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.

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Poker Pilgrims

Welcome to Our Pilgrimage

Welcome to Poker Pilgrims! I am Heather and I have built this site with my husband Paul in order to share our thoughts, experiences, and research as we work toward a grand adventure in poker travel. If you have ever dreamed of a future in which you travel the country, this site is for you.

Paul and I are both avid poker players and travelers. It has long been our dream to travel the country for a year, playing poker along the way. As our youngest children approach college, we can see this dream within reach and are now getting serious about planning for our journey. Our target date is September 2022. It feels so close, yet so very far into the future. In the meantime, we take as many mini-pilgrimages as we can. So far we have visited South Florida, Las Vegas (we visit the WSOP every year), and Montreal. We have also thoroughly explored the poker landscape in our own region of New England.

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