Winning Player

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I write about poker too much and I specifically write about my own poker play far too often.  The biggest question I face is one of credibility.  People always want to know if I am a winning player.  Funny how that is the yard stick by which we are measured.

I am a winning player.  I do not win as much money as many of the top players and I do not play as much poker as I would like.  I once played poker almost every waking hour and I played for over 400 days straight without a break.  I was winning and I was winning regularly.  I was able to support myself and travel all up and down the west coast playing poker.

Most people have a hard time buying into the poker lifestyle and the simple fact that a few of the players out there are winning players.  I guess all poker players by their very nature are liars and when they state that they are winning players it has to be taken with a grain of salt.  The only way to really know how well you are doing financially is to keep detailed records of your poker and probably just as detailed records of your finances.  I kept detailed records of my poker and was a bit sloppy with my finances so it is rather depressing to g0o back over the records and see how much money ran through my hands and how little of it actually made it into my bank.

When I got married I had actually stopped playing while I was dating my wife.  I had started working a regular job and that was what made my wife happy.  I guess there is something to be said for being home for dinner every night.  I did not play for about a year and when I did start playing again it was mostly social at home games.  Trust me home games barely feel like poker. I have a very good day job that provides a great living for my family.  I really do not need to play poker to grind out a living.

A few years into my regular working life, one of my co-workers asked me to enter into a staking arrangement with him.  I talked it over with my wife and decided to play one or two nights a week after work while she was teaching a night class.  I would go play about five hours and head home to be there when she got home.  I had no risk in the arrangement we made.  I still played primarily to be social and was not playing as serious and focused as I once had.  Of course I played a fairly small game that looked pretty soft and I was able to beat it consistently. We each made thousands of dollars and were pretty happy with the arrangement.  At the end of the semester, my wife did not teach another night class and my availability to play went away.

When asked what it takes to be a winning player, I have a simple answer,  I believe the key thing that is required is to play against people that you can easily beat.  Rather than jump into the  biggest game, I often just get into a smaller game against very weak players.

If you want to be a winning player keep good records and play against weak players.

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