I’m home from work. My tie is off. I’m on the sofa in the family room. I’m playing poker.
I haven’t written about poker in a while.
I’ve had my ups and downs, even moved sites. After being online for a few years, I’m playing about even.
With recent changes to the US law, I’m not even sure I will ever be able to retrieve my stake Somehow, that’s not very important. I’ve gotten my money’s worth.
Here’s the weirder part. While playing poker, I’m watching poker. I’ve got the 2006 World Series of Poker on ESPN.
If you’re not a poker player, you should know, the WSOP has been over for months. Jamie Gold won. He has not been a sparklingly pristine champ.
I know the result of the tournament. I know who Gold steamed through to win. It makes no difference. It is just fascinating to watch the game progress.
Poker is not a simple game of luck.
I’m not even sure it’s correct to characterize it as a card game. I see it as a betting game. Within reason, how you bet is more important than the cards you get. You can win a lot on mediocre cards and very little with the nuts.
Conversely, you’re most likely to lose the most when your hand is good.
Watching how the game is bet, especially on TV where the hole cards are revealed, is an amazing education. There are lots of people who play stupid, even late in a very expensive tournament. Not that I could pass such a test every single time.
In these tournaments, it’s easy to look at the chips stacked in front of each player in a linear fashion. My theory of poker says that’s wrong.
If one player has $6,000 in chips and another has $2,000, they are only separated by one potential hand! That’s why I feel it’s important to not change the way you play, even when you’re behind. You’re never as far behind as the chips make it seem.
The difference in hands is best considered in terms of logarithms. Well, it is to me.
Back to the tournament on TV. They’re down to the final table and each of these players is winning a few million dollars or more. Yet, to a man, as they stand to walk away after losing, they’re unhappy.
That is so weird.