Life Shouldn't Be A Fuckin' Grind

I will never be a poker pro, but my lifetime poker ledger is positive and I think that's something to be proud of.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Being A Long Term Winner

You know, I was reading a post on FCP and something occurred to me. It didn't have enough relevance to the thread to post it there, so I'll throw up a quick post here. Really, it's harder to be a long-term winner at poker than most people think and it's not because poker is a difficult game to beat. Most people with any intelligence and a little bit of discipline can figure out how to play winning poker in any given session. It's really quite easy to figure out how to play well and "beat the game." At least at the lower levels.

What makes poker hard to beat really is a lack of discipline. Most people go on tilt, play higher than they can afford, or do any number of other stupid things that cause them to lose money. Most people who could be winning players aren't because they can't control themselves. Poker is a gambling game and it attracts gamblers and gamblers do stupid stuff sometimes. Look at Mike Matusow, he has a brilliant mind for the game, and the ability to play extremely well, but from everything I've read, he's a degenerate who's losing at the game of life. It's sad really.

So, how does all of this apply to me? Well, it's like this...I will probably never make enough money at poker to make a living at it, but as long as I can stick to levels that I can afford. Where the money matters enough to me to make me play well, but to where the losses don't hurt me enough to make me go on tilt and be an idiot, I can grind out a small profit playing poker and stay ahead for life. Maybe someday I'll be able to play for significant money and not tilt when I lose, that's one of my biggest goals, but for now I'll stick to finding that level that's a happy medium. My hourly rate may suck, but I can stay ahead of the game and keep myself from doing stupid things to tilt off my roll.

By the way, I also can't stop thinking about how I lost most of my roll back in February of '07. I had a good solid roll going (like $1600 at some point in January), then I went on a downswing. Instead of dropping down to try to get some wins and some confidence back and grind my way up, I started chasing my losses. It was the stupidest thing I've ever done. I was playing 2/4 SHLHE with way less bankroll than I was comfortable with, I was doing the same thing with 3/6 full ring. I even sat down at a 5/10 SH table once to try to chase my losses. None of it worked and ultimately, that was probably a good thing. Now that I'm back, I plan to focus on playing only what I have the roll for and sticking to 300 BB for ring and 500 BB for SH. It may take a while to build that way, but it should keep me from doing anything stupid. One thing's for sure, I think I learned my lesson the hard way about chasing losses and I hope I never do anything that stupid again.


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