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John Carlisle

Mob Mentality

Sociologists uncovered an interesting phenomenon that occurs with Gypsies. This nomadic pack of people has an uncanny rate of successful recovery to relatively serious illnesses. Despite the fact that they do not have total access and understanding to all of the modern treatments and preventative measures, they still have a higher recovery rate to many illnesses and diseases than most "regular" folks. Researchers found that their immune systems were not superior. Instead, it seems that their success in physical health is linked to their emotional and mental health.

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Measuring Your Play

The past two NL Hold'Em tourneys I've played in produced these two results: the first was a win, the latest was an ousting on the bubble. If I were to measure the quality of my play on results alone, I would have to assume that I played better during my winning effort. In reality, though, I feel that I played much better during the tournament in which I lost on the bubble!

I made a couple of key mistakes in the tournament that I won. As the bubble approached, several players tightened up in order to reach the money spots.

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The Hurricane Within

In 2004, Hurricane Ivan swept up the east coast. It's remnants dumped several inches of rain onto my area in a couple of hours worth of time. I woke up the next morning to find about three feet of nasty, brown floodwater pooled in my basement. It was a truly bad beat. I lost my furnace, washer and dryer, sofa, television, microwave, and even some poker supplies! It swallowed several days worth of time as my wife and I cleaned up the complete mess, and it cost several thousand dollars to replace the ruined items.

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One Step at a Time

We hear this old cliche way too often: "You have to take it one step at a time." We've heard it so often we often dismiss its meaning and message. One step at a time has been my reality lately, not simply a cliche. You see, I was recently in a serious car accident which forced me to take on a new pace in life - slow, with each single step carefully measured. With injuries to my back and neck, my stiff walking strides probably resembled that of Frankenstein. It is frustrating to have to concentrate on taking each simple step up a flight of stairs or across the living room floor.

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Medication to Improve Your Poker Game?

Dear Poker Counselor,
I'm pretty sure that I'm dealing with ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder). I struggled through school with inattention, fidgeting, inability to stay focused, and disorganization. These same things that hurt me when I was a kid are now hurting me at the poker tables, either online or in live casinos. My home games are even worse, as there seems to be even more distractions to hamper my play. Now that I'm looking to raise my game to the next level, I'm considering talking to my doctor about getting Ritalin or other medications. What do you think?
-Steve Harris in Nevada

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Reading to Learn, Learning to Read

Whenever I read Poker Player, I always see a wide variety of helpful and interesting information presented in each issue. This publication is always a great informational source on the current state of poker, as you can always find tournament results from all over the globe, reviews of poker rooms and poker books, and even profiles of famous poker players of past and present. This publication also always has a great entertainment value, as it has fictional poker stories and anecdotes from poker veterans with tales from the felt.

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Thinking Through Your Tilt

Dear Poker Counselor,

I lost my entire bankroll while playing angry and tilting. I've seen all the of books saying to never play too long, never play with personal problems to sort out, etc. I always figured I'd never let that stuff get to me. Well, I was wrong. I guess failure is the best way to learn, but how can I make sure this doesn't happen to me again?

-Colin in Boston

Dear Colin,

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The Set-Up

A friend of mine has been pulling huge profits at a local (not-so-legal) cardroom. He employs some of the same tactics each time he plays, and it almost always works to the tune of hundreds of dollars per session. Through the early course of the game (NL Hold 'Em cash games), he'll intentionally call way too often and throw out some foolish bluffs. He is basically advertising that he is a complete fish. In reality, he is a very strong player with a keen ability to be able to read players.

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First, Get Clear on Your Goals

Dear Poker Counselor, I am a great poker player who consistently wins money. Over the past year I am probably up over $30,000 playing poker, but my problem is leaving the casino. After every winning session, instead of getting into my car, I find myself blowing my winnings at the craps table. I now have nothing to show for the long hours that I put into poker.
I know that I could make poker a living, if only I could get to my car! Sincerely,
Broke in Boston

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Psychology of the Scare Card

Imagine the following scenario. You've flopped the top two pair. Your mind is racing as you size-up your opponents' chip stacks and position, trying to calculate the precise amount you will bet. With two hearts on the board, you are afraid that a flush may take "your" pot away if you allow the turn to be seen for a cheap price. When you get a caller to your sizable bet, you begin to assume that you do have a foolish fish on the line that is chasing the heart draw.

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Wendeen H. Eolis

World Series of Poker


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