Poker as a puzzle

by ~ October 9th, 2007. Filed under: Philosophy and approach, Poker aggression.

Part of my ongoing work is to establish a relationship between myself and poker that allows me to have fun and to make money without too many negatives such as taking up too much of my time (I have a job, family and other hobbies and interests).

One of the difficulties that I’m still working with is emotional connection, and one of the ideas I want to work with is to view poker as a puzzle rather than a competition. I want to look at situations as something to reason out, make my best guess and just see how it plays out. If I were playing live with regular friends I wouldn’t mind getting excited and agonizing over suckouts because it would all be in fun, but since that almost never applies I get far too anxious and angry when I play.

I don’t really know how to take a Zen approach, or at least, it hasn’t worked much for me so far. I think a better approach may be to see poker as a puzzle, try to figure the most +EV action, and see what happens. People enjoy Sudoku and crossword puzzles, kids like find-a-words and mazes, I want to view poker in a similar perspective.

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