The game of poker is in control, we’re stuck inside



The Cadillac of Poker (no-limit hold’em) may be turning into an Edsel. Many of you may ask why a person who has had a wonderful life (myself) playing the game would make such a statement. As I speak with players who are increasingly disgruntled, I’ve come to realize several obvious realities that need to be addressed.

Everyone who knows an ace is better than a king is now an expert player. Most players, however, couldn’t give you the answer to the most basic of math questions, and what’s more disturbing is they don’t care to know.

Like all good things in life the more they are enjoyed the less value they have; everything that becomes watered down suffers the same fate.

For those of you who really enjoy a particular meal and look forward to eating it, try eating it for several days in a row; I’m sure it won’t have the same appeal or taste.

Money seems to have less value in today’s game. No one I know (regardless of bankroll) can sustain the constant pressure of all-in NLHE. The high cost of tournament play with as little as a 1 percent return on investment after beating 90 of the field seems difficult at best, coupled with travel, food, lodging and time spent away from life in general, may just be too difficult.

What I admire most about today’s game is the number of youngsters who are truly great players with total knowledge of the math and percentages required to be considered great. Therein lies the common problem: there are too many of them.

Think carefully about what I just said: When you combine two opposing forces (bad and good players) in today’s game there isn’t a guaranteed result. There was a time when good players always made the money; that time may have passed based on other factors that permeate the game.

For the younger great players, you’re up against it. You must play in an arena that seldom gives you the advantage required to make a living. It was so much easier when poor players liked to play simply for the action and social aspects of poker; those players are seldom found these days. I love our game; Ford Motor Co. loved the Edsel.

— Antonio Pinzari has been playing professionally since the ’70s. He’s the creator of 23 Poker and Wild Tallahassee Poker, which you can learn more about at

Ante Up Magazine

Ante Up Magazine