Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Poker University, Self Taught (mostly)

You can't be completely self taught in poker. Everyone you play gives away something whether they want to teach you or not. And for the past few MONTHS solid, I have been learning as much as my brain can take in a day, pushing my limits on sleep even. I have learned SOOO much. It's a thing that when you interested in something and have the time to devote, you can learn a lot.
The one thing I know I was born good at, is racing. It's in my blood. No need to question it, extreme but quiet confidence. I have met people just as fast, but never met anyone faster. The kind of situation where I often give people a headstart so it's more fun to race. Not trying to brag, just need this comparison for Poker.
Playing guitar for over 20 years, I'm pretty good in most people's eyes, but I stink in my own eyes. But I like it because it's a challenge for me. That's key.

In POKER, I thought I was pretty good. In the past 6 months, I've come to learn just how WRONG I was. I was decent, even good at times. But definitely not consistent, and had a VERY imcomplete education.
I would have to say I'm easily ten times the player I was a year ago. I didn't dive in with both feet until 6 months ago. I just had fun with it, and that was ok! It was something I enjoyed but not something I was too serious about.

But conditions have changed, and I have applied myself. Seriously applied myself as though I want to graduate with a degree in playing poker professionally. Just like I was in college. I've always been good at math, and have some natural poker skills, which I will eventually discuss here. But I have addressed everything in my game. EVERYTHING.

I have gone all the way back to the basics, up to now having a bankroll management plan (understanding?) and researching Staking and Backers and the fine science of poker. There is always room for improvement, you never stop learning, there is always someone better, but it can still be done. These are my philosophies.

I liked Mark Blades book, I couldn't put it down, read over 100 pages @ the book store, and have at least 5 books to buy and keep for reference. I'll be a regular poker professor by the time I've absorbed everything. I've been like a sponge, and it's been FUN!

At first it was frustrating, annoying, getting old, etc... but here is some good advice I picked up about life from some ancient philosopher. (listen up PokerBrat!)
"Expect the world to adapt to you, and you will make yourself suffer. Adapt to the world around you if you truly wish to be happy." (paraphrased)

I constantly see people who aren't happy not living in the present. If you are, then it's easy to adapt to the world around, and you make it easy looking like a champion. Phil Ivey anyone?? :)

I have learned a LOT from all the old school and new school poker players, online, On Tv, Poker After Dark, WPT, the Sextons in Ohio, all my crazy partying card playing buddies from the strip club (long story), etc.... Life is full of lessons if you pay attention. It is your choice IF you learn.

I've gone over so much stuff, read stuff, reread stuff, applied theories, examined bad play, good play, observed without playing, ... really applied myself.

I feel like I'm down to finding the right Rakeback situation, getting my bankroll built up in the right places, and Staking/Backer resume! ;) Things may work out that I am able to do it all on my own, and that's my goal, but the reality of MY life is that if the opportunity presents itself, it would be in my best interest to persue. I'm not exactly a spring chicken, and have responsibilities. I had originally planned on proving you can do with with ZERO money invested, but unless I win the lottery or a fairy godmother, I can't take the time to do it that way.
But then, I may have to! Either way, I'll adapt to life as it comes, and proceed positively, being myself, encouraging others to do the same, and enjoying the ride. Life is a journey, not a destination. Same for happiness. etc...
Failure only happens when you give up.
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