My husband's favorite TV sitcom is Two and a Half Men. He is constantly telling me about the antics of Charlie Harper, the balls-to-the-wall, full throttle character played by Charlie Sheen. This morning, between sips of coffee and chuckles, my husband told me about an episode he saw last night with a vivid poker lesson.
Coming home staggering drunk from a card room, Charlie says to his brother Alan, "You know how easy Texas Hold'em looks on television when you can see all the hole cards? Well, at the casino, they don't let you see the other guy's cards, and it's not quite that easy. I'm down $8,000, and I threw up in my mouth three times."
What makes this simple card game so complex? Played with two private cards in your hand plus five community cards face up on the table, it looks astonishingly simple.
In fact, as long as you are in the hand at the showdown and turn your cards face up for the dealer to read, you don't even have to know you have the winning hand. In Texas Hold'em, like the rest of poker, your cards speak.
Sure good cards help, they help a lot, but I've seen many people play great cards so poorly they wasted the opportunity to maximize the profit potential from those cards. It was as if they turned their hole cards face up and placed them on their forehead for all the other players to see.
On the other hand, I've seen poker pros play weak cards as if they were aces. Doyle Brunson, the Godfather of Poker, won back-to-back world poker championships (1976 and 1977) holding 10, 2.
The complexity in Texas Hold'em comes from the simple fact that, by our very nature, we are complex human beings. We come to the poker table with our bags packed full of our life experiences, which color every decision we make at the poker table.
At the same time, when we sit down at the poker table something almost mystical happens. The rest of our life somehow goes out of focus, and we can detach ourselves from what is happening 'out there'. The poker game can literally give us a vacation from our everyday life while providing an opportunity to exercise our brains, our intuitive sense, and learn new skills.
If you want to learn to play poker but do not know where to start, take a look at my upcoming 8-week poker coaching program, Poker, Pure and Simpletm.
The first rotation starts this week and is sold out, however, there is still space available for the 8-week program that begins March 11. Here's a brief overview: http://BigGirlPoker.com/Coaching/
For now, remember my motto…
When you can't raise, don't call!