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Thursday, April 27, 2006 

Make or Break

As much as i would want to write something new everyday, i have to admit nothing much has been happening recently. I haven't been playing much, mostly due to reasons concerning the depth of my pockets hehe. Poker IS an expensive habit, if you want to take it seriously. I find myself going back to the good old low-stakes home games where pots rarely exceed the 4-digit mark, and the game is light-hearted and fun. If i ever do play, i pick my games really carefully, since a losing session would mean a week of watching dvd's at home.

How expensive is your poker habit? Have you ever considered calculating how much you have spent on poker ever since you started playing? Yeah sure, almost everyone will say they are "break-even" or up/down a little bit, some would even convince themselves and others into believing they are tremendously up in winnings. My honest self-assesment is that i personally am down a big chunk mostly due to a two-month streak of bad beats and bad bankroll management. It's not much, not even more than what a big time spender would blow on one night in AirForceOne, but still, i take it seriously. Before that swing, i was cruising pretty well, just barely above the upside.

I recently realized that even though i do love the game very much, i really dont HAVE to play every single tournament, or cash game, or Sit n' Go. I used to be excited to play tournaments, 600, 1100, 1600 buy-in games, almost every week, 2 times or even thrice a week. Of course, when you dont win (which is mostly the case in an MTT) there's the side action. Add that up and, to an ordinary joe like me who doesnt have a trust fund or a six-figure income, it takes its toll. I know a lot of players who lose more in ONE HAND what i lose in a week of play, but that's just a handful of people.

Sadly, i also know about some people who have started to disappear from the poker scene due to financial difficulties. Some have been racking up debt, some even spending money set aside for other things just to play poker. It's a harsh reality. Is it the person, or the game? Is poker "evil" as some might say?

Personally, i believe it is the person, and not the game. I know rich people who have gone down in ruin because of the stock market, blowing off their life saving and mortgaging their properties and pawning valuables just to get back up on their feet. nobody blames the stock market for that, so it should be the same for poker. Like i've said before, educating the Filipino Poker player should be a priority in the poker community. We should teach others to treat the game not as gambling but as a risk-management investment strategy. Every peso you put in the pot should be treated as a short-term AND long-term investment if you really want to take the game seriously.

If youre having fun in low limit games, then that's ok too. Nothing wrong with that, i personally love playing the game that way sometimes. It's a less stressful way of enjoying the game. I say don't take it too seriously. Bottom line is, if you cant afford the bigger games, dont play them. If youre borrowing money to play, then maybe you should reconsider and play somewhere cheaper, or not play at all. If youre spending your half your salary to play, maybe you should just save it or play even smaller games. Playing beyond what you can afford will really not help you, since you are going to be playing scared, and scared money is dead money.

Get someone to stake you, or play the smaller games frist and then when you have built your bankroll enough and you think you are ready, then you can go for the bigger games. In the end, it's all about your bankroll, money management and game selection. It will make or break you.


The supposedly biggest tournament in philippine poker history is coming up, and i have never seen anything like this... people are actually on a frenzy of selling their seats at a reduced price (mostly won from sattelite games) and cashing in even before the tournament starts! What a very wise financial decision. They are gonna be making more money than 90% of those who will join the tournament! Good for them.

Hey, whatever happened to the WPT/ABS-CBN deal? i was expecting big things from them by around this time of the year, since they were already signing contracts as of december last year. Where are the WPT tournaments?

Also, i heard Johhny Chan was/ is coming here to have some kind of poker camp. That would be pretty cool. Although since we got to hang out with Doyle himself recently, i dont think we'll be too star struck hehe.

till next time.

"Also, i heard Johhny Chan was/ is coming here to have some kind of poker camp. That would be pretty cool. Although since we got to hang out with Doyle himself recently, i dont think we'll be too star struck hehe."

Di ko ma reach . . . Hehe. Think about this though. While poker has only been in its infancy stage, we have had BOTH WSOP record holders here checking out the action. Not bad for us.

As for the players who are playing the Php 1M tournament, I hope you don't get disappointed with anything but it will be a stretch because from the start heartbreak is what you will find. There is an estimated 100 players playing, and a profit for the UTH (Usurpers of Texas Hold'em) already of 400k which they are not putting into the prize pool.

I wish I had the balls to pull off something like that and still show my face. Kudos to them and their thick skin.

sure ba na hindi nila ipapasok sa pot?

i am actually secretly hoping that they somehow on the last minute do the right thing and make the event a successful one.

i know it will be good for the poker scene.

but that's just me.

boycott!! don't play on saturday!

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  • The best poker I've ever played has always entailed peace. A relaxed comfort. Eyes open, ears open, radar up. Absorbing my opponent's every message. Taking them as they come. Not mixing what those messages are with what I want them to be. It's like an aerial view. A view from above the myriad luck-dependent reactions of those many people who never gain such a peace. And when you gain that view, that peace - when you'd rather have the truth, no matter how disappointing, over a false hope, no matter how desirable - then you're a player. The hand you're on slips into a stream of thousands of other hands, no one of which, because of your lofty view, seems unduly important, no false fearful emotions rise within you. When you gain the peace of lofty perspective, you're a player, and when you're a player, you're free.- from "King of a Small World" by Rick Benett
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