Mean Gene
Mean Gene
Pittsburgh's most decorated poker blogger, which I admit is like being the best shortstop in Greenland

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My Articles

Presto, the Arlo, & the Hammer
An Online Code of Conduct
The Ethics of Ratholing
"The Professor, the Banker..."
"Ace on the River"

My Columns

Lose the Shades
If You Can't Say Something Nice
Whither the Kicker
The Lady is a Champ?
Covering the WSOP (or not)
Statistics, Luck, and Poker
Poker and New Orleans
Managing a Bankroll
How To Tell A Bad Beat Story
Telling Lies
The Power of Poker Tracker
Advanced Card-Handling

My Greatest Hits

5 Things To Do Before I Die
Cafeteria Nostalgia
Mean Gene's Dubious Dating Tips
Poker and Business?
There's No Such Thing As Luck?
Isabelle, Je t'adore
No Shirt No Shoes No Service
Well, The Food Was Good
Good Morning, Mr. Matusow!
The Weekend of our Discontent, I
The Weekend of our Discontent, II
Books That Left Their Mark
Ode to a Fish Sandwich
Bill Simmons Ain't the Poker Guy
The Sports Guy Still Ain't the Poker Guy
Again, The Media Tackles Poker
Five Years After 9/11
Hitting Pretty Girls in the Face
Sixth-Graders Suck

Fellow Poker Bloggers

Guinness and Poker
Cards Speak
Tao of Poker
Up for Poker
Boy Genius
Chris Halverson
Poker Grub
The Fat Guy
Todd Commish
Poker Works
Bill Rini
Bad Blood
Love and Casino War
Double As
Lion Tales
Paul Phillips
Daniel Negreanu
Poker Nerd
Poker Nation
Poker in Arrears
Human Head
Sound of a Suckout
Chicks With Chips
TP's Table Talk
Royal Poker
This is Not A Poker Blog
Chick and a Chair
Go Be Rude
Poker Cheapskate
Poker & Other Stuff
Seven Two
Musical Poker
WPBT Online
Isabelle Mercier
Cardschat Blog
Amy Calistri
BJ Nemeth
Annie's Blog

Poker Sites

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Poker Pages


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    Sunday, February 29, 2004

    Why you have to lose to be a good player

    I've been playing unconcious poker the last month. When I lose I lose a few bucks. When I win I win big. Won the tournament and then when I played after that I posted modest wins. It seemed I couldn't lose. And, after awhile, I started to believe I couldn't lose. Oh, I might get nailed a hand here and there, but I'd make it up with a big win down the road.

    After losing $100 today I realize that Luck swings both ways. I got down a bit early, made it up, and then I got rivered on one table to lost a quick $20 and made a terrible call on another to drop another $25. I pride myself on not tilting, or not tilting so bad that I start throwing away money, but I KNEW the guy made his straight and called with my trips anyway, and that cost me $15. I hit trips on the flop, bet big, and watched a king and queen come on the turn and river. Couldn't chase him, he caught me, and I knew it but could't throw the hand away. It was stupid, and it made me mad at myself.

    I logged off, worked on my Phil Hellmuth post, which is finally done and will be posted tomorrow (probably), and logged back on to win back some of the $50 I'd lost. i didn't feel like I had to make it ALL back, but if I could put together a $10 win I'd feel I'd accomplished something.

    Dropped another $50 in about twenty minutes. I was dealt 4s5s and called a piddly $.50 bet. Flop came 4-4-Q. I made a tiny bet and had 4 callers. A five on the turn gave me a full boat, with 2 diamonds on board. This time I checked, and called the $2 bet one of the other players made. Another diamond on the river, and I bet $4 as though I'd made my flush. One guy raised me to $10. I figured he had A-x suited, so I raised him all-in. He called--and turned over Q-4. He flopped the boat and let me drown. Lost $25 in one hand.

    I bore down, played premium hands, and slowly pissed away another $10 with lousy cards. I had lousy cards all day, actually, but when I got big hands I got skunked. I had pocket kings, raised the pot, and flopped trips. Guy made his straight again, this time holding 3-6 and filling out his straight on the river. That cost me $10 or so. the hand that finally made me quit for the night was AcQc. The flop came A-8-9, with the last two cards clubs. Top pair with a flush draw. I made a small bet and was re-raised the pot. I figured the guy might have AK because he re-raised me before the flop. I called, and when no club showed on the turn I checked and he did too. A jack on the river, no club, and when I checked he bet $5. I called and he turned over AJ. Twenty bucks flushed right there.

    So I dropped $100 in one day, and that hurts. My bankroll has been very robust lately, but I cashed out a bunch thinking I had plenty to play with. And I still do--a month ago I would've given my eye teeth to have $250 in my account. Plus Choice Poker made a boo-boo with my funds transfer from the tournament and gave me a $20 bonus, and I have the money for the next tourney entry, and Party just offered my $20 to come back and play, so that helps offset my losses today. Still, it hurt.

    But I think it'll make me a better player. It's all come way too easy for me the last few weeks. I started to feel like I was too good for the game, and I really got smacked today. If you don't keep your eye on the ball, if you don't keep looking for and fixing the holes in your game, you're wasting your time and your money. I know I got skunked today, it happens, and if you have the 2nd best boat at the table you're gonna pay the guy off, there's nothing else for it. But I tilted today, and that's bad. I got lazy, and that's worse. And I got arrogant, and that's...well, that's because I've been channelling Phil Hellmuth the last month. Christ, I don't know how biographers spend years writing about someone. The guy's friggin' haunting me.

    So no more poker tonight. No more poker study. Go to bed, wake up rejuevenated, let the cosmic cycles realign or whatever it was that had me jinxed, and start anew. If you make mistakes, might as well learn from them. get this widget Please visit Pokernews site for more poker news, poker strategy articles or poker rules.

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