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Poker News | PokerWorks Op-Ed

The Back Room – Do What?

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The only mouse you’ll find in the back room of the Farm Barn is one that scurries away from the light and the sound of a poker game that runs late night once a week – no computers, no internet poker, no electronic gadgets allowed.

“You’re a witch.”

I busted out laughing. Those were the first words Seamless had offered me in six months.

“Seamless! Where the hell you been, Man? Gone! Not a word to anyone!” I exclaimed.

“Strange places, strange faces, Lum; just don’t ask for more than that.”

“Okay, okay. Glad you’re back.”

I’m Lumbar. I operate a custom woodshop. When Seamless showed up I was three-quarters through cleaning The Back Room. Someone had trashed the grain stored in sacks back there. Clovis’s crew had gotten the big stuff, but the tracked-in dirt and grain kernels had made a mess.

“Break time, Seamless. Grab a beer from the cooler over there and sit.”

And that’s the way Eddie the Droop found us, sitting drinking a local, micro-brewery wheat beer catching up on common friends and town events.

“Beer, Lum!” demanded Eddie.

“In the cooler behind you, Eddie.” I pointed.  “Seamless is back.”

“I was wondering who that car out front belonged to.” Eddie said, getting himself a beer. “Seamless.”

After catching up with each other, Eddie turned to me and asked: “What are Stop-Win, Stop-Loss, and Stop-Playing?”

“Been reading books, Eddie?” I ask.

“No. I was up North the other day with a friend and we got into a conversation with a bunch and a couple of them threw out the words. I hadn’t anything but idea’s what they really meant, Lum.”

“What do you think they mean, Eddie?”

“No you don’t, Lum, this time just gimme without the long explanations and detours.”

Seamless said; “It’s fairly easy, Eddie. Stop-Loss is a self limiting lost money point you set for yourself. An example would be one buy-in or fifty percent of one buy-in, or even a time limit to play in a manner of speaking. That last shades into the Stop-Playing area, although not totally. When you reach those self imposed limits, push back from the table and say, ‘No more.’ – you have to mean them though.”

I chimed in with: “Stop-Playing is different in ways, Eddie. If you think, or feel you’re on tilt, stop playing and take a walk. Clear your head is another way of saying it. It’s just a way of expressing confusion, really. Get away for awhile. Oh! That includes getting away from the table for weeks or months, too.”

Eddie put his empty bottle in the sack and looked around. “Let’s get this job finished, huh?” and grabbed a broom.

Between the three of us, we made fairly short work of that room. Disregarding the trash bags outside, the joint fairly sparkled. Well, if you disregarded the open studs and smell of dusty grains. But the table was polished and the floor was clean. Hell, even the lamp shade was clean. I think that’s the first time in 50 years or so. We’d even gone so far as to beat the dust from DD’s cushion.

Finished, Eddie handed around another beer and sighed. “Damn,” he says, “don’t recognize the place. It even smells good.”

“Clean always smells good, Eddie.” Seamless says.

“Alright now,” Eddie says, “Stop-Win. That one has been bothering me for days now. It’s ridiculous. Just the thought of stopping winning is stupid. Weird even.”

“Not really, Eddie. Most people indulge in Stop-Win, but never realize they do it.” Seamless says.

“Think of it another way,” I say, “how many times have you heard “He isn’t living up to his potential.””

“You mean . . “ Eddie turns thoughtful.

“Yeah, Stop-Win is stopping at a pre-defined limit of winning. It happens in life efforts and it is a ‘maybe it should apply’ to some folks at the poker tables. The problem with life efforts it’s a conscious or unconscious decision.” I continued.

Seamless picked it up with: “There’s probably not one of us that haven’t looked at a large stack in front of us and then made a stupid call that started a skid to going broke. That’s what the Stop-Win does for us. Figure what you want to do, get there, Stop. Push away from the table. Same-same as the Stop-Loss: one buy-in, a percentage of a buy-in or a double up.”

“Self limiting!” Eddie exclaims.

“Yep,” I say, “rather like a tournament makes you do. Without the excess of all or nothing.”

“Damn. So easy!” Eddie exclaims.

“Try it sometime.” Seamless mutters.

*Find the ongoing Back Room Tales in our Poker Wall Section - or type The Back Room in 'search.'  And for the sake of discussion, you'll find The Back Room tales in this thread in the forum.

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