Raise or Fold:  A Year of Risky Business

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

Friday, April 3, 2009

A Good Checklist

Short-stacked Shamus pointed me to a useful checklist on Nat Arem's blog. Here are the basic characteristics that he considers essential for a successful poker player, and my brief self-evaluation for each.

  1. Even-keeled personality. I am not a volatile person. While I have suffered from depression in the past, I have never been a moody or highly-reactive person. Very few things really, really bug me or make me genuinely angry. Like anyone, I can be temporarily frustrated, but it blows over quickly. I am frequently shocked by how emotional and badly-behaved people can get both at the poker table and away from it.

  2. Good money management. This is a strong suit for me. I live frugally, and I very, very rarely truly splurge on anything. It is not a challenge for me to live within my means, and I have no aspirations to rock the balla lifestyle.

  3. Analytical mind. I spend a great proportion of my waking day thinking things through methodically. I love to figure out how various factors contribute to a decision. When I make a mistake, I review the entire sequence of events to determine what I might or should have done differently.

  4. Ability to view money as a tool. This does not come easily for me; I understand the concept, but it goes against my upbringing and previous understanding of the role and purpose of money in our lives. But accumulated experience playing at appropriate stakes is helping me learn to do this, and it is indisputably a vitally important attitude to cultivate.

  5. Overconfident and realistic expectations. Honestly, I'm not sure why Arem phrased his heading this way. If you read the description, it's clear he considers overconfidence to be a pitfall and, in contrast, values highly the ability to accurately self-evaluate and maintain expectations grounded in a realistic appraisal of one's experience. I like to think that I'm good at this, and that my view of my own abilities would match reasonably well with others' more objective assessment.

Needless to say, this is not an exhaustive list. I can think of quite a few more (I should hope so, since I'm writing a book that addresses the topic head-on). But it's a useful place to start.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home