Meet the Poker Pilgrims on Cardplayer Lifestyle

The wonderful Robbie Strazynski of CardplayerLifestyle.com published an interview with us this week on his blog. Robbie founded Cardplayer Lifestyle in 2009. The site has since earned a reputation in the industry and among fans for being a top poker entertainment site. The site regularly posts interviews with poker personalities, poker strategy articles, poker op-eds, and engaging poker lifestyle pieces.

In the interview, Robbie asked us about our history playing poker, our favorite card rooms, and our plans for our trip. We really enjoyed interacting with Robbie and are thankful to him for exploring our site and sharing his interview.

Head on over to Cardplayer Lifestyle to read the interview in full!

 

Cardplayer Lifestyle

 

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The Frugal Poker Player Reduces Costs

The Frugal Poker Player: 6 Tricks to Reduce Costs while Playing Poker

Poker is a lot of fun (thus our grand plan to spend a year traveling the country playing poker). Poker can also be very expensive. Most players understand the importance of paying attention to your poker budget or bankroll to ensure that they are playing in games they can afford. However, many players overlook the importance of accounting for all of the other spending that goes along with playing poker. In order to maximize your poker opportunities, you need to reduce costs associated with playing, and travelling to play, poker. This is an area that you can not ignore. If you play your way to break even (or better) poker and do not account for these costs, you will quickly find yourself in the red.

So how do you reduce costs when playing poker? Here are 6 tricks to help you out:

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Headphones at the Poker Table

Throwdown Thursday: Headphones at the Poker Table

Headphones have become ubiquitous in our culture. Take a subway, and half the riders are plugged in. Walk down a city street, and cords are flapping in the breeze. Even attend a high school music performance, and you’ll see younger sibs with headphones firmly implanted in ears. (Although that final choice may reveal precocious wisdom). Headphone use at the poker table has become part of an archetype of a specific kind of player. We’ll label this breed “poker headphones”. Most, but not all poker headphones players are under 30 and wear them throughout their sessions along with sunglasses and a hoodie or ballcap.

Can these players not be alone with their thoughts? Must they desperately block out the comments of other players in order to think? Do poker headphones help or hurt focus? Debates have raged about the etiquette of headphones at the poker table and whether their use is beneficial. Norman Chad, the great poker commentator and wit, comes down firmly against poker headphones, throwing them into the same category as hoodies and sunglasses. However, many top pros like Phil Hellmuth and Phil Ivey, frequently wear headphones at the poker table.

In today’s Throwdown, we take on the poker headphones phenomenon. We have played tournaments both with and without headphones. Which is better?

Paul: I generally like poker players, but sometimes hate what comes out of people’s mouths. Short friendly interchanges allow me to think the best of everyone. Too much exposure to others’ insights makes me want to take up crocheting. Enjoying my poker session is as important to me as winning. Listening to Elvis Costello assures that I will enjoy my day, however the game plays out. Listening to a poker genius telling everyone else how they are misplaying hands assures I won’t.

Heather: Ah, the “I hate humanity” argument. Fair enough. However, I find that I get a lot of information from listening to others at the table. Not only through direct communications, but also from side banter with the dealer and with each other. I lose those insights about other players’ habits and their games if I am tuning out to the music of Hamilton.

 

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Advanced Poker Training is the best poker training site around

The Best Poker Training We Have Found

Disclosure: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. However, we only include affiliate links for products and services that we use and love. For more information, see our Disclosure page.

Today we want to share with you the best poker training site that we have found. This one comes with a double disclaimer.  We are not only affiliates for the site, but also write for their blog and help them develop content as our primary side-hustle. Of course, that’s not a coincidence. We do all of these things for Advanced Poker Training because we love them so much. Their methods have been extremely effective in bringing our games to the next level.

Given that our goal is to spend a year on the road playing poker, we think a lot about how to get better at the game. If we drop 100 tournament buy ins with no return on investment, it could be a very expensive year. So we read, and we watch, and we practice, and we train. When we train, we want to make sure we are taking advantage of the best poker training options available.

