Differences between Poker and Slot Machine Players

Differences between Poker and Slot Machine Players

I don't think there are two gamblers in the world more different than my brother and me.

For openers, my brother is not a poker player. He played poker for money many years ago, discovered he wasn't much good at the game and changed his interest to the slot machines. But he sure does know how to give me advice when I ended up losing.

'How could you go all in on a pair off nines?,' he wonders in an email when I tell him I got knocked out of a tournament. Or 'you're spending too much time playing poker. Take a break.'

John is a gospel singer and has been doing concerts with a group called the Steel City Quartet for many years in the tri-state area of Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. He is a tenor whose voice can hit an incredibly high range. His peers even voted him into the Gospel Hall of Fame, a prestigious honor that he doesn't mind boasting about.

Every now and then when the urge hits him, he travels to The Meadows, a casino and harness race track in Washington, PA. about 30 miles from his home, to play the slots.

The casino management makes it easy to lure him there. They send him free 'perks' through the mail -- coupons to give him free play on the slot machines, a free buffet or even a free room just to get him through the doors.


I have gone to The Meadows with my brother while in the Pittsburgh area. He will play the slots and we will both take a flyer on betting on the horses. Then when that is done, I will settle down to playing poker while he finds a favorite slot machine to try his luck.

Over the years, I have tried to talk him into learning to play poker, a game he does understand. Not a chance.

'I'll leave that up to those kids,' he said. 'Give me a good glass of wine and the slots. That's good enough for me.'

Every now and then, I will leave the downstairs poker room and go upstairs to find out what my brother is doing. It's a big casino and sometimes I will have to ask one of the friendly security guards to locate the machine my brother is playing. They can do that in minutes.

There he is, a glass of wine next to him, immersed in a mechanical monster that purrs to him, talks to him and occasionally rewards him with a jackpot. Occasionally but not often.

'How ya doing, bro?,' I will ask. He barely hears me. The machine has his interest and it's mesmerizing.

Finally he will notice my presence. He'll ask if I'm ahead or behind. But always he will be involved with the one-armed bandit.

Finally around 11 p.m., or sometimes closer to midnight, we will call it an evening. He will finish his wine and we will head for the parking lot. On the way home, we will talk about our perks and valleys, I will try to talk him into playing poker, and he will criticize me on what I did wrong at the poker table.

Hey, we're brothers and that is what brothers do. I know he'll never become a poker player and except on rare occasions, I won't play the slot machines. Let the games begin.

“Give me a good glass of wine and the slots. That's good enough for me”

  • I can relate to your brother , Im the same in many aspects . The great thing is you both allow each other to have their preferences , not forcing one to do as you'd prefer . Its great to see you both get along even with the diffences in game play , not many people are able to do that unfortunately .
  • Sometimes letters bring out even more than the author intended. Thanks for the input.
  • Like two people that know each other well, like being together, have mutual respect and love for one another, there is a ritual of sorts that takes place with every encounter. Like a couple that's been married a long time and loves to dance. They know each others moves and respond instinctively without so much as a thought. Everyone that sees them can tell that there is something almost spiritual going on between them. Your relationship with your brother has similar aspects, but is even more complex. You two have a life long history, blood that creates it's own special bond and last, but certainly not least, a shared genetic code, an insight like no other. So simply stated "Just Brothers," it's a powerful alliance.
  • Your story makes me think generally of the word brotherhood and it's meaning. And that would be that good brothers know one another well including the sharp personal differences that exist. Yet despite thorough familiarity with these differences brothers still accept and accompany and accomodate one another. I know this sounds maybe simple and trivial but sometimes cliche's can sum up a good portion of the reality involved...Don't here the term brotherhood bandied about so much as I did when I was younger.

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