Saturday, December 26, 2009


I think I might have a problem. I am beginning to suspect that I suck at poker. I've made some leaps and bounds in the past year, but unfortunately I think that has elevated my game only to the moderately horrible level, as opposed to the horrible horrible level I was at.
I've run into the same thing with other games. When I was younger, I was incredible for my age at chess. But as I got older and joined the chess team, other kids started studying openings and defenses and really put some time into it. I wasn't willing to commit the effort to getting really really good. I had other interests like football, pinball, and girls. Chess hurt my chances of pursuing any and all of those. In that way I was a bit of a dichotomy. I was a kid in chess club who would violently kick your ass if you made fun of it. I'm still better at chess than 99.5% of the population without really trying, and that's good enough for me. Similar thing with pool. I got to a point where I was going to have to learn advanced english technique and start practicing if I wanted to get better. To quote Homer Simpson, "If something is really hard, it's probably not worth doing." Or to quote my uncle Homer "If at first you don't succeed......fuck it."
I wanted poker to be different. I started reading people's stories about poker, and it seemed like everyone was winning. Everybody seemed to be fleecing novices, winning piles of money, and moving up in both stakes and tournaments. I now have an inkling that perhaps people exaggerate their winnings slightly in blogs, bars, and casinos. Much in the way people are always bursting into bars waving a scratch ticket talking about how they just "won" $500. I've never once seen anyone rush into a bar saying "I just blew $120 on scratch tickets and didn't win a goddamn thing! I just couldn't stop. Now I don't have money to buy my girlfriend a birthday present. Shit, I don't even have enough to get drunk now. I'll be at home crying myself to sleep if anybody needs me."
And I've spent a lot of time in bars.
There's an outside chance that it's human nature to brag about successes and gloss over failures. Just maybe. One exception is the Poker Grub, who I respect for his honesty, and root for whole-heartedely. Good luck Grub!
The average skill level at hold 'em has definitely increased by leaps and bounds over the past few years, and I haven't kept up. In the past, I actually had some success in ring games and tourneys. I even won a couple. That was before I knew how bad I was. At least I was having fun (and winning a couple bucks). Now it's a grind AND I'm not winning at all. I guess a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
Well, we shall see if I can get my lazy ass to buckle down and do some research and play disciplined. I'm not doing myself any favors by playing at (what's the polar opposite of nosebleed?) tables and dime tourneys. Even when you make good plays, you have 3 or 4 idiots coming all-in behind you, and it's tough to win those races. I've always done way better at live games than online, so we'll see how my upcoming Foxwoods trip goes. Yeah, that's what I'll stick with! I'm more of a brick and mortar guy. Yeah, that's the ticket. After all, I have plenty of casino winning stories, and the losses well, they ah,.....what losses?

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