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Aught with the Old

I've began and presently tabled a Year in Review post, now the second year in a row that I planned and then eschewed plans for a recap post. Plain and simple, the year of aught seven is behind us, and while there is a lot that I have personally learned, I don't think we'll see a survey of that information here. The long and short of it is that I beat my annual goal by a good margin, and I've set a goal for myself in aught eight to win $8,000 for the year. The truth is that the $8k amount will be the most difficult goal yet, due in large part to my inability to play live poker more than once a week at best. My online game amounted to about 1/2 of my winnings for aught seven, but I don't give it much credence, since it mostly came from one big tournament win in the middle of the year. My cash winnings for aught seven were actually equivalent to my cash winnings for aught six, which just demonstrates the difficulty I have raises my profit when I am stuck in the same games with the same frequency of play. As much as I would like to move up in limits live, I don't have the cash bankroll to do it right, and I still don't have those opportunities to play the higher stakes games. The nearest casino is 2-3 hours away by car, and I don't have a car. Add to that the usual obligations of a lawyer and husband, and I've reached a critical point in my poker career. How do I move up when the opportunities have not presented themselves?

The answer, I hope, will be found along the course of the year. I'm nothing if not optomistic about my play, especially of late. Live, I can feel that I am on my game better than ever. Recently, I've learned how to walk away from bad tables or bad situations (really, just bad 'vibes,' man) so hopefully, that will cap some of my bigger losses in aught eight. Online, I continue to suck. Lately, I can't win a token tourney, and my MTT game has gone into the shitter. Amazingly, it all goes back to Jordan's #1 Rule of Poker:

"If you know that you are behind, fold."

The rule is as obvious as anything, and it's something I tend to say a lot in live games when players say, "I think you have me beat, but I call," or "I don't know what to do. I'm pretty sure I'm behind." In many situations, live and online, we face a situation where our sixth sense, I like to call it the Spidey Sense, tells us that we are beat. It may be because of a tell you pick up (either physical or a betting pattern) or it may be blatant by the action in front of you. Even so, sometimes the urge to just play your (my) cards and/or self-destructive tendencies give way to a crying call. The end result, especially in tournaments, can be disasterous.

While I prosthelytize this golden rule, I seemed to have forgotten it in my daily play. In the last few tournaments I've played online, including blogger tournaments, I built up a stack only to make a stupid call. It's usually fairly late in the tourament, and in the instances I can remember, I was distracted from the play. It isn't anything specific, other than my own inability to stare at a screen and concentrate on the action before me. It's a sorry state of affairs because I like to think that I am better than that, but that's just not the case.

Poker is a game about constant improvement. The hardest part is remembering that any lesson you learn may have to be re-learned later. It's almost like plugging a damn in a cartoon. You stick your thumb in one leak, and another opens up. You stick your other thumb in that leak, and one opens by your foot. You plug that one up with your big toe, and another opens up elsewhere. And somewhere along the line, you move your first thumb to a new leak and you forget that the old leak is pouring all over you...just to start the process all over again. In the end, its a lesson in vigilance, and its one I look forward to continuing indefinitely.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 1:49 PM,


At 2:25 PM, Blogger Gydyon said...

"Unless you have odds to draw."

At 5:18 PM, Anonymous MrGoss said...

"Happy New Year" to you J. Best of luck with your goal. I am wondering what sort of bankroll you will be starting out with? I seem to be donating more than winning lately and wanted to relate my starting bankroll of Aught Eight to yours in terms of roll vs. goal. I understand if this is "none of my damn business" but I am, none-the-less, curious.


At 5:50 PM, Blogger HighOnPoker said...

Hey MrGoss. Send me an email and I'd be glad to discuss the topic with you further.

At 9:45 PM, Blogger RaisingCayne said...

Happy New Year HighOn!!!

Good luck with your goals for the year. And specifically, best of luck in finding more time! All the talent in the world alone can't accomplish any goal, without the time to put in on the felt.

At 10:26 AM, Blogger Lucypher said...

Jordan, This is an excellent topic and one I have considered frequently of late. How to continue to advance in skill and bankroll without regular access to games, as well as, how to maintain a balanced family lifestyle while seeking more opportunities to play.


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