How many times have you thought that in the past week? Month? Year?
When I first started playing poker, I never thought that. I was the guy on the other end. I was playing Q3 because it was suited. I was calling that gutshot straight draw on a hunch. That was ME.
I had a girly-thingy IM conversation with Heather the other night and I was whining about the fact that I was in a Wednesday night poker slump. She asked me the most important question, "Was I playing poorly?"
You see, when I started playing Pool Table Poker down here is Leezy-anna, I was surrounded by about a half-dozen people who were dreadful players, a few players who were bad and a few who had seen enough World Poker Tour to get by.
Things have changed.
It's really fascinating to see the evolution of their play. It just really sucks that their evolution is costing me money. They're getting better faster than I am. My evolution is reaching a plateau. Their's is climbing exponentially.
It's like learning when you're a child. When you first begin to acquire knowledge it comes very quickly. You are learning everything you'll ever need to know. They can't teach you fast enough. Then you get older... and high school rolls around and you're just hoping to absorb enough to get by. Then college comes... and you're happy to learn they're not really teaching you anything except how to live away from home, and that's not a hard lesson.
While I'm on the metaphor kick, let's say it's kinda like being a sponge. Those guys were dry when we started. I had been sitting out in the rain. They can't get enough water. I've only got so much more room.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying I'm some kind of a pro. I'm far from it. But I also know I'm the best player at the table ever time I sit down with these guys. And yet I've lost the last 6 games. I suppose I could blame the structure (it's a shootout at best), or my luck (I generally get my money in the pot with the best hand), or even variance (ain't she a bitch), but that's not the point.
I've got to play better. There's lots for me to learn. If I spent the time doing it. And soon, I'm going to start doing it. After all, I have a trip to the Caribbean to win in a few weeks!