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When the Rumble in the Jungle, as the fight was called, finally got under way in Zaire, it began as the pundits predicted. Big George Foreman was relentless, throwing punch after punch at full force in the direction of Ali, who covered up while leaning back against the ropes. *
Ali offered little resistance. Outside of a few seemingly futile jabs, he looked as if he wasn’t even trying to fight back.
But that was Ali’s strategy. After a few rounds, the heavily muscled Foreman grew tired. He had punched himself out and was spent. Ali, by comparison, was fresh. He was also unhurt. Ali then began a counterattack. He came off the ropes and danced in the center of the ring. Ali, who was faster, peppered Foreman with jabs and stinging overhand right hands. Now it was Foreman who had nothing to offer. “What’s the matter, George,” Ali said as Foreman launched a slow, tepid punch in his direction, “Is that all you got?”
“Yeah,” Foreman recalled saying to himself as he related the tale years later, “that’s all I had.”
Ali, who — like any good poker player — was selective and very aggressive once he had the best of it, won the fight. Like many good poker players, he also managed to get inside his opponent’s head by dint of his guile, style, and
282 Part V: The Part of Tens
image. But ultimately it was Muhammad Ali’s creativity and ability to think outside the box that allowed him to beat George Foreman in a fight only he thought he could win.
Realizing When discretion Is the Better Part of valor
Sometimes life’s lessons don’t have to be transported from the card table and applied elsewhere; they are learned right on the spot. At Hollywood Park Casino players can bet on the horse races without leaving the card table. Bet runners take the bets and return with pari-mutuel tickets.
One of the players in a $20-$40 Hold’em game was particularly animated whenever it was race time. He would get up from the table yelling and shrieking at the top of his lungs as each race was run.
Whenever his horse won he would laud it over the table. “I win, I win, I win," he would shout, “and all the rest of you are losers.”
Whenever he lost he would yell even louder, often directing his remarks to different players at the table. Once, when he had a particularly large wager on a horse that finished out of the money by a nose, he noticed a player at the other end of the table who was smiling at him. “What are you looking at, loser,” he screamed. Til kill you.”
The player just sank further down in his seat, as if to avoid any confrontation with the manic horseplayer. This only encouraged the horseplayer’s aggressive tendencies. “Are you laughing at me?” he shouted. “No one laughs at me. Г11 rip your head off,” the horseplayer continued, as he stood up next to his seat.
“1 don’t think so,” the player at the other end of the table said softly, as he stood up, still smiling.
As soon as his adversary stood up, the horseplayer quickly realized the error of his ways. The player he was threatening to kill was a former professional football player (an All-Pro lineman, to be exact) who had spent 13 years in the NFL. The horseplayer was of average height and weight. The former football player was about 8 inches taller and 120 pounds heavier.
The former football player smiled at the horseplayer and said, “Just sit down, shut up, and start over. Only this time, be nice.”
Just to show you how rapidly some of life’s lessons are learned, the suddenly conciliatory horseplayer sat back down immediately. This time he was the one who seemed to slide all the way down in his chair. And all he said was, “Yes, sir.”
8-or-Better, High-Low Split Poker. See Omaha Hold’em
ace hands, 88 aces, 82
acting in turn, 22 Addington, Crandall, 131 affording loss, 144 aggressiveness, 40, 166 alertness and Seven-Card Stud, 46 all-in, 227
AltaVista Web site, 212 analyzing poker results, 150-151 antes, 14, 19, 32, 83, 227 " Any two will do,” 226 AOL (America Online), 217, 219 Ask Jeeves Web site, 212 averages, 146-147
backer’s money, 155 bad beats, 144, 195, 227 bad players good games and, 40 probabilities and, 36 Baldwin, Bobby, 27, 131 bankrolls 300 bets, 152 backer’s money, 155 building up with another job, 155 converting capital into income, 154-155
professional players maintaining, 154-155 size, 152-155 supplementing, 154 “trust-fund pros,” 153 Bao, Peter, 194, 195
Baseball, 123 ,
basic poker concepts, 32-34 basics of playing, 13-14 beginner-level books, 234, 237-238 best available seat, 41 best hand, 30
The Best of Video Poker Times, 187 bets, 19, 227
betting, 18-20, 75-76, 83-84, 101-102 bigger limits, 155 order, 41, 84 Seven-Card Stud, 47 structures for poker tournaments, 161-162
taking break if losing emotional control, 144 bicycle, 14, 3, 105 big blind, 162 The Big Deal, 240
Big Deal: A Year As A Professional Poker Player, 11 big pair, 55 big slick, 227