A Twist in My Study Program

February 28th, 2015

Between a wicked flu and writing a paper which I have been invited to present at a prestigious psychiatric conference, poker has had to take a baxk seat this past month.

I was still able to bring a total of 870 VPP for 2015 and with some shame, I report approximately $750 plus for the month. Why shamefully? I played a lot of Sit & Goes and truly, there are certain tactics which enhance one's chance of winning BUT I really don't think such a game enhances one's poker! I am struggling  with my favourite game, Zoom, as I was playing $25 buy-in prior to my long absence from all poker due to health reasons, but am now playing $10 buy-in as I work on honing my skills and confidence. The dilemna is this: I am NOT ready for $25 but am somewhat bored at $10, In part, I have addressed this by playing $10 cash tables. When I fold, unlike with Zoom, I can watch my opponennts who are betting and have the luxury of being a spectator. In this position, I attempt  to read opponents' cards as I study their betting and the flop and post-flop. Of course we work to do this when we are 'in the game', but being a spectator gives another perspective for learning.

My study program has taken a major twist this month. In general terms, the paper I am working on for the confrence I alluded to prior, is about the process of identification. This ranges from our own development as children as we initially identify with our parents right to 12-Step programs--from Alcholics, Gambling, Over Eaters to hundreds of these Anonymous Programs. Having had the pleasure of being at open meetings--where anyone can attend--to celebtate friends' 10, 15, and 25 years of sobriety, there is always a speaker who talks about his/her history as an alcoholic and then how the program has worked for him/her. For newcomers, it is hoped that they can 'identify' with the speaker. So what does this have to do with poker? I came to see how I identify with newcomers to PokerSchoolOnline.

I decided to spend my study program time reading through beginner sections on our Forum. Many beginners post a simple message, introducing themselves. I was saddened that in most cases, other than Raiser and Dave 'TheLangolier' answering poker questions, no one welcomed them. There are also posts by those who are determined to eventually live off their poker winnings and those who are so down on themselves for losing $20 in a week. At some level, didn't many of us have the same elation or despair when we first joined? It wasn't that long ago that I came to PSO and hoped to find a welcoming community. I am no martyr, but by responding to newcomers' posts,  I am keenly aware that I identifiy with each person.and I believe that  almost ALL of us  experience the same reactions. So why do we quickly bypass the beginner sections of the Forum?

By taking a half hour a week each of us can welcome newcomers, provide input to their poker questions, invite them to join club games, even Live Trainings (which I attended very early on and although the language was foreign to me, I found PSO members happy to help me out.), I think we do a great service to others and ourselves.  And why not offer even an hour or two to mentor a newcomer. I will always be grateful to "fastlane85" (Lane Anderson who took on that role with me. He helped me with the Poker Basic Course--essential for newcomers--and even introduced me to different games, including Sit & Goes. I would be remiss if I didn't rightfully praise Dave 'TheLangolier' and other trainers who were always responsive to questions I had.

You are free to disagree that the more experienced one becomes, the more one may enjoy and identify with newcomers.