Sign Up For Card Player's Newsletter And Free Bi-Monthly Online Magazine


Leaving Las Vegas for Some Family Time

by Roy Winston |  Published: Aug 12, '08


I am once again sitting on a Southwest Jet headed across the country, this time back to Albany, New York and then off to Western Massachusetts to spend the week with my parents. It has been some time since I spent a week straight with my parents where it's just the three of us. Usually there are other family members and I am accompanied by the woman I am seeing. This accomplishes a couple of things which at first glance may not be completely obvious. First of all, my parents are both mental health professionals which right there opens up a big can of worms. For the most part, they don't sit around and just psychoanalyze me, or do they? Fortunately as a child growing up, they separated their work from the raising of my brothers and me. However, it does on occasion seem like they saved it all up to use on me now, or is that just a little paranoid. I guess I could just ask him and see what he says about that. On occasion, when I say or do something that is perhaps a little bit out there, my father will give me a funny look, and I don't mean funny like ha ha funny, I mean more like five men in a hot tub in West Hollywood funny, and he would say "what are you crazy?" My standard reply is "hey you're the psychiatrist, you tell me." Actually my father is the one who enjoys examining the parts of my life that perhaps don't conform to his vision of what I should be doing. Keep in mind that I'm the oldest of three sons and was expected to follow a path which I have strayed from more than a little. Both of my brothers are married professionals, and I don't mean poker professionals, with the standard 2.5 children, living in the suburbs of New York City, and spend their lives working traditional jobs, going to their kid's soccer games and saying yes dear to their wives (I hope they don't read this). In fact, one of my brothers was a decent holdem player, and used to play at Foxwoods and online until he went on a losing streak and his wife quickly put an end to that. She installed software on his computer which blocks all gaming sites, put an ankle bracelet with a tracking device on him, and makes him wear a dress around the house. Okay I'm kidding about the dress part, but it could be happening. Boy and I'm the one with the issues.

My life could be viewed by some as somewhat less traditional. I suppose it's going to be an interesting week. Now don't get me wrong, I love my parents and value the time we spend together more than anything. This week will be spent playing golf with my dad, going to the Tanglewood music festival in the evenings, swimming and sailing in the lake by their house, hiking and talking about everything from the upcoming presidential election to why I'm not married and don't have any kids. Give me landing an aircraft in a storm on a short runway at night or Kenny Tran heads up for my cased bankroll, but not the isn't it about time you thought about getting married and starting a family talk. I do point out, much to my amusement and my father's chagrin, that I did the settle down and get married thing not too long ago. After all we did have a happy six weeks together before she served me divorce papers while playing poker at the Commerce casino. How could I of been so blinded, although they do say that love is blind, the forget to mention deaf and dumb as well, and can hurt like a motha, anyway enough of this, I am actually excited about the prospect of falling in love again. Why just the other day I had an interesting conversation with my girlfriend about just that. I always find it strange that right after sex, my girlfriend likes to talk about this kind of stuff, usually she calls me up…. okay, I had to throw in some Rodney just to lighten things up a little, but seriously why can't we all just enjoy life and not worry about all that, I'm thinking this could well be the topic of this week's discussion with the parents.

Now back to poker. When I left The Venetian today my student, Men's Health journalist Jonathan Thompson was playing in the daily tournament which had about 95 runners and were down to 70. At the break we discussed some of the hands he played, and analyzed the other players at his table. He was about average in chips and I am excited to hear how it all went when I land. The article will appear in the October issue in the United Kingdom, Europe, and perhaps Canada and The US. I really had a good time working with him; he worked hard, learned fast, and was a nice guy. He has promised to show me London when I'm there for the WSOP in six weeks.

I would like to mention how nice the folks at The Venetian were to Jonathan and me the past few days. Other than the locals in the room not cooperating and beating Jonathan in his cash game attempts, it was really great. He did get to suffer a bad beat when in a $2-5 no limit game he raised 6 big blinds preflop in late position with three limpers already in the pot, they all called of course, and he flopped an up and down straight draw which he bet (I was so proud), one guy called, the turn brought him the straight and he bet the pot and the guy still called, the river came a third spade and the guy checked, and after a minute of thought Jonathan checked behind showing his straight, the other guy flipped over queen four of spades for a flush. Still, checking behind showed he knew right where his opponent was and for someone who has played poker for a whopping 72 hours it was quite an accomplishment. How do these guys call a preflop raise with queen four? I know it's suited, but how do they always get there? Jonathan asked me what he did wrong; I said "nothing, nothing at all. Sometimes you are just destined to lose a hand."

For more information on Roy Winston, you can visit his website: or send him an email:

Roy Winston finished 16th in 2007 Card Player, Player of the Year race. He won the WPT Borgata Poker Open and finished the year with well over $2 million in tournament poker winnings. Roy plays online exclusively at Full Tilt. For more information on Roy Winston, you can visit his website: or send an email to: with your questions or comments. The contents presented herein on this blog are purely the opinions of Roy Winston, and are not intended to reflect or promote the opinions of any other person, group, or entity. If you like what I write than thanks for reading, and if not well, thanks anyway.

Any views or opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the ownership or management of
Newsletterbanner Twitterbanner Fbbanner

Most Viewed Blogs