Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Poker Systems / Poker Psychology

(grrr, just had a long post 'eaten' by blogger... ah well, this is v2!)

A question: What makes you choose poker above alternative strategy games such as chess, bridge or video-games?

Now A Thought Experiment!

One day - while reading one or another of Mark's excellent websites (!) - you come across a secret and powerful super-tip that can win you a steady rate at the tables in fact it can increase your current hourly rate by 15% to $20 (or give you $10 an hour if you are not yet a winning player).

Sounds good right? We will say that you can average $5 more / hour and assume you are in Europe or North America (adjust as required for elsewhere in the world).

But there is a caveat.

This super-poker-tip is actually 'mechanical' it involves short-stacking (probably!) and you are not actually required to make any decisions, they are all laid out on a handy sheet showing you what to do in certain circumstances. You'll need to play 6 tables too - making doing other tasks somewhat difficult.

Would you do it for $10 an hour or $5 on top of your current hourly rate?


Too dull right? That would be my answer at least, sat on your own clicking a mouse and not having to think.... yuk.

So, we gave an (albeit imaginary) fool-proof way of increasing your income, which is apparently the reason that the vast majority of us give for choosing to play poker - and immediately you turn it down?

What is going on? Is the money important?

To most of us yes, to my mind (unless you are a poker pro, which 99% of us are not!) then it is actually far less important than we tend to believe. The enjoyment of the game, interactions with fellow players both in person and online, the challenges involved in moving up to new levels or getting to a final table and the 'buzz' of winning a big pot that you patiently set up your opponent for over the course of a session are all key.

Here is my personal perspective: If we kid ourselves that it is all about the money, we lose the enjoyment of the many other aspects of the game and end up feeling unhappy when we play... playing when unhappy leads to bad decisions which start affecting the bankroll (and into the loop they go, eventually giving up poker (and sometimes blogging too!))

I personally love the game of poker, the people and the levels of thinking involved - as a recreational player I have focused too much on the cash, time to step back, take a deep breath and be honest about the aspects I enjoy.... $10 an hour? No thanks!

GL at the tables, Mark

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

he's right you know!!