Poker Tips By George: Dreaming About Poker

Occasionally, I find myself dreaming about playing poker. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, it does disturb my sleep. I find myself unable to relax and drift off to a comfortable night of sleep. Perhaps I should stop playing the game online just before going to bed. I’ve heard this happens to sports fans as well as regards online football betting if they’ve been watching the games all day and placing the odd bet or two. Does this ever happen to you?

poker dream

poker dream

Last night, in my dream, playing $4-$8 limit hold’em and seated in the Big Blind, I had been dealt A–3 offsuit in the hole. I stayed in the hand only because there were no raises before the flop; otherwise, I was ready to muck that hand. The flop surprised me: three treys. Now I had quad treys – a super monster hand, the absolute nuts.

So as not to force out my opponents and build “my” pot, I checked my hand, and then called a late-position player’s opening bet along with two other opponents.

This would seem more than enough to keep a person awake. In my dream, I kept asking myself if an opponent could beat me with a higher four-of-a-kind. I tried to put it out of my mind – but I just could not. Repeatedly, I thought about it. So, after a while I decided to try to answer that question and did so as I lay in bed. After much thought, I focused on one key question: What are the chances an opponent could river me?

I guess I was at the early stages of falling asleep, but the question kept nagging at me – and kept me awake. (One thing about dreams: They do not restrain your thoughts or your imagination.) Here were my thoughts:

A loose player on the Button had been calling all the way to the river. He would need quad fours or better to beat me. In my dream, I decided that he had been dealt pocket fours.

The turn brought him a third four. Now, he needed one more on the river to make the quad fours…. Mind you, these were my thoughts as I moved restlessly in bed. I could not put it out of my mind – try as I might.

Getting back to my poker dream…

Somehow, I was aware that my opponent needed one more four – the fourth – to beat me out of the pot. With only one more four remaining in the deck, now consisting of about 24 unseen cards, he had just one out! His card odds were 24-to-1 against him – a huge long shot! He had about a 2 percent chance of beating me out on the river. My quad treys looked fantastic. Of course, even in a dream, my remaining opponent could not know the strength of my hand, probably assuming that his full house, fours full of threes, gave him the best hand by far.

So, after I opened the betting on the river, which was a blank, he raised me. I decided to reraise – and took a good-sized pot at showdown as he called and then moaned while showing his full house.

Now, for me, having won the pot, maybe it was a good time to relax and enjoy a well-deserved night’s sleep.

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About George Epstein

After a long and productive career as a leader in the aerospace industry, upon his retirement in the 1990s, George Epstein chose poker as his “second career.”

George has been widely recognized for his many significant accomplishments and contributions to our society. These include pioneering and innovations in various materials, testing and manufacturing technologies for our defense and space programs; teaching specialized engineering courses at UCLA, other colleges, and at seven NASA centers; introducing advanced composites into Air Force space systems; and creating the Air Force Manufacturing Problem Prevention Program (has helped avoid costly failures and anomalies for space systems),

He has authored many engineering reports and books; and is listed in American Men of Science; Leaders in American Science; Who’s Who in the West; Dictionary of International Biography; and Personalities in the West and Midwest.

Since “joining” the poker world, George “The Engineer” Epstein has written three poker books – most recently, Hold’em or Fold’em?– An Algorithm for Making the Key Decision and The Art of Bluffing.

George has organized poker groups at two senior centers, at West L.A. College, and at the VA/West Los Angeles, including teaching poker classes.
He is a columnist for several poker and gaming publications.

George has been elected to the Seniors Poker Hall of Fame, and was named Man-of-the-Year by the Westside Optimists, primarily for his efforts in encouraging retirees to learn and enjoy the game of poker.

He firmly believes that playing poker will help to keep seniors/retirees mentally and physically healthy.

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