Don’t listen to the hype – Guest post by Carl “The Dean” Sampson

First off, I would just like to say thanks to Bill for allowing me the chance to write for his site. I have been a regular reader off and on for a while after discovering that his was one of the highest read blogs around at this time. So when you hear something like that it kind of makes you want to investigate. Anyway…..the name is Carl Sampson and I have played online for ten years now including full time for many of those years. I started out in 2002 playing limit but then switched to no limit in around 2008 when limit simply became too tough for me to handle. I currently play at where my main games are NL100 and NL50 full ring.

In that time I have also written for numerous poker magazines including the WPT, Poker Pro Europe and the online magazine at 2+2. A few people may have heard of my pen name of “The Dean” somewhere but anyway……that’s enough of the introduction side of things. I know how Bill hates boring theory and frankly so do I. In fact when I read books like Dusty Schmidt’s Treat your poker like a business then I find them a breath of fresh air to be honest.

I found that book to be not only enlightening but also inspirational which kind of shocked me recently when I read a few comments from people on Amazon slating it. The problem is with people is that they are constantly searching for some Holy Grail of poker playing. They are constantly on the lookout for some book, some coach, some website…….anything that will shortcut the process of making money. Sorry folks but it takes work to get there and lots of it and trust me when I say that hard work isn’t necessarily enough either.

One of the biggest leaps that I made in my poker life was when I stopped listening blindly to what other people either said, did or wrote. When I was experienced enough to be subjective and not to fall for the hype and marketing strategies of online poker sites then I really started seeing progress. For example I am risk adverse……always am and always will be. So I avoid six max and short-handed poker and play full ring. However it is six max games where poker sites want you to be because they have increased action.

If you are not a natural poker player then I think full ring suits you better because of the slower pace of play. I would never describe myself as a natural poker player. I am simply manufactured by years of experience and learning and self-analysis. I learnt a long time ago that I have serious limitations as a poker player but you need to work around your weaknesses and concentrate on your strengths. My strengths are that I can build systems of play that work. For systems to work in poker then you have to find the right balance in terms of stake levels otherwise you get eaten alive by better players.

The bottom line is that I have gone my own way and that is how I think it should be. Trying to mimic someone else’s style may work but I find that unlikely. I found that when you stop allowing yourself to be driven then you can become a successful poker player. Don’t let rakeback, sign up bonuses or whatever drive you into playing poker when you don’t want to play at a site that you hadn’t planned on playing at. Somebody once said that it is “the hunter that chooses the hunting ground and not the prey”……wise words indeed.