us now forgive everyone in the poker world for their real or imaginary sins and move back to the days when uneducated, cagey, cross-roading gamblers might just have a checkered past. Any trick you did not know, they'd try to play on you. We were gamblers.
We were not Ann Landers, Billy Graham, or Santa Claus. Remember Jerusalem Slim? He said stuff about not judging others. We didn't throw the first rock in the old days. We didn't even throw a pebble. Expect to meet some tarnished angels around the gambling houses.
Amazing as it sounds, some will lie and try to borrow money. Keep your eyes wide open.
Johnny Hughes, author of the upcoming novel, Texas Poker Wisdom.
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