Jack of all trades…
…and master of none!


Well, that’s what they say. I can’t remember when the first time I came across this expression was, or where. What I do know however, is that  a ‘Jack of all trades,’ is a term used to describe someone who is busy learning a wide range of different things, without becoming particularly good at any of those things.
The psychology side to poker always intrigues me the most because I find it interesting how a person’s approach in everyday life translates into how they approach poker. Since the day my neighbour introduced me to poker last July, I have probably been spending more time reading about poker, than actually playing poker! Similarly, even in life I spend more time researching random things than putting relevant theory into practice:
In high school I chose foreign languages as my options (French, German, Italian), in sixth-form I chose science (Biology, Chemistry), and my choice in undergraduate degree is Law. Oh, and I am working in Finance. My choices have been so random and unrelated…but, I am just curious!

It is only when I reviewed my progress with my manager that I was asked a question which made me think about things, even long after the review was over:
Manager: So, where do you see yourself in five years’ time then?
Me: Well…um…*pause*…still with the company???
In a certain sense, my lack of focus in work at 23 is quite shocking...

*Gasp!*

Does this mean I am becoming a jack of all trades in life too??

A little bit of this, a little bit of that...

My random approach to life is quite synonymous with my approach to poker: I have read about different strategies, concepts, and tried different types of games. In fact, I’ve tried so many types, that now I am quite confused on what to play. So in this post I am going to make a list of the types of games I’ve tried (both at PokerStars & Full Tilt), what I liked/disliked about them, and hopefully this stream of consciousness will help me narrow it down to a few.


No…not a few - one! I will only pick one!


Spin n Go/Jackpot Sit & Go: It is fast paced, only 3-handed, and has a varying prize pool.
However, it can be quite random sometimes in the way in which the game turns out. Also, I think that I would only be profitable if the wheel of fortune turns in my favour when it comes to what the prize pool is, and if I do win that game.

   
Rush Poker Cash Game: This was quite new for me! The way things work in cash games are so different to tournaments. I treaded these waters because I was curious! It was fun at first, but I find it hard to adapt. I find that a cash game is like a never ending game! Now I know what they mean when they say “you have to exercise great self-control and discipline.” Obviously, I am no expert, but my impression is that the type of self-awareness you need at a cash table is slightly different to that of a tournament, simply because they are two different types of games which require distinctive strategies. For instance, if I lose in a tournament at least I know exactly how much I lose (my buy-in) whereas in a cash game, I have to be really careful with my bankroll management. 


Adrenaline Rush Cash Game: I like the fact that the only option is to raise or fold. Also, if I fold I am moved to another table! I don’t think that I can play this consistently because like a regular cash game, it’s like a never-ending game (if you don't lose). I think these cash games can be quite dangerous for inexperienced/new players.


Sit & Go: I haven’t played many of these, but out of the ones I played here and at Full Tilt, I can conclude that they are enjoyable. I don’t have to schedule it in which is great, when I register I just have to wait until the tables are full. I don’t mind the single table ones, but I prefer the multiple table ones.


MTT: The structures of MTTs are my favourite out of all of the games I’ve tried because there are distinguished stages where I have to adapt my play. I see these stages (early/middle/late) as though they are stepping stones, leading the way to the final table. It’s like following a chronological sequence.  What I don’t like about MTTs is that even if I plan my time and register for a tournament, sometimes I don’t follow it through because due to unexpected things that come up from time to time. Maybe I will change how and when I decide to register for a tournament. Another thing I don’t like is the variance, but I guess that is normal because of the nature of the game

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Heads Up SNG: This format is so much fun! Maybe I like it more than the Spin n Go/Jackpot Sit & Go. I like it because there is only one opponent to ‘read,’ and you can play with a wider range of hands. Also, it doesn’t go on for hours. What I find is that sooner or later my opponent adjusts to how I play, and it’s quite fun because then I have to adjust quickly too, so I like that it is very dynamic. Of course, I like that it is available at all buy-in levels. I don’t think that there is anything I don’t like about this game.

Open Skills League: The league deserves a category of its own. It’s quite unique. I’ve blogged a lot about the league already because I like it so much, so I will keep this part short and sweet: I like that anyone can play, it takes place multiple times a day, it’s fun because you have to accumulate points over a course of a month so it is more challenging. But the coin-flips…! I just can’t deal with the constant coin-flips:  sometimes, I am sitting at a table where everyone either shoves or folds early in the game. I don’t like it! In those cases I sit out until it’s close to the first break (yes, you can survive until then. That’s another thing I like). Normally, I don’t do well with all-in situations even with premium hands, either because I make a mistake or because of the luck factor.

Master of one


After this quick brainstorm of ideas I’ve come to the following conclusion:
Even though I said I would only pick one, I actually chose two: OSL & MTTs
I will continue my Open Skills League adventure as it is a great way to practice and of course it’s an exciting challenge, and I enjoy playing this.

Although I really enjoyed playing heads-up sit & go I feel that it would be a limitation for me as an inexperienced player to only play this type of game. Maybe I will add it when I gain more skills and experience.

My second choice is the regular MTTs because they are formatted in a way that I find myself more comfortable in playing.


Finally, I am sure that it is a matter of time before I’ll find my niche in both life and poker, and finding that optimum balance!

 

 

Meanwhile, I will use my blog to help me stay focused on only one type of game (MTTs) and continue documenting my open skill league adventures.


Until next time!