Thursday, May 18, 2006

You've Got Questions

From the desk of TripJax:

Q1:  What is the biggest mistake people make at a NL table?
A1:  Calling raises out of position with trouble hands like AJ, KQ, KJ.  Position is so important because it costs so much extra money to find out where you stand in the hand should you hit the flop with one of those holdings.  You almost need to flop two-pair or a big draw to even continue.

Q2:  What is the biggest mistake people make at a limit table?
A2:  Although I really don’t play much limit, saving/earning that extra big bet on the river seems to be one of the mistakes that over time really impacts your earn rate.

Q3:  Why do you play poker?
A3:  At first, it was for fun and the social aspect.  But over the past couple of years, when I realized that I could make some decent extra spending money, I began to take it more seriously.  After that, it became a big competition.  With myself.  For whatever reason, my brain is wired for discipline.  I welcome the slow, steady battle I wage with myself to try to become a better player.  It goes back to why I work out several times a week.  I’ll never be Mr. Olympia, but I sure as hell am in better shape than 90% of the 38 year olds out there.  I’m thinking long term.  When I’m 40, I’ll be in better shape than 92% of the same aged population.  When I’m 50, it will be 94% and so on.  I equate the above to never winning a major tournament, but steadily increasing my cash game winnings over time until it becomes a significant amount of money.

Q4:  If you weren’t playing poker, what would you be doing?
A4:  Being the mega dork that I am, I would probably be still heavily into the computer gaming scene and trying to squeeze that extra few FPS out of my tricked out gaming system.  I’d probably spend more time trying to improve my guitar playing too.

Q5:  What is your favorite poker book and why?
A5:  The Harrington on Hold ‘em Volume 2 book has more than paid for itself several times over.  Those of you who’ve read it will understand why.  Without that book, I’d be bubble boy forever.  With it, I’ve managed to win a few tourneys here and there knowing with full confidence that I’m making the correct decisions at the correct time.

Q6:  Who is your favorite poker player and why?
A5:  It’s tough to narrow it down to one, but I will say that I respect players who are respectful to both the game and their competition.  Greg Raymer comes to mind.  Ted Forrest is also very high on my list for both his cash game and tournament skills.

Q7:  Which poker player do you dislike the most and why?
A7:  I know all the big names read this site (*cough*), so rather than name names, I’ll tell you what kind of attributes a player can possess to make me dislike them.  Arrogance.  I hate it at the poker table.  (“That’s EXACTLY the hand I put him on.”)  Yeah, right buddy.  Entitlement.  (“It’s my time.  I really feel that I’m destined to win one of these things.”)  Seriously, shut the hell up.

Q8:  Do your coworkers know about your blog.
A8:  Yep.  Now get back to your transient modeling responsibilities Random101.

Q9:  What is the most you have won in a cash game or MTT (both live and online):
A9:  Live cash game win: tie between a G-Vegas Big Game and Day 2 at Tunica, both $700+  Online cash game win:  Over the course of one day and several sessions, also around $700.  Live MTT: The $430 I won in Tunica at a satellite during the WSOP circuit event.  Online MTT:  Winning a 180SNG for $1080.

Q10:  What is the most you have lost in a cash game or in one day total (both live and online)?
A10:  Live cash game loss:  Vegas, December ’05. $1200.  Online cash game loss:  Labor Day Weekend ’03.  $933.

Q11:  Who was your first poker blog read?
A11:  If you count Wil Wheaton’s blog, then it was that one during his Odessa series.  The first 100% poker content blog I read was the fine Sir Iggy.

Q12:  What satisfies you more, your aces holding up for a big pot or a bluff working for a big pot?
A12:  Easy.  The bluff.  Anybody can get dealt aces.  But not everyone can execute the perfect bluff at the perfect time to win a pot you had no business winning.  That’s what separates the players from the wannabes.

Q13:  Why do you blog?
A13:  I started the blog to chronicle my attempts at eliminating my $2100 deficit I had accrued in the first 6 months of playing online poker.  After successfully doing that in December of ’04, I continued the blog mainly to chronicle my progress (hopefully) as a player.  Does anyone besides me ever go back and read their old posts?  I do.  I’ll go back 1 year’s time about once a month to see where I was mentally and hope to see some measure of growth.  Now I just do it for the page rank and advertising cash.  Whore!

Q14:  Do you read blogs from an RSS reader like bloglines or do you visit each blog?
A14:  Bloglines for me.  But then I’ll usually go to the site to leave one of my many insightful comments.

Q15:  Would you rather play poker for a living than do what you currently do for a living?
A15:  To be honest, there are days here at work when I would love to just flip my badge in the trash and walk out, never to be seen again.  I have an “absurdity quotient” at work, and whenever that mark is reached, I get up from my desk and either walk around a bit or go workout.  The quotient gets reached earlier with each passing day.  To be your own boss and answer to no one is extremely appealing to me.  But right now, I don’t have the characteristics required to be a professional player with 100% of my income derived from the game of poker.  Maybe with another decade of playing under my belt an opportunity will come.  But for now, my family situation requires some form of stability, and this job gives me that in spades.

Q16:  Do you wear a tinfoil hat on occasion?
A16:  I don’t.  I believe that online poker is 100% not rigged.  It may be in some form of legal danger, but there is no conspiracy to make anybody lose any particular hand in any particularly brutal way.  If you think otherwise, you can’t see the forest for the trees.

Q17:  If you had to pin it down to one specific trait, what does a great poker player have (or do) that separates them from an average player?
A17:  Consistently play at their best level regardless of whether they’re winning or losing.  Especially when they’re losing.

Q18:  Is Drizz the coolest person on the planet for naming his baby Vegas?
A18:  Drizz is by far the most consistent blogger.  Every freakin’ day there’s a NickelandDimes update.  And that makes him the coolest.  And you know what?  I give props to Falstaff for wearing a kilt to the Winter Classic.  That’s cool too.  Like google maps.

Q19:  What is your primary poker goal and are you close to accomplishing it?
A19:  Doubling my previous year’s winnings each year.  2005?  Check.  2006?  I am on the proper pace to succeed, but only time will tell.

Q20:  What is your primary online site and why?
A20:  Right now, the majority of my money is on Full Tilt.  I like the software and the cash games there are always hopping.  I am cleaned out on Stars, but will of course redeposit there.  Their support and player base make it an attractive site to play.  I’ve also just recently signed up at WPEX for the rake free play.

Q21:  What site do you dislike and why?
A21:  Empire for banning me in a short-sighted reaction to my bonus whoring and Party because of their substandard customer support and buggy software.

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