Get It Quietly

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

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Location: Enfield, London, United Kingdom

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Let The Game Take Care Of Them

From a comment below, Steve asks "Andy, do you, like me, hope our mark [Strahan] continues on his downward spiral?"

While I joke about anti-funking below, I don't go as far as searching around the Internet for people I don't like and actively willing them to lose. Life is a bit too short. The great thing about poker for me is that you don't need to. The game itself takes care of them in the end.

Personally, I don't like dishonest people and I don't like bullies *. You meet a lot of these types over the table. What you [I] have to remember is that these characteristics are not conducive to winning at the game. Not at all. It takes a very clever person to win at the game consistently if they are either or both. Especially the dishonesty. Someone who is dishonest with others will find it very difficult to be honest with himself, and if you can't do that you're going a long way uphill when it comes to improving your game and practising good game selection. Every dog has his day of course, especially on the tournament circuit, but for all their bluster many of these people are struggling to stay afloat in poker.

On a slightly lesser scale, I don't have much respect for people who blame everyone else for their losses, give rub-downs, and generally play up at the table. And while it may be a necessity for most players on the "circuit" to market themselves, I have most respect for the ones who don't do it at all (that's why Ivey is the king for me) or at least keep it to a minimum. The same principle applies - if you over-do the marketing you will start to believe your own press which can be very detrimental to your game. I can't help but reference Hellmuth here. If you disagree I can only suggest that you read his CardPlayer articles "afresh", as though you didn't know who he was, and make a decision from there.

The point is that the game of poker takes care of 99% of the people who have these unpleasant traits. They really will be alright. Some fools think "You'll be Alright" is just something to say after a bad beat - no - it's an entire philosophy in three words. That's how much of a genius Francis is. So no. I'm not wishing Mark ill fortune because if he doesn't change his ways it will happen all on its own. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, maybe not even soon ... but in the long run there's no escaping karma.

What goes around ... comes around. If only the same applied in life. Then again, maybe it does. It may depend on exactly how you define success.

* By "bullies" of course I don't mean just betting and raising a lot, I mean belittling other people and enjoying it, just for the sake of it.

8 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good commentary Andy, and very honest too, thats why i like your blog :)

Dont get me wrong - i dont 'know' Mark, only through his postings and his own commentaries on his own play/luck. I find him comical more than anything and it simply makes me laugh to see him post those endless losses in his ongoing 'experiment'. As far as i know his diary doesnt record all his results so he may be a winning player in ring games for all i know. Are you saying that he's not a nice guy at the poker table? Or just a delusional player that thinks he's good, an expert in fact, when he's actually a bit crap?

On the subject of (self) honesty - John Vorhaus writes extremely well about it- have you read any of his books? They really are top draw. Zen and the Art of Poker worked well for me too in that respect - I know for a fact that my worst enemy at any table is always me. You've got to play with a little humilty and a little detachment from results/ ego/ image.

Thats why Phil Ivy is the Zen Master of poker - you're right, he's an excellent role model. You're dead on about Hellmuth too -I'd recommend anyone reading through all his 'hand of the week' columns on his own website for a good laugh, altho most people think he's a jopke nowdays anyway. He's really got something to prove this summer.

Oh, i'll tell you who i do like - Helen Chamberlain, from this years Poker Million heats. Good player, good laugh.

steve

1:59 PM  
Blogger Andy_Ward said...

I'm trying to avoid being drawn into commenting on Mark directly ... let's just say I wouldn't recommend anyone does business with the guy, if they asked me.

I quite like Vorhaus although he's not to everyone's taste. I remember someone commenting that he spins two or three articles into an entire book (Simon G ?) but even if he doesn't say much, I like the way he says it, because he can actually write.

As for Helen Chamberlain, check out "December 2003" on this blog. No one escapes my scrutiny. No one ! Victory is mine !!

Andy.

10:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'You're dead on about Hellmuth too -I'd recommend anyone reading through all his 'hand of the week' columns on his own website for a good laugh, altho most people think he's a jopke nowdays anyway. He's really got something to prove this summer.'

Gee, Hellmuth doesn't have anything to prove this summer. Helluth may not be one of the leading thinkers in poker, but he is an undoubted talent - he doesn't have to prove this, he already has.

There are plenty of people who claim to think well about the game, but achieve little - they are the ones who have much to prove imo.

Hellmuth is an enigma - that's all.

9:20 PM  
Anonymous steve said...

Andy: (on John Vorhaus)
"...even if he doesn't say much, I like the way he says it, because he can actually write."

Yeah, he's a very readable writer, i really like his style. Talking of good poker books when is Harringtons new book out, anyone know?

