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Poker News | PokerWorks Op-Ed

Playing the Game!

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If you had the opportunity to teach someone you cared about, how to play poker, would you?  Realizing the inordinate amount of time it requires to learn the art of betting, the ability to read a player’s bets, studying and creating bankroll management, the time it takes away from social activities, and the fact that people can sometimes go completely off their rocker with the game – especially if they have any type of compulsive addictive disorders (keep in mind that one isn’t born with a label, it sometimes takes an adventure into an unknown to bring the beast to the surface).

The magic at a poker table is always running high and heavy when you’re being hit in the face with the deck, when you pick up a big hand and it stays a big hand or improves, when your blind is trash but no one raises and the flop brings all the magic dust into the middle of the table; and if you raised on the button with 5-6 offsuit, you would own the board with 8 other callers.  Those are the days that poker is right up there, right on the top of the list of priorities.  

We could take a deep dive into the reverse, when everything you try to do gets trampled and crushed and you can’t win, but let’s move around that.  If you play poker long enough, you know that you will see both sides of the scale and the deep dive is more prevalent than the ‘high’ points are.  The middle ground is being able to keep your wits, manage your money, leave when you should, play a limit you can live with if you suffer several losing sessions, and be able to walk away from the game when you should for the sake of a life without a poker hand eating away at your brain.

All the old timers and long term poker players always stress the fact that you need to get your life in order, have the funds to play poker and raise your family first (if you have a family), in other words control poker and not let it control you.  Many of the up-and-coming players believe that poker is their ‘discovered’ profession and jump head first into the lifestyle, some become grinders, others become a flash in the pan.  

Poker is more than a game.  The longer you play the game, the more complex it actually becomes.  The more you study it, the more the design begins to weave and slide off into varying patterns.  Old school poker play has skidded off the main path into a murky swamp to be replaced by aggressive play and reckless boldness.  It’s hard to define what the art of playing is when you are a spectator of a WPT event, watching a High Stakes Poker or Late Night Poker episode, or even the November 9 playing down to the WSOP Main Event Champion.  

What does it take to become a champion?  The hardest question to answer is what does it take to remain a champion?  That isn’t a question lightly seasoned, floured, and fried to perfection.  Being a champion isn’t simply about stacking the chips.  Being a champion entails how you handle you, winning or losing, day in and day out.  That brings us back to the original question, would you teach someone you cared about how to play poker?

Of course the answer is "Yes!" You know the easiest way to start them on the road is with poker freerolls, right? 

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