So we’ve all memorized the famous quote as it appears at the start of Rounders. “Listen, here’s the thing,” begins Mike McDermott. “If you can’t spot the sucker in your first half-hour at the table, then you are the sucker.”
The original source for the quote is perhaps even harder to spot than the sucker is. It certainly predated Rounders.
Often cited as an old “poker proverb,” Amarillo Slim Preston — himself the originator of many such sayings — is sometimes pegged as the originator, and he included a version of it in a revised edition of his 1973 book Play Poker to Win published in the mid-2000s: “If you don’t see a sucker at the table, you’re it.” That said, in the same revised edition Preston credits the investor and philanthropist Warren Buffet “and a million other fellows” with having uttered the same idea before him.
Even Paul Newman — who starred in multiple, memorable poker scenes in films such as Cool Hand Luke and The Sting — is sometimes said to have made a similar observation: “If you’re playing a poker game and you look around the table and can’t tell who the sucker is, it’s you.”
Whoever first said it, we all get the idea. At every poker table there’s a player who is the most-skilled and one who is the least, and being able to spot the latter can have a great deal to do with how successful you’re going to be.
Today’s installment of “The Weekly PokerNews Strategy Quiz” invites you to engage in a similar process of elimination, in this case spotting the answer that doesn’t belong among the choices. If you spot it, you’ll get the question right, but if you don’t... well, we won’t call you any names.