Poker Ramblings of cmitch

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This post is inspired by the following:

DoubleAs recent thoughts about quitting poker for other hobbies/interests
Wes's recent 100k milestone
An article by seal on

Why do you play poker?

Sounds like an easy question. I can't answer it for anyone else, but I know the reasons why I play poker - in no particular order.

1. I love playing the game
2. I enjoy the challenges associated with always trying to improve.
3. The thinking that is involved in every aspect of poker - your table image, your opponents playing style, the overall feel of the table, etc.
4. Challenging myself.
5. Interacting with others that also love the game though blogs, forums, home games, etc.
6. Making extra income that provides a better quality of life for me and my family.

These are the reasons I play poker and why I am continually motivated to play poker. I'm sure everyone out there has their own reasons.

Sometimes I am distracted from one of my main reasons for playing #6 - making money. I think setting goals helps me to stay motivated/focused on what I am trying to acheive. We are saving for an addition to our house. I should be focusing on playing more cash games and hitting a certain number of hands played/month (money won is in direct proportion to the number of hands played in cash games). I have a lot higher hourly rate when playing cash games than I do while playing tourneys, but for some reason I feel the need to play the tourneys. I think it goes back to #4 - Challenging myself. Sometimes the challenge isn't there in the cash games. The play can be almost automatic/robotic at times. The tourneys provide the real challenge and exhiliration when you win. There is a lot more satisfaction in winning $3k in a tourney than winning a $3k pot in a cash game because something tangible was accomplished.

(Enough ramblings)

I have a set a goal of 20k hands this month and it helps to motivate me to play cash games. I will still be playing tourneys, but I am not going to be rushing to the computer to make it to that 8PM, 9PM, etc. start time. I will play tourneys for a change of pace from the cash games and to challenge myself to continually improve my tourney play, but my poker isn't going to revolve around them.

(I got off on a tangent a little with this post)

Basically, what I am trying to say is figure out why you are playing (fun, challenge, social spects) and what you are trying to acheive (just enjoying yourself, make money, work up to the next level, win a trip to WPT/WSOP). Set a goal for yourself (if that is what motivates you to stay focused) and try to acheive it.

Most important - Have Fun!!

5 responses to "Staying Focused - What motivates you?"

  1. Interesting, sir. I've seen the question posed before, but I'm finally coming to realize the real combo of factors that makes me love poker.

    I've always loved videogames, but after college, it wasn't the same. There wasn't 3-6 other guys hanging out while we all played, and the games felt a little meaningless and anti-social. Still, I played because I liked the challenge and that feeling when you beat a level or game.

    Enter poker. It's a game. It's challenging. It's social. But probably most importantly, the points are money. Real live money! So, even if I was playing a videogame, I didn't just get that happy feeling about beating a board. Instead, I'd get a couple of bucks that I could really spend. Finally, a game had some real world benefit.

    And that is why I heart poker.


  2. tournament poker is what i enjoy the most. the dynamics of tournament play is a real challenge to me. especially, in the late stages of a tournament. as you mentioned, i get more excited about wading through a large field to make a nice tournament cash.

    but, i am getting back into cash games to supplement my bankroll.

    GL with your goals Mitch.


  3. I think it's good to have a bit or variation.

    Cash games are good to build bankroll but it's good to play tournaments as well. My game sufferes if i play cash all the time so i enjoy playing the tournaments.

    I have a question though (bit daft) How do you track the amount of hands you play a month?


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