Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Second Blog Entry: Musings and Introspection on Poker

Caveat: This post will be long and won't contain any poker strategy whatsoever. You have been warned   :)

On "Playing as many tables as you can handle": I've seen countless posts on pocketfives that go like this: "How many tables should I play", and the standard response is "As many as you can handle". I don't agree with this. I could only handle 2 tables when I started out. Then 4. Then 6. Then stopped at 9 because I was timing out all over the place. Then I found out about Boku87. I mean, there's really only 3 actions in poker; Bet / Fold / Call. How could someone be able to play 6 times as many tables as me, if we had the same options? No one truly knows their limits until they push themselves. After his $100-$10k challenge in 15 days, I started to really try pushing myself. In about a week, I was already 12 tabling. then 15. Currently, I play 20 tables. Every single day I try to load more tables, but I seem to be stuck there. I don't really mind. I know someday I'll be able to play 30, then maybe 35, and so on.

My point is: We need benchmarks. We need to push ourselves. Sure, I "could" play 6 tables very comfortably, but I wouldn't be reaching my full hourly ($) potential. If you play low limit cash or low limit SNGS, I don't think there's an excuse to play less than 10-12 tables. My current human benchmarks are: Simakos and Johanfbomb. I'm not talking about style here, but basically the combination of A) The # of tables they can play  B) Their ROI  C) Their work ethic. I look up to them every single day that I feel like taking the day off. These guys are 180's beasts and I respect them a lot.

Book recommendation: Outliers (Malcolm Gladwell)

The book's main premise is the 10,000 hour rule. You, like I, probably heard this before, but didn't know where it comes from. Basically,

"the key to success in any field is, to a large extent, a matter of practicing a specific task for a total of around 10,000 hours."

Sure, there's Phil Ivey, Tom Dwan, Doyle, that probably have an innate ability at poker. However, this doesn't mean they didn't work their asses off to get to where they are today. 

On "The legitimacy of poker as a full-time job / taking the plunge"

As poker players, we face a big bias by people that don't know where we're coming from. I've heard it all:

1. It's all luck.
2. But how much did you lose (my second favorite)
3. The server is letting you win, so you get hooked, deposit and lose everything. 
4. If I have AA, I can beat Phil Ivey, so, it's all luck (my favorite, obviously)
5. Etc etc etc

I do admit I was a bit reckless when I quit my last job. I had about 1k in the bank, and a 1k bankroll. EVERYONE was against it;

My parents: "You can't quit a job before having another one lined up"

My girlfriend: "You can't seriously think about living off your poker profits. It's a game"

My friends: "You're such a degenerate."

However, In my mind, I didn't really have a choice but to quit. You see, I was a salesman. A galvanized steel salesman with 2 small problems:

1) I hated to be a Salesman

2) I wasn't good at it.

I majored in Finance because that's what I'm good at. Analyzing / Mathematical reasoning / Logical reasoning. Poker is a pretty good fit imo. 

Ok, got sidetracked a bit. Let's carry on. 

And somehow, today, all is well. How? A lot of hard work at the virtual felts. My parents/girlfriend/friends are really happy for me. Happy that I finally found what I love, after being a boat without destination for 5 years. 

Book Recommendation: Treat your Poker like a Business (Dusty Schmidt)

A quote wouldn't even begin to explain what I learned through this book. It changed my whole perspective on the way I see the grind. I highly recommend it to anyone that's even beginning to think about taking poker seriously. 

On "Attitude"

Poker players usually love the culture of victimhood; "I run bad", "That guy runs good", "I always get coolered", etc etc etc.  It's just such a nasty trait. I've made a firm commitment to never post another beat again. We could all have so much more interesting discussions and dialogue if we could get past our own bad luck. Everyone has it. It's part of the game. Get over it. A part of running bad is playing bad, so why don't we make a conscious effort to try to control what we can control (our leaks)?

Book Recommendations:    Zen and the Art of Happiness
                                        Zen and the Art of Poker

The premise of the former is: Everything that happens is the best thing that could happen to you.

The latter doesn't really have a premise, it's just the Art of War quotes focused on poker. It's pretty good if you filter out the bad advice, sort of like the Bible, hahahaa. 

Well, that's it's for today, hope it was a good,