Going for Broke vs. Careful play
Well. Im at a place many poker players probably are - I have a knowledge and command of the math, what various "books" say about what to do when and some experience in applying this "knowledge".
This is a place where with any acquired skill - I refer to as the "vast wasteland" other known as the beginning. I have just come to the "end" of a period where I've played a lot of games with differing methods and styles against different skill levels and styles of opponents in three other forums I'm a member of - Railbirds, Suited Pockets and CardsChat. One of these forums' members have distinct views on other forums play but I have found players ranging from excellent to novice in all three. Many of the same players are in all and they each feature players with well documented experience and success William Thorson (Lollipop), Tom Mc Evoy, Tony (Tsunami) Guerra just to name a few. As of today, I'm ranked in the freeroll section, 99th in RailBirds, 4th in CardsChat and Suited Pockets keeps no running leaderboard as such but I did manage to rank 15th in their RSOP tournament. I say all of this to say - now comes the time to see if I am able to correctly evaluate what I've learned, what I've experienced, what I've read and fashion it into a winning way of playing poker?
I have found substantiation for my core belief that this game is entirely situational and those who say "always do this or always do that"
have missed the point. My other core beliefs are these - the math is the easy part and the hard part is handling your own personality tendencies, properly blending and applying the math and table/opposition to arrive at the "correct" decision. For those who think that correct means always, only playing AA, KK, AK, QQ (or QQ,AK) on the button brings me to one of pokers few absolutes - they are wrong.
So now I'm at an (not the) end of experimentation. I became serious about this game when I joined RailBirds in April of '07 and just like my own forum, I'm a month behind my schedule - now I'll see if I came to the right conclusions.
On the issue of "Going for Broke" or "Playing it safe" - by nature I'm a go for broke personality type. For me this has resulted in early outs or wins, "Playing it safe" has resulted in more middle finishes - there is some middle ground.
I'm not really sure how I feel about that either.
One thing is for certain. The players at the table who always
know with exactitude what play you
should have made - you know who I mean - the ones who just folded and "knew" what hand you had (and is always wrong)
or the one who gives running "expert" commentary on the skill level of everyone at the table COULDN"T POSSIBLY have this game so cold, figured out - I'm not so sure anyone does. That's what makes this game so fun and interesting and challenging.
The players who seem most likely to really have it figured out seem to spend more time at the table raking other players chips, rather than talking about it.....
Now the real fun begins...