10/12/2007

AngusD Experiences Poker Karma

Angus Dunnington

AngusD re-caps his poker year, including the up's and down's of his strategy and how, ultimately, its all part of poker karma.

For some reason I seem to have experienced a kind of seasonal inconsistency in terms of online poker. The year started rather well and continued to improve through spring, but since the end of summer the dark clouds that populate the sky here in Scotland appeared to have found their way into my office. The same thing happened last year and, while some of you who take to wearing lucky pants and listening to 'winning' music when sitting in front of the computer might, when this kind of thing happens, console themselves with the notion that the poker gods have contrived to link results with the weather or pages of a calendar, I prefer to look for more mundane factors. One such is my frustration and consequent impatience at the winning recipe of the first six or seven months of the year losing it's efficacy, each successive unrewarding period thereafter gaining in significance and in turn compounding the problem until bad luck, which hitherto I would literally laugh off, no longer seems so funny. Nevertheless, I read somewhere recently that 'luck is nothing but probability taken personally' and this is exactly what we should have in mind at all times. Better to have a good chuckle whether the inevitable dose of luck is good or bad so that over time, once these two sides of the chance factor have more or less evened themselves out, we properly address whatever the problem(s) in our game might be rather than blame fate.

The picture I'm painting here, you all should be aware, is one that everyone faces at some point or other in their poker career (if you haven't yet, you will, so get ready for it...), just to varying degrees. I understand that it's all relative and that I have nothing to complain about - I consider myself very fortunate to be in this fascinating profession and my disappointment over the last few months is essentially founded on my striving to earn money for my family as smoothly as possible (or - if you prefer - greed), without having to endure losing periods too much, however unavoidable these are.

But every silver lining has a cloud, and we must occasionally experience the downsides in order to better appreciate poker's many rewards. It's not necessary to be a full-time player to want to work to turn a negative into a positive through some kind of introspection. For me these occupational hazards serve as a reminder to dust off the mental toolbox in order to improve performance and thus keep my five-year-old daughter in riding lessons, but whether you're a modest winning player or a (thus far) losing hobbyist, it pays to be conscious of prolonged or increasingly occurring poor runs and address them accordingly. You might even feel that external, non-poker factors have been more detrimental to your game than your actual play, in which case the act itself of taking time to simply think the situation over a little - making certain relevant distinctions and putting them into perspective - tends to greatly improve your poker karma.

While I accept that none of the above is earth shattering I hope that it anyway serves to remind players of all levels to take stock of their relationship with poker from time to time - preferably before a run of poor results but better late than never if we are to make the most of this potential lifelong friend.

Good luck at the tables!
AngusD

AngusD is a sponsored pro at 32Red Poker, where he writes a weekly blog