02 October 2003

Noah, I happen to work down the hall from the author of the soon-to-be-bestselling memoir Poker Face: A Girlhood Among Gamblers, which was released to significant acclaim by Random House this past August. I asked Katy (whose siblings are world-class poker players and whose father is this famous punster and verbivore) how she can tell whether someone is a good poker player. "High stakes or low stakes?" she asked. Low stakes, I replied, remembering that Noah had been playing to get his $6 back. "Well, everyone at low stakes games usually sucks," she said.

I pressed her for something more useful, and finally she gave me this tip: A good poker player will often wait until everyone else has made a bet to look at his cards, because his time is usually better spent looking at the other player's faces. Beyond that, there aren't any good rules. Someone who talks a lot and tries to get into your head may be an excellent poker player and skilled at manipulation, or he may just be trying to pick you up.

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