Poker Technology

Why are we here, anyway?

Saw this on Cardplayer’s website this morning:

This article raises the question of why we who ordinarily play on the Internet would ever want to play live in a casino. Of course I enjoy the soft competition and the money-making opportunity that casino action represents. But my main reason for playing in a casino is more often to practice the social and psychological aspects of the game. More often than not, at the end of a live session my thoughts focus on my interactions with other players at the table, not the number of hands I was able to play in an hour (unless it was frightfully low, which in the small limits it usually isn’t). I like chatting it up. I like shuffling chips. I even like tipping good dealers (when they push me a nice pot, of course). I like to feel real cards in my hands and enjoy sweating that second hole card (after the first one is an ace!).

How can I enjoy these aspects of the game if I am sitting in front of a computer screen?

Playing poker in a casino is a ritual I enjoy like others might enjoy a Renaissance festival: sure, getting in a horse-drawn carriage and driving around the block is fun once a year, but most days I just want to hail a cab and get to my destination as quickly and odorlessly as possible. (Maybe a cab is a bad example for this.)

Playing poker in a casino reminds me of all the things I enjoy about the game other than the pure mental exercise I perform when playing online. Logistics make online poker superior to casino play on most days in my life, but there must be a reason that the view of Foxwoods rising out of the trees, or the Vegas strip shimmering in the desert heat gets my heart pounding every time. If I have the chance to play efficiently run, profitable poker online, why am I so psyched about my upcoming trip to Atlantic City? It’s not because of the boardwalk, let me tell you.

It is my sincere hope that these automated poker tables never become a mainstream casino standard. If I want to play poker on a machine, I’ll stay home in my pajamas. Playing in a casino is a special occasion for me, and I want to enjoy it to the fullest – dirty chips and misdeals included.

3 replies on “Why are we here, anyway?”

I play in the casino because I am a total tiltdonkey online. I froth at the mouth, my eyes screw up, and I belch cash. I’d like to watch Chris or Matt sometime, just to get a feel for their rhythm.

lol. In casinos, since you’re dealt fewer* hands per hour, its often tempting to play more of them. You’re bored and you feel like you should be getting involved more often because online, the time interval between playable hands is shorter.

Maybe try keeping track of how many hands you’re playing on a sheet of paper (or the napkin under your bottle of water). If you don’t want to do that in front of the rest of the class, you could keep that paper in your lap or just try to remember how many you’ve play since the new dealer sat down (they change every half hour).

I found that playing too many hands was my biggest leak when playing live for the first time. I don’t think I altered my playing style very much, though. Why do you think you turn into a “tiltdonkey”?

The speed online gets to me. I don’t have enough time to recover from bad beats or bad reads and I end up blowing more. For a while, I had the “Why is that chump getting all the chips, he doesn’t deserve them, I do” syndrome. It’s a discipline issue.

I’m actually thinking about playing online again. I might try and do the limit challenge.

Good luck in AC. If my wife didn’t mind poker (she hates it, I’m working on it), I’d be down there every weekend. If you play at the Borgata, call the brush an hour or two beforehand because the list gets pretty long pretty quickly. I waited an hour for 6/12 one random Tuesday at 11a.

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