From the Big Screen to the Final Table: Year in Review, Part 2
To help poker players with their games, PokerNews has been using quotes from movies to explain key concepts. Although we featured a number of flicks in the process of helping our readers develop, there are ten quotes that stick out from our series this year that stick out and hopefully these gems will help you elevate your game in 2009. Here is the second part of our From the Big Screen to the Final Table year in review.
6. Gordon Gekko - Wall Street
"The point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed is good. Greed is right, greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit."
Steal as much as you can.
This is the one time you will hear me say that it is all right to steal from your neighbor. This is a crucial concept if you want to be a winning player over the long run. Although you may not make as much in a pot when an opponent sees the hand through, stealing blinds is a great way to pad your stack. However, be careful against more skilled players. A repeated pattern of trying to steal the blinds will backfire because opponents eventually pick up on your patterns. The best way to avoid showing a tell is to make sure to switch things up by not to picking on the same player too many times and by remembering that sooner or later you're prey is going to fight back, so make sure you're not always trying to steal with a bluff
7. Chris Taylor - Platoon
"I think now, looking back, we did not fight the enemy; we fought ourselves."
When you go to war on the felt, make sure you're prepared for the long haul.
One reason winning poker players continue to score titles and big bucks is because they understanding this concept. This means that you have to do things prior to play to take care of yourself so that you have the right headspace before going into the day's action.
Whether this means working out before hitting the felt or going to bed at midnight the day before a tournament, these are things poker players need to do be at their best. Sure, some players can live like rock stars for a while, but in the end, this kind of lifestyle will destroy them and it directly affects their performance at the tables. If you're smart, you'll treat yourself as well as the world's best athletes treat themselves and do the things champions do to get to the top.
8. Soap - Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
"A minute ago this was the safest job in the world. Now it's turning into a bad day in Bosnia."
You can only control your actions, not the situation.
Many people say the universe is a random place and there is no better place to observe this phenomenon than on the felt. Although you can control the action to an extent by playing solid poker, players are subject to the uncontrollable nature of the game every time the cards are dealt. Learning to deal with variance, or luck as some people like to call it, is a big part of the game if you have hopes of making poker your profession. Whether you like it or not, you can only do your best to put yourself in position to win and hope the cards fall in your favor. Learning to "let the chips fall where they may" is a crucial part of the game, especially if you want to keep your sanity.
9. Wooderson - Dazed and Confused
"Man, it's the same bullshit they tried to pull in my day. If it ain't that piece of paper, there's some other choice they're gonna try and make for you. You gotta do what Randall Pink Floyd wants to do man. Let me tell you this, the older you do get, the more rules they're gonna try to get you to follow. You just gotta keep livin' man, L-I-V-I-N."
If it is your dream, then go for it.
Although the odds are not in everyone's favor, today's younger generation of players are capable of becoming winning players thanks to the wealth of poker information available and their ability to see ridiculous numbers of hands. In other words, players learn tactics and skills that used to take years of play to master and because of this, they can adapt to the game better than players of the past. This doesn't mean that every poker player is going to be the next superstar, but there is certainly enough information out there so that players can figure out what it takes to turn a tidy profit. In the end, only you will know if you have what it takes to be a winner, so if you have the skills, have faith that you are doing the right thing.
10. Yoda - Empire Strikes Back
"Do, or do not. There is no 'try.'"
A chips and a chair is all you need.
A number of players have made remarkable comebacks despite facing ridiculous odds (see Borgata Poker Open winner Oliver Busquet who faced a 21-1 chip deferential before winning the event), but you can't give up. Winning poker players have resilience and players need to be able to rebound from a big hit without tilting and throwing their remaining stack away. If Chris Ferguson can come back from almost no chips to win an event, so can you. Just keep your head in the game and pick your spots. Otherwise, you're just wasting time before you hit the rail and you do yourself no justice.