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Good old Matt Maroon!

Well, I finished going through Matt's blog, The Poker Chronicles, and I liked it. He made some really good points that I think will stick with me and help push me to keep at this whole "poker" thing and try to make a real go of it.

First off, Matt is a strong believer in proper bankroll management. If you've been reading my blog at all (and I'm sure you haven't based on the odds of you actually being a returning visitor to my site), you'll see that I take bankroll management to the point of overshadowing my poker play. I don't know why I like the looking at the money I've got and running stats based on my play by time of day, month, site, etc.

It's just comforting to know that I'm not the only person out here in Internet-land that isn't comfortable sitting down at a $20 SNG or at a $3/$6 table with a bankroll just topping $1K. The truth of the matter is that when bad swings come my way (and I know they will), my bankroll should be able to absorb the brunt of it. Whether or not my fragile ego will survive in this case is another matter completely.

Another guy wrote Matt asking about the best way to build a bankroll. Matt's response was to basically start at the 0.50/1 tables and just work it up from there. He cautions that it can be frustratingly slow to make money at these limits for people who don't have the time to put in thousands of hands a week and that it can become easy to lose interest. This is what I've been going through lately. I don't make a ton of money working my current job, but I make a hell of a lot more than most poker players. That's the reason I started playing more SNGs - move the focus from the money and onto the fun aspects of poker. If I can enjoy myself while building up my paltry bankroll, then that's what I'll do. But that's not to say that I don't mind grinding it out math-style at the limit tables, especially if I can win.

Another thing that I found comforting was the rather large plateau that Matt hit midway through last year. I don't take pleasure in others' misfortunes - I'm just happy to know that if it can happen to someone like Matt, then I shouldn't be worried that it can happen to me. Of course, given that Matt plays so many more hands than I do, I could likely fall into a downswing or a plateau that could last upwards of ten years. Oh well, I'll keep grinding I guess.

Anyway, if you haven't checked out The Poker Chronicles, what the hell are you waiting for?

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I may or may not play poker tonight - I'm undecided. On the one hand, it might be nice to just sit back and relax. On the other hand, I'm a gambling addict. I guess I'll have to wait and see how I feel, how my wife feels and how long it takes me to get home in the snowstorm raging outside.

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In a desperate attempt to lighten the boredom of my current work task, I've been reading through various entries here and there throughout poker blog-dom. Call me crazy, but is everyone in a slump right now? Most entries I'm reading now involve talking about how many bad beats there've been lately, how things are running bad, how games are being re-evaluated. etc.

Is the competition getting better to the point that the mighty bloggers are having problems winning? Or, more likely, is it that the competition is getting worse? Have the tables been flooded by newer schools of fish holding wallets fattened by various Christmas-card-cheques from old relatives?

Whatever it is, it better stop soon! I need inspiration, not company in my own misery! So, come on guys and gals, start crushing the tables and get back on your A games.

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I've been getting a sinking feeling while reading other blogs lately. Not the sinking feeling that everyone's luck has changed. The feeling I'm getting is that I'm nowhere near as successful early in my career as others.

Am I playing too tight? Am I not taking enough chances? Is it that I don't have much experience playing poker? When I read about people referring to $1/$2 games as easy, it boggles my mind. For me, $1/$2 was like a giant flabby-armed spanking machine. Every pot raised pre-flop, constantly raised and re-raised on every street. How do you get over the fear of losing money? For me, I don't like calling 2 bets cold unless I have the immortal nuts. And if the board is three suited and three other players have called and raised, how am I supposed to know that my top pair is good? Will I hit it big when I finally do hit the big hand and have the nuts? Am I destined to piss away my stack and only break even when my aces finally hold up?

I just get the funny feeling that poker is like a joke that I don't really get. Sure, I'll laugh along with the others while trying to hide the awkwardness of being odd man out.

I think the following quote from a comment on SirFWALGMan's blog captures my bewilderment:

Funny you should mention how 5-3 is so strong for you. My odd strong hand has been K-9 *shrug* Don't know why, it just seems to work out more times than not.

Why am I scared? I would never play a 53 or a K9 unless I really had to. And there is seriously no way that I would superstitiously over-value these hands. What I'm trying to say is that if people are going to raise pre-flop with a 53o, I don't think that there's any way that I'll survive at the tables. For all my talk about gambling, I hate it. I like math. I like cards. I like money. But I hate gambling for any significant amount of money. Maybe that'll change as my bankroll grows.

I'm sure I'll be comfortable gambling it up at $1/$2 once I've got a bankroll of $2K. Until then, I don't know what else to do.

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