Shut up and deal
Started reading my first holiday book last night.I've got about 12 in total and will probably get through most of them unless I find somewhere that has stock of the elusive PSP.
Chose Jesse Mays "Shut up and Deal" first and its off to a good start.He makes a good point about judging how good a player someone is.He compares his plodding game to his friend "Ace" who is probably the best player at his cardroom but refuses to learn other poker games or travel to a weaker game further away.He talks about shooting angles to get an edge and in online poker terms that comes down to site and table selection.
I don't think I've improved dramatically over the last month or so but by playing at a different site with weaker drunker ( they must be!) players I've done relatively well.The question the book asks is does that make me better or more skilled than someone playing at a higher level than me not making as much due to tighter more skilled opponents.
The answer? He says "There is no reality.It all depends on how I represent what is and how I cloud it.And the answer doesn't matter.It only matters if you have something to prove".
As someone in his first year of playing I think I do want proof.I want to know for sure I'm a winning player.I need to know for confidence so that when I get on a bad run and lose 3,4,5 or 6 sessions in a row that it is only variance and its not that I've just been lucky until now and that losing will be the norm for me in the long run.
I sometimes think its easy to forget that most of my poker profits will come from other people poor plays and mistakes rather than my own poker genius.( ??!)
Last quote from the book for now and its about something which has gradually seeped into my brain recently.
"Poker is a combination of skill and luck.People think mastering the skill part is hard ,but they are wrong.The trick to poker is mastering the luck.That's philosophy and there are some people who aren't ever gonna fade it".
Of course skill is important but would you rather back a skillful player with a serious tilt problem or a solid plodder who has emotional control at the table?
I feel I have improved lately but more on the steam control side of things than gaining any particular new skills.Of course every time I write a post like that I seem to tempt the tilt monster in me to rear its ugly head....
On a side note I did wonder why the phrase "Shut up and deal" was so popular in poker until I sussed that online the auto shufflers do exactly that but in real life when the dealer is still explaining why he thought a player mucked not checked 3 hands ago it does get damn frusrating.
Comments from yesterday have also got me thinking.( thats the grinding noise). I mentioned
http://obituarium.blogspot.com/ and how I love his orignal writing and for some reason it took me back to the live game I played on Sunday and the donk plays I wrote about me making and suddenly I realised why.I was trying too hard to be original and unpredictable. Raise AA? Everyone does that! Holding K6 on a flop of K 9 4 and first to act with 2 others left.Check! Who else would play it that way?
I'd forgotten that while mixing up your play is fine making basic mistakes under the disguise of being orignal and unpredictable 'aint gonna win money.We all know about the sports geniuses that have that little bit of the maverick about them.( I don't mean they like dancing the night away). Sometimes its a self destruct trait but the very best and and most skilled of people in all walks of life often have some X factor ( not the crap tv show) about them that sets them apart
and I think my donk plays were me secretly trying to be that person who does things that bit differently but better than my fellow competitors. If most winners make 3 bb per hour I want to find a new way of making 6bb.
I think the above is partly down to being inexperienced.When I first started smoking at 17 I knew I could start and stop again without any problems because I'd be too strong willed to get addicted to nicotine.Wrong!
When I passed my driving test I sometimes drove far too fast and took some crazy risks because youthful arrogance told me I was better than most other drivers out there ( at 17!) and I had a natural talent for it.Just luck more than anything else that I didn't kill myself but I'm sure we've all read stories about teenagers crashing and killing their friends and thought "That could have been me".
Hopefully with more experience I'll be able to time my "original"plays a bit better.
http://yosoyveneno.blogspot.com/ comment also got me thinking.She mentioned she'd like to catch me at the tables sometime which would be great as the only time I played with another blogger ( http://www.gcox25.blogspot.com/) I really enjoyed myself.Well it would be great but
when I recall all the sessions where someones railbirded me ( is that the phrase?) I always seem to lose! Lost playing with Mr Cox,when my cousin was round a while back and when I played on my own account at my Mums trying to show her how small a step up it was from play to real money.( "don't worry about that $30 Mum I put my money in as favourite").
Too much ego and wanting to show 'em I could play instead of my usual patient but aggressive game.Or I start off patiently but get aggressive with a good hand ( say AJ,AQ) but not a great hand and bang go more bucks.
All part of learning this great game.
Oh I did actually play for 1 1/2 hours for $3.75 profit at Pokerrooms .25nl tables. Only 2 hands worth mentioning. I had 67 o/s on a flop of 3d 4d 5d and folded to a large river bet when I'd been leading out on the flop and turn ( turn was another Diamond). I wrote "Damn I'm folding 67" and the villan was kind enough to show the Ad.
On another hand at another table I called a $1.50 pf bet with A5 soooted which I would normally have folded to a raise.I read theres more money lost with Ace rag than any other hand( I've had A6 o/s and Q10 o/s more than any other hand according to Pokertracker) but I was in the cut off and hoped to hit an A ( or flush) v a big pair and ended up winning when somone said they'd have to fold KK to my bets adding "damn ace". I replied "weak but sooooted lol" and we both had a laugh about it.Moved tables soon after.I'm there to make money not friends.( unless playing with other bloggers of course).
Ok time to shut up and post....