"If you’re at a poker table and you don’t see a sucker, it’s you.” This gambling saying dates to at least 1982 and was possibly coined by Amarillo Slim Preston, a professional gambler.
The saying moved into the world of finance by the late 1990s. If you don’t know who the loser in a financial transaction is, the saying goes, you’re the loser. Some dispute the saying—a successful con clearly identifies someone else as the sucker (or loser).
Wikipedia: Amarillo Slim
Thomas Austin Preston, Jr. (born December 31, 1928 in Johnson, Arkansas), known as Amarillo Slim, is a professional gambler, famous for his poker skills and proposition bets. He won the main event at the 1972 World Series of Poker. He has been a member of the Poker Hall of Fame since 1992.
The Official Site of Amarillo Slim Preston
Amarillo Slims Famous Quotes
“Look around the table. If you don’t see a sucker, get up, because you’re the sucker.”
Amarillo Slims Top 10 Keys to poker success
1. Play the players more than you play the cards.
2. Choose the right opponents. If you don’t see a sucker at the table, you’re it.
By Gerald Jay Goldberg
New York, NY: Viking Press
Tattersall’s brother-in-law, Fletcher, the sociology professor at Berkeley, was fond of telling him that when you sit down to play poker and you don’t see a sucker at the table, you’re it.
Books: Sucker Play
By John Skow Monday, Nov. 19, 1990
by Anthony Holden
Viking; 306 pages; $19.95
The author admits that he was not at his best—“tired, a little drunk, jetlagged, and light-headed” is his recollection. A prudent man would have gone to bed, and the following morning he would have taken the next plane out of Las Vegas.
Dull stuff, prudence. Anthony Holden never hesitated: he wobbled out into the night. But as Holden, a British literary critic, reached the Golden Nugget’s cardroom, he remembered the gambler’s formula for chump detection: “If you can’t spot the sucker in your first half-hour at the table, it’s you.”
By Roy Blount
New York, NY: Villard Books
Of course they say if you’re playing poker and you can’t figure out who at the table is the sucker, it’s you.
Low Risk Investing:
How to get a good return on your money without losing any sleep
By Gordon K. Williamson
Holbrook, MA: B. Adams
As Amarillo Slim, a well-known Las Vegas gambler, once said, “If you sit down at a poker table and you don’t see a sucker...you’re it”
The Quotable Gambler
By Paul Lyons
New York, NY: Lyons Press
If you’re in a card game and you don’t know who the sucker is, you’re it.
The Internet Bubble:
Inside the overvalued world of high-tech stocks—and what you need to know to avoid the coming shakeout
By Anthony B. Perkins and Michael C. Perkins
New York, NY: HarperBusiness
“And if after 30 minutes of this poker game you don’t know who the sucker is, you’re in trouble.”
New York (NY) Times
PERSONAL BUSINESS: MIDSTREAM; Bon Voyage, Internet Stocks!
By JAMES SCHEMBARI
Published: Sunday, April 25, 1999
‘’I promise that competitive pressure will make it difficult for all these Internet companies to succeed, and, like the disk drive industry, there will be a high mortality rate,’’ he said. ‘’I think it’s a sucker’s bet. In a poker game, if after 30 minutes you don’t know who the sucker is, then it’s probably you.’’
Naked Among Cannibals:
What really happens inside Australian banks
By Graham Hand
Crows Nest, NSW, Australia: Allen & Unwin
To borrow a phrase from Warren Buffet, if there was one thing the Funny Money deals taught everyone, it was ‘if you don’t know who the sucker is, it’s you’.
Management Stripped Bare:
Understanding business as it really is
By Jo Owen
New York, NY: American Management Association
Only fight if you know you can win. In Wall Street, if you don’t know who the fall guy is, you are. In corporate battles, if you don’t know who the loser will be, you are. In oteher words, if you don’t know if you can win, you will lose. This means that most battles are won and lost before they are fought. You mus know before you start whether you have lined up all the political alliances and support, as well as the rational arguments, to win.
The Mammoth Book of Zingers, Quips, and One-Liners:
Over 10,000 Gems of Wit
By Geoff Tibballs
New York, NY: Carroll & Graff
If you’re playing a poker game and you look around the table and can’t tell who the sucker is, it’s you.
OCLC WorldCat record
The Virgin guide to poker: “if you can’t spot the sucker, it’s you”
Author: Alex Tanner
Publisher: London : Virgin Books, 2006.
Edition/Format: Book : English
The Poker Face of Wall Street
By Aaron Brown
Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley
The opposite of this idea is expressed by the tired cliche “If you don’t know who the sucker is at the table, it’s you.” I don’t know who said it first; I’ve seen iit attributed to dozens of people. Regardless of who said it, It’s deeply stupid. Most con games are organized to make the victim think that someone else is a sucker. So if you think you know who the sucker is, you’re most likely being conned.
The Poker Encyclopedia:
The Definitive Poker Book
By Elkan Allan and Hannah Mackay
“If, after the first twenty minutes, you don’t know who the sucker at the table is, it’s you’ - Unknown
Aug 22, 2007, 8:03 a.m. EST
The Credit Card
Commentary: If the wheels fall off the financial wagon, you were warned
NEW YORK—They say that if you’re playing poker and don’t know who the sucker is, chances are it’s you.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Top ten investment tips: reader feedback
Harry writes that if you don’t know who the sucker is at the poker table, then it’s you. And the same can be said for personal investing. If you can’t tell who the loser is on the trade, well then, you know who you are. Anyone who bought an accumulator last year will no doubt vouch for this.
September 3, 2009...10:49 pm
One of the best tools you can use to determine the quality of financial advice is that of understanding the motivation of the person guiding you. Is this person trying to sell you something? Are they advocating a political or moralistic agenda? What’s their angle? There is an old Wall Street adage that says, “Whenever you don’t know who the loser is in a transaction, then the loser is you.” Some investment advisors get paid salary, others commission, others still make money pushing certain financial instruments. It helps to know where the person giving you advice is getting compensated. Do your homework and get the details.
New York City • Banking/Finance/Insurance • (1) Comments • Friday, September 04, 2009 • Permalink
This statement isn’t anything short of the truth. I remember my first trip to Vegas when I stumbled upon a table with some extremely intoxicated tourists. Nevertheless, it was a great night.