Poker Deaths

Most of you that know that I’m a fun guy at the poker table.  I don’t take poker very serious and I try to make it fun for myself and others.   Poker is just a game for me and its competition and entertainment. 

But….   2016 World Series of Poker.  I decide to try something different.  I’m going to play my best game, grind more, no stupid risk and no blind donkey play.  I’m going to go WIN with my skills.

Seriously, I’m going to get Serious. 

Well, God had different plans.  And as always, poker is a LIFE learning experience. 

The signs were all around me, but I just couldn’t figure them out until I got home and talked with my wife.  Poker is the Death of many serious players.  Poker is not fair.  Poker is cruel.  Poker is not your friend.

While playing in the 2016 Series, I had lots of pros come to me and want to be staked.  These guys are legends.   You would know their names.   Each has the same story.  They fell on bad luck and are totally broke.  They will play for 30% or even less of the stake.

Each of these guys are better players than me.  I have a hard time saying that, because when I have played with them, they have often made me scratch my head.  Regardless, these guys are good players.  And they are all broke.  But it is not just my 4 friends.  You see it every year.  Big name poker players begging people to stake them.  There is even a website called, “Youstake.”  Now why would a successful poker player want to give away 50% of their winnings?  It simple, “They’re can’t afford to stake their selves.”

I entered a single table satellite and staked one of these legends.  I watch him play.  He was poker dead.  Fear controlled his game.  He didn’t bluff, play position or anything else.  He just waited for the premium hands.  Poker Death was controlling his game.  He didn’t last very long. 

To highlight the Death of a poker player, I’ll share this story.  In 2015 I staked a guy (that I thought was a good friend) that placed first place in a tourney.   This year he was dead broke.  I staked him in another event after giving him 6k to get out of debt.   He entered the tournament, sent me a copy of the receipt and supposedly went to play.   However, I had a funny feeling about it.  So I asked a friend to see if he was really at the table.  He wasn’t there, but he was sending me updates on how he was getting bad beats.  Eventually he said he got knocked out.  But he never played.  He got a refund on the entry fee and pocketed the cash.   He had experienced Poker Death.  It is the state of being that occurs when poker is no longer a game, but is a death trap to life and morals.  It brings everyone to their knees. 

Let’s bring this back to the lesson plan.  Serious Jim was ready to prove just how good he was in 2016 WSOP.  Well, I played in 5 tournaments and several single table satellites and I can tell you I had more bad beats in one week than several years of play.  I had more suck outs than I can even count.   It’s all a blur and I don’t want to bore you with the bad beat stories.  Well, OK, got to share this.  Two hands in a row in the main event I get KK.  Re-raised both time.  Both times I hit a set of kings and both times lose to A2345 straight as the other players held A4 and A5.  Serious Jim was getting is ass kicked.  And why is it that the very hand I can’t win with (KK) is the one that knocks me out when I have (QQ) and the guy slow plays them?  Coincidence, I think not.

Getting serious about poker leads most players to an ugly Poker Death. 

I don’t think that God ever wants me (as a Christian) to get serious about poker or gambling.  I don’t think God wants me to care about my poker reputation.  I believe God wants me to have fun and enjoy poker as a game. 

Fun Jim has gone deep and final tabled many events.  Serious Jim has experienced Poker Death and gotten his ass kicked. 

I hope this can help out some Christians that are struggling and getting too serious about poker. I hope this helps players that feel like God is playing against them.  We are not victims.   We know what we get ourselves into every time we play the game.  Gambling is going to bite us the majority of the time. 

Remember:  Poker is game.  Poker is entertainment.  Poker is for fun.  If it’s just a game, we can walk away and share our bad beat stories to our best friend.  But if poker becomes a Lifestyle, then expect your LIFE to end with your Poker Death. 

Getting serious about poker leads most players to an ugly Poker Death.


I don’t think that God ever wants me (as a Christian) to get serious about poker or gambling. I don’t
think God wants me to care about my poker reputation. I believe God wants me to have fun and enjoy
poker as a game.


Fun Jim has gone deep and final tabled many events. Serious Jim has experienced Poker Death and
gotten his ass kicked.


I hope this can help out some Christians that are struggling and getting too serious about poker. I hope
this helps players that feel like God is playing against them. We are not victims. We know what we get
ourselves into every time we play the game. Gambling is going to bite us the majority of the time.


Remember: Poker is game. Poker is entertainment. Poker is for fun. If it’s just a game, we can walk
away and share our bad beat stories to our best friend. But if poker becomes a Lifestyle, then expect
your LIFE to end with your Poker Death.

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