Random, amorphous thoughts about poker, rolling around in my head, in no particular order:
- It sounds backwards, but it's surprisingly hard to admit to yourself that you're a winning poker player. Because then, suddenly, you're responsible and on the hook. It's much easier to get all mumbledy-mouthed and hem and haw, questioning yourself, questioning variance, questioning everything. (And yes, I've been very guilty of this myself in the not too distant past.)
Strip everything else away and winning at poker is pretty simple. Everyone has the tools and abilities to make money playing poker. If you want to be a winning poker player, accept the responsibility. Put yourself in position to make money. Do it over and over and over. Don't hide from or deflect the responsibility. If you have the tools to win and you're consistently losing, it's your fault. Fix it.
- Variance is a bitch sometimes. It's natural to get reduced to a sniveling, grousing shell of a poker player, with much sand in your crotch, only to find yourself on top of the world a few months later, erasing all the losses and even putting a nice, profitable cherry on top.
It's pretty natural to gloss over variance, as no one wants to willingly engage in an activity that could, through no fault of their own, cost them hundreds or thousands of dollars, plus much, much frustration. But it eventually catches up to everyone, at some time or another. I dug an embarassingly damn big hole for myself in the first four months of 2006 as far as poker results, yet managed to dig my way out in the span of three weeks or so. It'd be nice if our results (both good and bad) came on a nice, steady curve, but the reality is that more often than not they're all the hell over the place.
- Most people lose money playing poker. All bloggers are people. Most bloggers lose money playing poker.
Don't let the fact that everyone else is killing the game for ridiculous sums of money discourage you or set some artifical bar of success that doesn't seem achievable.
- Lately I've been intentionally posting hands that I played poorly, mainly because I have plenty of fodder and I find the exercise interesting. Why do we resist posting hands that we butcher? Or when we read such, why is our immediate reaction "Dude, I would have kept that butchering to myself." Why do we instead tend to post individual, successful hands to illustrate concepts and strategies, when it's well-nigh impossible to demonstrate anything with single hands?
I've been guilty of all of those. And it's odd, because it runs counter to just about any endeavor that you're working to improve at. Burying your butchered hands in the backyard doesn't accomplish much other than cluttering up your backyard with a lot of holes. It's silly to pretend that we don't make mistakes, each and every session, because almost all of us wee mortals do.
In non-poker news, too much sadness and loss in the poker blogging world. Many condolences to everyone struggling with such things.