Answer the following statement:
"I am a very good poker player because _______________ "
a) I've played a lot and have applied knowledge I've retained in books
b) I practice good money management skills and my bankroll has increased every year
c) I watch poker on TV and think those pros are a joke
d) I have won/placed high in tournaments
e) All of the above
f) Fill in with your own answer
I don't consider myself to be a good player, just an overall profitable one. Reading BB's recount of a "very good player" sparked the question of how many people really think they are great poker players because they won that $22 MTT three months ago. Matt Maroon, who is an excellent mid to higher limit player, is struggling at the moment and had a very good statement about poker.
"If you play better than someone in a game of chess, you win. If you lose, it means they played that game better than you did. And afterwards you can even review the game and find out what you did wrong. There's none of that in poker. If you play better than your opponents you might win 55% of the time. And if you lose you might have done nothing wrong."
Poker is gambling not a pure skill game like Chess, but a lot of players are disillusioned with that fact. They think because "I read him/her perfectly" or "I have superior cards preflop" therefore "I deserve to win". Do you tell that to the blackjack dealer when your twenty goes down to a dealer's showing a six and demand he pay you after a six card 21 comes up? This game we play is more of test of your psyche, to see if you can hold on to that knowledge (via books, friends, and playing) while carrying just a 5% advantage session after session over lesser skilled players.
I thought long and hard about quitting while in a five month losing streak earlier this year. Leaving the game with a relatively sizable profit compared to the $200 I started with. But there's something about poker that's like the hidden nicotine wrapped into those cancer sticks or caffeine in coffee that keeps me coming back. Maybe the FDA should have a pop-up box or warning label attached to all cards and websites "Poker May Cause Headaches, Shortness of Temper, and Overinflation of Ego". Maybe its the rush from making a final table, pulling off a decent bluff, or just the chance to compete at something again.
Whatever it is that makes the poker player in you tick, don't lose it, or you could find those 145,289 hands you've played, all those posts you've read on 2+2, and all those notes you took to mean nothing more then a few wasted megs of hard drive space.
Thanks for dropping by, now if you need a reminder that some bloggers are real writers, please go check out Otis' touching tribute to his late grandfather.