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The Ten Best Things About Poker
by Sarah

I love everything about poker. To be honest, I even love it when I flop a full house and lose to some calling station who catches the fourth deuce on the river. That's part of the game that I love - but don't think that I grin when that sort of thing happens. Bad beats definitely don't make my list of the ten very best things about poker. But these things do.

* Pocket Aces. The best starting hand in Hold'em - and so much fun to play. If you play on the Internet, you have the luxury of grinning yourself silly when you see this starting hand.

* Monster draws. When you have to use both hands and one foot to count your outs, you can't help but grin to yourself. Especially when the turn card makes a huge hand.

* Daniel Negreanu. I'm 99 percent certain that this guy does not have X-ray vision. But I could be wrong. Either way, I love watching him call other players' hole cards left and right.

* Shuffling your poker chips. Chip tricks don't make you a better player, but being able to shuffle a dozen chips without looking makes the other players at the table think that you're a poker genius. (It helps, of course, if you're a good player to begin with.)

* Folding K-K and seeing that it was the right play. This laydown is the toughest for me to make, but I'm usually right when I get rid of these cards. Fortunately, I don't have to lay down a great hand very often. Otherwise, I'd probably spend most of my poker winnings on tequila.

* Phil Ivey. I'm not nearly intelligent enough to understand more than about half of what goes on in his head. All I know is that he has a brilliant mind for poker - and he isn't afraid to use it.

* "I'm all in." When I'm sitting on a monster hand, there is no sweeter sound in the world. And when I'm the one who shoves everything into the pot...well, that can be sweet too.

* Freerolls. You don't always have to spend money to make money. Sometimes, cashing is a simple matter of logging on to Poker Stars and outlasting thousands and thousands of other players. And not just the weak players who shove all-in on the first hand. You have to beat the other good players, too.

* Jennifer Harman. She's not nearly as vocal about her reads as Daniel Negreanu is with his, but she knows what she's doing. The quieter ones are the more dangerous players.

* The game's equality. Men and women play together. Jennifer Harman could beat Phil Hellmuth. And the same thing applies to pros and amateurs (of either gender).

The more hands I play, the more I find to love about this game. I'm just thankful that poker exploded a few years ago. I never lack a chance to get into a game somewhere because, no matter where I am or what time it is, there are always plenty of people ready to shuffle up and deal.


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