I'm an amateur poker player. I'd like to think I have the brains to figure out the probability theory, the EV, the pot odds . . . after all, I scored a perfect 36 on the math part of the ACT before going to college. And given my earlier stints at acting in college, I think I could master the physical discipline of bluffing, keeping my tells to a minimum, changing up my play, and reading people, if I chose to apply myself.
So why not? Bankroll, people. Not that I couldn't have a bankroll - I have a great job and am married to a man with an even better job who loves to spend money. It's that I couldn't bear to part with my bankroll. And at the end of the day, even the good players have to part with their bankroll now and then. It's the nature of the game. That being said, I can't bear to watch my money go across the table to bad players who get lucky. I harbor grudges - I find myself thinking "I just busted my ass for 50+ hours a week in my office, commuting 2 hours a day, 5 days per week, just to come in here and let your punk-ass, drunk-ass 9-3 offsuit call my raise with my OBVIOUSLY HUGE pockets and go runner-runner for trip 3's to take my hard earned money?" Can't play good poker when you're emotionally attached to the pot.
Why do I play then? Competition. With myself and others (namely, DrChako). Nothing makes me happier than a really good slow play, or a great read on a bluffer. I even love when I have the discipline to lay down a big one and someone else doesn't. And it's pretty cool to have that big stack of chips pushed across the table to you, dribbling little stray chips here and there as it slides closer.
How d0 I balance that love with the bankroll phobia? The occasional trip to Vegas and Party Poker - free money games. It's filled with donkeys and morons night after night, trying to intimidate you for play money. So I switch from the HellKats (15 minute tourneys - good for strategy and time management) to the Omaha Hi-Lo tourneys (I hate the river in Omaha), to the 7 Stud Hi-Lo ring games (where the bulk of my wins have come from). But it's teaching me discipline, and teaching me to switch between games. And my 5,000 play chips are now over 50,000. If only that were real money . . . but then every time I was about to plunk down 250 chips on a Stud game, the accountant in me would say "you know, that's 10 sweaters on sale . . . or nearly 5 massages . . . "
So until they lift the ban on internet poker and I can once again manage my purposely tiny bankroll on PP playing freerolls and $5 1-table Hold 'Em tourneys, you can find me in the free money games, waiting out the first few "all-in" hands and ready to pounce. Come join me when your bankroll needs a rest.
Thanks for being a new reader, Waffles - I'll try to vary my content so it's not too heavy on the "hot men I'm not married to" theme. Hugh Jackman. Say no more.
A shout out to my soldier-hero-husband - hang in there DrChako and come home to me soon. Until then, dreaming only of you. And Hugh. But you already knew that.