I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know a whole lot about the game of video poker. And the reason being is that I just never had much interest for it because it’s one of those casino games where you’re at a machine playing against the casino. And most of the time that’s a really bad situation for one’s bankroll.
Now sure I’ve played video poker every now and then when I’ve been in casinos but that was only to pass the time or provide myself with a little entertainment while trying to get some free drinks. But I never thought that the game of video poker could actually be beaten or that professional video poker players existed.
But the other day I was talking to a friend and he said he heard something about how John Juanda was a professional video poker player in addition to his other exploits in the poker world. I checked it out and didn’t really find anything about Juanda being a pro video poker player but I did find plenty on what it’s like to be a professional video poker.
And no I’m not talking about the guys who claim they can beat any Vegas game, are banned from every casino, and simply want to share their secrets with you for the low price of their book. Rather I’m talking about a really fascenating interview I saw with a real Las Vegas video poker pro.
I found it to be extremely interesting as it’s a culture I’ve never really looked into even though it’s a sub-culture of professional poker in general. Basically this player going by the alias of Johnny Chung (probably wanting to protect his name from view of Vegas casinos) said that he started as a card counter in Blackjack during the 70’s but found it easier to make money off of video poker when it came out in the 80’s since they always shuffled the deck or kicked him out in Blackjack.
Once he got laid off from the aerospace industry in the mid-90’s, he started getting far more serious about video poker and started playing full-time. With his experience during the 80’s and early 90’s, and the knowledge he gained in video poker he has been playing it full-time ever since the mid-90’s. Last year, he made $135,000 for the whole year of playing and Chung only plays 40 hours a week.
Now I’m not saying I’m going to drop everything and go for the prospected of riches in video poker but I did find this story amazing since I’ve never thought of video poker in this light.