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Poker Short Stack

Dear Mark,
Once a hand has been dealt, can a player reach in their pocket for additional money during the hand if they want to bet or raise additional money? For example, at our most recent Thursday night game, Player A bet $10, then player B, with only $10 remaining in front of him, called, and then went to his pocket for more money to raise $20. Half of our group believes it is appropriate, the other half doesn't. - Doug D.

You didn't mention, Doug, if your bisected clutch of buddies is allowing me to make the final call here, but I will give you a poker room, not a kitchen table, decision.

Player B is NOT allowed to reach into his pocket in the middle of the hand to take out more money. Player B can do this BETWEEN hands, but never while a hand is in play.

In that Player B is playing light on funds (short stack), and he or she just happened to pick up a whopper of a hand, Player B just ends up winning much, much less with it; but the unfortunate Player B can't be forced out of the pot with a larger bet, either.

In most poker situations, it is a distinct advantage to be the one starting with more money. You can bully many a player with the size of your stack, but you can never push the short stacks completely out of the hand.

Dear Mark,
If a video poker machine shows a good hand with only one coin bet, would the same hand have appeared if I had played the maximum amount of coins? - Sue L.

In practically every gaming jurisdiction, Sue, the answer would be yes. Using Nevada as an example, their regulations mandate that the number of coins played cannot influence the outcome. Once that first coin is played, or the Bet button is pushed, the shuffling of cards is halted. Consequently, it wouldn't make any difference had one coin been bet, or five. You would have gotten that same hand you see dealt on the screen.

Dear Mark,
My favorite poker player is Doyle Brunson. His book, Super/System, is great bedside reading. My question though is how do I go about getting his World Poker Tour win last year on DVD? I don't get the Travel Channel with my cable subscription, so I was wondering if it existed on DVD? - Ira G.

First, Ira, you're right, Doyle's Super/System is not only the bible for aspiring pros and amateurs alike, it is also considered by many pros as one of the best books on poker ever written. By the way, Ira, Brunson has recently released Super/System 2, which expands on Doyle's original book with new strategies and new expert collaborators, including Lyle Berman, Crandell Addington, Jennifer Harman, Johnny Chan, Todd Brunson and Daniel Negreanu. You might want to add Super/System 2 to your nightstand since it's a brand new book and NOT just an update to Super/System.

Brunson, even though he's in his 70s, is still a feared competitor who last year schooled the final table contestants at the World Poker Tour's Legends of Poker Tournament at the Bicycle Club in Los Angeles.

You can watch the Godfather of poker give a master class in winning on the World Poker Tour Best of Season 3, 4 DVD set.

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Gambling Quotes

  • "Life is a gamble, like crossing the road. One day chicken, next day feathers."- Unknown

  • "Having an ATM in a casino is like having a lap-dancer at a Hell's Angels Convention. - McAvoy Layne

  • "Gambling has held human beings in thrall for millennia. It has been engaged in everywhere, from the dregs of society to the most respectable circles."- Peter L. Bernstein

  • Besides lovemaking and singing in the shower, there aren't many human activities where there is a greater difference between a person's self-delusional ability and actual ability than in poker.- Steve Badget

  • "Betting is the only moral thing you can do. It is an intellectual pursuit, as good as The Times crossword. For millions, it is the only uninfluenced democratic decision they take."- Lord Wyatt

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