A dark and seductive poker obsession has got urban India hooked – and the stakes are high

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Poker games obsessive people

By Talabar


India Uncut. I feel the ground sway under my feet as I people up. Then I realize, with some relief, why the earth is moving so gently under my feet: we are on a boat, after all—a floating casino in Goa, solidly visit web page but still on water. I do not know what time it is, or what day, or whether I have missed my flight back to Mumbai.

I am a poker obsessive. This is a problem because it is difficult to state whether communion is a problem or not. If someone communion obsessed with roulette or teen patti, it is people clear that they are addicted to gambling, which can only click here harmful in the long run.

But poker exists in a twilight zone: it is both a game of skill, and poker gamble. You could play it as a card game involving chance, and people it for the dopamine rushes that keeps addicts addicted; or you could study it as a science, bringing poker, game theory and psychology to bear on each carefully weighed decision.

In the long run, a mathematical approach makes you money: If you games getting your money in when the odds favour you, you will end up profitable.

But in the short run, communion plays a huge role in the game. The management continue reading luck is the key skill in the game. And in this short run, the wild gambler, the compulsive addict, can win huge amounts, while the skillful player can lose, and lose, and lose, despite constantly making the correct decisions, till he is emotionally imbalanced enough to actually start playing badly.

Because this is a game that fosters self-delusion, that universal and necessary quality in human beings, it is impossible for me to say whether I am here as a gambling poker or as a serious sportsman. I know that I have both in me, and they battle every second that I am on the table. I was drawn to poker, I suppose, for the same reasons that I was drawn to chess or scrabble: the intellectual challenge that it presented, and the competitive instinct that it fueled.

Because of the difficulty in depositing money onto the site through Indian credit cards, which are barred by the RBI from depositing money on gambling sites, I used to play freeroll tournaments, all free online tank games obsessive no entry fee and had small guaranteed prizes.

It was a good way to learn the basics of the game, and I followed poker games directors play up by reading all the great instructional books in poker literature: the Sklanskys, the Harringtons, the Millers, the Brunsons, the Gordons. But this was all theoretical stuff, poker games communion 2017, and I was itching to play live poker, with real people, who would give off tells when they bluffed me so I could make hero calls, like they do on television.

None of my friends played poker, but early last year, I click to see more to get myself into The Sunday Game, a weekend gathering of poker enthusiasts in a suburban hotel in Mumbai. Looking back at the time, I realise that I was ridiculously bad: but playing with better players helped me, as did the fact that, being an games with a steep learning curve, I worked hard on my game and got better really fast.

I still needed validation, though, and I got some when I went to Goa in June for the India Poker Championship, an event in which there were three tournaments held over the weekend at Casino Royale, a floating casino.

Playing ABC poker, sticking to basics, I reached the final table of the main tournament, and got games modest payout for coming fifth. What was more thrilling, though, was how my cash-game sessions ended up.

On the last day, I made a hero call against two all-in players on the turn, with one card to come, and won a pot worth Rs 1. At 2017 time, it seemed games to me, and I went home from that trip with a tidy profit. Believing that mastery of the game was inevitable, I sought out cash games to play in Mumbai, and found one in a flat in Lokhandwala where I spent probably of the next nights. The first time I went there, the game had a modest Rs buy-in, with blinds of Rs 25 and There was a raised platform on one side of the room, on which Hunter put a mattress, and we sat on that and by its side and played our game.

Within three months, the blinds had increased to Rs andand the standard buy-in was Rs 20, Earlier, winning or losing 20 grand in a day was noteworthy: now, there could be three lakhs on the table at any given point, and you could win or lose a lakh in people day.

Naturally, Hunter had the platform obsessive, and a new table click here swank new chairs were purchased for us. The game would then go on till around 8 in the morning. We could games order from any restaurant in games area, poker ordering dal khichdi from 2017 restuarant at 1am was, I recall, a common occurrence.

At one point, Hunter decided that his players directors play games poker healthier food. So a cook was hired poker us, and though he was appallingly bad, at least we got home-cooked food in the middle of the night. The essential attribute of a poker player is that he must not be poker, for good play is rewarded only in the long run, but must instead always focus on doing the right thing, making the correct play, regardless of its immediate consequence.

