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5 Reasons You Should Befriend Older Poker Players

Older Poker Players

Back when I first started playing live poker tournaments, I quickly made friends with various older poker players. At the time, I was 30 and most would assume that most of my friends would be around my age.

However, I quickly discovered that it would be good if I tried to befriend older players as opposed to younger pros and wannabe pros. Today, I’ll give you some reasons why you should make friends with older poker players.

They Know More Than Texas Hold’em

If you want to analyze every aspect of Texas Hold’em, make friends with the under-40 crowd in your poker room. They will likely be able to give you advice on every angle you can think of in NL Hold’em. Hold’em has been largely solved and younger players tend to have focused almost exclusively on Hold’em

Older poker players generally did not start their careers playing Hold’em, or if they did, it was Limit Hold’em. Usually, they started out playing Seven Card Stud, Lowball, or some other form of poker. If you want to become a well-rounded player, then you need to make friends with these older players as they can teach you the ropes of these games.

My poker mentor schooled me in Stud 8 or Better and Omaha Hi-Lo. I’ve known other players that were versed in most other forms of poker, and I was able to get a lot of free poker advice from these players.

They Know the Realities of Poker

I’m incredibly thankful that many of my early friends in poker were older as they were not star-struck or naive as to the realities of poker. They schooled me about how many of the top players are nowhere near as profitable as they claim and they educated me about the pitfalls of the game.


I also learned a lot about poker staking from one older friend who was happy to share his knowledge. Once he found out that I was not there to get him to put me into poker games, we quickly struck up a friendship. Show these older players some respect and courtesy and they will give you a world of knowledge about the realities of poker.

They Are Generally Well Connected

Older poker players that have been around the block are generally as well connected as top pro poker players. That’s because they are fixtures of certain poker rooms and have met most anyone of importance in a poker room.

I can’t tell you how many times I have been hooked up with comps, room discounts, rides to the airport, or the like because one of my older friends introduced me to the right people. It’s almost like being in the mob and someone introducing you to someone higher up the ladder. Generally, it’s who you know.

They Can Give You Great Advice on Life Outside of Poker

Older poker players have more experience with life and will generally have great advice pertaining to life and poker. Some advice will be cautionary tales based on their observations of others. At times, their advice will be from the school of hard knocks. They can give you advice on everything from finances to relationships, and more.

Whether you’re 18 or 50, this advice can help you improve your own life. I will admit that some of the choices that I’ve made pertaining to my career path in poker were due to the advice received from my older poker friends. That’s one reason I did not turn pro. Their advice helped me to make the best choice for my situation and I will always be grateful.

It Helps You Become Well-Liked

One outcome that I never expected from making friends with older pros is that it shaped the perceptions of other players. When they saw I was friends with select older pros, their perception of me went up. Sometimes I would be approached by people who knew those players and I would make other friends.

For example, I knew the late John Bonnetti and I made several friends that knew him. They knew he liked me and their logic was “if John likes him, I should get to know him too.” I wasn’t looking to win friends and influence others by my choice of friends, but it helped.

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