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Keeping My Head Above Water

Here's your Business Class ticket to cool, with complimentary mojo after takeoff.

When your poker game crashes, here's the black box. One day, the whole plane will be made out of that stuff.

Make your whole game out of the POW, pearls of wisdom from the best damn poker blog.

The best things in life aren't things, they're people who write free advice on how to play poker without cards. It is after all, a game of money played with cards, not the other way around.

Pain For Sale-Don't treat Paper like Plastic, cash games for tournament chips.

PAPER: The Longest Journey begins with...a cash advance from Bank of America.

PLASTIC: "Money can't buy happiness but it can buy chips which is kinda the same thing"-

The sex of Poker is really a game of mistakes and the greatest one is rooted in pleasure. The fine line we walk between success and self-destruction comes down to asking that one dirty (Harry) question rooted in the loner cop’s message of personal freedom, “Do you feel lucky? Well, do ya punk?”

Poker is a game of situations. Winning poker is about making good decisions Feeling lucky and going to a casino is like feeling athletic and going to a sports bar. It’s a bad decision. It is the in to your sane, a kind of voluntary madness. The surest way of getting nothing from something. The road less traveled-the psycho path!

In Blackjack, there is always a correct decision, a perfect strategy. No Limit Holdem, on the other hand, is a game of completing the puzzle of partial information; where players make inferences and “investments” under uncertainty. Fixed strategies don’t work because players don’t always act perfectly. You are, above all else, playing against other people, and conditions change.

No Limit Hold ‘em or NLH is designed to have a high luck factor that can quite easily lead to a sort of pathological optimism. It’s a fast, easy to understand game that pulls down huge bucketfuls of short-term luck. In fact, playing because you are “feeling lucky” is (almost) the right way to play.

Yet, the right way to play NLH and (almost) the right way to play is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug. I don’t want to steal your thunder but that’s what luck is--- the Thunder. Thunder is a good thing , thunder is impressive; but it is lightning that does all the work and gets the job done, and it doesn’t strike twice in the same place because the same place isn’t there anymore.

The sex of poker therefore can be misery. It no longer loves company. Nowadays it insists on it. The remarkable thing about luck is no matter how bad it gets, it can always get worse. Luck is a strange teacher. It gives the test first, the lesson afterwards. Luck is your university. The chips are your report card. Everything proceeds from there.

While it is true that it is the mark of an inexperienced player not to believe in luck, luck doesn’t always believe in you--- Luck is pauperized ecstasy because it lends but never gives. When you’re buying in to feeling lucky, there is plenty of pain for sale. It is easier to change your religion than your diet, and in the buffet of luck may have no calories, but everyone eventually goes home hungry.

If Pain is weakness leaving the body, then Poker pain is weakness leaving your game. It is not something we acquire. It is something we tune into--- the poker frequency. Do you play in-frequently? Is that one word or two?

Playing too many starting hands in a standard $2-$4 NL game is weakness. You should have a 20-30% view of the flop percentage. This means folding, saying “No” to AJ in first position, KT in middle position and QT in late position Just saying `no', to every hand, however prevents bad playing the way “Have a nice day” cures chronic depression. A Jackass who persists in his recklessness, nevertheless becomes a smart ass.


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