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Unread 23 Jan 2006, 11:55   #1
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Could you play poker and not work?

Ok I finish university in circa 6 months time. Now I havent had any job offers yet, although a few encouraging interviews etc. So I doubt im going to have a concrete job offer for one of those graduate things. My two options would then be temp for a year and apply for graduate jobs the following year or do a masters and apply for graduate jobs.

I dont really want to do a masters because I dont want to be in more debt, I cant be arsed to write another bloody long dissertation and I need some cash. Even though the whole university experience is great etc, I see my friends back at home, growing up and moving on with there life. To be brutally honest I just want to start growing up I guess.

Then I came up with a genius idea, why not just play poker for the rest of my life. Ok not for the rest of my life, but as a job in the summer. It would be quite relaxing, you could relax, choose your own hours etc.

The reason I say this is that yesterday I picked up the poker playing again. This is because I have about £150 in my bank account and I need a way to get it up until I get some money in, so I transferred £30 into $50 and set off with making some money.

What I did was sit down at the $5 + 1 Sit and Go. After getting used to the table and players, I started playing some hands. Its funny it takes some time to not remember but just have the quickness in your head/instinct I guess. I lost my first game and I then lost my second game.

Im a great believer that if you are on a losing streak in any form of gambling walk away. So by sunday lunchtime I was down $12, my balance was $38. I went for lunch, filled myself up nicely, bought a pack of fags and sat down for an afternoon of playing poker and watching the snooker.

I was a new man, I just sat and sat and sat and sat. Then when I get AA, KK etc I played them and agressively. Eventually I was chip leader. I made a stupid call when I had 66 and called an all in of 800, this cut my stack by 1/3 as he TT. But eventually I made it to the final 3.

First place = $25
Second place = $15
Third place = $10

So ideally I was aiming for first, but any 3 prizes I would be happy with because im in the money and making profit. I won it and my balance went from $38 to $63. I played one more and won that one and moved up to $88. Now I was kinda stuck on $88 for about an hour or so, I lost one, came 2nd in one. I then did what I did earlier and stopped playing.

I came back in the evening, I played again, I was on $85. After the buying down to $79. I managed to win it, pushing me up to $104. I then stopped. I wanted to hit $100 that day and I did. So effectively I was £30 up.

This morning I woke up, and made another $50 by winning two more Sit and Gos. My balance just sits under $150, which all in all means my poker chips are worth £90 or so, which is 3 times the amount I put into my poker account 24 hours a go.

The amount of time I have spent on accumalating this money is probably about 4 -6 hours. So on a purely hypothetical role, at say 6 hours I am on £10 an hour. Now if I could put in roughly 5-10 hours a day and at least come 3rd, you can in theory support a half decent lifestyle. Aim for $50 profit a day, say you work 5 days a week, your earning a decent £250 a week, tax free etc.

Now your probably saying "yes thats great but you dont win everytime" no true I dont win every time, but I believe low stake games that I play allow me to keep check of the situation. I also believe that in the games I play the calibre of players is rather low. The majority of Sit and Gos I have played in the last 24 hours I have just sat there for a good 20 minutes doing nothing, then when theres 5 players or so left start playing.

This obviously isnt as good as the standards of say dace or alki, but perhaps in the summer when I have no job, ive graduated and all I want to do is sit down watch some tv and have a beer, I could make some money for myself.
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Unread 23 Jan 2006, 12:11   #2
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Re: Could you play poker and not work?

If you've got sufficient discipline and a large enough starting bank roll then it's relatively feasible. The problem with poker (I find) is that playing long low stakes games become fairly boring over time.

This may be because of brain damage (caused by playing too much roulette / blackjack and amphetamine abuse which both presumably blunt dopamine triggers) but I find games incredibly unsatisfying unless there's a significant stake/risk involved.
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Unread 23 Jan 2006, 12:12   #3
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Re: Could you play poker and not work?

Its a good plan in theory. I started making a lot of money playing pacific poker with a free 50$ they gave me. I turned it into 300 in fairly little time. However, while my playing style did not change my luck most certainly did. I dropped to 180 and managed to scramble back to 240 before cashing the whole lot out as my luck had most definitly turned. I was losing with flushes to a full house on the flop (when i had flopped the flush) or id have full house and lose to 4 of a kind (again on the flop)

Id be raising and playing agressively and some twat with absolutely nothing at all would call it and then hit big on the river leaving me rather 'sore'.

