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The Ballad of JohnnyDrama by Dave W

JohnnyDrama took all of my chips.

There it is. I said it. My participation in one of the greatest online poker tournaments, the NJ PartyPoker Garden State Super Series IV, can be summarized in those six words. It’s one of the strangest sentences I’ve ever had to write. Have you ever written something down on paper and the spelling just doesn’t look quite right? That’s what this sentence looks like to me.

I’m typing this post from one of my favorite places on earth, the Yankee Doodle Tap Room of the Nassau Inn in Princeton, New Jersey. My laptop rests on the heavy wooden tables carved with the names of visitors and former students from the University across the street who came to the bar to eat, drink, or even look at the massive mural of “Yankee Doodle” behind the bar painted by Norman Rockwell specifically for the Inn. My table sits in front of a wall covered by black and white photos of former students from the University who went on to accomplish great things.I’m sure the idea of a huge online poker tournament would fascinate them. For them, I’m sure poker in Princeton meant playing in a dimly lit dorm room with only nine people sitting around an old table. The other night I got to play poker with over 190 people.

At first, the tournament went very well for me. I was playing tight, playing only premium hands. I was actually feeling confident and I did something I never do during a tournament. At the first break, I took a look at my standings in the tournament. Big mistake.  I was in 14th place!!! My confidence was soaring. But as any poker player will tell you, your fortunes can change in an instant. It’s the most beautiful and the most treacherous thing about the game of poker.

It happened after the second break. My confidence was at an all time high, feeling my pair of Kings could beat anything. JohnnyDrama proved me wrong. The pair of aces he held ended my run at the tournament with a thud.  An old-time poker player once told me playing confident is great, playing cocky could get you in trouble. Great advice.  I got into trouble.

So as I sit here writing these words, I find myself staring at the black and white photos on the wall. Those wonderful faces from New Jersey’s past that helped shape the 20th century. All those great men and women who became lawyers, doctors, politicians, and writers can never utter the words that I say right now:

JohnnyDrama took all of my chips.

About the Author

Dave Weischadle is co-host of the syndicated radio talk show House of Cards and anchor of the House of Cards Gaming Report. Dave, an attorney, is a member of the Gaming Law Division of the New Jersey State Bar and is a member of the Entertainment and Sports Law section of the New York State Bar association.

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