Professional poker players

Posted by royalflush | Uncategorized | Sunday 18 September 2011 1:50 pm

Professional players from the nineteenth century may have set their sights on the game of poker, because in doing so they thought they could make more money. With its larger share for skills and psychology a game like draw poker offered them a better return than so-called pure chance games.

With a simple deck of cards, you could improvise a poker game anywhere, whenever the opportunity arose. That was an other feature in which poker had a clear advantage over the games of faro and roulette. Poker adapted admirably well to the itinerant lifestyle of professional players.

A handgun was often part of their luggage. Because of the stigma they were struck with, it was not uncommon for professional poker players to have no alternative but to practice their trade by playing with outlaws, which was not without risk. Faced with such opponents, it was sometimes better to lose in order not to get into trouble and to stay alive.

For legendary players like Johnny Moss, Doyle ‘Texas Dolly’ Brunson and Thomas ‘Amarillo Slim’ Preston, having to separate from their gains of the evening under the threat of a gun was part of the territory.

When they were more lucky like when they met gullible salesmen on the Mississippi River steamboats, they could easily get their hands on their wallets at low risk. The typical trick was to deal them a monster hand like a quad of eights, while another player got a slightly stronger hand like a straight flush. Nowadays we know that statistically the occurrence of such a situation is highly unlikely, but during these times it happened more often than not.

With all cheating still taking place nowadays including online (think about the recent scandal at Lock Poker), one can imagine how profitable it could have been at the time for the skilled players. Recently poker pro José “Girah” Macedo said that he cheated some high stakes players by deceiving them and finding a way to see their hole cards. Yes it is hard to imagine how the game of poker could be totally devoid of any form of cheating, after all deception is part of the game, the question is where to draw the line sometimes.