Wednesday, September 22, 2004

I was reading Maudie’s Poker Perspectives today, and it caused me to reflect on my current level of poker play. Online poker has been profitable, far more so than I ever anticipated, but my enthusiasm and excitement seem to be at a plateau. I still enjoy it, but it’s not getting MORE fun…, like I’ve topped out on the Fun Meter.

I reached this stage years ago with bowling, when I quit after three or four straight years of averaging 190+/-2. I made some money bowling local tournaments, but I wasn’t getting better, and given that I was only bowling in a league one night a week, I wasn’t going to get any better. I couldn’t invest the time or the financial resources to improve (and I was unwilling to sacrifice anything else), so I quit altogether.

Oh sure, I still dust off the bowling balls periodically to take the wife and kids out for some bumper bowling or the rare “team building” exercise with my company, but I just don’t have the “fire” that I used to have for competitive bowling. I hope I’m not getting to that point with poker, although I’m not nearly at the same level that I was when I quit “bowling for dollars”.

I think the competition at Pacific/Empire is roughly comparable to a company bowling league that features the beer-and-nacho crowd, simply out for a good time and willing to pay $20 each night for that good time. I’m certainly not a shark in these waters, but since I’m playing sober and sound poker, I can eke out a consistent profit. Think of me as a seagull in the poker waters, not necessarily fighting the sharks, but scavenging off the bones of the dead and soon-to-be-dead. One alarming trend is that I’m trying fancy plays just to keep myself engaged, since I’ve proven to myself that I can play rote poker (“bot poker”?) at these levels and be successful. Hell, I’ve taught my son to survive in the shallow end of this pool and he’s in the sixth grade!

Maybe I need to go against my grain and shift to a different game, some game where I can develop a new style and find a renewed enthusiasm for poker. The stakes would almost definitely need to be higher, since I would need to pump up the endorphin level above the $16 SnG level. Maybe I should shift into $2/4 or $3/6 or stud. Maybe I should try Razz. Or improve my brick-and-mortar game.

Nah. Maybe I should quit bitchin’ and shut my pie hole and be glad I’m good at ONE THING, and milk it until the milk runs dry. Yeah, that’s it.

Sigh. I just wish it would be more FUN.


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