Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Live and Learn

A busy Wednesday has already almost gotten away from me. I’d wanted today to write something here about this story of yet another U.S.-facing “rogue” online poker operator embarking on a dubious strategy for survivng in a mostly desperate marketplace. I’m referring to the Equity Poker Network apparently closing accounts of so-called “aggressive” players -- that is, winning players who put in lots of volume. You can read more about it over at pokerfuse.

Seems like there is some kind of symbolism worth teasing out of the story, one showing how an online poker network that can only serve U.S. customers by not allowing winning players to remain among the player pool is itself emblematic of online poker’s current status in the U.S. -- i.e., it’s a “loser’s game.”

Kind of a downer proclamation to make on this, the one-year anniversary of legal, regulated online poker’s introduction into the U.S. (Ultimate Poker debuted in Nevada one year ago today.) So rather than pursue that topic further I’m instead going to point you to a cool series of articles by Carlos Welch over on Learn.PokerNews which he’s dubbed “Cash Catastrophes.”

Carlos is writing articles about hands from his home game in which he’s made what he deems mistakes that have cost him money (hence the series title). All four of the articles illustrate situations that are familiar and have caused me to recall decisions with which I myself have struggled.

Here are the four “Cash Catastrophes” Carlos has shared thus far, the titles of which give an indication of the dilemma being faced in each:

  • Out of Position and Out of Ideas
  • Folding Aces Leads to Paranoia
  • Missing Value With the Nuts
  • Hero-Calling Unexpected River Bets
  • I appreciate Carlos’s willingness to share his missteps. It’s hard sometimes even to look into one’s own play and acknowledge to oneself mistakes made, never mind share them with an audience as he is doing. But doing so is obviously helpful all around.

    Of course, if you aren’t interested in working on improving your game, apparently there’s an online poker network that is built just for you!

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