To protect oneself, it's best to never travel in or
out of the casino alone. Be especially cautious if
,you have a long winning streak. If you were a thief,
what would you do? Mug tourists at random or go after
the guy at the Online Baccarat Games table who decides
to quit after winning ten hands in a row? If you feel
you're being watched, ask the pit personnel if there's
another exit you can use.
Here's a trick I learned from a fellow professional
to protect yourself. Take an old wallet and some dead
credit cards, cutting your name and any identifying
information off them. Add some business cards, passport
photos, and any other miscellaneous junk you can think
of Put twenty single dollar bills into the wallet.
This makes it look very inviting, and you can use
this money for incidental expenses. You want everyone
to think your real cash comes from the wallet, whereas
it is actually stored in several locations around
your person where a mugger would be less likely to
look, such as an inside pocket.
When you buy in for chips at the cashier cage, "palm"
your real dollars, i.e., unobtrusively remove them
hidden in the palm of your hand, then make a show
of reaching for your wallet and pretending to extract
your money. When cashing out, take the wallet out,
motion that you're putting your winnings inside, but
palm the folded bills. Then put your wallet in your
hip pocket, and as you turn away from the cage, put
your real money in your coat pocket while anyone checking
you out is on your blind side.
importantly, be enthusiastic about the game. Enthusiasm
is contagious. Without going overboard and being a
total dork, lean forward to try to spark interest
in poker among your group:
- If you send out invitations by email, attach links
to poker websites. The discussion group rec.gambling.poker
(RGP) is the internal communication system of the
poker community, and although the new mass popularity
of the game has degraded its content quite a bit,
it's still worthwhile.
- Refer your newer players to Internet poker rooms.
Most of these sites have "play money" games
that allow players to get a feel for the mechanics
of formal poker Without putting any money at risk.
While free online poker games are great places to
learn the formats of games, I strongly discourage
you from trying to work on strategy- in free games.
As I stated in chapter l, it is impossible to play
real poker with bets that are valueless.