Seven winning poker quotes to inspire you


If you’re looking forward to some online poker sessions this week or there’s even a live tournament near you then what better way to get up for the battle than reading our seven poker quotes to inspire you?

Winning poker game

Let’s step back in time and enjoy a look back at poker as it was as well as how it is today.

1. “It’s immoral to let a sucker keep his money.”

Matt Damon’s character Mike McDermott uttered this immortal line in the 1998 movie, Rounders. As we wrote about in our Poker on Screen column, the perfect opening scene in celluloid poker history features one of the coolest lines, too. McDermott learns all about those morals by the end of the film, of course. Will there ever be a Rounders 2? Rumours abound to this day.

2. “When a man with money meets a man with experience, the man with experience leaves with money and the man with money leaves with experience.”

Nobody knows where this poker quote comes from, but it’s a belter, isn’t it? There’s no replacement for experience in poker and it will often cost the rookie plenty of money to find that fact out. If you’re the player with experience this week, make them pay. If you’re not, be careful how much it costs you to take a lesson.

3. “At gambling, the deadly sin is to mistake bad play for bad luck.” 

Ian Fleming’s writing in the 1953 novel Casino Royale is perfect, illustrating the world of high stakes gambling better than hundreds of other works both before and since. Never does this quote seem more appropriate than when playing poker, and the James Bond franchise owes a lot to the opening novel in its incredible canon as a result. The 2006 James Bond film Casino Royale would, of course, to some extent ruin poker on screen, but you can’t win them all.

4. “Poker has a feeling of a sport, but you don’t have to do push-ups.”

American magician Penn Jillette really makes sense with this observation about the nature of poker. It takes practice, discipline, focus…and you can do it wearing lounge pants and watching YouTube videos of the world’s best magic tricks? Just us? Fine, but you’d be amazed how often we can pull a rabbit out of the hat on the river. 

5. “Going all in before the flop, [you] may as well play the lottery instead.”

Rick Hickey is clearly not a fan of the push-fold charts. Full square behind post-flop, he doesn’t move his chips over that line until he’s seen a flop. Hickey has also never won the lottery, but he does have an act of affection named after him, to be fair. It’s swings and roundabouts, like going al-in pre-flop.

6. “I can dodge bullets, baby.”

Phil Hellmuth with one of the most famous poker quotes of all-time, and if we can’t listen to The Poker Brat, winner of 15 World Series of Poker bracelets, who can we listen to? Hellmuth is a walking, talking headline-speaker, and trust us, we’ve been in his company during an interview where the sun set over the back lot of the Rio… because Phil told it to!

7. “I believe that poker is a people game played with cards, not just a card game played by people.”

Carlos Mortensen, the Ecuadorian player who was raised in Spain and became a poker legend at the WSOP makes a superb comment on the spirit of poker. Mortensen has been one of poker’s most interesting players, not least because in the final hand of the 2001 WSOP Main Event, he won with a suited king-queen all-in against pocket aces, making a straight to crack aces for the title. That final table 20 years ago featured Mike Matusow (6th) Phil Hellmuth (5th), Phil Gordon (4th) and Dewey Tomko, who ‘El Matador’ beat heads-up. Incredible.

Whatever game you’re playing at the felt this week, bring your A-Game and if you can’t be good, be lucky.