Thursday, April 04, 2013

Portrait of a Poker Player

It was so good to get back to playing some poker recently. Aside from the general fun of playing poker, I had almost forgotten how much of what attracted me to poker in the first place was the competition aspect. I have been a competition junkie nearly my entire life. Beginning with baseball games in my backyard when growing up, continuing through organized sports in school and community leagues as a young adult and cementing itself firmly in my life while “maturing,” competition has been my constant companion, being my refuge in a sometimes busy and crazy world.

Unlike many poker players today, I did not really grow up with poker or even play it much when I was younger. However, I and millions of other people throughout the world were captivated in 2003 when Chris Moneymaker, an average guy, played in the main event in the World Series of Poker after qualifying in an online event – and won it! Almost ten years later, after investing many hours playing poker, I still love it.

It has been, however, a long road from being new to poker to actually having some degree of skill. After the Moneymaker win, I fumbled around at some online poker sites. As expected, I did not have any degree of success and began to obsess about getting better, being a competition junkie and all. One of the first places I went to was At that time,Cardschat was relatively new to the poker world and began carving out a niche as one of the best online resources for both new and experienced players.It was pretty darn exciting, being part of an international community of poker players, learning and practicing new strategies, and competing in freerolls and buy-in events against some excellent poker players from across the United States, Europe, Australia and the rest of the world. And the first time I won a tournament – woo hoo! Cardschat now boasts almost 100,000 members and has a history of over 1,600,000 posts. Yowsa!

The strategy forums at Cardschat became the foundation of my poker knowledge, leading me to setting a new routine for my frequent trips to Las Vegas. Those mysterious looking poker rooms that were so foreign to me now became exciting destinations. Playing in a WSOP event and seeing and meeting poker superstars I had watched on television was heady stuff. I had entered into a magic world and was enjoying every minute of it. However, being a glutton for punishment, I was also aware that part of my regular vocabulary now contained words like suck out, rivered and donkathon.
Of course, in poker one must continue learning as the environment surrounding the game changes rapidly. I still go to my favorite online resource to keep my skills sharp and learn the latest strategies and subtle nuances of the game. One thing is for sure: no matter how good you think you are getting, there will always be a table at your local or online poker room where others will put you to the test. For a competition junkie, it doesn’t get much better than that.


Anonymous KenP said...

I tip my hat. Though for a reason some might not suspect.

5:20 AM  
Blogger Memphis MOJO said...

I played penny ante poker in college, then forgot about it for many years. I don't know if it was Moneymaker as much as just watching the World Poker Tour on TV with Mike Sexton and Vince Van Patton. Oh, and don't forget Shana Hiatt!

12:53 PM  
Blogger lightning36 said...

I played at UB for play money for quite some time before I risked playing for real money. Got up to like 1,000,000 play dollars at UB and then got cold decked and lost it all on one hand -- a very rude introduction to NL poker!

1:18 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home