It is possible to make enough money to sustain yourself on it but at the same time you should never ever play poker with money you need. If you do your playing style changes. Even if you dont realise its changed.

If at the back of your mind your thinking 'i need to make 30 quid today to pay for some food' then you will inevitably get ****ed over. I talked to a guy whos rather big into poker and has studied NLP and various other mind things to understand how to improve his play better (hes won a fair few competitions now) and he told me that even thinking 'im doing well' or 'im doing badly' or 'im on a lucky streak' any kind of thought other than total neutrality will influence your game to the extent you will eventually begin losing from bad beats and the like...

Its upto you dude but i wouldnt try it. Get a job and use some of the 'disposable' income from that instead of spending it on fags (lawls) or something and if you do well then congratulations you could be the highest paid bar guy (seemingly) in all of England.
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Unread 23 Jan 2006, 12:19   #4
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Re: Could you play poker and not work?

good point from both of you, i agree dante that playing low stakes might be boring and repetitive, and i agree with jj, that if you have in the back of your mind you need to win to make money then your game does change. I guess ill just get a job or something stupid like that and poker can be my relaxation in the evening ;/

But people must play poker pro right? Theres this guy called ActionJack on the ladbrokes server and I see him in tons of games (lives in walsall actually) I think hes a pro etc
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Unread 23 Jan 2006, 12:27   #5
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Re: Could you play poker and not work?

hes a pro. the person you need to watch is infact the_salmon whos real name is Erik Sagstrom


http://www.pokerlistings.com/erik-sa...-continues-852

he played illegally when he was under 18 and is now a millionaire because of poker. He plays on ladbrokes occasionally on the really big end tables.
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Unread 23 Jan 2006, 12:27   #6
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Re: Could you play poker and not work?

It might sound good and all, but my experience is the exactly same as JJs.

I got the free 50$ at pacific some time ago aswell, and quickly played it up to around 125$, then i lost it all on amazing rivers and horrific bad beats.

Late November i deposited 50$ at pacific and i played it up to 500$ through up and down throughout christmas. Though i started hitting the same really bad streak again so when i appraoched 350$ i simply withdrew. Might put in money again in a while, but for now im just taking a break :\

It might seem all good at first, but poker really isnt just a one way trip to big bucks :P
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Unread 23 Jan 2006, 12:28   #7
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Re: Could you play poker and not work?

just look what became of dace...
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Unread 23 Jan 2006, 12:29   #8
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Re: Could you play poker and not work?

someone just pointed out that 50$ per day for 5 days does not equal 250 quid at end oif the week. its 250 dollars....

which is more like 190 quid ish.
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Unread 23 Jan 2006, 12:39   #9
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Re: Could you play poker and not work?

oh ye, still thats perfectly liveable on ;p
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Unread 23 Jan 2006, 13:05   #10
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Re: Could you play poker and not work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by isildurx
Though i started hitting the same really bad streak again so when i appraoched 350$ i simply withdrew.
Well this is why you need a sufficiently large bank roll (and discipline) to endure "bad streaks". You can be playing very well (i.e. making the right calls) and still lose repeatedly. That's the nature of games which are partially based on luck. If you start with $500 and then you could lose it all in a single evening, even without making any bad plays. Or you could keep winning until you hit ten million dollars.

More frequently than either of those options is that your stake will fluctuate up and down (gradually up if you're good, gradually down if you're not). You need to hold your nerve and have the cash to endure the troughs.
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Unread 23 Jan 2006, 13:12   #11
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Re: Could you play poker and not work?

Yeah so ive been told =)

I needed a break anyhow, some time off poker cant hurt
Safe to say, i will be back stronger than ever!

P.S If any1 wants to be invited to the easiest poker site on the net( Pacific Poker) dont hesitate to give me a PM
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Unread 23 Jan 2006, 13:16   #12
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Re: Could you play poker and not work?

No, poker requires too much luck. Take note of Dace.
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Unread 23 Jan 2006, 13:17   #13
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Re: Could you play poker and not work?

