Thursday, September 30, 2004


Game Selection (1, of many)

The most important decision to make in poker is which game you should play in. I plan to talk about this at great length (doh !). Let's clear up one misconception first.

A lot of people see poker on TV, sometimes on Sky Sports, right next to the golf and the snooker and the football, and this confuses them. Poker is fundamentally different to these sports because you put up your own money to play - money which you can lose. In all the sports, your aim is to play at as high a level as possible. It doesn't matter if you're a below-average player at that level, you still want to be there, because the higher you go, the bigger the rewards. You're much better off being the worst player in the Premiership (Michael Gray is my current non-favourite) than the best player in the Conference (Grazioli, Grazioli, ole ole ole). Much much much better off. It doesn't matter if all you can do is kick people and give the ball away, as long as you're there.

In poker, being the worst player in the biggest game is a total disaster. I don't know who the biggest loser is in that cash game in the Golden Nugget, but whoever it is, whether they are "poker face" or millionaire, is doing an absolute fortune. They're not only worse off than the best player in a smaller game - they're worse off than the worst player in a smaller game ! In the smallest game ! Poker is all about finding the game that you can beat for the most amount of money. Not about being famous. If you want to get on TV, write off to 15-to-1. Or Ready Steady Cook. Or whatever's your bag. Trying to play for thousands of pounds against much better players just so you can get on Discovery and Leisure at 2 am is a bad idea, and if that's what you want to do, look away now and don't come back because I'm not here to help you.

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