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Seven times Eight is

September 6th, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

It was third grade and we learned the multiplication table.  Mr. Mueller was the teacher.  He had a heart attack and went out in the hall and died.  A bit later, shook people came into the class room and the world was any longer bright and sunny. His daughter was in our class.  Bad day.  Third grade wasn’t a great year for a lot of reasons.  (This is a poker post believe it or not.)

It was those multiplication tables.  Rote learning and we stood up in class and went through them.  It worked but the 7’s were painful.  Didn’t have any trouble with the 9’s or most of the other; but those darn 7’s.   Poker players often take the rote approach.  Josie just did a bit of Doyle’s view.  Good advice but a lot like those darn 7’s.  It was about troubled hands.

That advice is primo.  You mess with it at your peril.  If you’ve played tournaments, it is a reason you play well.  Fail to do so a laughter or tears ensue.  But, it also doesn’t mean squat.  That’s why 7 times 8 is trouble — rote thinking.

Hand histories are a staple.  You go on the computer; you cut and paste; voilà, you’ve a blog.  There are a very limited number of good blogs with hand histories.  Shirley Rossario used to make some great ones. But, by-and-large, most are like learning the multiplication tables.

BWOP loves her crubs.   Grump extols 24.  Fuel loved his 55.  Some of that is ring thinking but the border isn’t marked. It moves things beyond hand history and rote thoughts and cost.   It is why poker is interesting in the sense of the interesting times curse.

The thing Josie is doing is planning.  Generals plan and then the battle throws all of it out the window.  The good ones are ready to throw away the game plan on a moments notice.  Poker too is going to war.

There isn’t anything wrong with planning and reviewing solid premises.  But, it is always incomplete.  There are changes that we base on things other than just the cards.  Doyle will play out that AQ to showdown where all the other factors cooperate.

When Daniel Negreanu was on the heater early in televised poker, he was a great example for winning with hands that couldn’t even make the dregs of Doyle’s list.  But, usually he wasn’t staking his stack.  He was combining what he likes to call low ball with implied odds.  That doesn’t always fit well in a book or show well in a hand history.

Planning too much is -EV.  Dwelling on beats is -EV.  That goes for rote thinking too.  What went before is -EV.  Adapting to circumstance is +EV.  Circumstance is there in Doyle’s book.  But hand, blinds, reads, and needs are new with each shuffle.

There is one constant in playing good tournament poker — concentration.  I seldom play NLH ones these days because it went away.  I got it back playing the stud one I’ve written about.  When I know I have concentration, I don’t worry about “trouble hands” or what the hand history will show.  The pieces like low ball, hand selection, blind levels, implied odds and table flavor all mesh when you have concentration.

I’d like to think I’d have that available as a switch to turn on.  Its what gives everyone their A-game.  We all have an A-game at the skill level we have.   Sadly, you can’t just turn it on and expect it to be like the light in the hall.  And, when you take yourself too seriously, it going to bite you in the backside.

Even the worst player approaches the game to win.  Not everyone approaches it to have fun.  Some will maintain concentration.  Put them all together and you stand your best chance.  And most times that still isn’t good enough.  But, even then there can be success of a sort and you need to avoid taking it and yourself too seriously to see that success.


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  1. Very Josie
    September 6th, 2011 at 08:04 | #1

    Who knew Ken was capable of an insightful POKER post? 

    I can’t believe I’m writing this but I COULDN’T AGREE WITH YOU MORE!  Yes, I’m planning, and thinking and theorizing, yet most of that may get tossed out the window in the heat of the battle when other things like positon, reads and gut feelings take precidence.

    However, I’m taking it very seriously and I will be good enough.

  2. Very Josie
    September 6th, 2011 at 08:05 | #2

    Pity you don’t have a “Josie” category for this post.  I’m just sayin’!

  3. September 6th, 2011 at 08:12 | #3

    If Wishes Were Fishes, The Sea Would Be Full

    If wishes were horses, beggars would ride
    If turnips were swords, i’d wear one by my side

    P.S. That picture needs to be changed.

  4. Very Josie
    September 6th, 2011 at 08:42 | #4

    I know, but I forget how to change it.  🙁

  5. September 6th, 2011 at 09:50 | #5

    Better write those trouble hands of Doyle’s on your hand that morning.  You might go back to the original comments that sent you to gravitar and see what was said.  I guess the alternative would be to go to the site and see if it is possible to hire an infinite number of monkeys.  They may give you the family discount.

  6. September 6th, 2011 at 10:03 | #6

    Will Josie go broke with the VJ (J-10)? Tune in at the end of next week!

  7. September 6th, 2011 at 10:30 | #7

    Not next week but the one following.  And I’ll be sure to keep you informed by Tue night

  8. Very Josie
    September 6th, 2011 at 11:11 | #8

    @ Lightning, I may go broke, but not with J-10…..I wouldn’t risk a tourney on it.  2 weeks!!!!

    @ Ken, Rude.

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