The title of the book, Your Worst Poker Enemy comes from a Stu Ungar quote, and it means that our own internal shortcomings are the biggest obstacle we face to improving as poker players. In Ungar's case, this is undeniable, but I believe it's true for every other poker player as well. In this book, Schoonmaker explores the road blocks that we set up for ourselves that prevent us from being the best poker players that we possibly can be.
You've just taken a seat at a poker table only to discover, to your dismay, that your opponents are very serious, conservative players. They aren't laughing and enjoying the game, so you might not realize the profits that you would from your more reckless, fun-loving opponents. In fact, you are surrounded by solemn, silent players who take the game far too seriously. It doesn't sound like a fun time to me. I think I'd be more inclined to observe the game first before sitting down.
Let me share a closely guarded secret. I just returned to my forest in the Ozarks after spending most of last week with Doyle Brunson in Las Vegas. We filmed a poker course for iAmplifyVegas. com that should be announced shortly.
The California Poker Players Conference held Oct. 20-21 at Hollywood Park Casino, was a fantastic event. We all learned to become better players from it.
During the Panel Discussion, I was asked about the Esther Bluff. In a subsequent discussion with an attendee, I suggested it as a great tactic when trying to steal the pot on the flop. So I experimented that evening. In two attempts, I batted 100 percent.
Some time ago I penned a column entitled A Fortune Cookie. In it, I related receiving an epiphany which was enclosed in a fortune cookie that related to getting back to basics in poker.
Now let's talk about your goals. Where do you want your poker game to be a week or a month or a year from now? It's a given about goals that you can't begin to move toward them until you state them, so I would ask you to take a moment to think about-and write down as precisely as possible-your poker goal or goals. Here are some possibilities that cross the mind.
• To be a working pro
• To appear on a World Poker Tour telecast
• To dominate and crush all comers online
• To win small tournaments on a regular basis
• To be a net-plus player over time
I was recently reminded about an attitude that helps to put things into perspective. A player was having some bad luck and seemed to come in second best too often. A friend of his said, "Just remember, its one continuous game. Things will change; if not today, maybe tomorrow."
"Hi, Uncle Joe, it's Eddie." Eddie is the son of my brother who died suddenly a few years ago. I try to be a substitute dad when I can. "Hey, Buckaroo, how are you doin'?"
"That doesn't sound like a great OK. What's bugging you, partner?"
"Mom won't let me play poker."
I remember my sister-inlaw, Betty, once said to me, "You're not much of a role model for Eddie, playing poker all the time." I didn't try to argue that I'm really a writer. No good to belabor it since I do play a lot of poker."
"I can understand her feelings, Eddie. How old are you now?"
Tom Christopher Wins Best-All-Around Player at Peppermill. The Peppermill in Reno just completed 11 days of great tournament action. The event began October 26 and ran through November 4, with 19 events ranging from $120-$1,000. The action included a HORSE event, a ladies only tourney, a seniors' event, as well as crazy pineapple and terminator events. A cruise for two, sponsored by ClubUBT.com was awarded to the best all-around player, Tom Christopher. He made three final tables that included two first place finishes, a fourth place finish, as well as a sixteenth and eighteenth place finish.
In a recent meeting with one of our regular writers, some Harrah's executives remarked that, "I hated them or the WSOP." Nothing could be further from the truth.
I love the WSOP. It is the premier event of our industry. I had a great deal to do with promoting and publicizing this event.
The first ever national write up of a poker tournament appeared in the very first issue of Gambling Times magazine, circa February 1977, which I founded. Every year thereafter we covered the WSOP in as many as 110,000 copies of our nationally circulated magazine.