Saturday, March 04, 2006

Personal Responsibility and Poker

Lately I've noticed an increase in people who feel that they are "owed" something. That they are the privileged few who feel they don't have to work for a good life, yet feel they should get it anyway. Perhaps this should be called the Katrina Phenomenon, but today I'm going to try to link it to poker & personal responsibility.

There are many different types of poker forums. Each one kind of takes on a life of it's own and has it's own tone.

Most serious poker forums have an overall theme of taking personal responsibility. The posters are generally conservative people in their political views and are successful. They may not be huge winners in poker, but they seem to be more consistent. Some new posters who just happen upon the more serious forums quickly find themselves ignored and not really wanted by the majority of members. They whine about "bad beats" and get little sympathy. Amazingly, in the very same post, they will describe a beat they took in one hand when they had the best of it at some point, then describe another hand where they were the dog during most (if not all) of the hand, and curse their luck of losing BOTH hands. They feel they "deserve" to win all the time, they were "owed" the pot whether they were ahead or behind.

They feel no personal responsibility regardless of how badly they played.

They don't usually make it in poker. They aren't accepted on serious poker forums, nor do they sustain a bankroll for playing.

In poker, as well as in life, one must accept personal responsibility in order to be a long term success. Usually the same people who refuse to take responsibility in life, refuse to take it in poker, as well.

Using the recent cheating busts as an example, one can see that in both cases, the cheater refused to take responsibility.

"But I was too good to play just one screen name. I needed at least two in order to disguise how good I was and get some calls!"

"But I opened up some more windows in order to negate my advantage when I found myself in a position to cheat!"

"But I just wanted to cash in on more rackback. I had no plans to cheat, I wanted to use the system honestly!"

These were excuses that were made during the debacle. Absolutely NO remorse, nor any admittance of the allegations whatsoever (in any real way). Just more lies and more excuses.

Excuses are one way that losers try to justify their play or their refusal to accept personal responsibility. If they win a hand where they were a significant underdog, they make claims that they "outplayed" their competition. If they lose a hand in which they were a significant favorite, they whine about "bad beats" and "suck-outs." Never once do they think to themselves that they might need to study up on their game, learn to play and with it, to accept both wins and losses with grace, dignity and responsibility.

These same losers are everywhere on the Internet. Their absolute refusal to take any responsibility, or change in any way whatsoever in order to take charge in their lives gives them away every time.

After all, why should THEY work for a living, if the government will pay them to stay home?

Why should THEY read a book about poker, when they can sit on the Internet and whine about losing?

I see posts all the time, for example, authored by losers, whining about the format of Two Plus Two, and absolutely DEMANDING that they change it. Yes, losers in life feel justified in going to a private poker forum, a free one, at that, and DEMANDING that the owners change the software and layout of the site. They harp about the colors, the readability, and everything else they can drum up, when they are being provided with FREE poker advice! They gripe about the colors on the site when they have the resources right in front of their eyes, for free, which provides them first rate information from extremely experienced players, authors, theorists and psychologists!

They are being GIVEN millions of dollars worth of resources, absolutely FREE, with NO obligation, and how do they take advantage of these resources? With thanks and gratitude? Nooooo, instead their posts resemble this:

"Change the format of Two Plus Two now! I can't stand the colors, and it is too hard to read! The site loads too slowly on my dial-up, and I have a hard time reading in flat mode. Fix it now!"

Then they wonder why they aren't well liked on Two Plus Two, or why they get flamed. They squander the resources available to them, for free, while harping on the cosmetics of the gift horse! 

That reminds me of people on welfare who abuse the system, instead of taking advantage of it. While they could be attending school, getting an education, finding a better job and getting themselves out of the projects, they are instead at home whining, "But I'll make more money if I stay on welfare! By the time I take the bus to work, pay for my own lunch, and pay for daycare, I make less than I would by sitting on my a*s at home!"

