Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I'm back... Ignorance is bliss


I'm not dead.

I've just been lost.

Lost in my own mind.

I've still been playing poker - but it just doesn't do it for me anymore.

I still play, but I don't like it.

I feel sort of trapped because I can still make about 40x more per hour playing poker than I can doing anything else on the planet. At least for now. I'm making efforts (mostly mentally) to switch my focus from poker to more meaningful things. I mean there isn't an activity on earth that has less social value than playing poker.

I'm basically taking money from people who are dumber than me.

What a noble pursuit.

I'm a pretty pessimistic and negative person by nature. I generally strive for perfection in everything I do, and when I inevitably fail due to the difficulty in obtaining it, it only perpetuates my negativity and pessimism. I often rationalize my pessimism by saying its just a realistic point of view, which is true, but that mindset also stunts your growth as a person and inhibits your experiences. There is something to be said for being in tune and realistic with your limitations, but there is also something to be said for being ignorant to them.

Being ignorant to your limitations tends to lead to great things. You can see it everywhere. We all know a friend who is probably in the lowest 10% of intellect yet constantly gets chicks. Ignorant confidence is a gift. From my perspective I can never be confident because I'm always overly aware of all the realistic negative outcomes. It makes sense that if you are too dumb to think about the outcome, you will just act without fear. I think sports are the absolute example of this. Rarely do you find a super intellectual person dominating a sport. They overthink things which ends up taking too long to make a decision. Dumb people act by instinct. They just act and react. No thought necessary.

Lately I've been playing "no thought poker".

I've played so many hands that I really don't have to "think" about 99% of decisions. The 1% are interesting, but in the grand scheme of things I've started to realize that they are too insignificant to worry about. They aren't worth my time.

Part of the reason I don't have to think about 99% of decisions is because I've moved down to 200nl and started to 16 table. After beating 200NL+ for years I have infinite confidence that I will never lose. While it does stunt my growth as a poker player I'm not overly concerned because I don't consider poker being a huge part of my future. And by 16 tabling I can make equal amounts of cash to 6 tabling 400-600nl, without the extra stress, higher variance and more difficult decisions.

While no thought poker is easy and stress free, it is also extremely boring. Its basically data entry with the difference being no data entry worker makes $150/hour. So I think I can manage to rationalize it that way. Whenever I start to think about how boring or unfulfilling my life is, I think about someone doing the equivalent in intellectual stimulation that I am (data entry, call center, etc) for 10% of the pay, and then slap my self in the face. I can't afford to become jaded. I'm lucky to have found poker and lucky that I'm smart enough to win.

I hadn't updated my blog in about 5 months. In my time off I didn't play nearly as much poker as I should have. In fact, some months I didn't play at all. I just had no drive and was consumed by the meaningless of my life and actions. While these feelings haven't exactly gone away, they are curtailed a bit as I've weighed my alternate opportunities. As sad as it is, Poker will always be a part of my life. I mean, I do enjoy it occasionally, especially live and with friends. It can be a fun, challenging, exciting game but in reality I have automated 99% of it in my mind which sort of sucks the fun out of it. But I do need to continue to take advantage of it because it may not be here forever.

So, since I took a shit load of time off, my bankroll started to run dry and its time for a solid refill. I always want to do some sort of monthly challenge but I can never find the motivation to do it. I've said it before, but here we go again:

"This time will be different"

I've recently discovered a site that tracks cash game data.


For March I want to be the #1 winner on stars 200NL. I really have no idea if I can do this, but at this point I'm going to remain ignorantly confident that I can. I'm not even going to bother figuring out how much I would have to win each day to do it. I'm just going to play a lot every day and see what happens. The thing about pacing yourself is that it leads to discouragement when you fall behind. You set a pace, then if you don't maintain it, you lose confidence, lose drive and quit altogether. Dumb confident people just do things without planning, and yes, sometimes they succeed and sometimes they fail, but they rarely give up. This time I don't want to give up.

I don't know how many people still check this blog (or are still reading this giant post) but I hope that making my results public will drive me to succeed. So I'll be making semi-frequent updates as to my status. I will not give up this time, and frankly I need the cash, so its a two birds with one stone scenario.

I'll be playing on pokerstars with the name "Pushbot1000"

If you are a 200NL player on stars, prepare to be seeing me a lot more.

And to everyone who is struggling with decisions or motivation in life due to lack of confidence, I hope I can inspire some of you that it is possible to achieve with intelligent rationalization of your goals. Ignorant confidence isn't needed.


Blogger Atox said...

Good to hear from you. Will you be able to track your progress through the month? Either way, good luck and keep us posted.

2:43 PM  
Blogger RikkiDee said...

Yea I'll rely on the website to track my progress compared to my competition. I have my suspicions that the site isn't 100% accurate, but that will be the guide.

3:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Been checking this weekly for the last 5 months. Good to see you back. You should consider writing if your still searching for new things, your blog is funny/well writen, seems like a natural progression if you enjoy it that is.

6:28 PM  
Anonymous Henri said...

Hah, I feel pretty much the same way, grinding away at 200nl with great boredom.

5:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Great blog. Write for something or somebody bro. You got some writing skills. Got some idea's, we gotta talk and beer tomrow.


1:31 PM  
Blogger Charmalita said...

I totally agree that you should continue writing SOMETHING, poker related or otherwise. You have a talent for the written word that not everyone has. That is maybe where you will find your confidence. Funny how things find us sometimes when we weren't even looking.

4:28 PM  
Blogger Charmalita said...

why aren't you writing?

10:02 PM  
Blogger sam said...

hey nice one post.....this helped me alot to come out problem.!!
thanks alot.

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9:18 AM  
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