Thursday, August 19, 2004

Random Thoughts

No boring poker details about particular hands and what-not. No bitching about bad beats. Just some general thoughts.

Sometimes I forget that I really enjoy playing poker. I like gambling, but the enjoyment is usually situational. It's immensely enjoyable to sit down at a blackjack table in an honest-to-God casino and cash in that first one hundred bucks, feel the chips in your hand, and push out that first bet into the circle. Or to sit down at the horse track, on a Sunday afternoon, sun shining, beer in hand, and a program full of possibilities.

But the gambling itself is secondary, by and large. I can't ever divorce myself of the knowledge that I'm playing a negative EV game. That doesn't mean I can't love the environment I'm in, and the action that occurs, but the lure isn't the fact that I can win or lose money. The lure is that I love being in the environment itself, love the potential, the atmosphere.

Poker, though, is a different beast. I truly enjoy the act of playing poker, whether it's online, in a casino, or in someone's kitchen. It's the best combination of luck and skill I've found yet. Chess crossed with winning $50 on a gas station scratch ticket. Infinitely malleable yet governed by cold, hard chance.

I need to remember that more, the pure enjoyment. I get too caught up in the bottom line numbers, as far as bankrolls, profits, losses. I don't want to play poker for a living. I never will play poker for a living. But I will likely play poker for the rest of my life. So I damn well better make sure that I enjoy it.

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