An Americon Dreamer’s guide to the Texas Hold’em Universe. The possibility of sudden significant change in your game.
The Secret is about the law of attraction and results—the secret of poker is the complete opposite! And opposites attract!
Old wine in a new bottle is when you play ABC "I bought the book" holdem. "Money runs counterclockwise...You always lose money from the guy on your left and win chips from the guy on your right" or " Seat 9 only value bets here and only bluffs there." There is no there there! in the distilled experience of the veterans.
You can't predict the flop, but you can invent it--Plan around commitment.
Dare to be naïve
If practice makes perfect, and nobody's perfect, then why practice? There is absolutely no substitute in NLH than for a genuine lack of preparation.. A NLH session is one long conversation run by C students, and Cash is their report card. NLH is like high school with money. This is a world beyond the classroom besides getting the correct answer. The important thing, nevertheless, is not to be in the know, but to be in the Power of NEW . The glass ain’t half empty, it ain’t half full, the glass is not big enough. Shuffle up and deal with it.
In Poker the future is already here. It’s just not yet evenly distributed yet. You see, Poker is really a game of mistakes. The rules of Americon Poker are designed to achieve an important balance: an unskilled player(usually the guy with the three c’s condo, cash and cars) must be able to win just enough hands to keep him at the table losing his money. The Americon just look for opportunities, not guarantees. He is ready to make the right mistakes.
It's Not the Big that Eat the Small...It's the Fast that Eat the Slow
Don’t ca-cheng unless you ca-ch’i--Physical energy capacity is measured in terms of quantity---low to high; and emotional capacity in quality ---negative to positive.. It’s energy, not time, that's your street cred, your table image.
The truth will set you free but first it will piss you off
I want to show you my cards…I am a nobody in poker, but you have to be a somebody before you can truly be a nobody. I may not be in “who’s who” but I can tell you what’s what when it comes to Texas Hold em. .
2. The N Word—Normal--- Losing holdem A.S.A.P. is about being Normal.
Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy chips, which is kinda the same thing.
Money is the most powerful and pervasive secular force on the planet.
Americon don't want to be normal. Normal playah's spend their lives avoiding tense situation, Americon-Poker Playahs spend their lives getting into them. NLH---It takes a minute to learn and a life time to master. It’s hours of utter boredom coupled and then a few moments of sheer terror. Your baseline trance of our everyday All-American life as you know it is over. You’re an Americon-Playah The clock reads “Now” There is no yes in yesterday. Honor your beginning.
Few things are harder to put up with than a good example
It is the ideal aim of the unsuccessful and unimaginative. Ask your mother. "Normal"is the setting on her washing machine---the spin cycle ad nauseum. Normal isn't a virtue. It denotes a lack of poker courage. It’s a vast, conforming suburb of the soul. You don’t want to be normal. Normal people spend their lives avoiding tense situation, Poker Playahs spend their lives getting into them.
3. The harder you work the luckier you get! Quit work, play poker, sleep 'till noon
“L.U.C.K. is the acronym for laboring under correct knowledge, Follow your own inner GPS system. Knowledge won’t t be power, applied knowledge will.”
When you change the way you look at things the things you look at change. Blink!
If you want to be a gambler, you have to play poker. It’s like applying for citizenship in the Gaming World, and no limit Poker is a form of patriotism.
When you have the best hand, make your opponent pay.
Rounders verses Flounders: “Do the math Asshole”, you went to NYU, or yea, NYU, Now You're Unemployed". Seat 9 says in his best Tony G.
"Why be difficult when, with a bit of effort, I could be impossible? I think, looking down on American Airlines, Pocket Rockets, Bullets,---Aces, larger than life , greater than the rocky mountain highs. I got 50 outs! I am so glad, I am not in some $3-$6 game, where if I don’t trip up--- hit 3Aces on the flop, no set no bet, I will be hunted down and stalked to the end by some river rat, and get those aces cracked with a baby flush or a low ball straight.
He says in some Franglish accent, “I’m all in”, baiting me, like I’m some fish.
I’m a Poker genius. Poker is situational--You wanna be heads up with AA.These cards will play themselves.. I like living in the now, and this was truly a gift, the “present” moment of my two hole cards---the best starting hand-----I couldn’t get any closer to “seeing” all of my opponents cards. I put him on Ace King, Big Slick ---so what- I have him dominated. QQ,Queens, KK, Kings, JJ’s Jacks, Big Deal. Let’s get it on.
I look down on my stack- Money is a Poker life’s report card and we keep score with it. I got chips! I’m about to graduate. I was feeling too good about this table, how weak they were, to leave, and besides I was winning.
