If you've ever visited the Deuce, you know that most of the players - cowards and pansies who need death like you need another Fat Tire - plod along limping into somewhere between 30% and 40% of the pots.
The style that will behead their hopes - defined as ish - comes straight from ninja culture: from Tokyo through the deserts of Central Asia and then back up through upper Mongolia for a dinner of Budaatai Khuurga washed down with some green tea and two vodka shots before heading across the Pacific Ocean and hailing a cab for Cannon Studios in Hollywood.
Cannon, by the way, is the only Hollywood studio in the history of mankind that starred ninjas, was written by ninjas, directed by ninjas and produced by ninjas. Ninja gaffers, ninja cameramen.
Some critics wrote that these movies contained just a little too much ish; these critics soon died in their sleep from multiple self-inflicted ninja sword wounds.
Cannon, as you might remember, crafted the masterpieces American Ninja, American Ninja 2: The Confrontation, American Ninja 3: Blood Hunt, American Ninja 4: The Search for Spock, American Ninja 5: Enter the Ninja, Revenge of the Ninja and Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo.
If your personality rebels against the idea of playing with ish, watch the above movies for inspiration. You'll come to see that each and every hand at the Deuce is not only a battle over pennies but a fight to the death.
Raise 80% of your hands. Limp the other 20% and then reraise the pre-flop raiser. With ish the flop does not matter. The turn and river do not matter. All that matters is that you are full of ish.
Necessarily, you will have to win every pot. A difficult strategy to master, but with time you will succeed ... or else lose your bankroll. Who cares about money when you're full of ish? Take pride in the fight.
* * * * * * * * * * *
Many poker players fail because of their fears. Naturally, a state of ish is also a state of fearlessness.
However, ish is an elusive spiritual state. How can players without ish - the ishless - succeed? Even worse, how can the ishless play without Fat Tire?
There is an old Uzbek saying: You can't jump over your head. That saying applied until Cuban high jumper Javier Sotomayor leapt 2.45 meters in 1993.
Now that the ishless can jump over their own heads, we can solve any problem, conquer any fear. The ishless simply need to equip themselves with the proper equipment.
If you're afraid of midgets, purchase a monkey. Monkeys frighten midgets. Put the monkey on a leash and sit him on your shoulder. Enjoy your safety.
Are you one of the terminally shy who is afraid of all people? Purchase a Taser. Zombies? Buy a pistol. Aim for the head.
Vampires? Wooden stake. Oprah? Remote control. Phil Hellmuth? Earplugs. Werewolves? Silver sword. Failure? Beer. Boredom? South Park. Clowns? Hammer. Meter readers? Shotgun.
Paperboys? Black ice. Dogs? Sausage. Mice? Hammer. Spiders? Grenade. Bats? The Dark Knight on DVD. Ballerinas? Ninja star. Teachers? Trained marmot. Under-the-gun pre-flop limp-reraisers? Hammer. Ninjas? Ninjas of your own.
So there we have it. To conquer all of your fears, purchase some earplugs, a Taser, a remote control, a silver ninja sword, a few ninja stars, a trained marmot, a shotgun, some sausage, a wooden stake, a few hammers and an in-house ninja.
Or you could just watch the American Ninja series and develop some ish.
Good luck at the tables.
Yakshi is the actual name of, um, Yakshi. No last name. Like Cher or Madonna, but without the talent. After consuming nothing but strawberry-flavored Pop Tarts, chicken-flavored Top Ramen and Fat Tire beer for 18 months straight, Yakshi began to hallucinate random cards, numbers, dice, stars and coins - a vision that he struggled to formulate into an "advanced Hold'em strategy," which he now uses almost exclusively at full-ring 1¢/2¢ No-Limit tables at PokerStars.
When he is not five-bet shoving 3-2 of hearts, he may occasionally be found folding the two red aces - correctly - pre-flop. His hobbies include spelunking, cheese and nitrous oxide. He lives in Erie, Colo.
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