is a strange thing: I've been winning on the internet. I never win on the
internet. You may or may not be familiar with www.sharkscope.com, a handy
little website where you can check the profit and loss of potential online
poker opponents before deciding to risk your money against them. Many of the
names appear with a little cartoon, by way of shorthand. My friend Keith "the
Camel" Hawkins has a revolving diamond star next to his name, to indicate that
he has not lost a pot since Boadicea died. Next to mine, there is currently a
goldfish. And that's after I've won several one-table tournaments in a row.
Before that, I assume they simply put a picture of an exploding
It's been a bit of a riddle to me, because I have been a
profitable cash player for years. But I have not played any live poker in five
weeks, for family reasons, and I've suddenly started winning online.
This is what I have learned. First,
playing online poker as my only outlet for gambling (instead of a little hobby
alongside the main cash action) I have stopped watching TV, picking up emails
and making smalltalk in the chat box at the same time: I have actually been
concentrating. Second, without the much higher-stakes cash action, I've stopped
thinking of $100 one-tables as "just silly money", and taken them seriously.
Third, after so long since I've sat at a cash table with 250 or more big
blinds, I've finally stopped coming into pots with rubbish like AJ, KQ, any
pair, with a plan to get flairy after the flop if need be. There's no room for
flair in the online one-table formula: pass, pass, pass; then raise, raise,
Basically, in the last month, I have learned to be a robot and
it's proving profitable. I am also thinking: I must get out more.