Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Adrenaline in Poker= -EV

Played like a complete fool last night and was done in a new record time of twenty minutes. I knew after the first hand that I wasn't in the right frame of mind.

Some people consider poker to be a 'sport.' Personally, I'm not one of them, but it's a subject on which reasonable people can disagree. One way in which poker is definitely not like a sport is the optimal emotional state required to be successful.

When I played football in high school, you needed to be in a mood of controlled agitation, if that makes any sense. "Fired up," in other words.

For me at least, that is the worst state of mind when playing poker. Last night, I was ready to win the tournament in one hand. I felt ultra-confident, full of nervous energy. This made me think I could run over everyone with simply I forgot Golden Rule One for this level of tournament: No one folds post-flop. Ever.

Not being calm also makes me think that everyone is bluffing. This is in stark contrast to Rinky-Dink Tournament Golden Rule 2: People bluff even less than they fold.

Surprisingly, I play best when I'm a little tired and I think I'm not going to do well. Go figure.


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