Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Be a Well Rounded Poker Player

My laptop has now been broken for almost two weeks. I’m in the process of getting it fixed but things are going about as slow as Maurice Clarett. In the mean time I can’t play any poker and my only access to a computer is the computer lab at my school. Because I feel a little distant from poker strategy right now I would like to talk about the importance of being a well-rounded poker player.

I have read some articles about the common cycle that beginning poker players go through. Generally, in the very beginning the new player has a blast playing poker and sees it mostly as entertainment, with an unknown chance of winning money. Then the new player realizes how much skill is involved and he begins to study the game not unlike he would a subject in school. After the ‘student’ phase ends, the new player uses what he has learned, adds a personal touch, and comes into his own. Although this is a basic run down, I think this is about the transition I went through.

However, a concept that I have only seen written about once is the importance of being a well-rounded poker player. When I say well rounded I don’t mean throwing in triple draw and pineapple instead of just hold em, I mean well rounded in life.

Once you are in the final phase of the typical ‘poker education’ poker becomes less like a game and more like a job. However with a job, you only work for a set number of hours while poker can start taking up your life. Personally, I have had a lot of trouble with this in the past year. Poker can become very addictive when you win, however like in ‘Rounders,’ if you are not careful, you whole life can become one big grind.

I encourage all of you to look at how much time poker takes up in your life. If you constantly play poker instead of doing other meaningful things such as hanging out with friends or getting exercise, I firmly believe you will be benefited by addressing it now. As far as determining the correct balance, that is up to you.

I’m sorry if this comes across as depressing and don’t think for a second this post means I’m quitting poker. I’ll be back in Texas next week and Matt and I are heading down to Lake Charles on Friday for a nice little session. Any of you are welcome to join us; we will be the ones yelling “Ship It!”

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