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Thursday, April 27, 2006 

Interesting Table Talk

No stories of vast wealth to share today. I played in a $75 tournament last night locally as planned. However, I made a bonehead play with A9 and found myself up against AQ. Really put this guy on a weak hand and made a play at him when an ace hit the turn. And that was all she wrote.

Interesting conversation at the table though. Several people were in a passionate discussion concerning the benefits of playing poker with an altered state of mind. i.e. drunk, high. One comment that really stuck out in my mind listening to this though was one individuals comment on how his good buddy can be considered a decent player while sober. But when high, he was an amazing player. This brought on a slew of examples of people that play better while inebriated or high. This also brought out several disagreements with the thinking that people may be wild under the influence, but they are not necessarily better.

In my own observations, I have heard several people say they have a heightened sense of awareness when smoking pot which allows them a much more technical approach to poker. I have also come across people that are tight as a drum normally, but get a few stiff drinks in them, and they loosen up tremendously. As a result, they see more flops, win more pots, etc. But my thinking here, at least from personal experience is while various forms of mind altering substances my indeed loosen ones inhibitions, it is my opinion that while the success short term may be worthy, long term, you always give it back. And by no means am I one to offer expert opinion on this matter. I can say that I have played many a poker game with a few drinks in me. But I'm usually not sitting at this game to make any vast amounts of money. If I have a drink while playing, it's usually in a much more relaxed state of poker. The stakes are not high, the people are friendly, and everyone is there just to have a good time. Rarely will I take a sip of alcohol if real money is at stake.

I suppose responsible thinking would dictate never to touch such substances while playing poker. Okay, sounds great. However, I'm only human. Every once in a while, a beer or two can actually help relax ones self allowing that person to stop, smell the roses and play his A game. Certainly not suggesting you go out and drink while playing poker. I will say this: Any action one takes while playing poker should be given the proper amount of thought in consideration of the ramifications. If you get drunk, what's the risk? If you're high, what's the risk if you play with the last $400 in your wallet? Are you an abusive drunk? Emotional? You get the point. In the end, my advice is never give your opponent the upper hand. If drinking or smoking lessens your quality of game, just say no!

And that's my public service announcement for today.
I need a drink.


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