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Lessons poker has taught me about life

5 Lessons Poker Has Taught Me About Life

Poker is not an inherently noble pursuit. It does not necessarily offer poignant moments of introspection or life lessons. On the surface, poker is a simple game played with 52 cards. To play it well against good competition requires an array of skills, but you don’t have to be a Field medal mathematician to succeed. When played in a casino or card room, the strong take money from the weak. No one gets Gandhi points for sitting down to a poker game. So what, if any, lessons, can be taken from this odd and seemingly selfish pursuit?

Lesson 1. Patience Pays

Patience is frankly not my strength. I like immediate results and hate waiting in lines. But if you play poker without a good dose of patience you’ll make some very bad decisions. Let’s just say I am a work in progress on this dimension, even at the poker table. However, at least I try to remember when I am in traffic, eighth in line at the one open register at KMart, or waiting to hear back about whether my new health insurance check has cleared that I should not respectively: lay on the horn, say loudly “what’s wrong  with this place,” or threaten a lawsuit. Impatience leads to hasty and generally bad decisions. If things are not going your way, bide your time. Don’t self-destruct, and likely the tide will turn.

Lessons poker has taught me about life

Lesson 2. Don’t Worry About Others’ Behavior

In poker, there are opponents commonly referred to as “calling stations.”  No matter how large a bet you make, they’ll call you down with even the remotest chance of winning the hand. This sounds like a good thing until they get that miracle on the last card dealt and you lose big. Then you feel like flipping over your chair and cursing them, along with anything else in your rage path. Play poker long enough and you realize that other people have the right to make any decisions they want.

The only thing you can do is assess whether you played correctly, no matter the result. This is true in life as well. The only person you have control over (hopefully) is yourself. Let others make their own calls, and adjust as you can without being enraged at them when their decisions impact you. Obviously in some situations of safety and stability there are limits.  But in most things, Doris Day it and que sera, sera.

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Lesson 3. Not Everything is Controllable

Related to the previous point, in poker you can not control the next card that appears. You make the best decision possible with the information at hand. If your decision generally leads to a good result, great, you made the right decision. When it does not, learn to love the variance, bad luck, whatever you want to call it.  Away from the poker table, life’s bad breaks are often more challenging to accept. However, giving up the illusion of complete control is key to staying sane.

Lesson 4. Don’t Play with Money You Don’t Have

To play poker well and for a long time, you need a stake that you can afford to lose. Things can go sideways for an extended period even when you play well. You have to have the funds to absorb those swings. Managing your finances should follow a similar logic. Buying a house out of your price range with poor assumptions about how you can swing it is a recipe for disaster. Building credit card debt to help finance furniture, a car, or vacations will have you swimming upstream forever. Budget, embrace frugality, and plan for emergencies at all times.

Lesson 5: Ethical Grey Areas Abound

Life entails trudging through a moral quagmire. It’s New Year’s eve and a drunk guy is blowing off hundreds of dollars rapidly through epic poor play. Do you thank the heavens for your good fortune, or leave not wanting to take advantage of this out-of-control soul? Profitability in poker requires taking advantage of weaker players. Again, not a noble enterprise. But if you love playing and want to do well, a necessary evil.

Many of us work jobs to support our families that do not necessarily offer great social value. Maybe we’re not helping big tobacco sell cigarettes to kids, but the welfare of the consumer is not a priority for most corporations. However, your job clothes and feeds your kids, allows them to go to college, and keeps your family safe. Living the ideal life of our young fantasies seldom happens. As with poker, sometimes we have to allow for the grey.

 

For the uninitiated, poker may seem an odd and perhaps sketchy pursuit. But the lifestyle allows one to meet a great range of people, and creates some interesting and challenging moments. Lessons can be learned anywhere, and the poker table is no exception.

5 lessons poker has taught me

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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