Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Big Deal

The only real money on the casino players is on their hands-gold rings, tags and rolexes. You can’t see the cash but you sure as hell can hear it - a clack, clack that never stops. That’s sounds of $1.3 million in chips, and it won’t cease until one player has them all. There are hundreds of people vying to be that player. They’ve paid to buy their way into the annual Aussie Millions “No Limit Hold ‘Em” Championship at Crown Casino in Melbourne last 2004. For three days Las Vegas Room will be full of some toughest gamblers in the world, but apart from their habit of wearing caps and sunglasses indoors, they’re unremarkable. In poker, according to my source, everything happens below the surface. I remember an online casino player nickname “Erik23″, where he turned US$50 into US$2.5 million in just two years. No Limit texas Hold ‘Em is the game of choice at the millions. The rules are simple, but you won’t win unless you can read. Reading is the game behind the game. It’s more than just the ability to tell when an opponent’s bluffing; it’s reading body language and betting patterns to tell which cards they have. Bad players don’t have it and never will. For the best players it’s a sixth sense sharpened over millions of hands. If you make a bad read, you’ll know about it. No-one reaches the final table without betting their whole stack (”going all-in”) many times. Bluff can or call on the wrong one and it’s the end of your tournament. Online casino like poker great once described it as “hours of boredoom shadowed by moments of terror”, and my source is right.

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