Rant – Online Poker Shouldn’t Change to Help Losing Players

When I pick up my son’s game controller for his Xbox I never have a smile on my face.

He always wants to play Call of Duty which means I'm destined to spend the next 30 minutes getting ripped apart by the clip he has just unloaded on my arse.

He is better than me because he wants to be. He's put in the work and he beats me most of the time. That's why I don't play much.

The game of poker is even worse because the losses affect you financially as well as mentally, and yet the premise remains the same. Get beaten up long enough and you are surely going to quit.

So is the answer to make the games easier on losing players in an attempt to keep them in the game longer?

Not on your life son.

Hard Work Pays Off

If I want to become a better poker player, or a better Call of Duty player, the buck stops with me.

I am in control of my own destiny and I take 100% responsibility for my successes and failures. Phil Galfond believes that there is some inherent mental characteristic that lies in the grey matter of the world’s top poker players. I don’t share this view.

Phil Galfond
Galfond believes some people have inherent poker skills but the truth is, it's mostly just hard work.

I believe that anybody can become a top poker player. I’m not saying it’s easy, or that it'll always end in success. But I believe it is possible.

All you need is the dedication, the perseverance, the right attitude, plenty of time and a boatload of cash. When Galfond has his first child it won't come equipped with a poker gene, I can assure you.

There are two reasons that I no longer play online cash games. I've already covered the first reason, namely my lack of ability and desire.

The second is because of bots. Dusk Till Dawn owner Rob Yong quite rightly points out in his recent blog post that software robots programmed to play optimal poker are extremely off-putting for recreational players. I am in total agreement with him on this one.

HUDs and Multi-Tabling an Important Part of Online Poker

But there's a lot Yong has written in his blog about how online poker could be improved with which I do not agree.

I don’t believe we should be trying to make life easier for recreational players.

Rob Yong
Rob Yong is right about some things, wrong about others.

They have to earn their stripes just like everyone else. Why ban a HUD when the same system is available to be used by everyone?

If you want to play a lot of online poker, and choose not to use a HUD, then don’t come to me looking for a hanky when you’re being bled dry.

Not to mention how devastating the loss of HUDs would be to thousands of online poker pros.

Yong suggests abolishing multi-tabling, but I want my opponent to be playing 24 tables while I concentrate on my two.

He also suggests the removal of short-handed tables, and yet this is surely a case of supply and demand. If you're doing your bollocks in a six-max cash game then it’s your own stupid fault if you continue to play.

Most online poker sites already have full ring cash games, so the removal of the short hand tables achieves nothing except angering those that want to play.

Where Yong is shining, however, is the creation of the Online Club Cash Games.

It’s a wonderful idea, and a great hiding place for those that are fed up of getting their arses kicked around the playground. Just don’t fool yourself into thinking it will be a level playing field.

That’s the thing about competitive games: There are winners and there are losers, and it’s the ones that work harder and smarter that will dominate the games irrespective of the changes made.

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