We need more (positive) poker players

By Bill Patty

I am not preaching to the choir. I am preaching AT the choir. We need more poker players!

Each year, for the last several years, the number of live poker players has dwindled. My home casino, Club One, has no problem attracting tournament players, especially for big events. Cole and Russ are excellent tournament directors, and players come from all over the state and beyond to play.

The cash games could seriously benefit from more players. Where have they gone? Why? Could it be your fault? Oh, yes it could!

Are you a poker player who makes fun of other players? It’s your fault. Do you lecture them about how bad a player they are after they hit a four outer to felt you? It’s your fault. Do you see a new player that is learning and check-raise them to win a few extra bucks? It’s your fault.

Do you talk incessantly, use inappropriate language, complain about everything, whine when you are losing, ask to borrow money, gloat when you are winning? Are you inconsiderate of others, shooting angles, slowing down the game, missing excessive blinds, unwilling to play a few players short, have the patience of a gnat? Are you rude? IT’S YOUR FAULT!

As a poker prop, every day I sit at the table and watch it happen. I see it in Fresno, Clovis, Friant, Reno, Los Angeles, Bakersfield, Las Vegas, and every other place I have ever played. It is an epidemic and it doesn’t have to be.

We need more cash game poker players so our poker rooms can thrive and we can all continue to enjoy the game we love. We need those live players to play the game while they respect the others around them. It is my guess that 90% of poker players lose money, but 100% of us want to enjoy playing poker. Can we agree on that? (I hear groans from some Omaha players!) Then let’s make it happen.

Sure, there are many factors that have led to the decline of the number of cash game players. The lack of online poker, dealers who comment on play or are inefficient, the cost of living, financial constraints, casinos afraid of banning unruly players, and the world’s many other entertainment options are all factors. All I’m asking is that you not be one of them. Be respectful of others, win or lose.

People and Places

Let me thank the players and casino staff who continue to provide a positive environment for us all to play poker. Ten years ago, when I started propping, there seemed to be way more of us. I also want to thank the floor people who get rid of the riff-raff. If you get rid of one bad customer, you can keep dozens of poker players you actually want in your establishment.

Have you gone to The Orleans in Las Vegas yet? It is still my favorite Nevada poker room. How about Golden West in Bakersfield? The Bike in Bell Gardens? These continue to be some of my favorites because I can find a good game with a more positive environment than their competitors. If they have fewer players, it won’t be because of me. I hope it won’t be because of you either.

Until next time, enjoy your game and call me when I bet the river!