Thursday, August 03, 2006

I am not good at Poker

There, I've said it.

I'm not good. I am at the complete mercy of variance: I don't believe I mitigate the downswings or maximize the upswings in the least. Whatever burning runs I get are taken away a few weeks later. I am at a disadvantage anytime I sit down at a table without at least one or two people who are completely ignorant of the game. I hamper myself by playing when I'm tired, angry, distracted.

You may think this is whining. (BTW, why do I see bloggers spell whine as whinge? Is this a pokerblog inside joke?) That would be a fair conclusion, as I've lost 40 BB's over the past two days.

Yet, I don't agree. This is simple realism. I believe I can improve to become a better player- I work hard at doing the right thing when I play- however, this is not going to happen now or in the immediate future.

This is important to know and accept because, while I enjoy playing poker, folding for half an hour only to go too far with QJs and give away 10BB's is getting a tad boring and frustrating. I need to come to grips with the fact that I'm probably going to lose money over the next year and accept it as the price of getting better, or I need to drop poker altogether.

Why? Because if I'm going to play, I'm going to play every day, tired or not, sick or not, angry about work/wife/kids/fantasy football team or not. So I need to develop patience and a healthy level of acceptance of how my game is, or I need to pack it in.

This is an issue with all the other hobbies (read: obsessions) I've had in adulthood. I need to be the best at it or I get frustrated and stop. In other words, I don't do things for the intrinsic fun it provides, I do it to excell or 'beat' it. A counselor I used to see told me that this is a self-esteem issue: I'm valuing myself on how well I play golf, how many stories I can sell, or how many BB's/hr I win. I can't accept myself as someone who isn't good at a particular thing and I'm too scared to do the deep soul-searching that will help me dedicate more effort to improving at it or at least allow myself to be happy and enjoy it just because I'm doing it.

In other words, I have to learn to enjoy the game of poker itself more and not worry about winning so much NOW, while still trying to improve. That's so much easier said than done. I may not be wired to do that.

3 Comments:

Blogger Guin said...

I think in the end we have to focus on why we made decisions and not on results. You are probably not happy that solid play isn't paying off the way you would expect to be paid off.

In the end I think you will find that by changing up your game to fit in with the changing table dynamics will make it more enjoyable.

Go down to the 0.01/0.02 games and start pushing around chips like it doesn't matter... get the donk out and then go play good poker.

1:14 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

Excellent post, C.L. The fact that you see what is going wrong and what needs to be done to fix it means that you have the opportunity to be a successful player. Mastering yourself is the first step in becoming a successful player.

Learn to love the game again and play each hand as well as you can. Then the results you so desire will start rolling in.

Good luck!

11:44 AM  
Blogger C.L. Russo said...

Thanks both of you for your support

7:43 PM  

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