The Poker Game of Life

Poker and scotch on the rocks. Below are my reflections on life and poker. My journey from $4-8 as a past time to $30-60 for serious money and my life experiences in between.

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Location: seattle, Washington, United States

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Poker Theory - Can't beat the game?

The other day I was thinking about how blessed I feel to be able to consistently beat the poker game. It wasn't always so! It brought back memories of over a year ago when I was so frustrated with the game I nearly quit. I had been playing for about 1 year and was stuck overall for $3,000. (Note: I keep very detailed records in Excel so let me know if you'd like the tracking template and I'll send it over).

Anyhow so I was starting to feel like I had a gambling problem and I talked with my Dad (who played for a living for many years). My Dad and I have a great relationship where I can pretty much tell him anything. During the time that he played for a living he saw many people make a ton of money and others lose everything they had because they had a gambling problem. In fact he said he busted so many people he personally felt responsible for sending them to Gamblers Anonymous. A cold fact of life when you're a poker player. Based on all this I felt my Dad certainly had the experience where he would be able to tell me to quit if he thought it was getting to be too much.

Instead of telling me to quit, he told me that I was still learning. He harshly critiqued my game. He advised me to take a short break, think about what I was doing that didn't work and revise that and read a few poker books. Finally he told me to play in a higher limit game since I had the money to play in it comfortably. "A bigger game? How can I play in a bigger game when I can't beat $4-8?" I said in a frustrated tone. He then explained to me that the rake plus tip to the dealer is a higher percentage of each pot in comparison to a bigger limit game which makes it harder to beat.

So...instead of giving the game up I bought more chips and played for higher limits. Funny huh? I'll post part 2 soon.