Sunday, March 12, 2006

It Snowed in Golden Valley!

For the past few days, I've mostly been doing things other than writing. I go through periods of not writing at all, and them come back to writing like mad.

We woke up to snow this morning! The first we've ever seen in Golden Valley. This is our third winter, but the first with even a hint of the white stuff. It's already gone, and it's only 10am. Glenn built a temporary cover, to protect our strawberries, onions and sweet peppers, but I doubt they will survive. Potted plants, however, were safe and warm in the kitchen.

Since I've never been a "real" writer, har har, and should leave it to the "professionals," har har, I don't feel guilty about this ragged, binge-and-purge writing schedule.

I also tend to go through phases of playing many hours online, followed by not playing for weeks, even months. Like I've said so many times, I've never been much of an online player, preferring live cardrooms instead. Oddly enough, I've always made money online. In terms of big bets (or big blinds in PL/NL poker), I've earned a lot more online than live. Unfortunately, I just don't care for it enough to make it a career. I'm stupid that way. I can't turn off my mind and force myself to do it . If I would sit and grind online for ten hours, multi-tabling, I would be burnt out in a week and probably never play online again. If I could just force myself to think of it as a job, and do what I need to do, I would be a lot happier within the poker world. I could sit and play multiple tables of NLHE or LHE like a trained monkey and make a lot of money. Of course, probably all of my poker passion would die in one stroke. Then again, a person with passion probably (and I do mean probably, since I don't know for sure), would never want to sit and grind away to make a "decent" living at online poker. Oh, what a catch-22.

At any rate, I have tried pretty much every variation of poker online (yes, this even includes obscure games like Pan, Chinese, double draw lowball, etc) and for whatever reason, the only one I can tolerate to play consistently, without losing my marbles, is Omaha. I can play limit or pot-limit, 8-or better or PLO high only. I can't do it for 40 hours per week, but I can do it here and there and make some scratch. And by scratch, I do mean scratch! The highest limits I've played thus far are 1/2 blind PLO8. So I'm not talking a new Ferrari here. I can't even afford a Yugo with the scratch I'm making.

I started writing up a post about narcissism and poker. Unfortunately, I can't seem to tie it up, or make it flow. That sometimes happens when I use a ton of quotes and references. I did release it to about a dozen "friends," to proofread it, but for now, it's sitting on the editing floor, just waiting for me to do something with it.

I need to stay focused on the 2nd in the "psychology of poker" series. I was amazed that the "learn to think like a fish" post went over so well. It's odd, some posts get flamed to hell and back, and other posts get all positive feedback. I just never know which way it's going to go. Sometimes when I post something that feels benign to me, I get hate mail day and night. I think the key to getting flamed lies in the self confidence of the flamer. Most likely, people with very low self esteem feel like I must be talking to them, personally. So they have an overwhelming need to strike back, thinking everyone will know I'm addressing him or her. I don't believe they stop to think that I'm talking mostly in generalizations, or even to myself. They feel they were being personally attacked, so they assume they must fight fire with fire.

If one felt that they were being personally pointed out in a post by another individual, they could react in the following ways:

1) ignore it, just laugh it off (this assuming that the attack is not directly libelous or would expose the flamee in some way, like posting their home address)
2) flame the poster, publicly on his/her site
3) write hate mail and/or try to anonymously flame the poster without giving their identity away

I would think that a person with high self esteem, would probably never assume that someone is speaking to him, personally. Correctly or incorrectly, he feels that he is "above" petty little ploys for attention by said writer. Unless the writer uses his name directly, or makes it extremely clear that he is attacking one, particular person, he probably wouldn't care one way or the other. If the writer makes it perfectly clear, however, the attacked individual might address it briefly on his/her own personal site, and then move on. He is self confident enough to take what the writer says into consideration, weigh whether or not the writer could be correct (or at least partially correct), and perhaps change his behavior somewhat, or decide the writer is simply griping just to have something to gripe about, and go on with his life.

I have both ignored flames by others, and addressed them. Sometimes the flamer is partially correct, and anonymous or not, I make a note of it to correct my own behavior. I also try to always apologize on my site, to publicly admit that I was wrong, and that I will try to watch myself more carefully in the future.

A person who feels guilty, or suffers from a lack of self confidence, is usually #2. He has the balls to copy & paste writing from someone else's website, and then go on to read into it what he wants to read, so that he can call the writer out, flame the writer and try to get something started. This person usually is guilty of the very thing/s he accuses the flamee of. This is a common phenomenon. It has been proven throughout history, that those who are guilty themselves, often shout the loudest about the guilt of others (eg, those who steal, often feel that others are trying to steal from them).

The anonymous flamer is similar to #2, in the fact that somehow he feels that he is being picked on, or singled out. He does not, however, even have the balls to address his flame publicly, preferring instead to hide behind an anonymous e-mail address or nickname. He, probably the most out of the three, has the very lowest self confidence. His life is likely pretty miserable, so he wants everyone to be as unhappy as him. He is the typical internet troll.

In that vein, I do feel that I've actually made at least somewhat of a contribution today. These three personality types can be directly cross-posted to poker traits. And, oddly enough, the one reason I feel that I have lots of narcissistic traits, but am not a true narcissist, is because I'm typically #1. I don't automatically think that someone is "out to get me," and even if I get the suspicion that they are, I simply don't care enough to bother much with them. For instance, a true narcissist would call up a friend after attending some function and demand, "After I left, did they talk about me? What did they say?" I, on the other hand, could not care less that people talk about me, and I never want to know what was said in my absence. I just never really think about it. Sure, everyone gets gossiped about, that seems to be a worldly sin, but I don't care enough about what they think of me to bother to find out! I don't gossip about others, and don't really care one way or another if they gossip about me. The one thing you will never hear from me if I write or IM you is, "After I left, what did they say about me?"

Borrowing a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt:

"People with small minds talk about people.
People with average minds talk about events.
People with great minds talk about ideas."

So now, how do I wrap this up? Well, I'll do something that I know you all hate. Leave you with a list of things yet to be done, with no promise of when they will be done, lol. I'm horrible about that. I hate it when other people do it, and I hate it when I do it. But I do know one thing, the only way I'll feel obligated to get it done is if I publicly post that I WILL do it!

1) More Psychology of Poker
2) Third (and final??? Naw, I don't think so!) theory on the demise of Stud
3) Future of Cardrooms
4) Grinding Omaha online (partially finished)
5) Future of tournament poker
6) Narcissism and poker (mostly finished)

Felicia :)