Professional poker is a growing phenomenon. Every year they hold a huge tournament to see who’s the best of the best. The commercials always make it sound like some epic showdown, complete with psychological warfare and crafty strategies that would put Patton to shame.
I hate to burst their bubble, but a vast majority of poker is luck. If you have good cards, you’ll win. People say, oh no it’s about reading people. One of my friends insists that playing poker online doesn’t really count because you can’t read people. I call bull honky. Yes, you need a good poker face, but all that really means is that you need to be able to keep a straight face.
Most of the poker players nowadays are too lazy to do even that. They wear sunglasses, listen to music, wear hats, and do all sorts of things to hide whatever tells they may have. One guy even goes so far as to carry around a shark puppet and act incredibly annoying. The guy really needs to shut up, I know he’s doing it to irritate his competition in order to try and get them to make a mistake, but it makes watching the tournament unpleasant when the guy just keeps screaming and acting like a moron.
The tournaments usually go with texas hold em, where the player has two cards and they set down five “community cards” you make the best hand you can and put in bets every time a card is laid out. Often times, it will come down to the last card, which shows that the cards matter more than the face.
A few years ago, one of our friends stopped by and we played a little bit of poker. My roommate and I had folded so it was down to our friend and our other roommate. The friend had a 7/2 offsuit. He went all in and said that he was going to win even though our roommate had a pair of 8’s. Sure enough, he won.
There are some strategies, but most of them involve you reacting to the cards in your hand. If you have a good hand, you’re more willing to bet, if your hand stinks, odds are that you’ll fold. You can try and bluff, but if his hand is good, it doesn’t matter how good your poker face is, he or she’s still going to keep playing.
Being generous, I’d say poker is thirty percent skill. The rest is all in the cards, despite what people may say otherwise. Oh, and those people who think that they have even more mad skill because they don’t even look at their cards are being ridiculous. You’re essentially just pulling moves out from under you with no rhyme or reason. If anything, I’d say that takes even less skill than looking at your cards.