I think that’s the key to being successful playing this slot online game that we all love. The more “change” you can put out there for others to take into account, the better chance that you will have them off-balance later, trying to get that “read” on you. I’ve never been a particularly tricky poker player, but more of a standard, 4X the BB raiser and fold a lot more than I play kind of player. But, just playing with these guys on a regular basis, guys that I know are successful, has opened up a lot of new avenues in my game and for that I am thankful. Now, seeing the moves and the styles of these other players and actually making it a part of my game are two entirely different things. Whether or not I can make the strides in my own game and have the confidence to continue to change remains to be seen, but just know this, I am working at it and will continue working at it.

Much like the rest of you, I feel like my poker game or style is an ever-evolving work of art. Some days every thing you try works like a charm and the next day, no matter how well you play, there is nothing you can do to win a hand. Playing this game as often as we play it these days requires a certain amount of patience, gamble, skill and luck. Now, I’m not about to try to put a percentage to any of those characteristics, but for anybody not to acknowledge that luck is a bit of a factor in this game we play, well that is just plain silly.

I’m not going to go into any specifics, but think back to the good runs you’ve had in tournaments and try to remember how many times you got lucky. The night I bubbled out of the $1500 WSOP seat in Iggy’s tournament, I should have been out in about seventh or eighth place, but for a 4-outer on the river rescuing me from the rail.(against TripJax no less!) I also got extremely UN-lucky on the hand that sent me to the rail. It always seems to work both ways, but it seems to me that we only tend to remember the times that it works against us, rather than the times that it works out for us. We simply blow it off with, “it’s about time I sucked out on someone!”

Do you consider yourself lucky when you pick up pocket Aces and get all the money in, get a caller and they hold up? Just the fact that you got action with pocket Aces might be considered lucky. I know that as often as I get them, more times than not I just pick up the blinds, so getting action with Aces is often fortunate. Now, when all the money goes in, how many outs do you have to dodge? Does the other guy have K-K of the same suit as your Aces, giving him only two outs? Or, does he have suited connectors, giving him the possibility of straights and flushes rescuing his hand? Did you attempt to slow play to bring somebody into the pot and let them flop a monster on you?

How about this situation? You are sitting on a monster chip lead with 3 other players left in a SNG. How many times do you call with a weak Ace and knock somebody out who was short-stacked and pushing with virtually any two cards? I understand this is part of the game and I call those pushes all day myself, but do you consider yourself lucky to eliminate the short stack and add to your stack there?

Nearly every situation can be spun into any direction you want to spin it and most assuredly, skilled players put themselves in position to “get lucky” more often than the average donkey on the internet. They are also in position to get “sucked out on” more often simply due to the fact that they are getting their money in when they are ahead more often than the average player. There are a variety of different factors that determine when and where to push. Position, stack size, strength of opponent, number of players left and strength of hand, just to name a few. Whether or not you double up often comes down to “luck.”

That’s my take on luck. I will play with people that are there to “gamble” and hoping to “get lucky” all day long, every day, but I go into those games knowing full well that they will gamble and they will get lucky occasionally. Get your chips in ahead, pull your tin-foil hat down around your ears, adjust your titanium cup and hold your breath.

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