Cool Hand French Fry, , must be thinking” Sometimes nothing is a good hand”. I was almost sure he would get nothing for something---his whole stack would be mine.
Without hesitation, I say, “I call!” and that’s “Mr Asshole to you” I quip “Show some respect”. The table laughs. I push in $400+. Hay I know it sounds like chicken feed, but hay $400 dollars is $400+ U.S. dollars. Oh yea, but these are just chips. It ain’t money until you cash out. Allow me to correct myself,----I push in 400+ chips.
Americon’s are not greedy, Americon’s are not noble. We don’t “need” anything. We just want to win, and you know how dangerous people like we are. Even if you kill us, with a bad beat, we’ll come back from the dead. Just like Jesus. We’re beachcomber Jesus’. We’ll just rebuy, but not with F You Money. . When it's a question of money, everybody is of the same religion, so excuse the Jesus metaphor---- We’re Americon’s—we play to win at all times---that’s why we never lost a war, and don’t give me that Vietnam stuff, that was a “police action,” a conflict, not a war. Poker is war, in disguise as “Fun” and “entertainment”. Americon/s have a real edge over players who want to have “fun”. The object of this war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his. Thinking like an old soldier … get em scared and then keep the scare on em. --Exponentially scared.And open a can of whoop ass.
I was gambling my car payment on that table, and the insanity of that risk filled me with a kind of awe inspiring rush. The next best thing to playing poker and wining is playing poker and losing. The $400+ bucks on the table is all I got. Until the end of the week. Who cares. I’ ve had AA cracked before. Well, I wouldn’t call it gambling, poker is a game of skill, of making correct decisions. Here are the cliff notes: I win the pot.
The flop is dirty---low ball 472 rainbow, nothing special. Things just got worse for Seat 9 , when I spiked an Ace on the turn for trips. He was drawing dead. Oh yea, he had AK, Big Slick. I had him at Hello.
Instant gratification takes too long.
4 The Urban Monk Ed Reif's Wise and Otherwise sayings:
"The ultimate goal is to separate the fish from the sea, leaving it exposed to good play."
A year ago, I was Buddha Boy, in the touchy feely world of high vibrational foods in Las Vegan, slamming shots of wheatgrass and drinking Jamba juice smoothies, and doing yoga , starbucks and meditation--- hybrid cars and oxygen bars. and now I find myself in a quasi Las Vegas haze here at the Commerce casino in Los Angeles---- with Red Bull, Coffee but no neon ---abandoning my early to bed, early to rise---it turned me from wise to otherwise---an alternative lifestyle of all nighters, strip clubs, and hanging out with guys from Newport Beach, Ca’ Witness protection program, truck drivers, smokers drinkers, boozers,gamblers, womanizers, Guys that go on vacation and come back on probation. They weren’t growing up to become president, or even vice president, just Vice. In fact growing up was optional, growing old however wasn’t. Poker players are made from the same mold, but some of them were moldier than others. . Some of these guys looked pretty weathered.
The seductive game of poker is the licence of the brothel combined with the silence of the cloister. It’s not so much a card game as a game that happens to be played with cards, Poker is a game, essentially about psychology, and betting, and betting behavior is at the center of gravity of the game., and coping with probability and uncertainty. Tricks and magic will not work over time. Superior play will.
It is a game about solving imperfect information, partial information.
Poker is a game of partial information.
Poker is a game of imperfect in formation where players make inferences and investments under uncertainty. Bluffing a bad player makes you a bad player. Don’t go overboard.
5. The Urban Monk Ed Reif's Wise and Otherwise sayings: In Poker the future is already here. It’s just not yet evenly distributed yet. .
Eventually everybody wins a big pot. A broken clock is right twice--- That’s the seduction. I am a teacher by trade. A meager salary has led most of us to the game. I think poker is not necessarily a lapse of morality, but the result of a great social injustice. Formal education made me a salary, Self-education in the poker world, was making me a small fortune. Yet, the luck factor makes Holdem an equal opportunity offender.
Life is too long to play bad cards. Life is too short to not play poker. What’s the meaning of a poker life? Get one, Perhaps, The meaning of a poker life is don’t die, Right?
If you need money how come you play poker ---Poker Courage---doing it with heart, like Gus
In the United States of Unconscious living, I have finally found a higher life, ---poker. It is courage. It is art. It is skill. It’s like the classic western Showdown, high noon, mono et mono.
6.The Urban Monk Ed Reif's Wise and Otherwise sayings:
Poker is a great second job and a lousy first job.
