The Joey Del Experience: Zappatore And The Poker Playing Mother

Posted at 13:51 2009-12-08


Well another week has come and gone. The eyes of the poker world have been well and truly transfixed on Sydney’s glorious Star City Casino as the Grand Final of the 2009 PokerStars.net Asia Pacific Poker Tour drew to a close. Whilst I live in Sydney and am always excited when there is great poker happening in our backyard, I have to admit that my poker brain has been a little preoccupied over the past week. Something has happened that, well it may be nothing, but it may be the most horrible, disgusting thing to ever take place.

It started out like any other innocent yet frighteningly painful conversation that you can have with your mother. You know that moment. You are sitting there minding your own business and then your phone rings. You look down and see those three little letters next to each other M U M. Immediately your brain starts racing.  What should I do? Should I answer it? She is only going to want to talk about punishing mum stuff. Can I pretend I am busy and miss the call? But she knows that I always do nothing, so she will not fall for that. Then you feel guilty. The whole “she carried you around for 9 months” thing, so you answer the phone and as soon as the conversation starts you know you have made a big mistake.

Now usually when my mum calls it is because she has seen some new type of illness on a current affairs type programme and she instantly assumes that either she or I have that disease. Either that or she wants to tell me all the things that I am doing wrong with my life. Apparently mothers don’t see the beauty of waking up at midday and spending the whole day watching television and playing poker. They think this is a problem.  However occasionally mum will bring up a conversation point that is a little left field and it will take me by surprise. This was one of those phone calls. She had seen some poker on television and decided that she would be quite good at it and she wanted me to teach her how to play. A poker playing mother...a very interesting concept.

Now those of you that have been reading my little articles for a while will know all about my dad and his successful poker playing ventures. There was his final table in the Sydney ANZPT teams event with my sister’s boyfriend - possibly the only poker player in the world who plays poker worse than my dad. There is of course also the fact that he has won the fifty-fifty on Full Tilt Poker more times than it has been run. Well I haven’t mentioned him for a while, luckily for my reputation but sadly for his wallet, as the old foe of the poker player, “variance”, has finally caught up with him and he has been running bad of late. So bad that he has decided that online poker is rigged, and because he is so good, they have changed the software so that he never wins anymore. The great “Zappatore” is currently taking a break from poker.

Now your dad playing poker is one thing. Every guy from an ethnic background out there has a poker playing father. I often have fun talks with my other Italian, Lebanese and Armenian friends about the silly things our dad’s do playing poker, but your mum is an entirely different proposition to contend with. It seems that all these years of trying to explain to her that there is skill involved in poker, it is not all luck, have finally worked! However perhaps a little too well! You see, when most people understand that poker is a skill game and not a luck game they decide to play it not realising that for the bad player this is actually not a good thing. If you are better than average it is good that the better players end up with the money. However if you suck, you are probably better playing a game like roulette, when the ball doesn’t care how skillfully you laid your chips on the table, it will land wherever it wants.

I assume by the fact that my mum doesn’t know which is higher, the king or the jack, that she will fall into this latter category. However she has asked me to teach her how to play so that she can tour around the world just winning poker tournaments all the time and I think that this may actually be way too funny for me to turn down. Considering my dad won about ten tournaments in his first month of playing, mum will probably start amazingly well too. Knowing my luck she will get snapped up into some multimillion dollar sponsorship deal before the year is up so my day will consist of three things. Firstly my mum will call up in the morning to tell me which city she is playing poker in that day. I will then, in a tilted state, log online to play a few hours of cash games until finally at around 3pm I receive a phone call from my father to tell me that he has made the final table of the 100k guarantee on PokerStars and if I would like to watch a master in action I should log on and watch him play. I will do so and he will undoubtedly win by min-raising and ‘stop and go’ing his way to the top.

So no matter how bad your life is going, just remember it could be worse...you could have to put up with your parents being better poker players than you are!

Have a good week and best of luck in whatever you do!

- Joey Del

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Joey Del Duca - poker is in his blood... Joey Del Duca - poker is in his blood...

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