Now this was never really a problem for me, since I really couldn?t see the point in trying to play, or the harm in letting the boys have their ?guys night? in the basement. Their mini-fraternity parties never kept me up at night, and besides having to deal with the stench of cigars, the whole rigmarole was forgotten by the following morning.
Like most women, I accepted that poker was a male phenomenon and I merely accepted it as one of those ?men are from Mars and women are from Venus? inconveniences.
That doesn?t mean that I was a novice to gambling, or a granny screwed to a slot machine stool for hours on end. I have been gambling on my PC since we got our first Internet connection in 2000, and I?m confident enough to go head to head in Blackjack, Baccarat, Caribbean Stud or Three Card with any dealer online or in Las Vegas. In fact, I feel so confident playing most card games, I am not reluctant to try anything new one of my casino throws at me.
And that brings me to the first point of my ranting?
Two of my Internet casinos started offering multi-player poker about a year ago. While at first, I have to admit that I didn?t have any interest in the game, I began to ask myself ?why not?? and it wasn?t long before I found myself in the local book store browsing books on how to play and how to win at poker.
Once I had the textbook basics memorized, I made my first transfer from my casino account to my new poker account. Early days nearly convinced me that poker WAS a man?s game, as I transferred more and more money from my casino account to my dwindling poker account. But after a few weeks of persistence, my luck began to change. The competition at the small stakes tables soon fell to the wiles of ?poker Annie? (that?s how I envision myself when I logon) and poker online suddenly became much more fun.
Which brings me to my second point?
After demystifying and disentangling poker from its ties to masculinity, I found that poker is actually a game very aptly suited for a woman?s disposition. If you take away the frat-boy environment and the stinking cigars, Poker becomes what it must have originally intended to be?a highly intelligent game, where the player?s outcome is less determined by testosterone than strategy and discipline?something everyone that has sold one box of girl scout cookies has engraved in the childhood subconscious.
Forget about basement poker girls, leave that to boys who need their bonding time. If you want a game that is going to fulfill you day in and day out with new faces, new strategies and new table-mates, poker is the place to find it.
If you want an experience that goes beyond the casino basics, get yourself a good book on poker strategy, and invest some time on the low limit poker tables online. If you put in an honest amount effort, you?ll be taking the boy?s money after two or three months. No need to go into the cigar filled-basement?online poker is where you?ll find the best game in town.
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By Anne Walker
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