Friday, December 08, 2006


The Grind vs The Buzz

I was having a flick through Bluescouse's blog. If you're not familiar with it, this is the impending train wreck poker blog to end all impending train wreck poker blogs. This guy could be the best NL player in the world at the top of his game, but the way he approaches it, the only questions are when is he going broke and how badly (that is how much is he going to borrow to try to get out of it).

It's a shame because he's very honest about it all, deals with comments well and doesn't seem like a bad guy. There are some good comments in there too, needless to say many of them taking opposite sides in terms of the grind vs the buzz. One of them articulated (very well) something I have thought about vaguely before, so I'll take the liberty of reproducing it here :

"I think you need help and that you need to speak to people who can do that for you. I play poker because I love it. The money (up or down and always a figure I can afford) is simply a byproduct of that fun. You play for the up and down (and in figures you cannot afford) and poker is simply a byproduct of that up and down. "

This is where I'm coming from. I enjoy making the decisions. I'm not a complete robot, I can still get frustrated at bad beats and give it some "Ha Ha" after sticking it to some rock when he finally finds his Aces. I'm happy to play whatever stakes. It wouldn't kill me to drop down if I had to, because I'd have the challenge of building back up. Whereas what I found on forums, particularly over the last year or two, was that a lot of people just couldn't motivate themselves to play unless they could get excited about the amount of money at stake. Unfortunately, over time they become more desensitized to the stakes they're playing, and have to move up and up to keep the buzz. And if they haven't got a decent roll then inevitably they end up on the satellite trail, chasing the big score forever and ever.

The funny thing is that I would find the endless cycle of losing satellites, then a win and a losing tournament, demotivating and frustrating. It's kind of the opposite for me. This is all simply observation, I mean whatever floats your boat, but you have to look at it both ways. Some commenters on bluescouse take the line "you have to grind because you can't take the swings". If I did respond I would take the opposite line that you have to swing because you can't take the grind. In the end of course the game will sort everyone out. Including bluescouse himself. I ought to look away when the train hits the buffers, but part of me cannot resist.

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