$5 sit'n'go's at party/empire/pacific poker is ****ing sweet yeah. Either way, I agree with Dante; as long as you have the stamina to keep playing easy games you'll earn.

I tried myself, and I didn't have what it took. I just kept fed up and started playing badly and uninspired. Playing long shifts is something quite different from short fun playing sessions whenever you actually feel like playing.
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Unread 23 Jan 2006, 14:45   #14
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Re: Could you play poker and not work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JammyJim
someone just pointed out that 50$ per day for 5 days does not equal 250 quid at end oif the week. its 250 dollars....

which is more like 190 quid ish.
with a 1.8 exchange rate, if youre getting £190 from $250 , i want to know your Forex Dealer , as he can make me a millionaire in a day!
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Unread 23 Jan 2006, 15:27   #15
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Re: Could you play poker and not work?

Yes you can make a living off poker. Before I came to Japan, I played poker to earn some money. I started off with 60GBP and made that up to 500GBP in about 3 months, playing occasionally. My earnings weren't big, I calculated it at about 5GBP an hour, but then again I wasn't playing too seriously either. Theres a few points to make about poker:

- Read, read, read about it. A friend of mine plays poker professionally, and one point he made is, if you read even just a couple of good books on poker, your more knowledgable then 75% of the people you play with online. So many people online are just there to whittle a few quid away and get a few hours enjoyment

- Devise a strategy to ensure that your spending never gets out of hand and STICK TO IT. My strategy was I only played tournaments (real cash games could get way out of hand too easily) and I only played games that I had 20x the amount of in my account (eg. At 200 pound I was playing 10 pound entry tournaments). Youll find that you'll have a hiccup phase at each buy in boundary, as you have to pick your skill up to start playing them games, but given time, you'll get there. I'd say this is a really important point. Also, expect to lose money before you start making it. I put 60 quid in to start with before I started making money with any consistency.

- Don't listen to the old 'too much luck involved' argument. On a long term basis, theres suprisingly little luck and psychology involved in poker. The trap that people fall into is thinking about each hand on its own merit, or each game on its own merit, and doing this you get trapped into the whole bluffing/luck/thrill element of the game. Bluffing is only one strategy in poker, of many, and its overrepresented, especially in beginner players. Read about something called expectation, and this should explain why poker isn't that much to do with luck. I can't explain it properly off the top of my head, but its a calculation you make before making a bet. Basically you should *always* bet on hands were the odds are favourable, and fold in situations where there not... This is a cardinal rule of betting. E.g. If the odds are 1/5 of you winning, but your due to multiply your winnings by 6, you should always bet. If your due to only go up 4 times, you don't bet. If you do this, then on a long term basis (ignoring day to day fluctuations, which not looked at in the long term will be percieved as 'luck'), you will earn money. And since, with a little experience you can calculate to a high degree of accuracy how many 'outs' you have in poker at a given time, you can calculate your expectancy and act appropriately. The key is to not get trapped in the psychology of the game. Sure you'll take bad beats, but this should be percieved as a natural fluctuation, and not 'bad luck'. This in conjunction with the above strategy, will ensure success.

- Finally, know your limitation, theres probably a personal ceiling to the second rule as the highe r you go, the easier it is to get shaken by bad beats and winning streaks.

My mate does it full time and earns a few hundred a week. Hes also considering a career in poker, travelling the country and starting tourneys and the like, so hes actually getting a 'real' job out of it too.
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Unread 23 Jan 2006, 15:28   #16
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Re: Could you play poker and not work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hyfe
$5 sit'n'go's at party/empire/pacific poker is ****ing sweet yeah. Either way, I agree with Dante; as long as you have the stamina to keep playing easy games you'll earn.

I tried myself, and I didn't have what it took. I just kept fed up and started playing badly and uninspired. Playing long shifts is something quite different from short fun playing sessions whenever you actually feel like playing.
Thats the other point, it starts feeling like a job and not like fun... I got that too... Though I still found live games with mates real fun
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Unread 23 Jan 2006, 16:38   #17
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Re: Could you play poker and not work?

