Poker — 31 March 2004

I just got done reading Pauly’s post over at the Tao of Poker and I have some mixed thoughts on it. To give the background (in case you didn’t read the link), Pauly has made it into the final rounds of a satellite tourney for a seat at the WPT tourney at the Bellagio. Total prize package including the entry fee into the WPT even is $27,000. Now, the thing I’m having trouble with is that Pauly’s post is basically how he’s in a take no prisoner’s mode for this tourney. As he puts it:

I will not lie to you… I will be devastated if I do not win tonight.

Poker is a game where some luck is involved. Granted, superior play should triumph but as evidenced by world class players who bust out of tournaments all the time, sometimes the cards just aren’t going your way. To be fair though, he does acknowledge this when he says:

All those questions will be answered tonight… and even if I am prepared, I’m still at the mercy of the Poker Gods. Will cards fall my way tonight? Will I have to make too many tough decisions early? Will I be able to capitalize on my opponent’s mistakes? Will I be able to implement my game plan when things go horribly wrong?

But that’s one small piece out of a post which is best summarized by his repeated statement:

“. . . second place is for pussies.”

Hey, I’m all for having a total winning attitude and not accepting excuses but to quote Al Pacino in “Any Given Sunday:”

On any given Sunday you can win or lose;the question is:can you win or lose like a man?

I’m obviously not questioning Pauly’s manhood. Heck, I don’t even know the guy. I’m just a reader of his weblog. The point is that he paid $24 to get into this tourney. He made the first round and now he’s in the finals. That is a major accomplishment. If he loses but does so playing a solid game then, IMHO, there’s nothing to be devastated about. All one can ask for is to play a solid game. We all know that no player can be judged on one session, as sometimes the cards just won’t fall your way. There will be more WPT satellite tourneys and if Pauly’s game is as good as he thinks it is (and I have no reason to doubt this) he should have plenty more opportunities should this one not pan out.

Bottom line is that I know part of this is probably him trying to psych himself up for the game. I really do hope he hits a homerun tonight and makes it into the WPT Bellagio event. But, if he doesn’t, I also hope it doesn’t tweak him too much.

Update: Well, it looks like Pauly busted out and didn’t make it. I feel for him. Though he has come up with a constructive way to deal with it via a drinking bender, which is always a good cure for anything that ails you.

On a side note, Pauly described his last bender in which he started drinking in SoHo, NY and woke up in Tijuana, Mexico with a Virgin Mary tattoo. Let’s just hope he’s Catholic otherwise that just may set some new standards as far as benders go. :-)

Ship It Holla Ballas!

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Bill Rini has been working in the online poker industry since 2004. He was a product manager for poker at Full Tilt and was the poker room manager at PartyPoker. Currently, Bill is the Head of Online Poker for WSOP.   Bill has been blogging about online poker since 2003 and is considered one of the leading authorities on the online poker industry.   "I like What Bill Rini said in his blog" - Doyle Brunson   "In other news, we had Bill Rini write an absolutely home run blog." Daniel Negreanu   "Industry insider Bill Rini has one of the most popular blogs in poker, with thousands of subscribers and fans regularly coming back for his universally respected insight into the industry" - Barry Carter (News editor for PokerStrategy, Co-Author: The Mental Game of Poker)

(0) Readers Comments

  1. Poker is serious game demanding success, strategy and playing skills. I don’t think that some kind of humour can help to win. Yes, it is a little bit helpful, but it consists a little percetage of all game.

  2. I’m glad to hear that some of the folks who know Pauly better than I don’t think he was too serious. I love reading his stuff so it would be a shame to see him getting too funked out because of one loss.

  3. ditto – i didn’t take pauly serious at all in that post. it was a little too over the top for my favorite deadhead. :)

  4. Bill, I actually thought the exact same thing when I read his post, but then I thought… “THIS IS PAULY!” I can never figure out when the guy is serious or joking, and this time I had no clue.