Monday, March 06, 2006

Cold, hard, cash

"Call this if you don't like money."

I don't know what it is, but I think a fair amount of people don't like money.

If they did, why wouldn't they play within their bankrolls? Why wouldn't they take advantage of monthly blackjack bonuses that add up to an easy $400 or so? Why do they make bad calls when they know they're beaten? Why do they have to see the showdown?

Sure, a lot of players suck at poker. But even they could go out and take advantage of the obvious free bucks floating around out there. Hell, anybody could use the blackjack bonuses -- you don't even know how to play, you just need to follow the instructions.

Here's my theory: People are more attracted to the competition than they are to the earning potential.

Many times, those two interests coincide. It only makes sense -- the whole point of poker is to win the most money.

But I believe that people get too involved in themselves, and they lose sight of the larger objective.

People (myself included at some point almost every session) get tied up with the less important aspects of gambling: Is that guy trying to bluff me? Am I playing too tight? Am I spewing chips? Can I live with myself if I fold this hand and it hits on the river? Are these people messing with me?

Those thoughts lead to a defensive mindset that interferes with making the correct play in a certain situation.

They say poker is a people game -- that you need to read your opponents, play the players and pick up on tendencies.

But more than that, poker is a card game with only one way of winning. It isn't about proving yourself a better player than your opponents; it's about collecting the most chips.

1 comment:

cc said...

I think you're right--most people would rather catch a 9 on the river for their baby straight or flush than gradually making more cash.