Get It Quietly

Football, bollocks and a bit of poker if you're lucky.

Location: Enfield, London, United Kingdom

Thursday, August 14, 2003

Losers and Winners (or Why I Suck at Internet Poker)

Apart from environmental factors that boil (literally at times in this weather) down to more comfortable playing conditions, any other change will benefit some people at the expense of others. Structures, for example. If you believe what you hear, everyone wants slower tournaments with more play in them. Maybe they believe it too, but it’s a simple fact that weaker players shouldn’t want this at all. If will give the better players more time and scope to outplay them. Or maybe no one wants to admit (especially to themselves) that they are one of the fish !

A more subtle example is an argument put forward by fans of Internet poker. You don’t have to drive to games and hang around waiting and so on, you just switch on your computer and it’s there. How could that possibly not benefit everyone ? Well it doesn’t help me !

I am about half an hour each way from Luton , and an hour from the Vic. Not excessive but enough to make a difference. If when I get there I receive terrible cards all night (or however long it takes) I can fold them. Not a problem. But other people can’t. Other people didn’t drive miles and miles to fold, they came to PLAY. Thus, they play hands they shouldn’t. They buy in again when they should quit. They make terrible plays “because I’m bored”. Incidentally the record for the soonest I have heard someone say that as they reach into their pocket is 9 minutes into the game – seriously. If someone gets bored playing online they just quit and surf for porn instead. Or is that just me. Anyway, online you are also dealt twice as many hands per hour, and you can play 2 or 3 games at once. The games rattle along and it’s much less common to see people go on tilt out of sheer boredom. Players with good card sense but problems with impatience will do a lot better on-line. Players with no card sense (like me) who gain a big edge in real life just through patience and discipline lose out.

In tournaments, it’s different but kind of the same. In the B+M world, many players overdo the survival tactics because if they get knocked out, they can’t play again till tomorrow, or Wednesday, or next week. Online, what the hell, there’s another one in an hour. You simply can’t pressure opponents as much, or knock them off the best hand as often, because of this.

So the convenience, regularity and speed of online games, which you might think benefit everyone who plays, are major drawbacks for a player like me. I have a big edge in the real world because I know enough, and I have the discipline, to make the right plays (as I see them anyway J) even if the games are inconveniently located, or infrequent, or slow. Anything that benefits me a little and my opponents a lot doesn’t in fact benefit me at all, can you dig it ?

Add to that the edge I gain in real life from knowing my opponents, using my image and picking up tells, most of which I lose on-line, and really the only surprise is that it’s taken me this long to work out that Internet poker is not for me. Maybe I should pledge my support to that campaign in the US to ban Internet poker and force everyone out into the cardrooms. Imagine the flak I would get for posting that on a forum J.


Post a Comment

<< Home