Sunday, October 31, 2004


The geek bloggers out there may think the title of this post refers to something else.

However, it does not refer to a commonly used encryption scheme. It stands for Play Good Poker.

While this may seem all too obvious to many of you, I have to confess to losing sight of what the goal of my poker sessions should be. You see, I've been carrying this albatross of online poker losses around my neck since March of this year. Eliminating that big minus sign in front of my current career online earnings has held too much of my focus.

I've been guilty of recalculating that number mid-session, almost on a hand by hand basis. It's the curse of a mind that is good with numbers. (Aside: As a Little Leaguer from the ages of 10-12, I used to calcuate in my head my batting average after every at bat. It got so bad that one time (no, not at band camp) after a hit, a fellow teammate would say, "What's your average now?")

To combat this obsession, I've refocused myself. PGP is my new mantra. Each hand is its own opportunity for me to PGP. My current bankroll and my current monetary standing at the table are no longer factors in how I play a hand. They never should have been, but I confess to being guilty of that sin.

Where I work, we used to embrace a variation reduction methodology known as Six Sigma. One of it's trueisms is that you get what you measure, meaning by whatever measurement you use to gage success, the focus will evolve into improving that measurement.

Perhaps monetary status is the wrong measurement. If I "drilled down" (shoot me now for using that terminology) to find out what measurement best describes PGP, it would not be monetary status, i.e. wins and losses. The correct measurement in this case should be the decisions you make because that is truly what you control.

I've only seen one other blogger do it before, but I firmly believe that going back over hand histories and determining how well you made your all-in decisions, either calling or betting, is a great idea.

My next project is to do just that and "report out" (shoot me again if you missed before) my findings. I may just update my blog template to reflect the measurement of my all-in decisions rather than the results of those decisions. We shall see.

No comments: