In a few hours I will be heading out for a
night of Poker, which comprises 4-5 of my nights each week. My favorite
is High/Low 7 Card Stud, but tonight is strictly the 7 Card Stud
people and THEY are good. You don't make mistakes with these people.
Talk is minimal, tells are invisible, mistakes are costly and mercy
is absent. Talk too much, they'll pick up a tell. Look the wrong
way and they get a read on you, make a dumb move and it'll cost
you. Newcomers to the game would be better in a tank with sharks.
These guys would eat the sharks!
The point I'm making is that if you really want to be a great poker
player, or even a successful one at kicking off some decent profits,
the key is being perfect in every phase of the game.
Today I'm going to dwell on one tiny thing: STRAIGHTS. I don't
win with straights because I don't go for straights. Obviously if
one is dealt to me in the first 5 cards, I'm not throwing it back.
But chasing a straight, even open ended, is a waste of time and
money - mostly money.
A straight is only a freckle more powerful than 2 pair and needs
5 cards in order to be made. Two pair needs only four cards. Trips
are even more powerful than two pair and require only three cards
of the same value, of course. But measured against the difficulty
of trying to fill a straight is the all important facet of EXPENSE.
Just think for a second how long you have to stay in a hand in
order to get your straight. It doesn't just happen all the time
in the first five cards you are dealt. Yet once you cross over to
sixth street, and definitely on seventh street, the betting increases
by leaps and bounds.
The person chasing the dream of catching a 5 or a 10 to complete
his slightly meager valued straight is caught between players looking
for, or worse, HAVING their Full House, Flush or Higher Straight.
The catch might be made but the hand may not be strong enough to
off-set others who end up stronger.
The amount of money a poker player uses in CHASING hands eventually
comes back to eat into overall profits. I'm not saying to drop every
hand unless you are dealt trips or three cards to a Royal. Just
for smiles, put away the chasing of straights for the next three
poker sessions you find yourself involved in. Watch and see if it
doesn't leave you with more money to use, going after better valued
And with that said, I will now spray on my shark repellent and
enter the room, set aside for all aspiring poker players, who hope
to get out of that rat trap in about 7 hours with more money than
they went in with.
You can be sure that IF I win tonight, it won't be because I caught
a gut straight or two but because I had enough chips in front of
me to go for broke with three lovely cowboys wired. Chasing straights
will lead you STRAIGHT to a quick dent in your session money! Don't