Luck never gives; it only lends. I knew this, but I was on this winning streak. It was time to move up to the higher limits. What’s
the difference, nothing. It’s the same game, only the chips are different colors. Really. The players aren’t any better. In fact. Some of them are worse.
If you bet on a suited connectors , that's gambling. If you bet you can make 69 “Dinner for 2”, flop, that's entertainment. If you bet AA,KK,QQ will win , that's business.Playing on the button, that’s “My office” because position is so important, and on the button I get the feel for the hole cards others are laying. When I play hold em, with bad players at a 6 12, 4,8 table I am like a good therapist I heal everybody of all their daydreams and delusions. I felt a little bit uncertain though about leveling up.
I just look for opportunities, not guarantees. Helmuth’s starting hands AA,KK,QQ,AK Suited is tight solid. But tight isn't always right.
Poker players, the really good ones, and prostitutes have the same thing in common; they are both trying to screw you out of your money and send you home with a smile on your face. The cardroom is the silence of the cloister with the license of the brothel. It provides the loophole for the whore to climb into your head. There is something so wrong about that, Yet it felt so right.
I started out as a chess player Poker players often mistakenly talk about strategy as if it were some kind of chess match. But in chess, you have just two opponents, each with identical resources, and with luck playing a minimal role. Poker is not chess, not checkers, not tiddly winks. Well, maybe it is chess plus luck, yea , that’s what it is Chess plus luck. The real world is much more like a poker game, with multiple players trying to make the best of whatever hand you are dealt them.It’s not what you have. It’s what you do with what you have.
7. Hold em is to stud what chess is to checkers.
After an all- nighter binge of Hold em, a bad beat trip Jacks cracked by a baby flush. I’m pissed and this is just the situation to get mad at: I buy a cup of coffee and they gave me a receipt for the coffee. I don't need a receipt for the coffee I give you money and you give me the coffee end of transaction. “We don't need to bring ink and paper into this.” I can't imagine a scenario that I would have to prove that I bought a coffee . I wouldn’t even act like I didn't buy this coffee I've got the documentation right here... It's going in my file at home. ...Under "C”. Killing all these trees for paper.” I know I’m on tilt, because no “Barista” deserves such treatment.
“Hay, no worries” dude”. He’s very understanding, as he goes back to reading his haiku poetry..
So I’m a dude. Great. I’m still thinking about poker. Clear your head. Get to the gym.Staying health is the slow way to die. Happy 120th birthday. Yea so what. That’s me. I have to exercise in the morning before my brain figures out what I'm doing.
My buns of steel could set off an airport metal detector, but I’d be satisfied with buns of cinnamon. In Las Vegas, Exercise is the yuppie version of bulimia.
8. I payed for my Poker Lessons:
--- Playing too many starting hands: in a standard $4-$8 NL game you should have a 20-30% view of the flop percentage. This means folding AJ in first position, KT in middle position and QT in late position.
--- "Pump it or dump it": fold or bet/raise (if the odds are with you). You should avoid calling unless you have a good reason (like trapping an opponent).
--- Respect most big bets and raises: this is particularly true on the turn and river as most players do not bluff.
---From Zero Hero---Firm hand selection =patience and patience almost equals power. Infinite patience brings immediate results to your game. It's not a matter of can or cannot, it's a matter of will or will not, every hand is a choice, choose wisely.
---Poker Courage--- to bet/raise/call down (aggressive with draws or perceived best hands) It’s always your next move raise or fold! Foldophobic. “Good poker is patience; great poker is courageNot vulnerable to go on tilt. If you are going to walk on thin ice, you might as well dance! You can’t control what goes on the outside, only the inside, and the guy that gets you angry conquers you. No Snowflake ever felt responsible for an avalanche.
9. Send the Bread to Fred---
American gambling is a kind of a great sort of dipstick to where our culture is or isn’t.
And Poker not baseball has replaced the national pastime. Dream---to become the Dian Fossey of the poker jungle. to become one of “them”, and then study “their” behavior from the inside. These McMonkey’s, Vinnie Bag-a-donuts, Joe Six Pack. John Q And bust them. Anyway. My Second Coming: When Bad things happen to good cards--getting sucked out on--when weak players make good mistakes, and call your KK with pocket 99, the german Virgin" Nein,Nein!" and hit trips on the flop to bust you---
Hate the win, not the winner---
In the United States of Unconscious Poker Playing, I wanted to be different and think in poker”, using my head to complete the puzzle of incomplete information, but also my somatic body to "feel" the cards. Always make new mistakes because you are not your mistakes. Doing things right the first time is an obsenity. It's not about learning but unlearningf rom them. It's subtraction, not addition.
