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Finish this senten new player--Stakes do matter

Posted By: Phil Simborg
Date: Friday, 20 March 2015, at 7:07 p.m.

In Response To: Finish this sentence...Long reply from a new player (Fatboy)

Why is it more exciting watching the finals of Monte Carlo than the finals of a small tournament? Even if the finalists aren't that well-known or strong? Because the stakes are higher. It means much more to win in terms of money and prestige.

Remember the good old days when we went to backgammon tournaments, and over in the corner Nack and Malcolm and Senk and Howard Ring and Harvey Huey and a few others were playing in a chou for $200 a point (which would be like $500 a point today)? I think more people were watching that chou than the finals of the tournament (except one of them were often in the finals).

Why is the final table at the WSOP so exciting...they dump a few million dollars in cash on the table. It means a hell of a lot more when someone goes all in with a 10-9 in that game than in any other poker game I've ever watched or played.

Until you have sat at the backgammon board looking at a 16 cube, or several 8 cubes when you are playing for big stakes, I don't think you can fully appreciate how much more exciting the game is when the stakes are high and taking or passing will truly have an affect on your mood for the rest of the week (or month). I've been there, and as much as I love playing a friendly game or match for little or no money, there is nothing like playing for big money.

The biggest gambling game I have ever played in was a bridge game for $100 a point. I was being backed by my brother, who was my partner, because there was no way I could afford to lose at those stakes at that time. We bid and made 6 NT on one of the final hands of the day. (We should have been in 7 clubs, but in a money game you are not penalized for being in the wrong contract.) That was over 40 years ago, and I can still tell you today the bidding sequence and every card in my hand and my brother's hand and how much my hands were shaking as I played it out (properly...it was almost a no-brainer).

Anyone who doesn't think the stakes matter probably hasn't played for big stakes...and big means more than you can afford or more than you are comfortable with.

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