You'll never keep your discipline. It just won't happen. You might be able to keep it going for a month at best but never the whole summer.

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Originally Posted by chunderbunny
Read about something called expectation, and this should explain why poker isn't that much to do with luck. I can't explain it properly off the top of my head, but its a calculation you make before making a bet. Basically you should *always* bet on hands were the odds are favourable, and fold in situations where there not... This is a cardinal rule of betting. E.g. If the odds are 1/5 of you winning, but your due to multiply your winnings by 6, you should always bet. If your due to only go up 4 times, you don't bet. If you do this, then on a long term basis (ignoring day to day fluctuations, which not looked at in the long term will be percieved as 'luck'), you will earn money. And since, with a little experience you can calculate to a high degree of accuracy how many 'outs' you have in poker at a given time, you can calculate your expectancy and act appropriately. The key is to not get trapped in the psychology of the game. Sure you'll take bad beats, but this should be percieved as a natural fluctuation, and not 'bad luck'. This in conjunction with the above strategy, will ensure success.
What? This seems to be some bizzare interpretation of pot odds. Also the key is to get involved in the psychology of the game. Once you've constructed an image of how you play in the other guy's mind it all becomes much smoother.
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Unread 23 Jan 2006, 17:21   #18
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Re: Could you play poker and not work?

i find being ultra conservative in tournaments and reaching the final few players and then suddenly going into overdrive agressive 'bet against me and ill raise it so big you wont be able to afford to eat' style totally throws everyone off.

its especially useful if your the smaller stack because noone is really sure if your bluffing and they dont want to give away too much at this stage. its great for stealing blinds as long as you are in position (although it can fail if you get called and really dont have anything)
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Unread 23 Jan 2006, 17:29   #19
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Re: Could you play poker and not work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JammyJim
i find being ultra conservative in tournaments and reaching the final few players and then suddenly going into overdrive agressive 'bet against me and ill raise it so big you wont be able to afford to eat' style totally throws everyone off.

its especially useful if your the smaller stack because noone is really sure if your bluffing and they dont want to give away too much at this stage. its great for stealing blinds as long as you are in position (although it can fail if you get called and really dont have anything)
thats how I like playing, i love getting to the final table and then turning up the heat, best thing is too if they call you and you have say KK, then you can steal blinds as people think you only raise high if you have a good hand
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Unread 23 Jan 2006, 19:07   #20
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Re: Could you play poker and not work?

What's about the softest (i.e. easiest bunch of players) poker site on the net these days?
I went for a croupier's job a few weeks back, texas holdem tournaments, couldn't take it as it was only one night a week, wouldn't pay the bills.
But the guys who were organising it gave me a tip that you should find the site with the most American players, go on when it's about 1-4am over the in US and play. Mainly as they have the largest amount of crap players, and at that time they'll usually be drunk and stupid.
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Unread 23 Jan 2006, 19:14   #21
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Re: Could you play poker and not work?

[Poker]
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Unread 23 Jan 2006, 19:17   #22
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Re: Could you play poker and not work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by IncubusGod
What's about the softest (i.e. easiest bunch of players) poker site on the net these days?
I went for a croupier's job a few weeks back, texas holdem tournaments, couldn't take it as it was only one night a week, wouldn't pay the bills.
But the guys who were organising it gave me a tip that you should find the site with the most American players, go on when it's about 1-4am over the in US and play. Mainly as they have the largest amount of crap players, and at that time they'll usually be drunk and stupid.

Look at my post further up Incubus

Pacific Poker all the way
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Unread 23 Jan 2006, 19:22   #23
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Re: Could you play poker and not work?

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Originally Posted by sniborp
[Poker]
It has the word poker in the thread title dude.
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Unread 23 Jan 2006, 19:54   #24
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Re: Could you play poker and not work?

But still....


I felt there wasn't enough s|k influence in this thread.
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Unread 23 Jan 2006, 21:37   #25
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Re: Could you play poker and not work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by IncubusGod
What's about the softest (i.e. easiest bunch of players) poker site on the net these days?
I went for a croupier's job a few weeks back, texas holdem tournaments, couldn't take it as it was only one night a week, wouldn't pay the bills.
But the guys who were organising it gave me a tip that you should find the site with the most American players, go on when it's about 1-4am over the in US and play. Mainly as they have the largest amount of crap players, and at that time they'll usually be drunk and stupid.
Pacific / Party poker are the two main ones reputed for suckiness at the lowest tables afaik.

