Well continuing on my series on the play of words from the actual Ten Commandments, number two is Thou shall not make idols and I use it literally in the sense of poker.

I have seen too many aspiring poker players idolize a certain big name, Ivey, Dwan, Negreanu, etc etc. It is great to watch them play, learn from them, analyse their play, and read their books or blogs. But it is another thing to idolize them. These guys are great poker players, but they are not gods. Dressing like them, doing chip tricks, talk like them, placing your chips like them doesn’t make you good. Some newbie players take their sweet time making simple decisions because it looked cool on TV. Sure, Durrr needs 2 minutes to think about the leveling on a half-a-million dollar pot, his brain churning inside trying to get every bit of info from his opponent during that time. But come on, $2 to call or not to call preflop with pocket fives, it ain’t cool.

Negreanu is my favourite player. But when he was younger, his bankroll management was *$%@. Sorry Daniel, I love you but it is true. He had only about 3000 in his bankroll but went to play a $2500 buy in tournament where he won and became who he is today. Imagine if he didn’t cash that day, how he would have ended up. But those who idolize him follow in his footsteps of crap shooting with money they don’t have. We should learn his amazing reading skills, his way of playing the players, his hand analysis process, etc.

Some people idolize online phenoms like Isildur who rose to fame and fortune in a short period of time grinding from small stakes to be one of the highest earning, most feared online player. But not many have seen his decline and what I call self-implosion after a bad run of results. Sure he is a great player if not he wouldn’t have gotten to where he is or was. Learning from them, their successes and mistakes is one thing, but to idolize them and think that you can follow in their footsteps all the way doesn’t work. Isildur can pull off major bluffs because he has that level of thinking, the history with the opponent. A recent event in one of my friend’s poker room, there is a newbie who saw someone call down a pot with K high and won. Since then he tried to call down pots with K high but to no success. This I call idolizing. He thought wow, how can this guy call down with K and win. I want to emulate that. But it is not as simple as just following what you see. There are so many other things you don’t see.

Anyway, this post is kinda a blah post. But thanks for reading anyways.