Thursday, January 12, 2006

A Moment of Clarity

(Preamble:  Thanks again for all the suggestions regarding the chip design.  I literally can’t wait to finish it off and send it in.  I’ll post some pics once they arrive.)


I’ve come to realize (again) how important mind-set is when you’re playing poker.  A week ago Monday, I won a good amount at the G-Vegas Big Game.  What struck me different about that session was the overwhelming level of clarity I possessed on the drive to the Rick’s.

That particular day at work involved nothing out of the ordinary, and the post-work workout was fine too.  When I arrived home there was no arguing about the fact that I was going to play and the kids had great days at school.  Basically, my brain was empty.  I was calm, cool, and collected.


Poker on the Internet offers a variety of things that the live game doesn’t.  The biggest difference is convenience.  You can’t play live poker for twenty minutes then get up and leave, but online, we’ve actually defined that type of session as a hit-and-run.

This convenience factor however, has a down side.  It’s way too easy to play poker when you probably shouldn’t.

It becomes feasible to log on and play a few hands after dinner when the kids are doing homework and the wife is cleaning dishes.  You can play on a Sunday morning for an hour when the family is at church.  Can’t sleep?  Log on and play.


Because online poker is so accessible, I’ve found myself playing at inappropriate times.  I define inappropriate to mean when my mind is not at my best.  I don’t care who you are, if you have unattended items or issues eating away at you, you will not play your best poker.  Period.  End of story.  Well, at least for me.

We all need discipline when we play, but I’m finding that I need discipline to determine whether or not I should even sit down and begin.


Take last night for example.  The Mrs. retired early after helping me with chip colors.  The PLO8 tourney on Stars was about to start so I two-tabled it with a NL ring game.  And my mind was thankfully clear.

While I sucked rocks at the tourney, I managed to do well at the NL game and posted my first win online since last Wednesday.  Sure the cards helped, but my decision-making process was right on target.

Over the course of 150 hands, I called 3 all-ins and each time I was ahead in the hand.  I lost the first as a 2:1 advantage but won the other two.

Here’s to more clear-headed poker in the weeks to come.

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