Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Stupid/System 012: Going Pro

Note: This post originally appeared in Full Tilt Poker's Poker From The Rail blog. It's reprinted in full on The_Goat_Speaks for the first time, in order to A) allow readers whose work blocks Tilt to read this very important groundbreaking work, and B) make it look like I'm posting without actually doing any work.

Anyway, go to Poker From The Rail, even though you will run into a lot of my poker writing there It's good, it's fresh, it's organic, and it is reasonably priced.

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If you’ve been following along with me, you now have a lot of the “tools” that you’ll need for long-term, online and live poker success. You know how to fire the third bullet with air, shove a double belly to represent the set, get the fish to double you when you’ve got the nuts, play ATC, abuse the bubble, and exploit the weak-tights with squeezes, overbets, underbets, brass knuckles, clarinet solos, the crane kick and other advanced moves.

So now you are asking yourself: Is it time for me to go pro?

Woah! Wait a second there, Sparky! Not so fast!

First of all, of COURSE you should go pro! You’re totally, lusciously, awesome! Read the first paragraph! You’re like the Bruce Lee of poker, and you’re getting your “Heeeeeeoooooooow!” on. The question you need to ask yourself is, what KIND of pro are you going to be? There’s more than just one kind, you know. I mean, if you don’t decide that, how are you going to know whether or not to buy a cowboy hat or a hoodie? Get with the program.

Other things you’ll want to ponder as you start your career as a top pro:

Poker is like life. Like poker, life is a series of two cards that you are dealt at random, which you use in an attempt to win as many tiny bits of clay or plastic as you can. Also like poker, life is experienced with six to nine other people, three of whom smell like feet soaked in cat food. Also like poker, life takes place on green, red, or purple felt, and involves a series of all-or-nothing propositions, after which you lose and cry on TV like a tween girl who just saw the Jonas Brothers in the mall, or else win and scream your barbaric yawp like a viking who just beheaded a Visigoth, though in fact you just get a considerably larger quantity of little bits of clay or plastic. And that’s not the only ways poker is like life, either! There are a lot of other ones, too, like sometimes you lose and sometimes you win. Think about it.

Bankroll. You should have at least one buy-in for whatever level you play, otherwise you won’t be able to buy in. That’s economics 101, but you’d be surprised how many pros forget this and try to buy in with some other good or service, like tax tips or pickled venison chittlins. Most people recommend at least 200 buy ins, and some go as low as 50, but let’s face it, you only need that if you’re planning on losing. Are you planning on losing? Didn’t think so. Next!

Quirks. Marcel Luske wears his sunglasses upside-down. Gus Hanson pretends to be bald. Antonio Esfandiari does the magic thing. Chris Ferguson throws cards. Mike Caro does his crossword with a pen. Phil Hellmuth pretends to be a child trapped in a man’s body. Daniel Negraneu is Canadian. Every pro has at least one quirk, which separates them from the field and gets them notice from TV cameras and sponsors. What will your quirk be? I’ll offer a few suggestions here, but realistically, these will be taken within minutes of publication, so you’d do well to use your imagination.

- Cover your body covered in sharp, protective quills.

- Never wear sunglasses. But always wear a suit made out of sunglasses.

- Vulcan ears.

- Celebrate every big pot with a specific food, like biscuits and gravy.

- Dress like a Leprachaun.

- Act like you are in a musical. Sing all your dialogue.

Cash or Tourny? This is probably the most important decision you will make as you decide whether or not to go pro. It is much like choosing your race, profession, or alignment in a RPG such as World of Warcraft or Dungeons and Dragons. A cash player, for example, can wield a two-handed sword (but not an axe), gets a +2 modifier on all attacks against the undead, and can call an animal familiar but cannot learn any other spells, while a tourny player will go broke in a year.

Mentor. It’s important to get a mentor to help coach you through the rough patches, deal with the psychological effects of variance, and work through some of the tougher spots you face at the table. I’d get Doyle Brunson if I were you. He’s pretty good. Just go up to him at this year’s WSOP and hand him a 3-ring binder containing your last year of hand histories from Full Tilt poker, along with your business card. Tell him that you’ll be back in a week for his notes. He shouldn’t need more than that, he’s a fast reader.

[© 2009 Julius Goat. Cover Image by Mookie “Big O” Pokeroom]

Previous Chapters
Stupid/System by Julius_Goat
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 6: Addendum
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11

1 comment:

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