Monday, January 28, 2008

Poker...Gambling? Vice?

early thoughts about poker, to be revisited later...

11/22/2003

lots of crazy crap have gone on...orgo and cps suck. so does physics and philosophy. hm, i guess school sucks...most work i've done in a while.

roommate recently got this poker table top, so we had to play on it, with sweet cards and clay chips. it was the best playing environment for poker. but recently i've been wondering, why am i playing?

i sincerely don't know. i believe that most of it comes from my wanting to be good at something, my pride and everything. i mean sure getting money is cool, but i have so much anyway and i don't really spend money at all, (brian was amazed that i spent only like 200 in one semester), so it's not really that big of a deal to me, unless i lost a significant amount of money i suppose. i guess like in rounders, i play for the thrill of victory and pipe dreams of playing on the world series of espn.

some people still believe it's a game of luck. and it is. there's no denying that luck has to something with the game. i believe the main point of the game is to make the most out of your good luck, and lose the least out of your bad. hence i try to "make one big bet an hour, get my money in when i have the best of it, and protect it when i don't." the point of poker is to think of everything in the long run, that everyone has the same luck in the end. it's how you use it that matters.

that's why over the summer day in and day out my friend bobby and i have studied the game from a mathematical stand point, practicing calculating pot odds and reading hands, scouring websites and books for info, watching the world series and the world poker tour, essentially investing great amounts of time and money into the game. all this is necssary to make one of five decisions (call, check, bet, fold or raise) perhaps that's why i get mad when i get beat, because usually my hands going in are the mathematical favorite most of the time, and i get drawn out upon. as bobby quotes another player who said, "sometimes the best move is not the best move."

i used to think gambling was a vice that i didn't need to worry about. my mentality was like why do people risk their money when the chances they'll win are so low? i hear how the house always has the advantage, and that after gambling you'll lose in the long run. but i guess poker is different, in that people can consistently win. and i have. but i wonder if that's a good thing...

poker also brings out the worst of me i suppose because of my somewhat latent competitive nature, ie when i get bad beat by a 3-out hand, or when people to me make a decision that seems so obviously wrong to me. i have to learn how to take bad beats in stride and keep a smile on my face and say nice hand to someone who beats me. i guess with money follows emotion, which is why i have wanted to play less in my dorm. it's also been consuming a lot of my time for studying, heh.

so now with all the snazzy equipment my roommate got, i'm torn between my decision to stop playing in my dorm or play and join the fun. i suppose i'll keep trying to play in moderation.

edit: just for clarification purposes, poker for me was not something that recently sprung up, i started learning a year and a half ago...hahaha so it wasn't some random thing that i decided to do nowadays...

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