"As for Helen Chamberlain, check out "December 2003" on this blog. No one escapes my scrutiny. No one ! Victory is mine !!"

So, um, youre saying you dont like Helen because she once took the piss out of a fat lass!? Heh. I found her standard of play to be very high. Granted - she won her flips when it mattered, but thats poker. I want to see her at the final table

Anonymous:
"Gee, Hellmuth doesn't have anything to prove this summer."

Gee, then i disagree. Altho,imo, he's already on the comeback trail after his recent Heads Up victories. Hope they show that tourney on UK tv.

"Helluth may not be one of the leading thinkers in poker, but he is an undoubted talent - he doesn't have to prove this, he already has".

For somebody with that amount of talent I think he fucks it up for himself a lot, dont you? Have you read any of those hand of the week articles?

At least he's guaranteed to be entertaining and watchable, not always in ways that are good PR for him tho. And, like i said, I'm sure he's seen as a bit of a jopke by the majority of poker fans/players today. Bill Filmaff anyone? Thats pretty damn funny. . .

steve

12:47 AM  
Anonymous Peter B said...

I fear that posting support for Hellmuth is a bit like voting Conservative -- something that you really only want to do anonymously these days.

Let's get this straight. Winning a number of tournaments does not mean that you have "proved yourself". For a start, you might just enter an awful lot more tournaments than anyone else. Or you might have won those tournaments a long time ago, when things were a lot less tough.

"Proving yourself" is being able to adapt to new situations, not commenting snidely "you call me for a third of your stack with King-Jack". Well, yes, Phil, because I know you expected me to fold.

And proving yourself means hanging onto your money. Hellmuth has a nice house. Do you want to know how he paid for that house. By having a share in another player. The money that Phil has won in tournaments (and how much would he be up if he paid for all his exes and entry fees?) has often been spunked away in cash games.

There's a charming American attitude that doing it is everything, and nothing else matters. So, Phil has won the bracelets, and you haven't, and that's that, end of argument. It's a facile, moronic argument that would condemn some of the greatest golf and tennis teachers to the sidelines.

Much of Hellmuth's advice is, I repeat, positively dangerous. I fear for the players who follow it. That Hellmuth can give that advice with a straight face reveals how little he thinks about the game. He doesn't need to prove anything to me, because these flaws are manifest. Only those who will not see, cannot see.

7:18 PM  
Anonymous Peter B said...

I rambled a bit there and may have laid myself open to misinterpretation. I didn't want to imply that "anonymous" was a moron, or, perhaps worse, an American. I was heading into general territory by the time I was two-thirds of the way through my stack, er, I mean, post.

Actually, I think that Phil has been a little bit hard done by by a few of the other cognoscenti. OK, he sets himself up for it, but it's generally accepted that it isn't a matter of malice with Phil, just a 13-year-old boy trapped in a 40+-year-old body. I don't know the source of this blatant emotional immaturity, but he does seem to be doing his best to work on it. Trouble is, the devil breaks out far too often.

8:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are far off the mark. I'm not a fan of Hellmuth, I don't choose to see him in a positive light. I don't follow his teachings or recommend it, I don't like his table etiquette. But from what I have seen of his play he has talent - that much is obvious. This is backed up with some outstanding results.

"Proving yourself" is being able to adapt to new situations, not commenting snidely "you call me for a third of your stack with King-Jack". Well, yes, Phil, because I know you expected me to fold.

Why do you suppose he can't? Comments like this create situations, it's not just about crying off.

I doubt many pros want Hellmuth on their table, that should speak volumes.

'Only those who will not see, cannot see.' - This is very true and remarkably ironic thing to say, since it applies most not to those 'defending' the stars, but those attacking them.

People see what they want to see and believe what they want to believe. Hellmuth isn't an easy bedfellow for the wannabes.

8:45 PM  
Blogger Andy_Ward said...

All I'm going to say about this right now is that I have often wondered whether having a reputation for making scathing remarks might help a "name" player in a tournament.

In that people might (even subconsciously) tend to fold because they don't want to be ridiculed by someone they look up to if they call with a "bad" hand.

I think this may have been a factor in the past. More than one player who has been around long enough has told me that 7-10 years ago, the American "field" players were terrified of the likes of Hellmuth and Cloutier and would thus fold the winning hand, give them free cards etc. on a regular basis. This allowed them to win lots and lots of chips without a showdown.

Nowadays, of course, the Internet generation doesn't give a fuck and maybe some people will even call just so they can tell all their friends they took an earful from Hellmuth. Just a thought.

Andy.

11:09 PM  

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