Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Things I have learned

I don't really know how well this is going to come out, but here goes a list of things I have learned over the past 7+ weeks.

1. I can take bad beats well. What I can't take well is making mistakes myself. If I play a hand poorly, it can put me on tilt. If a guy sucks out on me in an 800 dollar pot, I seem to be doing just fine handling it.

2. As in many endeavors, in poker you can enter "the zone". Basically everything becomes easy. You're reading the table well, you're making good plays, and in general you're confident that you're just going to win. You can also get into a "slump", where you just don't feel yourself; you get check/raised on the turn every time you enter a pot, and you're never sure what to do. You always seem to make the wrong decision.

3. It is important to knock yourself out of a slump and to continue playing when you're in the zone. This is because the point here is to make money. The best way to knock yourself out a slump, at least for me it seems, is to order some food and tighten up pre-flop. Play only easy hands to play, and play them straight-forwardly. Try to hand-read and congratulate yourself for your victories.

4. I am not an extremely ethical person. As it turns out, it is easier to see your opponents cards than you might expect; about once a week I'm in a situation where I can see my neighbors hole cards with just a small amount of effort. I, unfortunately, have a hard time not looking. Live and learn....I'll admit that yesterday I saved a ton of money in one hand and won another pot that I would not have entered because I could see my neighbors hole cards. And, what's worse, is that I don't really feel bad about it. I'll probably get flamed for this but whatever...protect your hole cards...it ain't hard.

5. It's best to be more calm and quiet than my usual state. When you're playing for 8+ hours in a row, you need to conserve energy and brain power. I used to be quite a talker at the table, but now have found myself saving my speech for times I really am getting bored.

6. Having poker friends is the nuts. I need to make more of them. My trip to Foxwoods with a certain 2p2er was a great experience, if only because I was hanging out with someone who truly, truly got it.

7. When you don't have a job, you don't do shit online. Fantasy football? Too much work. Posting on 2p2? Can't really be bothered. This is a problem that I don't really have a solution for.

8. Exercise is the nuts. Eating well, also the nuts.

9. You can make a decent living playing live 20/40. You don't have to play 40/80. Also, playing 40/80 around here is a pain in the neck because it completely removes game selection. You basically have to sit down and play in whatever game is available, and move to the main game when they tell you to. I changed tables 3 times yesterday at 20/40, moving each time my table looked to be getting a little hard. It was gorgeous. I am going to take another 40/80 shot soon, but for right now 50 dollars an hour at 20/40 is fine by me.

10. It's hard to devote enough time to playing when there is other fun stuff you want to do. I went on vacation 3 times! I tend to spend either Friday or Saturday night out at a bar, and I now don't play Sundays because of the NFL. Crazy stuff.

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