June 17th, 2010


Gambling on Having Fun Today!

So many poker players seem to be clueless on such basic ideas such as variance, expected value, and probability in general. I hear so many beginning players complaining about the donkeys and how it’s impossible to win because their pocket Aces got cracked by some garbage hand.

Newsflash: Pocket Aces will lose to 7/2 offsuit 13% of the time! That means that if a player calls your pre-flop all in when you have Aces you are almost 7:1 to win– great odds, but you’re still going to take bad beats. If you’re going to play poker , you need to understand the basic concept that gambling, even when odds are in your favor, is still gambling!

The most difficult thing for any poker player is to accept that perfect performance can sometimes result in poor results in the short run. A successful player is able to determine when the poor results are a product of bad luck or of mistakes in judgment. If you want to be better than your opponents, you must study more, think about the game more, and play better than they do.

Whatever your reasons for playing, it’s important to remember that poker was created to amuse people. Win or lose, if you’re not having fun,  there are plenty of other things you can be do to amuse yourself.  If you're not having fun walk away from the table.

I had planned for today to be the first day back from two weeks of playing poker in Las Vegas. But  I left after eight days because I wasn't having fun anymore.  I was "running bad" and a 22% decline in my poker bankroll was all the fun I could stand for a while.

Today I'm ready to have some fun again. My worst day at the poker table (last Wednesday) was still better than my best day at ICE.  It's great to know that I can just walk away, if I'm not having fun.  Life is good.