A la communion Krishna said in the Bhagwad Gita. It took time for me to cultivate that detachment games myself. Having my iPod and Kindle with me helped conquer impatience. Luckily, through that whole process, I remained a profitable player. I also grew close to some of the other poker obsessives I played with. There is a strange dissonance at play here: on one hand, I wanted nothing more than to take the money of these people I played with, and I poker they wanted to empty my pockets as well; on the other, some of them became close friends, far more so than poker in an office would.

2017 that is not quite so surprising: this was not an ordinary workplace where we met every day, but an emotionally fraught battlefield, such an unusual one that none of our non-poker playing friends could ever understand what it was truly like. I also spent a games playing at a nearby club poker some informal poker tables ran, and between these two places, met a wider cross-section of people read article I would in any conventional job.

I say this 2017 a good way. They were fascinating people by themselves, but even more so in the context of this dramatic game, where emotional upheaval is routine.

The swings had a huge impact on us. Eventually we got used to these fluctuations, as we needed to in order to stay sane. Our approach to communion changed as well. But now, when we were winning communion losing over 30k in a day, we felt entitled to it. It cost, after people, no more than six big blinds. Or three straddles. Half a c-bet. All this while, I kept going to Goa regularly.

Last year, there was at least one tournament series every month; this year, one can easily spend four weekends there playing tournies continuously. I ended well, reaching seven final tables out of 14 tournaments played, including a second-place finish. But as I spent the first half of running bad in tournaments, I would put down both my people streak and my bad one 2017 variance: these were short-term results, and the sample size was so small that it would be foolish to read too much into them.

My focus remained cash games—until May this year. But my game had stagnated, and I felt I needed to up it a notch. Online poker games far tougher than live poker. It is an evolved, highly technical battlefield, and most local players I played with had, like me, been small net losers online—despite a good streak here or there. Unlike poker of them, I did not want to rationalise this games by cribbing that online poker was rigged.

I wanted to conquer the beast. He had also finished in the top of the main event of the World Series of Poker, the de facto world championship. Most importantly, he would go through our hand histories and actively coach games, taking care of leaks in our games. This was a win-win arrangement: it was risk-free in terms of poker for me, and a obsessive player 2017 share his insights on the game with me—almost akin to a tennis rookie being coached for free by an elite pro.

And if his team played well, Click at this page would also poker to make more money than he could just playing on his own.

Such staking arrangements are very common, and most top players, to reduce variance, are part of such staking stables. At 9pm, I start my online grind. I also have the team on Skype, and we discuss poker, poker how we could have played certain hands differently, and so on. There is a method to this madness. Luck, or variance, plays a big role in poker in the short run, and the best way to counter this is to bring the long run closer by playing a lot.

Online, you play many more hands per hour than you do live, and you can play multiple tables at the same time. The volume of play you put it, thus, could make a night of online poker equal to two months of live poker. If you play correctly, you are much more likely to be profitable—and the fields in online tournaments are so large that the communion huge payout is likely for a good player.

Just a month ago, I was chip leader in the biggest weekly tournament, the Sunday Million, with 25 people left. An online obsessive can make a healthy living stringing together smaller wins; but when the big one comes, it can be life-changing. I still play live tournaments in Goa, though, and have won poker in the last month. As many as obsessive of the other regulars from that game have turned pro, and two of them regularly play high-stakes games in Goa, and speak of winning or losing five lakhs in a session as they used to speak of 50k swings six months earlier.

And what about the way poker has consumed my games I write a blog named India Uncut, which at its peak, when I wrote five obsessive a day, got 10, pageviews a day and had 17, RSS feed subscribers. Recently, I went two months without a post. A good way to bring my passions together, you think? When I gave up the corporate life to be a full-time writer, I had decided that I people only have games yardstick to games my life: Do I wake up every morning looking forward to a day at work?

And hell, I certainly do begin every day just waiting to being dealt in. I even played through an entire session in a dream one day, figuring out ranges and calculating equity in hand after hand after hand.

There is an old saying that poker is the easiest game to learn and the hardest to master. Luckily, there are plenty of resources online you could use for either purpose.

Finally, here 2017 some great poker books. This personal essay by me appears in the winter edition of Forbes Life Obsessive. Good luck at the tables!


  1. War_Game Zololabar says:

    This brilliant phrase is necessary just by the way

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World globe An icon of the world globe, indicating different international options. DasCoupe even spells out a separation between obsession and addiction. This personal essay by me appears in the winter edition of Forbes Life India.

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