I've been meaning to post on the oddity that is the core of this blogging community...well, not that they're an oddity, but how they've seemed to attained almost celebrity status, all aided by the first WPBT. It's all a little fucked up, don't you think? I'm not sure that I can say much more than has already been said the past few days, though. I will, however, try to explain why I'm here.
It's weird--I shouldn't care about the community as much as I do. But I honestly do. Whether I truly do fit into a niche here or not, I guess I'm just starting to find that out. The truth is that there are people involved here that have helped me more than they probably even realize. Here, let me try to come at this from a different angle. I'm not sure it'll work, but I'm going to plug through, regardless.
When I first decided to try my keyboard at a poker blog about 8 months ago, I asked Iggy to pimp me, and I'm thankful that he obliged. He didn't know me from any other wazoo out there, but he still mentioned my stupid blog that had yet to find any semblence of direction. And that's the thing that amazes me--when I first started writing here, I had no idea what to write about. That's easy, right? I started it because I love poker, so naturally I'm going to write about poker, right?. Uh, yeah, not so fucking easy for me.
I found it impossible to write anything even close to interesting. If I can't even read it, why should anyone else? I knew going in that I wasn't writing this to have no readers-I like people reading what's on my mind, or as is more the case, lack thereof. Who doesn't? I found it tough, though, to write anything I'd be happy reading. If I see a hand history, I skip it. And for the most part, I can't read about people's home games. There are people that can write about them and they do make it an interesting read. Sadly, my home games are just not that interesting. So, I don't write about those topics. That severely limited blog content, that's for sure.
Around mid-October, I was having trouble with figuring out what I really want to become of the rest of my life. Maybe it was the rapidly approaching big three-oh, I'm not sure, but I started developing a skewed sense of self worth. It could've been bad mayonnaise or a hangover that made me all wonky, but I was growing increasingly unsatisfied with being a cube slave and needed to find a different direction. Or at the very least, a diversion to make me feel like I was doing something with my life.
I don't think I'm a moron, but I also don't I feel I have a defined set of skills that are all that marketable. Well, that are marketable and I'd be happy doing. I don't need to sleep on a pile of money with many beautiful women in order to be happy, but I'd rather not just feel like I'm wasting oxygen. The one thing I found that makes me happy, is writing. The lack of background hurts me, though, so I tried to find out what I'd really need.
Outlook Express sat open for a good three hours before I hit send, unsure if seeking Pauly's wisdom was the right thing to do. The email was not that much different than the one he posted about the kid asking for a poker mentor. I wasn't looking for a mentor, really I wasn't, just some direction in my writing, and any wisdom he could impart on me. Looking back, there was the cynic in me that thought I'd get an impersonal reply telling me to not quit my day job because I was a terrible writer. He didn't know me from any other shitstain out there, and didn't owe me a damn thing.
A week later, at a point where I'd almost forgotten about the email, he sent a reply. Five, in fact-each one detailing and bulleting responses to something I said in my original question. He didn't bullshit with me, and didn't sugar-coat over things by making the choice of writing sound all happy-pretty.
Damn, I hadn't intended this entry to be a dick-suck of Pauly, or anything like that, so I'll try to be get to the point.
I still have those 5 emails in my inbox, and look back at them from time-to-time. Even though the things he told me aren't exactly revolutionary(no offense), the advice is damn sound, and has served me well.
Those examples are the exact reason that I want to be in with the "cool group" here. Not because I want any part of the quasi-celebrity that comes along with some of the more prolific members, but because there's an underlying support group, a safety net, inherent here. Whether I'm looking for poker advice, or even relationship help, there's bound to be someone there.
I've struggled over the past months with where I fit in; what my niche is. Up until a month ago, I didn't think I belonged. I didn't add a damn thing, and anything that I did write was painfully subpar, to me at least. No, really, go back and read some of the things I wrote 6 months ago. Shitty with a capital shit. Only recently have I felt like a minute part of my squeaky writing voice is starting to emerge, and it feels good. Like I'm not just wasting oxygen. Like I've just taken the first pull from a bottle of Pacifico.
Fuck, man, it tastes great.
So. Huh. Did I just find my reasons behind for wanting to "fit in"? The only way I feel like I can accomplish that is by creating an interesting read. I'm open to suggestions.
Fuck it, I have some "real" poker content to get to.
Taking the advice of Jason, I transferred money from my Party account, and into Doyle's Room. Everything he said about it is true--if there's a draw, regardless of how high the odds against it are, there's someone that's going to play his whole stack trying to hit it. The players are horrid, and I could make a valid argument that the players are worse than at Party. Too bad there aren't more of them.
Now that I think about it, that's one of the things I do like about it. At Party, there are so many people, that it's impossible to get a read on more than a handful of people without using PokerTracker and some other program like Playerview or Gametime+. Granted, those will make you money, but making money that way, for me at least, isn't particularly all that fun. Relying on that crutch is not going to make me a better player, either. That's boring poker, if you ask me. The only reason to be using those tools is to make money, which, like I said, is fine, but what good does it do me if I'm not really learning the game?
At Doyle's, though, I don't get to use all those peripherals to help make a tough decision, and it actually forces me to think for a change. I don't get the liberty to use those tools in a home game, and at times, I tend to rely on them too much playing at Party, but when it comes time to make a tough decision, I need to learn to trust my own read sometimes, or the betting pattern that's been used. At the limits I play at Doyle's, I tend to run into the same morons repeatedly; morons that don't learn from they're mistakes; morons that don't know how to vary the way they play certain hands. I know, I know, that's the definition of a fish, but you'd be surprised how much easier it gets to put someone on a hand when you've played with them for a week straight.
You don't have that privelege at the bigger sites. Sure, you can always tag and follow a fish, but that also doesn't help me become a better player. If I can consistently beat only the worst players, where do I stand? That's equivalent to the Super Bowl champion defeating nothing but Pop Warner teams to get the Vince Lombardi trophy. Or beating the Vikings 20 weeks in a row. It doesn't give me any indication of where my skill level sits.
I'd say that, at Doyle's, I'm way above skill level of the average player, and it's not even close.