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.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Why I Play Poker

First a couple of housekeeping items. I think I ended up having a winning day today, though not by a whole lot. I say I think because I keep terrible records and really don't remember exactly what I started the day with. I do know that I had a winning day in cash games and that's a definite plus. I'd been running really bad this week, but I win a bit at HORSE and overall, I think I was up over 20 BB in over 300 hands of .5/1 SHLHE. That should help my confidence a little if nothing else. Sadly, the same cannot be said for my SnG game. I think I lost well over $20 playing SnG's today and I think I'm going to drop down and play $5.50's exclusively, with maybe the occaisional $22 Matrix mixed in (which is basically the same thing as playing 4 $5.50's with a bonus for finishing well in more than one). I know from Sharkscope that I'm basically a break-even SnG player overall and today I feel like I ran exceptionally bad in them. So, why do I continue to play them?

It goes the crux of the issue of why I play poker in the first place. I play poker for several reasons, but one of the main ones is that I am an intensely competitive person by nature. I don't have an outlet for that in the form of sports or anything, so poker provides the outlet for my competitive desire. SnG's are the utltimate in poker competition. There is always a winner, and hence they're probably the most competitive form of poker that I play. I'm not that good at NL cash games and I don't see LHE as being all that competitive of a game, at least not at the limits I play. Yeah sure, it's a competition from the aspect of there being winners and losers at any table and in any given hand, but it's very much a mechanical game. In limit, we outplay our opponents by playing better cards than them pre-flop and playing those cards better after the flop. Plus, a cash game is essentially one never-ending session. A SnG has a beginning and an end and has a clear-cut winner. So, I will continue to play SnGs mostly as a competitive outlet, with the realization that I'm not going to win much in them.

Since I'm on the topic, I'd like to talk about some of the other reasons why I play poker. I've already mentioned that I play for the competition of it. I also really like the action, I love that it is a game that I can analyze from all angles. I can take a given hand and analyze it to death from every possible angle, and sometimes there still isn't a perfect solution. I'm a very analytical person, so this aspect turns me on as well. The money is definitely a factor, because I can't play for play money, but that's mostly because I wouldn't care as much about winning and losing. I don't think I'd play if I was a losing player either because I tend to not have fun at things I can't win at and I wouldn't play poker if it wasn't fun at least part of the time.

So, to sum it a bit. I play cash games for money, action, competition and my enjoyment of the nuances of the game. I play SnG's mostly for the competition of it, but I also enjoy the nuances of what the right plays are at different times as well. Finally, I play MTT's for similar reasons as why I play SnG's, but with MTT's there is the added bonus of essentially trying to get that big score. I believe that I am essentially good enough to cash for decent money often enough to break-even most of the time, so on those rare occaisions when I can finish top 3, but I can make some real money.

Anyway, tomorrow I'll be back to the grindstone a bit. I'll try to play a few MTT's and probably some .5/1 LHE (I'll probably mix SH and FR) and finally, I had a revelation the other day and I think I've figured out how to win at Limit O8 (so long as it's a full table), so I may play a little of that as well.

Current Bankroll -


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