Poker is a game. It is a skill. It is a culture. Poker is a lifestyle.
Poker isn’t only about sitting in a poker room with 8 other people trying to outdo them in a card game. It is a style of life that you have to live both off and on the felt. What you do within the game or how you play the game is one thing but living the poker life is another. Poker players around the globe are recognisable wherever they are with certain characteristics. These are some common traits that are shared within any poker fraternity. These are the ‘rishtas‘ (relationships) that they have created with some everyday things which have become synonymous with poker. These are some poker accessories which every common man uses but poker players ‘survive‘ in.
Funny, but real! Poker and Maggi! Poker and Red Bull! Poker and Sunglasses! Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata hain.
- Poker and Maggi: Circa 2012! The erstwile Royale Poker Room aboard Casino Royale cruise Ship, Goa! I am playing a satellite to the 25 K event at the India Poker Legend, Sept 2012 Edition. After 2.5 hours of play, I am tired. Even a bit hungry since dinner happened around 3 hours back. I turn around and feast on a server carrying a huge tray with a dozen plates filled with tons of yellow color swirly twirly Noodles. Maggi! I almost jump up from my seat No 9. Yes, poker players and their midnight maggi is just as familair a sight in Indian poker rooms as it is in ‘pajama parties’ of teenagers. It is the staple diet of the nocturnal player, the fuel that keeps him going when the dinner is given way. Hail Maggi!
Poker and Red Bull: Surviving 8-10 levels of play during poker tournaments is no easy ask. Grinding on cash tables without any sleep for hours sometimes even days requires high levels of concentration. And, litres of Red Bull. They don’t say it gives you wings for nothing. They definitely are true to the word. Poker players and their red bulls, just keep doubling up as the hours go down. Can after can, Red Bull definetly is the poison that rules the felt.
- Poker and Hoodies: Be it chilly winters or the height of Summers! But a true poker player will always be seen in hoodies. With the top down, almost covering his face and his unkempt hair, his poker hoodie(sometimes boasting his association with a poker company or a tournament win) is an honest companion.
- Poker and Sunglasses: Now this one makes complete sense. You aren’t too much of a poker player without your poker face. And your sunglasses these days go about ‘glaring’ your persona more than hiding you. Big, dark(sometimes silver, sometimes really weird) sunglasses hiding not only sleep-deprived eyes but also that glimmer of light when the Pocket Aces show on your hole cards are an essential poker accessory for each and every poker player.
- Poker and Cigars: Now this is one that I don’t support, neither in a poker room nor in the other world. Smoking and its big, stylish brother-Cigars. But the truth does remain! Simply combine the index and the tall man and raise them as one to your mouth, blow artificially into the air and your steward will get you the latest house ‘cigar’. Of course, if you are a regular! For the others there are the cheaper cousins-the B&H’s and the Mild’s.
- Poker and Music : The deafening noise in a casino can only be drowned by something louder. Hard Rock, Bass or any other form of loud music. Delivered to you in noise cancelling JBL’s or Monster Beats by Dr.Dre or the like. Colorful, big and expensive headsets blaring out the newest in the highest decibels to help a poker player concentrate sounds strange to the one behind the rail but very essential to the one on the felt. Another expensive accessory but a very important one for concentration.
- Poker and Card Guards: Now this is one accessory which is not only the birthright of every poker player but also goes to protecting him if he fails to protect his cards after hours of play. Card guards are not merely card protectors from the card hungry and quick to grab Dealers on the table but also an important poker superstition. Sometimes your first lucky key chain, sometimes a medallion gifted by your mother, or maybe a family ring passed on through generations or even your child’s favorite toy. Whatever brings luck stays on the felt for long hours too!
- Poker and Massages: No, not the kind your mind is making you fantasise about. The real massages that can prove to be a life saver for the tired muscles after an all-nighter. Poker is synonymous with massages. Through the night, the wary body needs some solace from sitting in a strange stance. It is these neck, head and shoulder massages at poker rooms that come in handy to get the groove going and get the blood flowing to get back in the game.
- Poker and Money: Show me the Money! That’s what poker is all about! It’s the money that makes the mare go. Glory and trophies are always there. But money does bring a lot of satisfaction. And when it is money won in poker, it is even better.
These ‘rishtas‘ are heavenly for any poker player. These are ‘rishtas‘ that any poker player is very true to.
Are there any such ‘rishtas‘ that you also have with the game of poker. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org with your poker ‘rishtas’ and we would love to share them with the world.