Become a better poker player

Prop Tales

By Bill Patty

In 2018 I became a better poker player. Do you remember that line in Rounders​ when Mike talks about being a grinder and he warns that, if you are too careful, “your whole life can become a f***king grind”? You can get depressed, enjoy poker less, and become a negative thinker. I didn’t want to progress into that person. So, I fixed it!

When I was a long-distance runner, putting in 40 to 45 miles per week, I had a rule. During a long run I would think about a problem and either solve it, or let it go. I applied this to my poker thinking.

The first thing I did was change where I worked. Until a little over a year ago, I had spent five years propping in what had become a difficult environment. I felt the props were disrespected and decisions were made without regard to how it affected us. Does starting a game without any live players sound right to you?

Next, I looked at my poker game. Even though I have been a consistent winner, my game had become too predictable. I used that to my advantage often, but I needed to get back to playing good poker, not just tight poker.

I started playing more hands in position, became a bit more aggressive, and started having fun again. In short, I started playing to win again, not to prevent losses. My thoughts are of what can go right!

Lastly, but possibly most importantly, I changed the way I think in my personal life. I started seeing someone who is a positive, generous, and wonderful person. Grace has allowed me to worry less and dream bigger. I have a more positive outlook of the future. If I can stay away from my past mistakes, I look forward to an even better 2019. You too?

No matter what your ability level, you can be a better poker player. Do poker players really want to get better? That is a whole other column!

People and Places

My recent trip to Las Vegas reminded me how much I love playing poker at ​The Orleans​. The quality of the staff and the game options make it a must play in Vegas. I would also like to acknowledge the poker rooms in Reno still doing a great job. Carla, a dealer at the ​Peppermill​, deserves extra acknowledgment for doing a consistently outstanding job. Finally, thank you to the staff at ​Club One​ ​Casino​ in Fresno. I feel lucky to work with these people.

Let’s all be better in 2019.

Until next time, enjoy your game and call me when I bet the river!