Okay, so I just sat down to my first online poker session for the first time in what for me, is a fair old while. I think I’ve been putting it off. I guess that it’s because I know that so many things in my game have to change, and that doesn’t fit with how I’ve been using poker. For far too long and far too often I have played as a distraction from life, facilitating relaxation rather than demanding concentration. How do I ever expect to make a healthy profit?
I started this session when I had already made the decision to go to bed. It’s not the first time and it certainly won’t be the last, but I was struck by the desire to play and actually address some of my many flaws, so I thought the snoring could wait. I have basically no bankroll, and I never like to deposit when I don’t have to, so I thought I’d grab a table at a micro limit game, hopefully bump up the pennies in my Pokerstars account, but more importantly really start to think about what I’m doing. So I found a seat at a 6 player fixed limit texas hold ’em table. That’s what I know, it’s the game that’s made me by far the most profit, so by my reckoning that’s the place to start.
Immediately as I sat at the table I focused on the players and what they were doing. It’s easy to chuck your money away at micro fixed limit table by starting off too aggressively with a too large range of starting hands. If you discover you’ve got five calling stations, playing tight is the only way or you’re just signing up to play bingo.
So it feels good, I’m watching the hands play out and making notes on what I see, waiting for some suitable cards to play myself. Oh hang on, I forgot, even though I put that CD in the drive I haven’t actually started copying the files yet. I’ll just do that. Hmmm, which folder should they go in? Better make a new one… BEEEEP BEEEEP BEEEEP BEEEEP!
Before I know it the Pokerstars software is bleeping at me to tell me that I’m nearly out of time to take my turn. So I fold the Q9s under the gun and start to despair that my attention span has become so small. In a split second my brain can be distracted by the most inane of things. My brain is killing my game! I get bored too easily. But if I was doing it properly, it wouldn’t be boring!
So here’s the thing. Poker time has to be poker time. Nothing else. No distractions. No TV, no talk radio, no emails, no blog. The only thing in poker time is poker. And maybe some music.
That’s my golden rule #1.
It’s hard to have some time away from any other distractions, so in the interests of sticking to it, I think I need to intentionally make sessions pretty short. Hmmm, I guess that just means cash games then, no tournaments.
For now I’m off to the land of nod, but before I do I want to make a commitment to you, my loyal and wise followers. Even though you barely exist yet dear reader, my promise to you is this. I, the self proclaimed Triple Barrel Kid, do solemnly swear to abide by the golden rules set down herein. I promise to love them, to cherish them and to live them. I do.