I was on the phone with my mom two nights ago. I mentioned poker and she asked if I was a gambler?
When that question comes from your mom, it deserves attention. I stopped to think.
Obviously, I enjoy poker. I’ve certainly written about it enough. It is, in my opinion, a game of skill – but yes, it has to be considered gambling. So, in that regard, I’m a gambler.
As opposed to poker, I hardly enjoy casino games where you play against the house. When I’m in a casino, not playing poker, my involvement is minimal. I don’t enjoy blackjack and I put up with slot machines only because I’m interested in the computing involved! I couldn’t spend long times doing either, and would never go to a casino with those games as my main purpose.
I couldn’t play if I was losing. For me, gambling and losing is not fun.
I have found a poker game where I can, and do, dominate. It is 6-handed, no limit Hold’em. I won’t go into the math, but this particular setup favors very tight players and a lot of patience – my strengths. It is like shooting fish in a barrel.
If I play a few of these six player tourneys over the course of an evening, I nearly always end up ahead.
Now, here’s the answer to my mom’s question.
I do really well in the 6-handed game… but I also play in larger tournaments where the possible payoff is much larger, and where I generally don’t do well at all! I only play these bigger tournaments because the 6-handed ones keep me ahead.
I suppose that really does make me a gambler… though, under these circumstances, ahead of the game for 34 months on PokerStars, it seems pretty harmless.