Why You Can’t Miss Après Ski Poker in South Lake Tahoe


Poker players are always looking for the advantage, whether it is through numbers, reading other players or anything else, each thing can make a difference in whether or not they pull in the big pot. A common place for the avid poker player to work their game is Las Vegas, where seemingly unlimited tables are running 24/7. However, sometimes it is worth taking the trail less traveled. Whether or not you like to ski or snowboard, if you like to play poker then the après ski party in South Lake Tahoe might be just the place for you. Based on the observations of this writer, a few patterns have been noticed in this town that bring significant advantages to the aware player every once in a while.

Consider the following scenario:

A group of friends come to ski and party in South Lake Tahoe for the weekend. They are visiting from a low altitude location, such as the bay area, and have just spent their entire Saturday skiing at 7-10,000 ft. The physical exertion in combination with the altitude change and decrease in oxygen is enough to make them tired and most likely dehydrated. This is their first weakness at the poker table, ability to mentally focus.

Then, as this is a vacation and a weekend, they start consuming the usual amount of beers they would at home (if they haven’t already started on the mountain). The problem here is that at the higher elevation, those beers have a stronger effect. Compounding the effect is the free liquor brought over by the cocktail waitresses at the poker table, because who says no to free booze right? So here we have the second weakness, a little more alcohol than normal (often excessive).

Next up is the level of motivation of these players. Surprisingly, at a game where a lot of money can change hands very quickly (even at a 1-2 table), these guys just want to have some fun and tell a few jokes. At this point, this is just entertainment. Who cares if they lose a couple of hundred dollars? This is the fourth weakness, lack of motivation to win.

Finally we look at their poker skill levels. Although there are many poker rooms in California and most other places that visitors commonly originate from, there are
a surprisingly high number of players who don’t play often. This is often coupled with the motivation issue as their approach might be focused on being entertained and *maybe* they will get lucky. Casinos might not be a common activity for them, so why not give it a try right? Lack of skills is the last weakness.

Of course not all weaknesses are apparent every weekend and with every visitor. You might say that people drink a lot in Las Vegas too, and that is a valid point. Las Vegas is a great place to play against other professionals and a few not-so professionals. This article is simply a collection of observations that have lead to the belief of this writer that if you are sitting at a poker table during ski season in South Lake Tahoe, there is reason to believe you might just have an edge. Of course, this only holds true if you are not the one who is tired, dehydrated, drunk, distracted and lacking in poker skills. Otherwise, forget you read this and please continue to have fun skiing, drinking and then giving away your money at the poker table.