Poker Tournaments and Cash Games

Bad Beats and the Nuts, Bluffs and Calls, Knowing When to Hold ‘Em and When to Fold ‘Em
Curated By
Therese Basham

Therese Basham is an independent Marketing and Communications Consultant based in St. Louis, Missouri. In addition to being a stay-at-home mom to her son and daughter for the past twenty years, she has remained engaged as a free-lance marketing communications writer, photographer, and videographer. She recently joined the Association of Professional Photo Organizers and is now helping individuals bring order to their digital and physical photo and video collections. Therese is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, where she studied marketing and psychology. In her spare time, Therese can sometimes be found in a casino playing Texas Hold 'Em and trying to make it to the final table.

A Note About This Guide:

The majority of poker players understand their limits and are able to play without suffering adverse financial consequences or without damaging their personal relationships. However, if you or somebody you know has a gambling addiction, call or text the National Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-800-522-4700.

They Might Be Thinking:

  • I've seen poker on TV and think I might be a pretty good player.
  • I’m worried I might be the only woman at the table.
  • I’m concerned my family and friends might think that only reprobates play poker.
  • I’m worried I might lose money.
  • What if I suffer a bad beat?
  • I’m worried I will be bluffed or bullied by other players.
  • What if I don’t have a good poker face?
  • I find it very relaxing to play poker.
  • I’m worried I will do something stupid while playing and the other players will think less of me.
  • I hope I am playing at the right level.
  • I don’t want to tell anybody I lost money.
  • I don’t want to let people know I didn’t cash in the tournament.

Words That Might Be Encouraging:

  • What do you enjoy about playing poker?
  • Is there a professional poker player you admire? Why?
  • What is your favorite poker game to play?
  • I enjoy talking to you about poker. What are some terms that are specific to the game and what do they mean?
  • How did you play?
  • Did you have a good time playing poker?
  • How often do you play poker?
  • Where do you like playing poker?
  • Are there any books about poker that you would recommend?
  • What are some things you’ve learned about yourself from playing poker?

Words That Might Be Discouraging:

  • You have to be lucky to win at poker.
  • How much did you win?
  • How much did you lose?
  • Did you win the tournament?
  • Isn’t playing poker stressful?
  • You shouldn’t play poker. It’s a waste of money. 
  • Poker players are shady characters.
  • Poker is for men, so women shouldn’t play.
  • Poker is a waste of time.
  • Going to casinos is dangerous.
  • Most poker players are problem gamblers.
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