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

Cardschat Poker Forum
Barstool Sports
Card Player
Internet Texas Hold-Em
Poker Pages


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    Wednesday, March 31, 2004

    Waktaskshi wa Gene desu. That's two years of schoolin'

    In college I decided to take Japanese, because I've always been fascinated by the culture and thought it would make me a more valuable cog in the global economy. I made it thru the first two semesters, but during the third term you had to actually use kanji and hiragana and katakana on the exams, and my fate was sealed. If I were Japanese I'd be illiterate. I couldn't make my hands make the symbols, even if I had the characters right in front of me. On the first exam I looked at the questions, watched my classmates (many of whom were Asian and, I think, considered this class a cakewalk) scribble away, and I decided it was time to face the facts. I handed in my exam, said "Domo arigato", and walked straight to the Liberal Arts building to drop the class.

    Even though I washed out, studying a different language really gives you insight into your native tongue. It was especially helpful for an English major like myself learning the different syntax and grammar of Japanese (and French, which I took in high school and college). Now, how the hell does this apply to poker? It occured to me recently that I've only been playing poker for about six months, that I have a lot to learn, and that my month-long run of poor results is perhaps an indication that I need to go back to Poker School and stop worrying about building my bankroll up so I can buy a new laptop.

    Summer is also on the way, meaning I'll be outdoors more and playing less. And I'm also going to be the antithesis of Iggy--playing less and writing more. My bankroll is still healthy for the levels I'm playing, tho I'm not going to be buying in to this year's World Series. I've been getting massacred lately, the last 3 weeks or so have been brutal, and I can't say that it's all because of the fish. I'm not playing well. I may be in a bit of a rut.

    To get out of it I'm taking a few steps. One, do more reading, especially McEvoy and Cloutier's book on Pot- and No-Limit which has a new edition coming out. I've been playing Pot-Limit mostly even though I haven't done much reading on it and think it preys on my weakness at the table, namely aggressiveness. I need to learn what the hell I'm doing so I can hit the tables with a vengeance.

    My brother's been struggling as well, and he's started playing 7-card stud as well as Hold-Em. And that's where my Japanese example comes into play. I've always been interested in Omaha, it seems to be the game the top pros consider the best test of skill (tho Hi-Lo is I think the game of the moment). So as I study Hold-Em I'm also going to school myself in Omaha, both to broaden my poker horizons and hopefully gain some insight into Hold-Em by coming at poker from a different direction. Thinking about the game outside the constrictions of two cards down, flop, turn, river will hopefully get my brain going again and whip my overall game into shape.

    I played some Omaha tonight, won a quick hand, and then lost 3 hands with trip aces, an ace-to-the-five straight and a full house. Uh, time to hit the books, grind out a few thousand hands, and maybe be ready for next year's WSOP. Maybe. get this widget Please visit Pokernews site for more poker news, poker strategy articles or poker rules.

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