It was nice to read TheLangolier's most recent post "Don't fall down on the job"; highly recommend the read if you have missed it prior to now. Most importantly for me was that the theme was in sync with where this post was headed. In summary, ask yourself the question of "why do you play poker" and in knowing the answer it can help to understand the default characteristics of the type of player by their basic motivations.

For me, poker is a tool for self-analysis. It is a brilliant vehicle for getting to know many the sub-personalities that constitute the more complete persona and all the shadowy aspects that have input into one's decisions and invariable reactions from the cause and effect. Most notably, the negative characters get a guernsey when the ugly side of poker inevitably rears its head in the form of bad beats and bad play.

For example, here are just a few of the little people that infest my head and permeate my thought processes and decision making:

* The Bad Man - he's the guy that loves putting the bad beats on others. He is a gambler and revels in turning over 76s after calling the villain's 4-bet raise (holding AA) and finding a flop that hits trips or a boat. He is a terrible poker player over the long haul and only enjoys the extremities of the game: he is the big game hunter that 95% of the time only ends up as the prey.

* The Child - just like it sounds, this is the aspect that sulks and throws things when things don't go his way. He complains the world is against him or the game is rigged when good poker goes unrewarded and blames everyone else but himself.

* The Bull - Regardless of bad luck or bad play, this aspect continues regardless. Stubbornly believing that he is good enough to make back any monetary losses, he will captain and navigate the boat right to the bottom of the ocean thinking that, not only is he is still in control, but he can make things right (usually by playing exactly the same way).

I can certainly look back and remember playing sessions that are best depicted by a child riding a bull ...

While they are obviously aspects and not individual personalities in themselves, I believe it is important to note all the nooks and crannies that these guys can inhabit in one's mind. After all, they have a say in decision making, so you need to know which one's are best suited to being locked up and which ones can come out to play (at the right time). They can't be ignored but they can be recognised and understood, and hopefully from there, controlled to a much greater degree than simply playing ignorantly without studying your own play.

There is one other fellow I would like to introduce; the Monk. Working on a solid foundation of logic and discipline, he is controlled, smart and intuitive. I think he can play!

FH