Table Talk


Confessions of a Poker Noob

Hi, I am Betazoid. I am a total noob, newbie, novice or whatever one calls a clueless person in the intrigue that is Poker. 

I got hooked onto the online version of the game within a span of 2 weeks! Yes, that’s how long I have been playing poker.

Is it an addiction, is it a compulsion, is it a challenge, is it a distraction or is it all about the moolah ... well, I really don’t know.

All I can say is that I am enjoying myself playing tourneys or playing with friends or making new friends.

I am not justifying the game which I have come to enjoy.

I had played a couple of times with some of my young friends visiting Bangalore. They taught me the basic rules and added me to their poker buddy list.

Now I can keep in touch as well interact with my poker friends.

Everyone knows the good old proverb all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy... Not counting video games, which I don’t know why, have been classified under games!

When a friend of mine introduced me to 9stacks recently, I thought ... hmmm me a techno-dunderhead learning to play poker, that too online, fat chance I would take to it.

But, here I had a chance to play with my poker buddies even if they were in other cities. And, I could play every now and then, depending on mutual convenience. Nice opportunity, I thought.

Here I am a week later, playing with the pros and friends on a daily basis, and generally learning to deal with the trauma of losing a dear friend under tragic circumstances. No, poker is definitely not the cure-all elixir, but in my case it was just what I needed!

I still blink stupidly at the lingo so liberally used by the pros, trying to figure out a rocket from a pocket or flipping on the flops or blindly bleeding.

Imagine my shock when I was dealt four cards instead of two in one of the tourneys. 

But a friend very patiently explained the difference and told me to read up on poker. All while playing the crazier game. I still have no clue about PLO, but I can choose what to play and what to avoid now.

The 9stacks website is very user friendly, the guys running the show welcome suggestions to make it more interactive.

I won a couple of tourneys (beginners luck I guess) lost a number of them trying to understand whether it is just luck or strategy or anticipation or gauging one’s opponent.

I guess it is a bit of all, I still haven’t figured it out!

Money is an important factor in playing poker. It is definitely not for people who gamble on racing animals.

Poker requires skill to make instant decisions, not succumb to temptations and play under pressure of time.

Multitasking is simply not possible while playing online poker (learned the hard way).

I decided to gift myself some money for my birthday to play poker, and am enjoying the gift to myself.

How long it lasts, I don’t know. When the gift dissipates, I will probably still play poker... at a slower pace anyway!





Radhika Mahalingaiah

Radhika aka Betazoid is a retired journalist and an avid scrabble and poker player. She is a guest writer with 9stacks