Typical sights, sounds of a poker room

January 08, 2018, Al Spath  

Dim lighting, loud slot machines and a floorman making the occasional inaudible announcement over the loudspeaker are common in most small poker rooms that dot America.

Though some days and times are better than others, most times you can find at least a $1-$2 NLHE game or a small buy-in tournament. Most players are friendly and there are many “grinders” who frequent the room daily and they will have nicknames.

The makeup of the table is usually older men, a sprinkling of young studs, a woman or two and the occasional fish.

There are some classic comments made at the tables and one that stood out recently was indeed the funniest I’ve heard in years: “I brought enough money tonight for the $2-$5 and $5-$10 no-limit game, but not nearly enough for these damn $1-$2 tables!”

We all remember Phil Hellmuth saying if people didn’t get lucky against him, he would win every time. Well, all poker rooms have a Phil. He’s the one you’ll call on the river and he asks you what you have, then mucks his hand quickly and says, “I was ahead until the river,” and never shows his cards when he loses.

There’s the old guy who sits for hours, small stack in front of him, logging hours to qualify for daily freerolls and is amused by the TVs and the cocktail waitresses.

He’s usually a decent tournament player and does quite well, but his cash game suffers from everyone knowing he never has enough money to provide implied odds and you just know he has a big hand.
Then there are those who are better than decent players but hop up from their seats like on a Pogo Stick to bet the ponies or dogs at the adjacent kiosk. Their game suffers but they say they make up for it wins from the track.

In conclusion, most of you who play outside the big cardrooms of Las Vegas, California and places such as Foxwoods, the Hard Rocks or Borgata, will relate to the sights and sounds I’ve described and the colorful host of characters.

— Al Spath live broadcasts on TwitchTV: (PositivePokerInsiders), and streams from JaoPoker.com (signup using referral code: ppiposse). Contact Al directly at alspath@alspath.com with questions and coaching inquires.