Tuesday, January 08, 2008


Let there be no doubt that this poker blogger is thrilled with the 2007 poker year being over. Wow did it suck. Or more appropriately, wow, did I suck. I had a losing year both online and more disappointingly live as well. There is a certain level of pride in being able to say "I am a winning poker player." At least there is for me. I'm still not sure if that's good or bad, but it's true.

Last year's losses were roughly 2/3rd's of my 2005 winnings, which isn't horrible considering all things. But still, it's no fun looking at a spreadsheet full of red numbers with parenthesis around them.

I'm the type of person that doesn't like to forever dwell on the negative, so I'd be foolish to stress over 2007's results. However, I'd be even more foolish if I didn't find something to learn from the experience. I will always believe this:

The true measure of a poker player is how he/she handles losing.

Winning is easy sometimes. Few people look back on wins and say, "I played terribly." The extra cash in your pocket dulls the internal questioning inherent in every player who wants to get better. Get better? I just won. Screw being introspective.

2007 provided ample opportunity for me to look at poker through a different lens.

I think the most important thing I learned in 2007 was just how much variance there truly is in poker. I can remember about four pots this year, all-in pre-flop, where had I won, 2007's results would be in the black. Four pots. Out of probably thousands of live hands. I can also remember focusing too heavily on losing those pots and their impact on my bottom line.

I recall forcing things.

I recall calling off too much money when I knew I was beat.

I recall worrying too much about factors surrounding the game rather than playing the game itself.

I recall worrying too much about my table image, my reputation as a player, rather than the proper play at the proper time.

Hopefully, as we all continue play and continue to show enthusiasm for the game, we'll continue learning. Even if it's not learning more about the game, it can be learning more about ourselves. The money I lost in 2007 won't go completely to waste as long as I remember the lessons the poker gods were trying to teach me.

Hopefully I took good notes.


BamBam said...

This reads to me, like the notes you took were just fine!

Crush'em in '08 brother BB !

Unknown said...

Calling off when I knew I was behind (or drawing VERY slim) in Omaha is a huge leak for me.

Poker Jim said...

Winning is always easy when we follow the lessons that the poker stars teach. From the free poker book that can be downloaded on-line, you can turn into the type of player that everyone fears.

Jim The Knife said...

You guys tickle me. Falstaff and I go round on this subject all the time.
I've been playing poker for 50 years and I know all about LUCK.
You call it variance which is humorous to me. When cards run "your way", you win. When not, you lose. Of course there are strategies, percentages, reading your opponent, bank roll, chip stack, pot odds, etc.
But, none of that means squat when the wrong cards hit the table.
It is a game of indeterminent information and thus GAMBLING.

PS: I'm guilty of the same mistakes you make. Isn't everyone?
Best to Mrs. Blood

Ignatious said...

Get better? I just won. Screw being introspective.


good god, that's a leak i'm trying to fix for the 100th time.

good luck in 08.