Sharpen poker skills on cruise

Cruises are themed around everything and everything these days, from cartoon films to floating rock festivals.
And now you can get coaching on your poker game, too, with a special cruise that originates in Galveston on Sunday, 24 April.

World Series of Poker champion Linda Johnson of Card Player Cruises said the theme cruise was very popular.

“We have a welcome aboard party, farewell party, beginner’s lessons, poker seminars, live games of many variations and limits, and poker tournaments. Our poker room is friendly and our players have a lot of fun.”

The cruise also takes in visits to Cozumel and Montego Bay plus a stop in George Town on Wednesday, 27 April. In the past, said Ms Johnson, cruisers have enjoyed visits to Stingray City, the Turtle Farm, Seven Mile Beach and Hell.

World series champion

The on-board gaming should be of the highest standard – Ms Johnson won the world championship in 1997. But it’s more about the fun than anything else, she added.

“The focus may be poker, but we really cater to the recreational player.

“This isn’t the type of thing where you’re going to get pros in the group, and we have a strict no-abuse atmosphere – we don’t allow any of the tantrums that you sometimes see on TV.”

The private poker room is for all abilities, and between 600 and 1,000 of the cruise ship passengers are specifically there for the game, said Ms Johnson’s partner, Jan Fisher.

“We have a beginners’ class for people who have never played before, and when the beginners play, they just play with each other all week.

“We protect that game.”

Trends in poker of late, added Ms Johnson, include betting a smaller portion of the pot and smaller pre-flop raises. For the casual player – using matchsticks and purely for fun, of course – she has some special tips.

“Be patient and don’t chase. Bet aggressively. And remember, poker cruises are the best holiday you can take!”

Wanna bet?


World Series of Poker champion Linda Johnson will be aboard the Voyager of the Seas for its themed cruise in April. – Photo: File