Online At The Poker Table
Card games were played a lot in my family. My early memories began after World War II and and are of watching at family get-togethers as adults would gather for beer and poker. I entered my teenage years and was included in "non-gambling" games. .Many hours were spent playing 500 - a four handed game requiring partners. Smatterings of Euchre and Canasta entered in. In my young adult years, Bridge became the game we played.
Card playing for fun was smiled upon. Card playing for money was frowned upon.
In the mid 1960's I discovered Las Vegas. Table games were daunting and I was indoctrinated via slot machines. I have no memories of early slot machine successes so I undoubtedly lost my budget and was awed by the meals, the lights, and the shows.
I was attracted by the game of blackjack and finally overcame the initial fear of the table and dealer. I proceeded to lose my budget in a new way during an annual trip to Las Vegas. Always having been a prolific reader I tried to study the game of blackjack and through reading and practice, I became reasonably proficient.
I entered a period where I had skill and confidence but no bankroll. I could pay for round trip airfare to Las Vegas, pay for a nice hotel room, pay for really nice meals, and pay for shows that we enjoyed. I would play a lot of winning blackjack but my bankroll was small. I would win small and normally would end the trip with gambling in the plus column and the overall cost of the trip in a slightly negative position.
I dabbled at the poker tables for fun. The first time I played was in a seven card stud game at the Dunes Hotel (obviously a long time ago). Having no idea what was going on other than the ranking of the hands and the mechanics of the game I promptly ran over the table and left glowing that I'd found a new game.
Even though I was thoroughly enjoying the poker games I found in Las Vegas, I still couldn't figure out a way to overcome the expense and house rake. While I'd be profitable at the table, the expense would normally overtake the profit and make the few days in Las Vegas a moderately priced vacation.
In the mid 1990's, we had to make a move from central Florida where we'd lived for several years. The decision was made to move to Reno giving us a somewhat smaller town that offered climate other than the desert and scenery that was so outstanding that even a sightseeing trip to that part of the state was fun. Of course, the poker games without the expense of travel entered into the decision also.
After getting buying a house and getting settled in Reno I looked around and found that dependent upon my mood, I enjoyed two poker rooms the most. I spent most of my time at the Grand (which has now gone through several name changes) and filled in by going to Boomtown. The two rooms were about as different as one could get. Boomstown was located out in the country near the California line and normally had only one game. The Grand was close by and it could be expected that there'd be multiple games most of the time.
During that period of time I played 7 card stud exclusively. Hold 'Em was just coming into popularity and there'd always be a game at the Grand but seldom was there one at Boomtown.
In about 2000 I realized that online poker was growing in popularity and in looking around at the websites I could see that Hold 'Em was the popular game and that stud was losing its lustre. I read a lot and started played the low limit stud games that I could find at these casinos. Because the game was a little scarce I had to branch out to the other card rooms in town and started going to Cal-Neva, the Peppermill, and the Atlantis.
I started playing on the internet but until about 2005, the computer was secondary. In 2006 we moved from Reno to central Michigan and although there was a game at the Soaring Eagle, I didn't care for the rake or the dealers so I began playing almost exclusively online.
I have gradually moved to low buy-in no-limit hold'em tournaments. The poker activity without other real players at the table took a lot of adjustment. No longer were there personal attributes that I could use to figure out what to do. I had to almost exclusively play the cards I was dealt rather than play against the players at the table.
The fatigue of of passing years began to play a bigger role. I could remain alert for a 2 hour tournament but 3 or more hours saw me making mistakes.
As time passed I figured out what cards I should be playing and what cards were probably at least second best. I also saw that without player interaction my age started to creep in and I lost concentration.
At times I would realize that the hand I'd just played was one that I knew better than to play. Sometimes those misplayed hands were losers, sometimes they were winners. Since the losers outnumbered the winners, I gradually quit with those hands. Sometimes, however, I still slip.
I did realize that whether it be age, or luck, or just plain lack of skill, I wasn't capable of showing major profit at the game. I can stay ahead and manage to have the web site send me a few dollars once in a while but I am unable to show significant profits.
I play the online game because I enjoy the activity.