Movie Magic For Poker Players

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One of my earliest memories of a poker game is from the 1965 movie, Cincinnati Kid. The movie follows a young poker player (played by Steve McQueen) as he pits himself against the top poker player of the time. The movie (heeded by many as one of the greatest poker movies ever) gave rise to my lifelong interest in the game. In more recent times I was pleased to watch the Matt Damon movie, Rounders.

Perhaps, what I love most about poker movies are the crisp, sarcastic dialogues, the rounds of bluffing, the quiet calculated manner of those that win, and the suspense of what the next card might be. In these movies, it is the man (or woman) with the greater intelligence that wins the game.

Poker movies provide entertainment. However, that is not my primary reason for watching them. Being unable to resist a good poker game at times, I like to stay on top of the various tips that my poker buddies keep using. And trust me, for those of us that play poker only occasionally, most of our tricks come from the movies.

One poker trick that we learn from the movies is that of reading the looks on the faces of the other players. Eyes that are downcast or have a happy glint in them are sure giveaways of the kinds of cards that a person has drawn. Of course, that unhappy looking fellow might be on to you, and might be bringing all his theatrical talents to the poker table. Be careful. Don’t give away your own cards by your facial expressions or your body language. And don’t be fooled by somebody else.

More importantly, don’t give in to an emotional outburst. In a good poker game, the pressure will build up. But you must concentrate on the game, on winning. Emotions will only give your opponents the upper hand. Don’t lose control of the game. Also, avoid drinking yourself silly during a poker game, unless you are in the mood to let other people win. A person who is drunk throughout a game is only preparing to drown in losses.

Also, the ego should be kept aside during a game. The over-confident upstart often digs his own grave all thanks to a desire for one-upmanship. It is advisable to hold on to your best hands sometimes. Let others have their season in the sun. You wait for the most opportune moment. Strike at the right time and you will be the one raking in all the moolah!

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