Years ago I was once talked into writing a column that offered advice about which players to play with and which ones to avoid. You know, really hilarious illustrations, such as, “Try to play against plumbers because they have leaks in their game,” or, “Avoid stunt pilots because they like to slow-roll you.” These were so painful to read that I was ashamed of myself — but not too ashamed to then do a second column when my fans sent in additional examples.
These grade-school level attempts at humor were so revoltingly stupid that they made my zaniest Big Denny yarns by comparison seem as urbane and sophisticated as anything appearing in New Yorker or Town and Country magazine. So, I gave my solemn promise that I would never again inflict such nonsense on my readers.
Unfortunately, some of my fans continued to provide me with more ideas, and I hate to reject any material that’s given to me free of charge. More important, even I have to sometimes scrape the bottom of the barrel to come up with column ideas every two weeks. Anyway, I recently came across some scraps of paper on which I had jotted down some poker-related occupation ideas that had been submitted to me and that I had hidden away and promptly forgotten about. I’m not sure now which of my fans submitted which ideas, but I know that a faithful fan of mine by the name of Don Bosh dreamed up some of them, which resulted in my blocking any more e-mails from him. Anyway, with apologies in advance, here goes.
My first “Dumb and Dumber” occupational caution is to be leery of playing Bola88 with anyone who is a baseball outfielder by profession. Why? Because baseball outfielders are extremely good at catching. See what I mean? This isn’t even grade school, this is kindergarten humor. Well, I don’t know how many readers I’ve lost at this point, but let’s plow on.
Try not to play with draftsmen. That’s because they’re good at making straight draws. Even worse are sketch artists. They can make any kind of draws. Shall I proceed? No? Sorry, it’s too late to stop now.
Of course, you don’t want to be at the same table with tight players. And the tightest players in the world are certain football players. (No, not tight ends; that’s too obvious, even for me.) I’m talking about quarterbacks. In fact, that’s why they’re called quarterbacks. If they win a huge pot, they’ll throw the dealer a half-dollar chip and ask for a quarter back. (Ba-ba ching!)
Talking about money, it’s not worthwhile playing against electricians, because they’re always on the shorts.
In the tight category, I jotted down a note that has something to do with virgins, but I wouldn’t attempt to get anything like that past the prudish censors at Card Player.
Avoid soccer players. They’ll out-kick you every time. You know, have bigger kickers. Oh, you don’t really care any more? I don’t blame you.
Hey, here’s a better one. Don’t go up against pool players. They’re all angle-shooters. (Oh, you ask, better than what, huh? Literary snob.)
How about this one, then? Never, never play Omaha eight-or-better with a manic-depressive (or, to use the more politically correct term, someone with a bipolar disorder). That’s because a manic-depressive always gets both highs and lows. (OK, so manic-depression isn’t exactly an occupation. Sue me.)
What else? How about, chess players are unethical because they have so many moves. Or, stay away from Russian novelists because they’re very hard to read.
Are you rolling on the floor yet? You are? Good. Oh, you’re rolling on the floor with stomach pain.
OK, then, here’s a good one. Never play poker with a dominatrix (or domina, or whatever those witches with whips call themselves these days). Oh, you know the answer already: because they give you bad beats.
OK, let’s stop right here. Mercifully, this will be one of my shorter columns — and maybe my last after Barry and Jeff Shulman read it. So, let me close now before you pass out. Hold it. I just noticed that all of my examples describe players you should avoid. So, just to give this column some balance, if nothing else, I think I should include at least one type of player you want to play against. And this time, I promise, the example will be totally serious: Try to play lowball against Siamese twins. That’s because they always end up paired.