I think we can all agree that if you consider yourself an online grinder (or even a live game grinder, I suppose), then there are days when playing the same variant of poker gets a little stale. After a while, it seems like decisions are being made more automatically and the games might even have the feel of being played on auto-pilot.

Obviously you want to be playing the style of game that best suits your strengths and gives you the best chance to play profitably and build your bankroll. For me though, it's been great for my overall game when I recognize that I'm starting to be less creative and take a quick session away from my game of choice and play something totally different. After all, the whole idea of playing is to be having fun, so it's good to just try something absolutey different.

I decided to try out a quick 5-card draw tourney last night to see how I would do and whether or not I would like the game enough to try it for future play in cash games or tournaments. Playing 5-card draw is a little nostalgic for me because this was the variant that I played when I first started being a part of a regular poker house game.

My friends and I were only 13 at the time, but we all had the same common traits. First, we all loved to gamble. Sports, cards, even every day stuff, we were willing to put money on it. Second, we were not necessarily part of the cool group. I think we all had just enough status that the cool kids knew who we were, but that was it. We all were pretty smart though and talking about odds and calculations when it came to gambling was just an everyday thing. Odds on a hockey game or knowing the standard gameplay for blackjack was just second-nature to us.

We would play every Friday and for the first couple of years, we played 5 card-draw. Sometimes with jokers, sometimes dealers-choice for rules. We had fun with it. The game got a little more serious a couple years later when we changed to NL, but those first couple of years were great!

Flash forward to yesterday...let's just say that my 5-card draw game needs a lot of work. It was an odd feeling having no idea where I stood in a hand and really not knowing what the proper play was because the game is just so different. To say I was humbled would be an understatement.

In the end, my thought is that it's not neccessarily the game for me as I don't feel like I can take my biggest strength of reading other players and apply it to the online version of 5 card-draw, but it was fun to get out of my comfort zone and not lose too much money in the process.

Try it out for yourself and see what you think. You might just surprise yourself.

Good luck at the tables!