1-4 AM American time friday and saturday is ok, but it's quite saturated with pokersharks. The other days you can just forget about it, as you'll mostly be up against people doing it to earn money. Playing before the americans go to bed is a good thing though. It'll still be a majority Americans, and they'll all be kinda sleepy and only taking a couple of rounds before going to bed.

Generally, I just found that the general feel/skill of the tables had a much larger impact than the amount of drunk players(who are loose and crazy, and random up t he play alot). So my advice is just to try playing at different times and try and get a feel for it. After all, the most important thing is to *not* play when you're loosing, and when you're winning; take a break *before* you start loosing badly again.
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Unread 24 Jan 2006, 00:19   #26
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Re: Could you play poker and not work?

It's very, very, very hard to make money at poker.

I'd conisder myself a good player and after 1500 or so hours i made £3.5k (which is **** all) and was ranked about 55th or so on Ladbrokes tournament rankings (14k players with points etc).

I'd made £4.5k after about 1400 hours but then i sufferred from serious "burn out" which leads me to ...



No matter how patient you think you are you aren't.

I consider myself a VERY patient type but after 1400 hours of getting sucked out by muppet plays it eventually gets to you and you end up playing like a spastic just to "return the favour".

At least that was my experience.

Having taken some time out i know feel refreshed enough to go back but still it was a lesson i needed to learn.



In short, and as has already been said, treat poker like a past time and eventually through experience you'll get good enough to treat poker as a living/job.
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Unread 24 Jan 2006, 00:31   #27
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Re: Could you play poker and not work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonnyBGood
You'll never keep your discipline. It just won't happen. You might be able to keep it going for a month at best but never the whole summer.

What? This seems to be some bizzare interpretation of pot odds. Also the key is to get involved in the psychology of the game. Once you've constructed an image of how you play in the other guy's mind it all becomes much smoother.
Yeah, pot odds. As I pointed out, I can't remember exactly how it works (it's about 8 months since I've played any poker and about 12months since I've read anything about poker), so it is indeed probably a 'bizarre interpretation' to say the least.

I still claim theres remarkably little psychology involved in a game of online poker. Theres so many fish/drunk players/bad players that you just end up getting pissed off if you try to construct an image of the other guys mind. I especially dislike the lower buy in entry tables for this. Too much beginners luck/crazy plays hitting the river etc.

Theres a reason theres poker bots available out there...

I'd say the most dangerous urge to resist is playing drunk. I came in pissed from a night out a couple of times, with the poker open, and decided to 'have a game'.... Bloody stupid, you just go straight for the thrill playing then....
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Unread 24 Jan 2006, 00:34   #28
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Re: Could you play poker and not work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chunderbunny
I still claim theres remarkably little psychology involved in a game of online poker. Theres so many fish/drunk players/bad players that you just end up getting pissed off if you try to construct an image of the other guys mind. I especially dislike the lower buy in entry tables for this. Too much beginners luck/crazy plays hitting the river etc.
Well yeah sorry, there is a certain level below which psychology is irrelevant as your opponent just won't care enough. Even for probably 90% of 5 dollar sit n gos this isn't the case though. Agree on playing drunk although it is great fun :)))
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Unread 24 Jan 2006, 00:44   #29
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Re: Could you play poker and not work?

I found on party poker, I peaked at about the 20GBP table level. I could never seem to make the transistion (using my above x20 rule) past 400 particularly successfully... I reckon given a couple more months I would have made the transistion, but I found at that level of buy in, the number of people who could actually play was significantly higher than the 10GBP tables.

And I used to play occasional MTT 5 or 10 GBP buyins to sate any crazy, excitement urges I might have occasionally had. I'm really not sure of the strategy involved in them, as I don't have enough experience, but as a rough pattern I usually ended up finding myself playing pretty loose and crazy start games, where I would wipe out and forget about it, or rake in the chips, then resting on my laurels to the last 10% of people, then keeping the game real tight and aggressive.
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