Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Rocks Can't Win Anymore! (Re-Re-Re Introduction)

Before the series, I had an idea for a new type of poker psychology/theory theme that I wanted to explore. Somehow, big festivals once again got in the way of my writing. First, Glenn won a freeroll on Party into the main event, and wanted practice playing deep stack tournaments. So off to Orleans we went. For about a week (off and on) we stayed at Orleans, making several trips back and forth to make sure our garden didn't die and our dogs were being taken care of.

Then the series kind of eclipsed everything. Not only did one of my best poker friends win a bracelet (Max Pescatori), but I found myself in the position of cheerleader and counselor to some of my world class poker friends who are finding out that without heavy backing, they aren't going to be able to continue in big festivals.

The series became a circus, even featuring a real chimp. Sex and poker took on a new role as more important than ever, and I was left baffled, shaking my head and contemplating my future.

One day I saw Max sitting in the Doyle tent, signing autographs and shaking hands. I was flabbergasted. I'd never seen anything like this. A dozen "fans" stood patiently in line waiting to meet Max! I cut behind the ropes and after a hug exclaimed, "I can't do this! I can't live like this, Max! It's not about poker anymore!"

It dawned on me that poker has become something I never wanted it to be. While I am loving the fresh fish that are flown in everyday, and loving that it's more legit than it ever was, I don't like the super-star aspect of poker. I don't like the sex, the circus, the frigging chimp. I just don't fit in anymore. So back to cash games for me, if I want to stay anonymous. I always said I wanted to be the Cissy Bottoms of poker. Most people ask, "Who is Cissy Bottoms?" I respond, "Exactly."

So now it's time to move on with this psychology series that never truly got underway.

In the introduction to the introduction (lol), I outlined what type of games seem to fit what type of player. I pretty much stole Ray Zee's work on that one, but updated for present times.

In the real introduction, I talked about Hold'em coming full circle, why HE is the ideal game that spans both tournament events and cash games, and why HE will most likely continue to be the popular game in cardrooms. Obviously, we pay the price for playing all hold'em, all the time. Boredom. But when we need to pay the bills, we must put aside the boredom and keep grinding.

In the first post, I told you that rocks no longer win in poker. Not in tournaments, certainly, and we are costing ourselves a lot of dead money in cash games, as well. It is not a viable strategy for today's game. Yes, it cuts down on variance. Yes, it decreases our bankroll needs. Yes, it teaches us how to get away from hands. But we don't maximize our wins! And that is something that is being lost by rocks. So we have to loosen up.

Thank God we have Ed Milller's book, Small Stakes Hold'em. It teaches us a tight, yet very aggressive form of low limit cash games.

But many of us can't "force" ourselves to play Miller's style, when all we were taught, all of our experience tells us that being even tighter and more conservative is a winning strategy with very little variance. So we eventually go back to playing like rocks, Miller or no Miller.

Thankfully, we have a savior. Our savior comes by way of John Vorhaus. John wrote a poker psychology book without even knowing it. I have elaborated before, so go read my old posts about it if you would like to dig further into my thoughts on the subject.

What John did, I have decided to expound on. It's not some earth shattering news. It's not going to turn you from a dead rock to a world class player overnight. It's not going to change the poker world and turn it onto it's head. It's simply going to give you instruction, the best, oft-repeated instruction I can possibly give, in order to help you maximize your wins, if you have been stuck in boulder city for awhile.

And if you are already a loose player? If you are loose-passive, loose-aggressive, almost maniacal? Well, you can see how the other half lives, while at the same time, if you are cognizant, switching some of the psychological tricks around to change your own style to a better, more winning approach to poker.

So there really is something here for everyone. Unless you are already an expert, that is, and I really doubt that if you are an expert you are reading my lame bloggo, kiddies. I am the suck.

So yes, once again I've written and introduction to the two introductions and first post that I've already written. Oy, vey! I think I'm the record holder of false starts in the poker department ;)

Really, truly, though. Put on your seatbelt and helmet. This time, I'm going to un-rock your world and give you some excellent exercises to take your game to the next level.

Get ready to win!

Felicia :)