Wednesday, September 08, 2004

No Poker Occurs

A couple of people have commented on my lack of posts over the last couple of weeks. I thank you for your concern. Really.

The few dollars I had left in my PartyPoker account are gone, so I'm flat busted. I've been looking for a job, maybe not hard enough, but looking, and thus far am still unemployed.

So I've withdrawn from the world a bit, or maybe a lot, which is the reason for not only my own lack of posts but for my not even reading many of the blogs over the last month or so. I'm basically just disconnected from the world.

My spirits are reasonably high, all things considered, even though I'm scraping bottom and the bills I've put off are reaching their red-envelope last-last-last notice stage. Hard to explain, really.

I still think poker is the key to my escape from the hell of being an employee. Maybe I'm not truly good enough yet, and playing against Turbo, I'm almost certainly not good enough yet, but poker is something that I'm good enough at that I don't want to discount the possibility of making my living that way.

I rewatched Rounders a couple of days ago. Something about watching that movie, I'm not sure what, gives me hope that I'll be back, for real. Maybe it's the thought that I can "Be Like Mike," which is the same thought that the movie inspired in me the first time I saw it, before I had ever heard of Texas Hold'em. It might also be the professor's stories, and the point inherent therein, that one should do what one was "meant" to do.

Was I meant to play poker the way Mike was? I'm not as good as he is supposed to be. I'm not as good at no-limit cash games as I am at no-limit tournaments, and I haven't played games other than Hold'em enough to have any inkling of advanced strategy. But all that is correctable. Being broke does give me an opportunity to go to school much more than I could when I was playing every day; I can experiment with non-optimal styles. But it will be tough to apply this knowledge if I can't buy my way onto a poker table.

This isn't quite the point of what I meant, though. Am I "meant" to be playing poker? Is poker what I was "born to do," the way the Professor was born to be a lawyer, Mike was born to be a lawyer, and Worm was born to be a fuckup? The answer is: Maybe. I generally enjoy playing, and if I was at the casino yesterday I usually want to go back today. (Gil staked me to a low-limit table in Mt. Pleasant on Monday; I broke even and Gil lost his shirt. And I want to go back now.) In the six months I was a poker pro, I probably took only five or six days off completely. (I lost some days to time warps, but I don't count that.)

The main reason I hesitate to say that I was "born" to play poker is a lack of discipline. Poker is indeed something that I enjoy spending a lot of time doing. But during the 1990s, I enjoyed spending a lot of time in political pursuits, but the reason I'm not Senator Geznikor today is that I didn't do the hard stuff involved in making myself a successful politician. I made it difficult by participating in a third party, but I could have been far more successful than I was, even so, had I been willing to do the hard work that was necessary.

Similarly, in the poker world, I enjoy spending a lot of time playing poker. But at the real-world table, I often don't proceed past pigeonholing players as "solid," "weak," "aggressive," "tricky," "average," or a few other categories. In fact, I'm often off in my own world after I've folded yet another 27 offsuit. This despite all of the advice to watch my opponents for their tendencies, and despite there being specific players I wish to learn from. Even if this is probably my ADD, I certainly should be able to learn from the various books that have been written; Gil has a veritable library of them just upstairs. I can blame part of this on being smart; I never had to study in school so now I don't know how. But that's pretty thin. I do read the literature and I do learn from it. But I haven't truly studied it.

However, being broke helps this. I've played some Turbo, even attempted to experiment with different styles. Right now I'm on an UltimateBet fake-money table, since one can earn points (slowly) at their fake-money tables. Even if deus ex machina didn't rescue me before I was broke, there's still a tiny possibility that it could happen via one of the sites with real-money payouts for fake-money play. UltimateBet might not even be the best place to do that, I don't know, but PartyPoker offers none of this.

Okay, I've updated. Now for another three weeks in my shell.


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