Confessions of a Poker Newbie

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Lynn "Queen of Hearts" ParisLynn “Queen of Hearts” Paris

As some of you already know, I am an amateur when it comes to poker. Although my husband and I own the Texas Poker Store, an online poker supplies site, I had a full-time job until last year and he pretty much ran the business on his own for close to five years. He also wrote the blogs, often running them by me for some (badly needed) editing. Naturally, I picked up a bit of poker knowledge from doing that, but not much.

Jim "Pocket Bullets" ParisNot only that, but I never particularly enjoyed watching poker being played, live or online. My husband is the poker enthusiast, which is one of the reasons we created the Texas Poker Store in the first place. He’s the one who plays in a friendly poker game once a week and online most nights. He’s the one who has gone to Vegas to cover the WSOP Final Nine each year and he has the photos and poker stories to prove it.

When I retired a little over a year ago, I put my toe in the water and agreed to write a few blogs. It seemed only fair considering that I’m the one who was a communications coordinator at Texas A&M for eight years. Of course, I looked for topics I understood (like March Madness, Texas A&M football — anything to do with sports) and used the blog primarily as a marketing tool to attract visitors to our site.

And then I discovered the Global Poker League.

I was fascinated by the idea that there was something new in the poker world that nobody else really knew about. I could become an expert in a topic that was actually about poker. Sports fan that I am, I bought into Alex Dreyfus’ innovative vision to “sportify” poker by incorporating team competition, along with good digital content and enough entertainment value to provide a new kind of “fan experience.” I considered myself a new kind of fan, so it suited me perfectly. Besides, Dreyfus absolutely needed ambassadors to help him make poker more mainstream, and I decided that I was the perfect person to be that ambassador for our site.

My first blog about the new league was titled “What is the Global Poker League (GPL) and Why Haven’t You Heard of It? I admit it; I loved knowing something about poker that our followers didn’t know about, and I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to introduce this exciting new concept to our readers.

I wrote approximately 30 blogs while following the inaugural year of the GPL. I was both a fierce promoter and a fairly accurate predictor of the problems the league might encounter, and I never hesitated to offer Alex Dreyfus my constructive criticism. (Although he follows me on Twitter, victory enough for my first year, I doubt he ever actually took any of my advice).

The important thing is, in the process I got hooked on poker.  I watch it with my husband on late night TV and I understand what’s going on. When he comes home from his weekly poker game and starts describing his bad beats, or how he drew the gut shot straight on the river or how he bluffed and won with a pair of 3s, I sit in rapt attention instead of yawning.

But I’m still an amateur, a newbie, a vital part of the audience the GPL hoped to attract. Nevertheless, as an amateur, I thought it would be fun to continue writing this blog in my authentic newbie voice, bringing up poker terms I still don’t get, or discussing poker strategies that I, and maybe even some of you, might not totally grasp. If you’re a new-generation poker fan, we can learn together. If you’re an old-time player, you can make comments and add your wisdom to the conversation. Or make fun of me; it’s okay. Either way, I can continue blogging without acting as if I know more than I do. Hopefully, you’ll continue to follow me, and every once in a while, decide to purchase something at the Texas Poker Store.

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