Sunday, October 26, 2003

Online poker blog

Marlins > Yankees

Thanks to a link and cool poker thread at Metafilter, I received some traffic. It's been odd, writing this out into the BlogSpace, or perhaps only to myself. Getting my first inbound link was kinda cool.

To me, the poker student, it's fascinating that one of the online pro's I know in real-life (as in: 100% of his income comes from playing online poker) has NEVER read a poker book. Now, he was coached on starting hands and pot odds by an experienced player many years ago, but still...it's surprising to me. I'm not saying you can't be a successful poker player without reading poker books, but I can't help but wonder how much he would improve if he immersed himself in conceptual/strategic thinking ala Sklansky, Carson or Caro.

David Sklansky estimates that of those players who try without studying to become solid winners (making good money in middle limit games, for example), no more than one percent succeed. Of those who do study diligently, he believes about ten percent succeed. If we accept Sklansky's numbers, which seem reasonable, books make a big relative difference. Still, they clearly don't guarantee success, by any stretch.

I found this snippet by pro Ray Zee on said topic:

Many new players start getting into these games and some actually play quite well. You see, after studying the best books, you can become fairly accomplished with just a small amount of real experience. (At least a lot less experience than it use to take.) So those players that improve themselves move up and take advantage of their new skills and keep pace with the world. This group improves their win rate due to the new faces and wider choice of games. Those that stay stagnant and don't study, fall back in the pack and either go broke or just slow down their winning ways. The players trying to make a living in this group really need to work on keeping their game in top shape.

Ray also lamented that literature and books may have made the games more difficult for him. Well, before the World Poker Tour, anyway. :)

On that note, many losing (and loose players) don't realize that money you don't lose is exactly the same as money you win. Poker truism.

The most important book for me pertaining to Party Poker has been Gary Carson's "The Complete Book of Hold Em Poker." He writes much more for the loose, aggressive games that make up the pokerscape at Party Poker rather than Sklansky's writings on the tight games in Vegas. Carson tends to ask you to "think" about the game. He doesn't group starting hands and may help your thinking on how to play drawing hands. He did for me. Plus, it's only $15. It's one of those books you'll get more out of the second time around.

Online poker update: I'm winning but I still hate Ultimate Bet. I'm up $124 overall after a solid evening last nite and today and am soo close to hitting that damn deposit bonus. Hopefully I can finish it up tonite and get back to Party.

It's been fun playing shorthanded, though. Probably a third of my time and profit has came from starting up the tables on UB. Playing with a kill brings out the gamble in some players, too, so that's been profitable.

Enjoyable poker read about a long-term home poker game: - Shut Up and Deal:

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