The online dark ages of poker have begun. Once where we were free to play on any number of “big” sites, now were are wary of the legal actions that will be taken against us. With the fall of Online poker, many are forced to pick up their heels and turn to the live, old fashion, slow, boring, brick and motar casinos.
Most of whom will no doubt smile evilly and say “I told you so.” while offering a chair to sit in. Unfortunately, for yours truely, These games are much, much larger then online stakes offered. Indeed, there are no 1/2 cent games in which I built sold bankrolls from to play larger 20 dollar games, and so on and so forth.
And with only a couple hundred gained in those ventured (and luckly, cashed out well before the collaspe and flooding FTP money laundering scandal.), there was only one real aternative for me: Get a job. And play… play chips.
Needless to say I quickly gave up even bothering to play chips, and will wait weeks on end to try my luck with my uncle’s homegame.
The concept of play money is simple enough: Play without the fear of losing money. And therein lies the massive problem with it: that’s simply not poker. Without some fear of loss, there’s no reason to learn, to grow, to examine, all those things you’ll do when even the slightest bit of cash is on the table.
And I do mean slightest. Even the bottom barrel games that required little more then extreme amounts of patience and the ability to fold, there’s things one can do, actions one can take, that simply become unavailable in play chip: mainly, there’s way to win pots without seeing cards.
Shoving against nits, raising and reraising preflop, bet sizing. I tried these once. It cannot be done at this level. The only real option is to see a flop and know whether or not you beat the table. Basically, even if you catch Aces, you’re still 50% (the average against more then 1 opponent.).
I often find myself cursing my luck at the table, having pressed my hand’s strength only to have it out drawn by hands that should have never have even remotely seen flops: 9-4o utg? Sure why not. I hit the four on the flop. That means it’s good, right?
If there is in silver lining to take from play chip poker it is that you’ll learn patience. You have to. The game is far too fustrating to play otherwise. Which only adds to my amazement when I found out you can buy fake chips for real money. Why on god green earth would you pay 20 bucks for a million fake chips you can never cash out to play with people who will never know the pain of losing a coin flip? Or even know what a coinflip is?
Looking into recent news about the US looking into online legalization (which they should have done in the first place, seeing as it’s a billion dollar market.) have left me hopeful I can get back to my 10 cent games soon. I’m getting bored of Team Fortress 2 and Wakfu, and I’d really love to play actual poker again. On eight tables, my heart beating hard as I navigate both numbers and personalities, changed by that one, all important item play chip poker lacks: Fear.