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.

Location: seattle, Washington, United States

Friday, April 22, 2005

What's a good game?

Do you know when you're in a good game? It took me quite awhile before I could recognize a good poker game and what I consider a good game is going to be quite different from what others feel is a good game.

What the hell do I mean? Quit jabbering? hehe.

Well, first off let's define a good poker game. A good poker game is one where you can make money based on your skill.

A chat w/ my buddy.

I was talkin' to my buddy who's actually a poker dealer at the place I grew up playing. So I asked him how the game is now and he said there was a great game the other night. Capped preflop, flop, turn and river almost every hand. 5-6 way action every hand. Great game. I said, "that doesn't sound like a good game to me." When I play poker I'm not in it to gamble. I'm not there to take my Aces up against 6 way action, how am I supposed to win money in a game like that? In games where there's too much action and too many players you're liable to have crazy swings. Sure if you can sit in that same wild game everyday you're going to win long term but the same game doesn't come up everyday. It's not '85. I was chattin' w/ my pops the other day and he was telling me how the game back in the day there were the same players everyday. You just sat and learned them, next thing you knew you were getting their paychecks every week.

So what do I think makes a good game?

Here's a list of my ideal game. A game where I'm likely to skip a party to stay in.

1. 1-2 bad players nothing more

2. I must feel that I'm the 3rd or 4th best in the game.

3. Not too wild

4. I need to be able to read the game.

1. 1-2 bad players and nothing more:

If there are too many bad players there's too much action. Sit back and think about it. If you've got Ace/king and the flop is Ace, 8, 6 with 7 way action. If they're bad players you might have someone calling with an 8, a weak ace, a gutshot straight or whatever. It almost becomes where any card can beat you. So, I recommend staying out of games with more than 3 bad players. There's tpp much variance.

2. I must feel that I'm at least the 3rd or 4th best in the game:

Obviously I want to be the best in the game but that doesn't always happen. I need to feel at least in the top half of the game in order to make any money. I've sat in numerous games and tried to figure this out. It just seems to me like if I'm at least in the top half I can make some money because the good players usually stay out of each other's way.

3. Not too wild:

I don't like a wild game with crazy action. I like a game where I can bet though weak players and control the tempo. If I raise w/ a flush draw I want my opponents to fold or just call on the flop so I can check the turn and buy that free card. Naturally i can adapt my game but a wild game puts too much variance in my hourly win rate.

4. I need to be able to read the game:

I need to be able to read the game obviously. This is obviously the most important thing to consider. If I can't read almost everyone at the table I"m out. :)