In the May 1 issue of GamingToday, one of my poker heroes Robert Turner made an interesting point in his column, “Show some class.”
The message is that players, especially pro players, should consider their behavior and actions as they interact with others while playing evodomino poker in card rooms and casinos.
“It is necessary,” he said, “to grow the poker industry by bringing in more recreational players.” Then he added: “Too many professional players take a lot out of the game without giving anything away.”
Of course, I can only agree. Indeed, all players – both pro and recreational payers – and casino staff should always be on their best terms when interacting with others. Reading Robert’s column, it occurred to me: What is the goal of “bringing in more recreational players”? Presumably playing poker in a casino?
If that is, in fact, the goal, then there’s a better way: Reducing the cost of playing. I’ve shown, even in low limit Texas Hold’em games at casinos, the fee for each player is around $ 150 for a six hour session. It’s based on casino rakes, drops for bad jackpots, and tips for dealers. With 30-35 hands dealt per hour, that figure would be roughly $ 25 per hour – or $ 150 for a six-hour session. It costs more if the table is not filled or if the dealer speeds up the game so maybe 40 or more hands are dealt every hour.
Quite a few members of Claude Pepper Seniors’ Poker Group – all recreational players who love the game – have taken the opportunity, at times, to play at the local casino. These are retirees who often live off regular income, especially social security, pensions, and savings. $ 150 or maybe as much as $ 180 for a six hour session, more than they could afford. Indeed, most come home losers.
By playing at the senior center or at home games they are more likely to win (or lose less). Meanwhile, they will continue to benefit mentally from the challenges of the game, while enjoying social interactions. Many have made long-term friendships. What’s more, we have reason to believe people, as they get older, who play poker once or twice a week are far less likely to develop the dreadful disease known as Alzheimer’s.
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