There is a sophisticated class of professional Poker players with an interesting philosophy which is closely related to a deep understanding of basic probability. The rules of Poker are designed to achieve an important balance: an unskilled player must be able to win just enough hands to keep him at the table losing his money.
10. Troubleshooting? Every time I do that trouble comes shooting back at me.
but it is an illusion, because they will always have worse cards then you, and will draw out, even if there is one card in the deck they need, and get it. For these types of absolute novice, everything is even money. The idea is to defeat that concept, making, for instance, balanced decisions---correlating the size of the pot to the strength of your hand.
There is considerable risk involved in not betting when one has the best hand. Slow play is no play.
Some flashbacks--- from "F"-LA, where I took up "Second-hand" smoking at the Hard Rock Cafe...
Fat-It's not just for chicks anymore--I like playing against fat guys---They're such good losers. and dude. you are so not pregnant!
Sick and tired of your one horse town poker game, big fish in small pond is swimming in the river…Queer Eyes for the straight flush…. Chasing straights and flushes go home on dirty greyhound buses. This guy was a chick magnet---300 pounds of fun, unemployed and graduate of the local community college. But played like a rock star,, a solid player. How could I budge him, all this inertia, I could set him off. I had to find his weakness and explot it with some table talk.
The flop comes 6 8 10 rainbow. Seat three has pocket sixes. Kiss your soul goodbye and say hello to your new best friend, Satan. The Devil’s hand. If you are an atheists, you don’t have anyone to thank when things go right---So I hear quite often,” thank be to the Poker gods”.
Speak Spanish, this is Los Angeles! Where you from I ask him, he say’s right here.. I say, I hate L.A.. if you need a fake ID -or an Abortion. Whore, then go east young man, east Harlem, east LA, East Norwick. the newest and hottest foot soldier on the front lines of the average Joe, Vinnie Bag-a-donuts, Joe Six Pack takeover of modern culture, turning us into a kind of crack addicted McMonkey. crack addiction in Larry Flint’s Gardena Hustler casino, and the Bike in Bell, and the mother of all poker rooms, the Commerce Casino in Commerce CA. I t's hard to make a comeback when you haven't been anywhere. I felt the need for speed, the Las Vegas trip I had never taken seriously.
Collateral damage of Poker. The guy from the trailer park, with the “Look at my Striped shirt” on, who wins a stack a chips. Acts like an opiate, distracts you from real issues like “Do you rent or own?”, Car Payments, credit card debt and the like
There was something so absolutely dirty about it all. I was nostalgic in my head-, bringing me back to a place I had never been before, the rat pack,listening to Sinatra’s New York New York or Luck Me A Lady Tonight, smoking cigarettes, drinking scotch, pinching waitresses asses and tip her a stick ($100) in her cleavage. , Calling all women dames. Or better yet banging hookers. Misogyny on tap. You know, old school, before the days of sexual harassment lawsuits and stuff like that. No judgment. A Man’s world. In the poker game of life women are the rake. Right or wrong, I had come to realize that, life is wasted on the living. I could face a crisis, it’s the day-to-day living that was killing me. . Setting too good an example was a kind of obscenity, not the neon, not the poker. I felt good about what I was doing.
People come to the casino for two reasons, to get away from or to move towards something. I still couldn’t figure out which one it was.
Yet, it was like I had my ipod, two radio stations and a pornographic movie going on at the same time. But I couldn’t stop, because I was winning. Every day. I knew I was winning because I came to the table to make money, not have fun. Having fun is playing King 4 suited; having fun is playing all your blinds no matter what two cards you hold. Having fun is staying in with AK, when the flop, 70% of your hand , come nothing and you go to the river. If I see an unhappy face at the table, scratching at the table, his bad beat story, I know for a fact, will start with these words, “But they were suited”. I want to get a T shirt, that sells that. Only people who play poker for fun would get it! (understand it). Getting nothing for something, that’s playing with “their” money, playing for fun. If you want to have fun, have sex, jump out of an airplane. Poker is hard work.
Nobody is always a winner, so I had to make a decision, play again or take a break. Pretty hands turn into pretty ugly hands but Poker is mostly not about cards, it’s about people. Out To launch-Fat America-The Weigh We Were. The four types of poker players I met.at Commerce Casino. In full-ring games (8-10 players)....
Shit-We're Toast--- A Toast to the Real Men of Genius
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