After my initial, somewhat less than successful foray into the world of poker playing on Saturday evening, I decided I needed to get a bit of practice in, and enrolled online for a bit of free-play Texas Hold ‘Em. I also hot-footed down to the local video store where I rented “World Series Of Poker” for my Playstation 2.
I finished reading Pat Walsh’s “How To Win The World Series Of Poker….(Or Not!)”, which is very funny, and then dived immediately into a more serious study of the ins and outs of Texas Hold’Em with Brian McNally’s optimistically entitled “How To Play Poker And Win.”
So by Tuesday evening I was ready once again to pull up a seat, and headed down to The Saint in nearby Innaloo. I registered and picked my seat at my allocated table, and at 7pm sharp play started. I had a very drunk guy sat to my left, who from the outset of the game kept going “All in”, much to the amusement of the rest of us, who were highly entertained by his wild and loose play. Needless to say, he was soon busted out.
I did fairly well, and won a few good hands early on, and built up a respectable pile of chips by the first break. I continued to do fairly well after the break, and when our table lost another player we were split up and seated at other tables with empty spaces.
I sat down and watched a couple of hands before I could join the play, and was surprised that I was one of the bigger chip-holders at the table. As soon as I started playing I was dealt a good hand, and when a guy across the table went “All in” I called him, and won, busting out my first other player! It put me in the position of strongest player at the table.
But the bets were increasing, and I had never been in this position, and started to play a little too carefully. Over the next hour or so my chips were slowly whittled away as the experience of some of the other players at the table started to tell. But all the while other players around the room were busting out, and I was amazed to find myself in the final 16.
My chips continued to dwindle, and I was eventually busted out, but was very proud to have made it to 11th place, out of about 50 players.
More reading and online play prepared me for tonight’s game at the White Sands Hotel in Scarborough, where once again steady play, and a few good hands (as well as a little luck too, of course!) got me into the points again by finishing in 12th position, this time out of around 40 players.
I haven’t yet made it to the final table of eight players, so that is my next poker goal, although I only have a couple of opportunities left to do so here in Perth, as I am off on my travels again very soon now.
Mel also came to play this evening, having learned the game only last night, and despite being incredibly nervous, and making a couple of small mistakes, she played very well, won one particularly good hand, and made it well past the break, staying in the game longer than about half of the other competitors. A brilliant start to her poker career!
I am still a complete beginner, but my early results are encouraging, and I really am enjoying playing. I can see how people easily get addicted to the thrill of this simple-looking, but fascinatingly complex game.
I am heading to France soon, for the Cannes Film Festival, and am considering visiting the casino a Monte Carlo, which I think would be an awesome location to get into a real money game. But Mel tells me that I would need a suit and tie to get in, and I don’t think I have enough room in the rucksac for the one and only, all-purpose suit that I own! I think I may have to wait until I get to London, or perhaps the States, where dress-code isn’t such a problem!
Poker is a kind of gambling but it can relieve stress and tension from our daily life activities.