By The Grinder
Here are my top five picks of poker songs that might help you get motivated and pumped up before your big tournament at the World Series of Poker this year. Owing to their compositional brilliance, I loved these songs much before I learned how to play poker, but hearing them again after actually having played poker makes them truly inspirational for their lyrics too! Here’s the top five list in reverse order of favorites, followed by a noteworthy lyrical piece from the song.
The Angel and The Gambler, by Iron Maiden. The brilliant Bass God Steve Harris writes “Best make decisions, Before it’s too late, Take all your chances, Take hold of the reins”. You can neither be too safe playing a tourney, nor cave in to constant pressure. You got to hold the bull by the horns and take bold decisions, but make sure they’re wise ones.
Ace Of Spades, by Motorhead. Lemmy sings “I don’t share your greed, the only card I need is The Ace Of Spades”. It underlines how underrated an Ace is, especially in a short-handed final table. Never underestimate the power of an Ace.
The Gambler, by Kenny Rogers. Kenny sings “You never count your money when you’re sittin’ at the table. There’ll be time enough for countin’ when the dealin’s done”. Sure. Once your money’s in, it’s in! A patient yet strategic grind in a top-heavy tourney will give you rich dividends. In other words, stop thinking about that rent you gotta pay, so you can buy an island when you’re done.
The Jack, by AC/DC. Bon Scott sings “Poker face was her name, Poker face was her nature, Poker straight was her game … If she knew she could get you, She played ’em fast, And she played ’em hard, She could close her eyes, And feel every card”. A reminder that your ego tends to get the better of you sometimes, and you tend to underestimate players, for example, pretty girls. Don’t. Stay focused and keep your ‘A Game’ on at all times. Underestimate no one.
Deal, by Grateful Dead. Jerry Garcia writes “I been gambling here abouts, for ten good solid years, If I told you all that went down, it would burn off both your ears”. Doyle Brunson would be a testament to this. Dolly fought cancer, was almost shot, and he crawled and scratched his way to the top. Every successful poker player ‘who didn’t lose it all in the end’ cannot have an easy story.
But then Garcia also writes “Since it cost a lot to win, and even more to lose, You and me bound to spend some time wondering what to choose”. If you believe in your game and your chance as a poker professional, please pursue it. You’d rather tread a painstaking path and make it doing what you love, than chase the invisible cheese like rats.
Other than your trance, and your rave, and your house, and your rock, and whatever else gets you going, be sure to give these songs a good listen. Good luck at the World Series this year!