Never once do they stop and think that they are building a future for themselves! Sure, $50 less per week right now, but next year they might be making 10% more, 25% more, 300% more!!! The sky is the limit when they take advantage of the system, instead of abusing it.

I know that Tanya won't be upset that I am using her as an example, because she posted the whole story on her own journal, publicly, for all to see. She is the prime example of someone who started out on welfare, and ended up making so much money within less than a decade that she now has nine full-time employees! Welfare doesn't mean, "sit your lazy a*s at home and have more illegitimate kids." Welfare means, "Take this opportunity to make something of your life. You're very lucky, because in Mexico there is no welfare. You would be sitting on the street starving to death!"

Tanya is a winner in poker, as well. She never sits and laments her "bad beats." She gives them, she takes them. She knows she is going to get action because she gives action. She is a very aggressive player, so when she does get a premium hand, she is more likely to get called. Schooling happens, get over it. She takes it a lot better than most loose, aggressive players. She also knows that being a female can bring about both an advantage, and disadvantage in poker. She doesn't cry about the fact that she sometimes gets called down by some scummy old-school player who gripes about 'women being ALLOWED in the poker room,' she just accepts her beat with grace and knows that she is the victor. Someone like Tanya isn't going to be held down, she is going to rise to the top every time. Even when she loses, she wins. Now if we could just keep her out of the pit... lol ;)

So there are players like Tanya, who soak up their resources like a sponge and go on to become winners in both life and poker, and then there are "the others." Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on which way you look at it), the "others" abound, both in poker and life. I like to see them in the poker world, I hate to see them in life.

In the poker world, these people are usually the ones who go around flaming and/or libeling other sites. They flame online play sites because they lose. They try to convince others that the site is "rigged."

They are the same ones who bash Two Plus Two or other serious forums for reasons I mentioned earlier. They also bash the sites because they aren't getting "sympathy" when they post the most ridiculous hands and/or stories of play. Usually the first post, they get some help, get tons of resources. But these losers don't want help or resources, they want a magic pill to win, and they want it right then. Work? Who wants to work for money? Who wants to study, practice, discuss and make something of themselves when "the government" will pay them? When cheating will allow them to win? When someone can just find SOME game of chance online and not have to put any effort into raking in millions?

Guess what? There IS no magic pill. If you want to be successful, you actually have to WORK at it.

These same losers are always writing me hate mail. They flame me for everything under the sun. Most recently, I just got flamed for the LAYOUT of my journal! Yes, if you can picture this, someone really thinks that I should change MY site for THEM! They have such little sense of responsibility that they have decided that it is up to me to change my site to be aesthetically pleasing for THEM. Instead of them taking responsibility and saying to themselves, "Hey, I'm getting free resources here! I am being given the privilege of reading some advanced ideas and thoughts, for FREE, nontheless! I can look inside the private world of someone's journal, someone's inner thoughts, and I have to do nothing more than click the link!" they say, "I don't like the layout, change it!"

"I don't like how you use the word 'fish,' stop it!"
"I don't like how you said Bellagio is elitist, delete it!"
"I don't like how you said Missouri is a redneck state, take it back!"
"I don't like how you talk about cancer as well as poker, stop!"
"I don't like how you ridiculed the tourney structure at my favorite cardroom, rescind it!"
"I don't like the colors on your website, fix it!"

What they are telling me is that they refuse to take any personal responsibility in their lives. What makes you think I work for YOU???  If you don't like something, change it! Get off of your butt and do something about it!

They are losers at poker and they are losers at life. These people are the same ones sitting around in their trailer, with half a dozen illegitimate kids, nine cars on blocks out in the yard (none of them run, naturally), three washing machines rusting on the porch, two dozen dogs and cats roaming in and out of house, a stolen computer hooked up to a rigged internet connection, playing on a poker site with their welfare check, losing everything by the third of the month, and then screaming at me:

"I don't like your website! Change it!"