It’s an honor and great privilege for me to start writing for Card Player. Playing poker is something I have done for as long as I can remember, and it is a great passion of mine. My main focus since graduating from high school in 1991 has been betting on sports professionally. Although sports and poker in many ways are different, I think I have learned some useful things on the sportsbetting side of the fence that could be successfully translated to poker.
Let me ask you this: Do you think poker players’ results are decided mainly at the poker tables?
You might reply, where else? I think what you do away from the poker table preparing yourself for combat plays a much bigger role in poker than people might generally think. In sports betting, doing your homework is everything, since you have no chance of influencing the game itself. In poker, you most certainly can, but doing your homework most definitely elevates your game. Let’s say that on a given Saturday, you decide to bet seven college football games. If you win, giving yourself too much credit is unwise, because like it or not, it has nothing to do with your genius picks. It is purely random — luck is the most important factor. However, if you do this every Saturday of the year, profound research and analysis will have the biggest impact on your results. I am convinced that the same applies to poker. You cannot be a long-term success without working hard away from the table. Talent can only get you to a certain level.
Poker on TV has helped me enormously. Before entering and winning the World Poker Tour Championship at Bellagio last April, I watched some 80 hours of poker on VHS …