Raise or Fold:  A Year of Risky Business

Writing and playing poker as if they were activities worth doing well.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Atlantic City Half-Light

I'm going to have to do some hardcore self-assessment when I get home. I may also need to seriously consider finding and employing a really good coach. I don't know whether what I'm experiencing is primarily variance having its way with me, my weaknesses as a player finally showing through, or the product of a bad case of "monsters under the bed" syndrome.

I need to step back and take a cold, hard look at my play and my results. And I'd like to recruit another pair of more objective eyes to assist me in that review. Any suggestions as to who might fit the bill for that will be gratefully received. I'd also be interested in sweating an accomplished and successful player so that maybe I could get some fresh insights into the game.

Continuing as I am now is not going to result in a viable, sustainable professional career. I must improve; I must keep learning; I must do better.

[Update: I came home and filled out my spreadsheet. It turns out that I actually made some money on this trip. And if I had skipped the tournaments, I would have come home with quite a respectable profit. It helps that I did very well in my last session in AC.]

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Blogger joxum said...

Wow, that sounds familiar...

Have you considered something like WSOP Academy classes? They come in a lot of shades and seem to be wildly popular.

Hope it helps. Really.


3/10/09 8:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On High Stakes Poker the other night Doyle Brunson said. "If you want the good fruit you have to go out on a limb to get it".

If you are playing with scared money or playing not to lose you will never get the good fruit.

I know I sometimes miss spots in order to post a small win. I sacrifice a chance at a big win. So when my friends ask "Did you win?". I can say "yes". The strategy is OK to stop a losing streak, but, not optimal.

Good fruit is not easy to find or every body would have it. A Poker coach may help you find it quicker.

Anyway just rambling, I sense self doubt coming through in your writing. We have all been there, when Kings get busted by Q9 suited (turning two pair) we wonder if we should have folded the cowboys at some point. Good players don't make money by folding. They take a note on the donk, reload, and grind it out.

Good luck, I'm sure the card will change

3/10/09 10:24 AM  
Blogger Philly said...

All I know is, you can't quit. I'm living my life as a poker pro...vicariously through you, that is.

3/10/09 10:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"However, I still had my own conscience to deal with. This was, far, and away, the most pathetic thing I'd done in my life. And unfortunately- as opposed to, say, masturbating in the shower- it wasn't something I could do alone...Half of life was then out of order. To go before them was to stand up as a man and admit that I was only half a man."
-Neil Strauss
The Game

You're not a man, but I suppose it is also true of grrls.

3/10/09 10:58 AM  
Blogger joxum said...

By the way: To actually answer your question about coaches - Focault (thinkingpoker.net) could be an option.

He has a goal for 2009 to get back into coaching, so he's probably willing to talk.


3/10/09 11:06 AM  
Blogger Crash said...

Maybe a start would be to take the best poker book you ever read, and reread it. This works for me to jolt me back onto my track, low-level as it is.


3/10/09 12:06 PM  
Blogger loosemmjan said...

I second what joxum said about focault. (Andrew Bokos) Good player live and online.

I like his thought process and aggressive style.

The fact that he has, "been there and done that" is a big plus.


3/10/09 2:55 PM  
Anonymous dbcooper said...

First of all I realy enjoy your blog. If you are having rough days at the table maybe just examine what got you playing in the beginning. The style that worked for you. Maybe your play has loosened up too much or on the contrary you have become too much of a rock. I also find confidence is a big plus at the tables. When I play(and I only play live for money)I find I do so much better when I feel confident in my abilities. Hope it turns around for you.

3/10/09 4:56 PM  
Blogger Cardgrrl said...

Thanks to my kind readers for your suggestions and helpful comments.

@Philly: Don't worry, at this point there's not the slightest chance that I'll end my experiment before the year is up. It would now be virtually impossible ~ without a concerted effort at self-ruin ~ for me to blow through my allotted bankroll before the time remaining has elapsed. I'm definitely in for the duration.

@Anonymous#1: "Good fruit is not easy to find or every body would have it." This made me smile. AND it's true. A two-fer for which I'm grateful.

@Anonymous#2: I have no idea what the quotation from reformed Pick-Up Artist Neil Strauss is meant to convey to me. (My conscience is entirely clear at present. If you think there's a reason it shouldn't be, please let me know what that is.)

3/11/09 5:29 AM  
Anonymous phrankguy1 said...

The photo of the marina @ Harrah's is one I've experienced myself. I walk through the door right outside of the poker room to take a moment to reflect on my game and brush off the soreness of a rough session. Its ironic that it appears so peaceful and serene, because typically when I'm taking that break from the table, I'm anything but peaceful and serene.

3/11/09 8:26 AM  

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