You've sat in traffic for what seems like an eternity. What is supposed to be a fast- moving freeway has been converted into a parking lot, and you've held the brake pedal for so long that your foot is starting to pain you. Finally, you see flashing lights of police cars and tow trucks ahead of you.
Tom, a reader from Florida, e-mailed the following question:
Is anything that is legal in poker, all right to do? Or are certain things legal, but unethical or in poor etiquette, and should be avoided?
This got me thinking about some past situations I found myself in. Let's look at a few of them.
1. Anything that is legal is all right to do. Agree or disagree?
2. Playing an online ultra turbo tournament, you take all your time each hand before folding, and play fewer hands than other tables. As a result, your blind comes around more slowly.
Just a few months ago, if I was still awake at 4 o'clock in the morning it was a great sign that I was running hot at the poker tables. It either meant that I was several hours deep into a large tournament, or I was killing a cash game and simply had to keep playing to pick up more pots from the weak opponents around the felt.
Who do you THINK you are? Did someone ever angrily say that to you when you were growing up? I heard it a lot.
Let's face it. Thinking too much is high on the list of our most destructive addictions. If we stop thinking many of us are afraid we would feel lost. We meditate to help us stop thinking so that we can achieve a state of peacefulness, be in the zone. An idea can be the result of thinking, but before we can begin to act on it and create, we need to stop thinking.
Now, lets see... In my last column, I was talking to you about... codes to live by, and the secret that I have kept from Carol for about sixty years. I was saying, "Money is not heavy to carry..."
So when you come home from the poker game, always make sure you still have a large bankroll- It does not matter whether or not you won or lost-never let your wife or significant other guess if you won or lost-always be a winner when you come home!
This question searches very deeply into the essence of human life and perhaps all existence. Maybe all that really exists are feelings, and that is the answer we overlook when we ask: What is the very nature of LOVE, and what and where does it fit into what we identify as feelings?
"What is poker?" my young daughter asked. A classically innocent, seemingly uncomplicated question. But, after providing her with the barest answer: It's a card game played for money," I continued to consider it further. For those of us who have an intense relationship with the game; for whom it is a vital part of our life and identity, poker is a lot of things. It is agony and ecstasy, frustration and fulfillment, delight and despair. It'll make you cry, or wonder why; make you pray or make your day.
In my continuing efforts to clear my mind at the poker table I am always on the lookout for thoughts that float through my mind and cloud my ability to make my best decisions. What is going on in my mind either allows me to consider all of my choices and their consequences and make my best choice, or diverts me to being a victim of stressful feelings that cause me to act prematurely without taking into account all of the information available.
These stressful feelings that are caused by thoughts that don't serve me are my biggest enemy at the poker table and in all other areas of my life.
So it doesn't matter, if you are 19 or a 105, discipline is a practice, you gain it through experience and practice.
Playing the right cards in the hole I find, is thee, most important part of the game, don't play manure cards, that's why you're losing dumb, dumb. I'm the first, number one and biggest dumb, dumb, so don't think I am only addressing YOU. Yeah you! Have patience, wait, read, talk, eat, wait for the right cards, you know what they are; you know which ones you should play, wait, then, ATTACK.
My last article was about the mental part of poker and the traits the best players exhibit at the table. I gladly share with you my own personal roadmap, step by step, of the ideas and concepts that have lifted my game to higher levels. This involves life changing attitudes and perceptions improving my life and my poker game. A shift in perception is my key to a happier life. It is either easy or impossible, and is your choice.