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Poker - Work or Pleasure?

I continue on my online poker diet, reducing my play mostly due to disinterest and the creeping feeling that it is all for naught when I get the urge to play. I still play online, several times a week, but the fervor with which I play and the regularity and session length has significantly lessened.

As my play reduces, so does my blog posting, due in large part to the fact that it is hard to develop thoughts on poker without, well, actual poker. Alas, it is what it is, and while my live play has been meager, I have two trips to poker destinations coming up in December and I'm sure more poker will be had before then.

Reading postings around the blogosphere, it seems I am not alone in this lull of poker excitement. It's the natural order of things and I am not the least surprised. Like many things in life, it is easy to fall into a hobby or social group due to the allure that the hobby/group has, and then just as easily fall out of interest with the hobby/group as familiarity breeds contempt. It may be the frustration of never winning that elusive tournament or the doldrums of chasing the dragon without success. It may be a direct feud with other group members or the group as a whole or a bitter resentment built up over time.

This is just the normal order of things, and I don't begrudge anyone who has actually fallen out of poker or poker blogging. Both are revolving doors, and it makes no sense to stick around after the fun has left.

Of course, that ain't me, though. While at times poker feels too much like work, I'm in it for life. Even when I am less excited by it, I know that time will pass and I'll be back to the love in no time.

Think of it like a porno tape. Remember before pornos were available on the net for free, how you'd have a stash of tapes or magazines hidden away. After a while, seeing the same "actors", camera shots, and even pop shots, can get to be a tad...well, boring. More played out than anything. So, a particular tape may fall out of favor for a few weeks or a few months or even a year. But after that memory fades a bit, that old tape gets put back into circulation, and it's fresh again.

Yes, poker is like an old porn tape to me. When it gets tedious, I may shelf it for a bit, but I know that it's only a matter of time before I want to check up on that great scene with Heather Hunter in a shower, or, you know, whatever.

On a related note, during this brief hiatus from serious poker play, I have been thinking about how poker is a lot of work. The game is constantly changing, and more importantly, taking a break will probably cause one's game to revert. This is not the type of pursuit where you make a mistake, lose a hand, and never make that mistake again. Poker learning is done through repetition, and certain fundamentals can drop off if you take some time off.

That is my major concern with my current hiatus. I should be playing live once per week at least. Sadly, with work commitments and games scheduled as per the hosts' schedules instead of mine, I haven't played a weekday homegame in what feels like months. Since online poker sucks donkey balls, that means that since my recent AC trip, I've played no live poker, and I wonder how much that has affected my game.

I'll find out a little bit on Thursday of next week. I will be attending the Wall Street Game's OE game, half Stud Hi/Lo and half Omaha Hi/Lo. At the same time, I'll be participating in a freeroll on FullTilt set up by, so I'll be literally two-tabling. Maybe the combo isn't the best way to keep my NLHE game in-tune, but a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do.

Poker is a shit ton of work, if you are doing it right. It's also a pleasure. The key, to me for now, at least, is to enjoy it as often as I can and let the work come naturally. The love is still alive, and that's really all that should matter.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 12:40 PM,


At 10:30 AM, Blogger Littleacornman said...

Not that I've any idea what you're talking about but that porno tape analogy was quality :-)


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