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Saturday, July 03, 2004

Quick Saturday Morning Thoughts
So in my last post I went on about how I find large tourneys to be very frustrating. Upon reading blogs yesterday, I discover that Glenn (of married-to-Fleicia-Lee fame) has a post in a similar vein, and in quoting Tommy Angelo, he points out a fundamental truth about tourneys: By design, they force you to go up against the best players to get the money. Whereas in ring games, you make most of your money off the worst players at the table. This is a very interesting point that I plan to explore in a future post.

For now I'll just add that that Tommy Angelo site is great. I'd never heard of the guy before (I'm sure there are many writers and other big names in poker that I haven't heard of, post-Rounders/WPT enthusiast that I am), so thanks to Glenn for pointing him out. In the same article that Glenn quoted, in which T.A. explains his dislike of tourneys, he also has this bit of wry wisdom on keeping records:
I'm not much into keeping score at poker because I never know if the numbers should make me happy or terrified, so I try my best to ignore them altogether. . . . And what's it matter anyway? I'm either broke or I'm not. That's the only score I need to know, and I always know it. Meanwhile, why put any special emphasis on any particular results during any particular length of time? Will it guide me to good choices when it's my turn to bet? Will it help me quit when I'm playing bad?
Angelo's full thoughts on the issue are actually pretty funny, but I don't want to post the guy's entire article on my blog; follow Glenn's advice and head over to www.tommyangelo.com.

Anyway, Angelo's article got me thinking about my own ambivalence about keeping records. Despite Angelo's comments, I feel there is a point to keeping records: It's not to make sure you're winning (cause as Aneglo points oput, I probably wouldn't stop playing if I was losing), but rather too see when, where, and at what limits you win or lose. And with really detailed records, like those in PokerTracker, you can identify all kinds of leaks.

The point I take away from Angelo's comments is one that we're all familiar with: There is little to be learned from short-term results. And the danger of record-keeping is that it can get you focusing on short terms results. Double Through had a good post on this a couple weeks back:
When I was keeping proper, detailed records I would get far too hung up on my hourly rate, in a way that adversely affected my game. If it were dipping then I would get into a defensive-poker funk. If it was soaring then I would often get into the over-confident, loose frame of mind that I have mentioned before and which would cost me a ton of chips.
The same thing happened to me, and I confess, still happens to me. It's hard to log a losing session and not have it affect your confidence and thus your game. Not being so results-oriented is one of the many things I'm still working on, and I imagine I will be "working on it" for as long as I play poker.

Okay, gotta go prepare to barbeque now . . .

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