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Zen, Podcasts, and Poker

I've been reading some no-limit hold'em books this week. When I sat down to play poker tonight, I decided to play some no-limit hold'em instead of my usual limit hold'em or Omaha Hi-Lo. I was hoping to put my recent reading of Phil Gordon's Little Blue Book and Sklansky/Miller's No-Limit Hold'em: Theory and Practice to use.

Thankfully, I'd also just finished reading Zen and The Art of Poker to help me head into tonight's session with a good attitude.

The one thing that I got from reading about Zen theory applied to poker is that no amount of reading, experience, or skill can guarantee a win in poker. The fact that I've played at higher stakes than the $25 buy-in games I'm now frequenting means nothing when I take my seat at the table. Win or lose, I was just looking to put in some hands and continue my poker education. I did come out ahead after my short 160 hand session thanks in part to picking up some good hands at the right time.

I've also recently come to accept the fact that my huge success at the 6-max $100 NLHE games in early 2008 was a statistical anomaly. I ran super, super hot and came out ahead because I got very lucky when I most needed it. But I'm not going to continue to beat myself up over that fact. I'm happy that I got lucky and I hope to get equally luck in the future. Until then, I'll just keep playing the best I can. It's hard to imagine that a simple hot streak could have had ended up having such a negative impact on my growth as a poker player.

Finally, I've downloaded some new podcasts to listen to at work and during my morning and evening commute. I settled on the Deuce Plays with Bart Hanson, Cash Plays with Jeremiah Smith, and PokerRoad Radio. Hopefully these podcasts will help my game. I spent much of last year listening to video game podcasts in my free time which did nothing to help my overall poker game. We'll see how well I do this year with my dedicated focus on poker.

That's it for tonight. It's late and I'm going to bed.

Have a good one!


The Poker Meister said...

Good, honest post! Happy to see that you're on the road to recovery. Congrats on the small win. A win is a win is a win. Perhaps we'll see each other at the 50nl tables when you work up the confidence in the game. I'm playing FR though.

What was your BB/100 last night? The BB/100 is the stat you need to concentrate on if you're playing 2 tables.

As an aside, the donkeys seem to be out in force since the beginning of the new year. I've been winning a sickly 9+ BB/100 since the new year, just CONSTANTLY clobbering these donks for their stacks as heavy favorite.

I ran into a guy last night who gifted me 100BBs on a 4 flush board with my [of course] holding the A and him calling an overbet shove with the 7 high flush. Oh yeah - he's a -90 BB/100 loser @ 3K hands according to PTR.

Try & get in as many hands as you can right now, because the getting is certainly good!

Klopzi said...

Hey Meister -

I don't pay much attention to BB/100. It takes so many hands for that stat to be really meaningful that I've gotten into the habit of ignoring it. But 9 BB/100 is good, hot streak or not. Enjoy the good times - it's always nice to have hands work out and get paid off by the weaker players.

I'll continue to play both limit and no-limit hold'em for the next little while. Hopefully I'll find my stride again and start grinding out small wins and smaller losses.

Donovan said...

Zen and poker, who would have thought a thousand years ago that Zen would be used to help win at poker. very interesting.

Klopzi said...

Donovan -

We'll see if the Zen Masters' collective wisdom can help me beat micro-stakes online poker.