Overcoming obstacles in online poker

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Cory | Poker and Life, Poker Articles

Cory was kind enough to write an article about his own poker experiences and how to overcome the obstacles we all experience in life. Hope you enjoy the article as much as I did. If you have time, check out corywilkinsband.com. Great music!

I was recently asked to incorporate a little bit of autobiographical information in my poker articles for the Bankroll Blog.  Before I do, I just want to let you all know that the contents of this article, overcoming obstacles, in no way is meant to give you the impression that my life is so much tougher than yours, because it’s not, we all have obstacles and negative factors that try and hold us back from doing our best, but one of mine happens to be very visible.

For those of you who don’t know, I was born nearly completely blind and over the last twenty-eight years the little vision that I had has been slowly deteriorating until I’m left with just the slightest bit of light perception, which will probably be gone in the next few years.  I used to play card games with my grandma when I was a small child and I had enough vision back then to play games like Go Fish with a regular deck of cards as long as they were the jumbo print.  Now I can, in the right lighting and if I hold the card an inch from my face tell you if I’m looking at a face card or not and be right about three quarters of the time.

I discovered poker about five years ago, interestingly enough not from Rounders or from Moneymaker, or from TV at all, but from this website called allinplay.com that has accessible on line games, so blind and sighted people can play together.  In 2005 they introduced a play money Texas Hold ‘Em game and I had remembered playing five card draw with my parents and figured learning a new poker game would be fun.

I quickly lost my chips over and over again in this new form of poker and being the competitor that I am, I figured I was going to learn better strategy.  I spent two weeks looking up Hold ‘em strategy on Google before I played another hand.  I learned a good many things, I should be raising more than calling, I shouldn’t be playing many hands when I’m one of the first to act.  By applying a few simple rules I began to completely crush the games.

However, crushing play money games isn’t exactly something to get all excited about for me, so I decided that I wanted to play live.  I asked one of my friends to help me and trained her to whisper my hole cards in my ear, then let me know all of the action as it goes around the table.  After we developed our system it was time to convince the local casinos to let us play.

Most were very helpful and encouraging once I was able to convince them that I was indeed blind and needed the assistance to play and would not be using my helper to make my decisions because I would be making all of my own decisions.  Then I started playing live.

Most times other players are really great about it too, but every once in a while I’ll have a player complain and I’ll explain to him or her my situation, if they are still not satisfied I’ll call the floor to explain for me.  This can be a rather uncomfortable way to start a session, but it’s just reality.

So just from my poker life I’ve had to create a way to help me play, get my method allowed in a live casino, plus have to deal with the occasional ass hole who thinks I’m cheating.  Also think of the physical tells that I miss, my inability to quickly estimate someone’s stack size and you would think I’m at a rather large disadvantage.  However, I’m still a winner in the games I play.  I play live about once a week and with the help of my lovely girlfriend Kathi I also six table limit hold ‘em on full tilt.

So next time you’re facing a tough situation, stress, just not being on you’re a game, I don’t want you to think from this article that I’ve got it worse than you, that’s not my point at all, I just want you to remember, that no matter how big the obstacle is, no matter how long the odds if you set your mind to something and are determined to succeed, I mean really determined nothing can hold you back.  Success is not just the glory of accomplishing a goal, it’s the product of all the hard work, the late nights, the overcoming circumstances that are out of your control and coming out on top.

It’s so easy to give up or put in half the effort you should, but you will only meet your potential if every day you strive to effect any changes you can in a positive way, overcome the things that you’re powerless to change and always focus on getting better.  Nothing is free and nothing is handed to us on a silver platter, but great things are there for the taking if you put forth the initiative.

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1 Comment to Overcoming obstacles in online poker

August 8, 2010

Thanks for sharing this with us Cory….
.-= Mark´s last blog ..Poker challenge =-.

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