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Player Profiles: Get to know Alan25main

July 31, 2019

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Our community is what makes Replay Poker stand out from other sites. We’re kicking off a new series in which we profile some of our players. Get to know more about who you see at the tables!

The first player we’re learning more about is likely already familiar to you. Alan25main is one of Replay Poker’s volunteers, writing for both our blog and our Facebook page. Find out how he came to love the game of poker below.

“My history with card games begins about the time I could hold cards without dropping them–roughly the same time MacArthur was giving his “Old Soldiers” speech to Congress in 1951. In those days, most people’s entertainment was either via the radio or homemade. Everybody of all ages played card games if we weren’t outside. Old Maid, Hearts, Crazy Eights, Go Fish, and War, eventually gave way to Rummy, Canasta and Samba (same game but three decks instead of two), Euchre, single deck Pinochle, and 31 (a game of points within suits). All these were played without stakes by adults, children, and mixed groups of both.

I was fortunate enough to early become a very motivated reader of our family’s copy of Hoyle’s Rules of Card Games. It introduced me to the concept of skills and strategies for those games we commonly played. If something “sounded interesting,” I’d deal out a few hands of it. If it really was interesting, I’d study it a bit and introduce it at the next family game night. I wanted to win and figured that knowing even a little about the game would give me an advantage when we played the next game out of the book. Conniving little rascal, wasn’t I?

The first time I played poker for money was somewhere early in Kennedy’s Presidency while on a Boy Scout camp out. None of us–including me–really understood the rules, but it was fun and I won 30¢, enough for a Saturday matinee movie and some candy. I’ve been playing whenever I could find a game, ever since. Yes, I now know the rules.

I had a massive heart attack on October 28th, 2000. My then-wife drove me to the hospital about 7 miles away. I died a few times, but they kept bringing me back. I spent several weeks in the ICU, mostly under heavy sedation, before the doctors decided I was strong enough for a quadruple by pass. I finally came home just before Thanksgiving, watched some news and found we still hadn’t elected a President (yes, it was that election).

Out of sheer boredom, I had cable installed so I could reliably access the Internet for news and opened an AOL email account. After a few days, I found a poker site where I could play for free. They also offered “real cash” games–it was legal, at the time–but I didn’t trust the Internet or the players enough to put real money at risk. After about five months, I was able to return to work which I continued until I retired in 2009.

That first poker site went belly-up when the Feds closed all the USA real money games. I found another couple of free sites and played there until 2015. One day, I went to access the site I was then playing and it wouldn’t load. “The site isn’t responding” the message said. After a few days, I went searching and found Replay in December, 2015, and I’m still here.

I enjoy the sense of community I feel with many of the players here at Replay. There are a few players I’ve gotten to know and some I’ve even met. Currently, I’m just a few short of 400 “Friends.”

Many of the stories I’ve told on the blog reflect real situations I’ve encountered over the years, though seldom with the actual players identified, and even those, mostly gone to the Great Game’s Final Table. Not all, of course; many tales are the pure bluffs of an active imagination.

I try to project a positive attitude. I enjoy telling stories. If I should chance to teach readers anything, that’s just a bonus for me. I intend the stories to be entertaining.. I try to make them seem as real as I can in the space allowed, even if they are the purest BS. If I’ve done it correctly, you’ll never know for sure which stories are “true” and which ones are made up unless I tell you (but, I’m a poker player, so I might be bluffing, he says with an evil grin).

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A note about the image: A friend who served with me in Vietnam with the Korean Marines (no one ever told you we had allies there, did they?) had some shirts made. I bought one. I’ve lost about 30 pounds since this was taken.

Ron Pittenger, also known as Alan25main (Alan Quartermain)”