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12/11/2007 No. 50
he Guardian G2 Poker Column
Victoria Coren
Monday Nov 12, 2007

Here 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, 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 cashpoint.

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, 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.
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