Thursday, May 31, 2007

End of Slump?

After a very successful April, I'm going to have my first losing month in almost a year unless I have a truly remarkable win today. I had modest wins my last two trips, so hopefully I've broken out of the losing streak. Actually, the only respite from my losing streak has been the wins I've had recently in the HORSE game I mentioned last time - we've now had two sessions. I invited Aaron the second time, and we both won over $300 playing 3-6 limit for maybe four hours; this is a truly remarkable feat when you consider that our opponents ranged from very good to outstanding poker players. I think Razz is my new favorite game - in any case, it's the one I've gotten luckiest at.

I still haven't gotten around to reviewing No Limit Hold'em by Sklansky and Miller, and I've read most of it twice now, and I've also read The Psychology of Poker and am a quarter of the way through The Mathematics of Poker. A brief summary of my impressions: No Limit Hold'em is probably the most worthwhile book on the subject that I've come across. The first part is a useful discussion of "fundamentals," none of which is new to me, but most of which is worth thinking about again. The last part is a list of 50 "concepts" that I am considering sifting through for discussion in future posts. The Psychology of Poker has some unique material, but, disappointingly, it's targeted towards novice players. Still , there are some worthwhile points to consider like the motivations people have for playing and how to notice them. It also encourages the reader to evaluate his own motives, which may be illuminating. The Mathematics of Poker is a relatively technical discussion of game theory with the goal of training the reader's intuition in order to make better decisions at the poker table. I'm excited to read more of this - having a solid base of poker knowledge that can be proven theoretically is a great boost to confidence. Being in the midst of a losing streak, I'm relieved to be restoring my confidence by developing some solid groundwork in game theory.

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