Talkin Poker - Trite poker expressions

Trite poker expressions
often ring hollow
  After years of playing poker, I have seen the same mistake more times than I can count: Where a hand calls for careful, thorough analysis, poker players look for shortcuts and simplifications. In any given player’s mind, there are several — or several dozen — terms and phrases that sound sensible to the ear but fail at the table.
  Recently, in a $5/$10 no-limit game in Las Vegas, I saw a classic example of a player justifying a blunder with a catchy poker phrase.
  Before the flop, an active player opened the betting with a raise to $50 and was called by a loose and passive opponent in the cutoff seat. From the big blind, a full-time professional player who is a regular in the mid-stakes Las Vegas games also called, holding 7s 7d in his hand. When the three of them saw a flop of 10h 7h 4h, action quickly escalated.
  Let us focus on the player in the big blind. Knowing that the active player would bet almost any hand, the big blind checked. He was right, and the preflop aggressor fired $100 into the pot. However, the big blind was surprised when the passive player raised all in, a significant overbet.
  Now, it was the big blind’s turn to act. He was looking at a set of sevens, and he had started the hand with about $1,200 in his stack. With one player all in already, the big blind just had to do the math.
  Like many veterans, the big blind could quickly break down the numbers. He had $1,150 left after calling before the flop. He stood to win a pot of $1,405. Those odds meant that he needed to win at least 45 percent of the time to make a profitable call. It seemed like a good outlook, because he already had a respectable hand and would improve to a better one about one-third of the time. In a later conversation, he argued, “The only hand I was behind was a flush.”
  Unfortunately, that simple remark cost him his stack. Even though it was almost true, it was not close to the whole truth.
  There were two reasons why he should have known better. First, the player who went all in was passive, not the type to attack pots or bluff, and there was not much at stake when he shoved his stack into the middle. From such a player, anything less than a flush would be rare. Second, even though the big blind would draw out to beat a flush about 35 percent of the time, a passive opponent would not go all in with enough weaker hands to give the big blind at least a 45 percent chance of winning. His only options were to fold or to get all of his money in while too far behind to make it a worthwhile bet.
  The big blind’s opponent did indeed have a flush, and the big blind failed to improve his hand on the last two streets.
  What strikes the ear as convincing and logical can often be one’s downfall in a poker game. Every decision must be made carefully, avoiding shortcuts and rules of thumb. Take the time and have the discipline to make consistently smart plays.
  (Corwin Cole is a poker coach whose instructional videos can be found at He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .)

Making memories

Making memories

  Evergreen Park High School students Tina Hutchinson (front, from left), Alyssa Gonzalez, Claritza Garcia, Elizabeth Heniff, Allison Johnson, Kara Bologna, Emily Gunty and Shonterrance James; and Taylor Hintermeister (back, from left), Nicole Eliszewski, Keairre Giles, Kasey Nolan, Kennedy Jung, Julia McCauley, JoyAnn Ainley, Danielle Biel and Hayley Vincent are among the art students who have joined the Memory Project, a nationwide initiative in which art students create original portraits for children around the world who have been orphaned, neglected, or disadvantaged (
  The Memory Project has been featured on national television, most notably when Katie Couric concluded her first broadcast of the CBS Evening News with a story about the project’s success at an orphanage in Nicaragua. Students at Evergreen Park High participated as part of painting and advanced art classes, and made portraits for 18 children in Jamaica.

Submitted Photo

Fair O' Fun

Student Council member Siobhan Fox helps a youth and his father make oobleck.

Student Council member Alyssa Lee hands a prize to a winner.

Hadeel Altaher paints a youth

Fair o’ fun

  The Richards High School Student Council held its first Family Fun Fair last week. Despite a big snow storm the day before, March 4, parents and children filled the cafeteria at Richards, 10601 Central Ave. in Oak Lawn, for games, crafts, snacks and face painting. Activities included science projects such as making oobleck, a viscous clay-like substance from the Dr. Seuss book “Bartholomew and the Oobleck.” Games included bingo, Freeze Dance, Can Knock Down, Jenga, and a Leprechaun balloon race.

  Submitted Photo

Park Lawn prepares for annual Tag Days

  Park Lawn seeks volunteers to help the weekends of March 29 and 30 and April 12 and 13 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. to spread the word about the organization’s annual Tag Days.

  During Tag Days, volunteers stand in front of storefronts and street intersections across the southwest suburbs to give out information about Park Lawn and collect donations. On average, the event helps raise more than $65,000 that benefits the programs and services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities at Park Lawn. Since the first Park Lawn Tag Days in 1982, more than $1 million has been collected.
  Safety vests, collection buckets and handouts with Park Lawn’s logo will be provided to all volunteers. No special training is necessary.

  For more information call the Park Lawn Development Office at 425-6867 or visit
  All proceeds from Tag Days benefit Park Lawn, a local non-profit agency located in Chicago’s southwest suburbs that provides vocational services, supported employment, adult developmental training, and residential services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. For more information

Reporter Archives

50 years ago
March 14, 1963
  Chicago Ridge resident James L. Gardner sued the villages of Worth and Chicago Ridge for an altercation at the Glenn Maker American Legion Hall, 107th and Ridgeland Avenue in Chicago Ridge. Gardner alleged he was attacked by four youths at the hall, and was seeking $600,000.

25 years ago
March 17, 1988
  Palos Hills planned to build in a nine-hole golf course just west of 105th Street and Harlem Avenue. The course was expected to bring in $300,000 in revenue, which would help a city that typically brought in $525,000 in annual sales tax revenue.

  Raymond Kay was one of five Oak Lawn firefighters sworn in in March. The five new members brought the total department to 101 firefighters. Kay is now the acting fire chief in Orland Park.

10 years ago
March 13, 2003
  A Worth police officer was suspended without pay after he was charged with “extreme drunken driving” while vacationing in Arizona. The 48-year-old officer had just days earlier been placed on administrative leave by Worth Police Chief Patrick O’Connor for allegations that included drinking on the job.

  Community High School District 218 approved a two-year custodial contract with the option for a third year. The contract included custodians, grounds-keepers, maintenance workers, pool cleaners and electricians. The contract was retroactive to July 1, and raised salaries 3.5 each year.