Las Vegas Gambling Tips: Poker is Not Gambling — Part Two

On The Town With Vegas Vic
By: Victor H. Royer

Welcome to Las Vegas! My name is Victor H. Royer, but everyone just calls me Vegas Vic. I was named after that famous neon sign in Downtown Las Vegas, that cowboy with the hat on top of the Pioneer Club, always waving his hand and beckoning to his long love, Sassy Sally, on the other side of the street. I will be writing a few articles for AccessVegas.com, so I hope you enjoy them.


 

Missed Part One? Click to read Poker is Not Gambling — Part One

 

Poker is Not Gambling — Part Two

A successful and steadily profitable poker player should never allow himself or herself to experience such highs and expose themselves to such lows. Making steady profits in poker, regardless of whether you are playing professionally, semi professionally, or only casually, requires you to have discipline of mind, body, and soul, and in particular the ability to avoid becoming angry over bad beats, or becoming overly exuberant in times of great good luck and good fortune. You will need to acquire within yourself the skill of patience as well as measured temperament, because without this the volatility inherent in this game will become so acute that if you are not so well equipped to handle it such will surely bury you in the graveyard of emotion. That in turn will bury you and the graveyard of the losers, and unless you have an inexhaustible supply of money it will equally so relegate you to the rail.

This can happen to you no matter what your status in life, whether you are a blue-collar worker or a white-collar worker, whether you are of the middle class, or whether you are amongst the very wealthy. Just because a person is rich doesn’t mean that that person will be equally well equipped to be able to be a successful poker player. Just because a person may not have high school or college education, doesn’t mean that that person cannot become a successfully profitable poker player. Poker is the great equalizer. Poker does not know your race, your politics, it does not know your economic situation, it does not know whether you are a friend or an enemy, it doesn’t know whether you are a man or a woman, and it certainly doesn’t have any emotion, and isn’t out to get you. Poker is just a game, and a game played by people against other people. Poker is a people game first and foremost, and a gambling game only when looked upon as such by people who don’t understand it.

What you see on television is not the real-world of poker. What you see on television are edited highlights from poker tournaments that have taken several days at an average of 12 hours per day, eventually resulting in the six people that you see at the final table at the very end of this very long, very tedious, and very difficult process. This is not what you will encounter when you go to play poker for the first time in a card room, or casino poker room. With the explosion of poker worldwide, casino poker rooms and card rooms everywhere are being flooded by new players, and in particular players who have gained their first experience and exposure to poker either by watching television, or playing on the Internet. These players do not play poker the way that you have learned to play poker.

What you read in the poker books that have been published over the past 20 years is not what is happening in 21st-century poker, as it is now being played in the casino poker rooms and card rooms everywhere. Whether you are a novice player, or an experienced player, or perhaps an intermediate poker player, understanding your opponents and their motivations is even more important now than it was when poker was being played primarily between professionals. And that, dear friends, is and should be the ultimate goal of anyone venturing into the world of poker. Learning the game is important, but learning how the game has changed in just the past few years is even more crucial. It doesn’t matter if you play a simple game of $4-$8-$8 Hold’Em in your local card room where you know all the regulars and your motivation is almost always entertainment. Even there the texture of the players and the game is changing. But this is even more prominent in the major games, and particularly the tournaments. Everything is changing at an ever-increasing pace, and if you plan to be successful, your ability to change and adapt to these situations will now become your primary focus in improving your game.

Finally, to those who still maintain that poker is somehow akin to gambling, I wish to ask one question: If you require heart bypass surgery, would you rather go to a heart surgeon, or a plumber? Both have skills in setting pipes and managing fluid flows. But which would be better for you in this situation? Well, that is the same as in poker. Some players are skilled in poker, and therefore their plays are designed to apply that skill to that specific circumstance. Therefore, they aren’t gambling. Your heart surgeon is also skilled in those specific situations, and consequently is also not gambling when performing your hear bypass. But the plumber trying to do this would be gambling, and gambling with your life. Similarly, if you need a plumber to fix a leak in your kitchen sink, you wouldn’t call your hear surgeon.

What does this mean? It means that we all have skills in some things, and that they aren’t necessarily applicable to all situations and all applications equally. But it also means that poker is primarily a skill, and as such it cannot be equated with gambling. I will have more to say on this at another time. For now, I wish you the best of poker success, whatever game you may choose and whatever skill level you may bring to it.

We will continue with this discussion in the next issue.


Victor H. Royer, known as Vegas Vic, is the author of 42 books. Mostly known for books, articles, and columns on casino games and gambling, he is also the author of New Casino Slots, Great Gamblers: True Stories and Amazing Facts, The Great American Joke Book, as well as his works of Fiction, which include: Another Day, and the Western: Riders on the Wind. Versatile and multitalented, Royer is the creator, producer, and host of the Web-TV show Great Casino Slots, now showing at www.LasVegasLiveTV.com. He also composes music and performs under the names Glenn Diamond, Pappy Jones, Hans Dorfmann, and Miguel Armandaiz. For more information, please visit him at www.MoreCasinoDeals.com and www.GamingAuthor.com. Sign up for the Insider Advantage Newsletter at: http://www.accessvegas.com/membership

His books can be ordered through this website, by following the links provided

(c) Copyright 2016 Victor H. Royer. All rights reserved. For syndication purposes, contact GSR Holdings Inc. at: [email protected]

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