Helping Losers

Poor players are valuable assets to the good player. He keeps them in the game by shielding them from--

  • personal comments that could hurt their feelings
  • arguments
  • unpleasant players
  • personal problems of other players
  • bad credit.

Poor players and big losers are usually grateful for the good player's "protection." They don't allow themselves to realize that he is the one who sets them up for their heavy losses. Still, if big losers never win, they will lose interest and may quit the game long before they are broke. So occasionally the good player helps them to a winning night. He helps poor players (relative to better players ) by--

  • increasing the ante
  • increasing the betting pace for early bets
  • decreasing the betting pace for late bets
  • interpreting the rules to favor the poorest players and biggest losers
  • assisting the poorest players and biggest losers whenever possible.

But the good player helps others only to the extent that he can profit himself.

Big losers like Ted Fehr think that John is helping them when indeed he is bankrupting them. Consider the following incident with Ted Fehr

Ted is losing over $1000. It is four in the morning; Quintin and Sid get up to leave.

"Hey! Play a little longer," Ted says in a shaky voice. "Don't quit now. I'm stuck a fortune. I ... I never quit when you're hooked."

"You never quit 'cause you never win." Sid laughs.

"I'm going," Quintin grumbles. "You can win it back next week."

Ted turns his sweaty face toward John and rasps, "We can't quit now."

"Look," John says, raising his hand, "Ted is way down. Give him a break. Everyone play another hour at double stakes. We'll all quit at five o'clock sharp."

"Yeah," Ted says, now smiling. "Everyone play another hour at double stakes."

Quintin Merck objects to the higher stakes. Sid, who is winning nearly $1000, objects to playing another hour. But they both sit down to resume playing.

"Thanks," Ted says, leaning over and patting John on the shoulder. "You're the one guy who always gives losers a break."

At five in the morning the game ends. In that extra hour, Ted loses another $800. He is pale and staggers around the room with unfocused eyes. In that extra hour, John wins another $1000. He leaves quietly.

After a few days, Ted forgets his losses; but he always remembers the favors his friend John does for him . . . such as keeping the game going when he is losing.

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