Live Poker, Online Poker, Home Poker (1 of 4)

Okay, lots to catch up with. Let's start with when I got time to play online poker, I went deep in another huge low buy-in tournament but didn't win the thing. Would be nice to stop hitting the teens, twenties, and thirties and start splashing around in the big payouts of first, second, and third. I can't even remember how I busted out. I must have run good though because even though I single tabled, I was doing a ton of other stuff I needed to do while playing.

It's weird I've been playing the bigger multi-table tournaments with a strategy of just being wild and loose and teaching myself how to learn poker from a new perspective and I found some success doing that. But the last couple, I got away from it and played my normal nitty game without giving it much thought. Fortunately, I've had the same type of results. Certainly, I picked some spots to make some plays that maybe I used not to, exploiting my image a little bit more, but it's like I forgot why I began playing these low buy-ins on the Internet. It's less about winning these things then getting used to situations and spots I'll encounter in live tournaments, and trying new things.

I know, sour grapes from a guy that's running good, what's worse? Still, sometimes it's easy to lose focus. As much as I am trying to earn money playing poker, I also get other benefits from the game. It's a stress release and an entertainment outlet still , and perhaps as my time has gotten more precious maybe that’s what I'm innately looking for and why I’m staying closer to lower stakes. Maybe I’m craving the relaxation poker offers at this point more than being as competitively invested as I used to be.

Maybe that’s also why the last couple of tournaments I’ve played I’ve been about maximizing the playing the time and not been ruthless enough to just focus on winning. I don’t know, getting introspective about online poker, while I worthwhile thought exercise, seems to only give me different answers on different days. It could be just the opposite, I’m intensely competitive so it could be I’m just falling back into what I know works to be successful on that particular day rather than making the sacrifices and adjustments to be more successful in the long run.

I think many former athletes are drawn to poker because of the competition, and many driven players will invest the time to improve. I’m definitely recognizing the value of coming to the game early. Had I been playing in college, right after giving up sports, perhaps online poker is where I would have poured in that energy. From Doyle Brunson (that's him pictured getting his George Mikan on) to Jason Mercier there is a long history of guys giving up sports and finding poker.

It’s a bit of a young man’s game because as you get older, with a wife and kid, you can’t just grind for 20 hours straight. You have to make appointments to play almost and it can be tedious. After, the last tournament at Harrahs (which I’ll get to even though I never finished up writing about the one I chipped) I talked to notable local cash game legend and enthusiast Joe B, and we discussed some live players mindsets.

He’s observed how players who get pulled away from the game by life will come into Harrahs trying to have that $1000 day in 1-2 every time. They’ll push edges and perceived edges they shouldn't and just make confetti out of their limited bankrolls. He’s seen it in mutual friends and it was a good warning for me.

To be continued...


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