Riverboat Ring Your Bell

So James Garner and Clint Eastwood Walk Into a Bar….


Sorry Clint, you shouldn’t have called him “Maver-rack”.  Maverick was the original legend of the West.  He was the thinking woman’s cowboy.  A guy who could walk around in fancy duds, clean shaven, not a hair out of place, and emerge without so much as a missing cufflink after a knock down drag out brawl with a young upstart fresh off the range. Respect. A master of the razor sharp retort, an educated man. Bonus that he always had cash on him. He was a man on a mission that didn’t take himself too seriously, or the mission either for that matter.  He was a professional poker player.

Professional Poker players do not consider themselves gamblers.

One aspect of the game that gets lost in a lot of these discussions is that poker is likely the most complex competitive game routinely played. It is more complex, has more interwoven strategic levels and is tougher to master than any of the other supposedly intricate games like bridge and chess. You chess mavens out there can scream all you want, but if you understand both games at anything close to a deep level, you know what I’m talking about. – Arthur Reber, Professional Poker Player

To paraphrase, Poker is a game for very intelligent people, and intelligent people don’t gamble.  Of course as in any game there are winners and losers and in this particular game it’s your bankroll that’s at stake, but the odds favor wit, intelligence and a certain savoir faire over mere chance.

Maverick applied all of his gaming skills to triumph over outlaws, insults, stacked decks and wild horses. He leveraged, picked his battles and knew when to fold and walk away.  Like all the best westerns, Maverick, was a morality play done up in Stetsons and hand tooled saddles.  Maverick’s  particular moral triumph was brains over fire power. A true gentleman’s game.

For me, forever, this face will always give my heart a little flutter.  This will always be the face of Maverick…


James Garner April 7, 1928 – July 19, 2014



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