Out for another meal. The menu has a few very tempting options for main course. Here in Malta, pasta marinara is always on the shortlist for me. King prawns, mussels, clams, all in their shells, maybe some cherry tomatoes — the pasta is cooked just right and the sauce is sublime. I guess you could say it is my favorite.
But tonight I choose something else — the fresh fish options look so good. But pasta marinara is my favorite, I should choose it every time, right?
And my wife makes a very good pasta marinara. Perhaps she could make me some for breakfast tomorrow. And lunch. Every meal, every day.
But why would anyone do that? And what does this have to do with poker?
Well, if you aren't going to want to have the same dish every time you sit down to eat, why would you want the same game every time you sit down to play poker?
No-limit Texas hold'em is a great game. It's not my favorite, but it does present some interesting scenarios and there are still plenty of fish around to enable the grafting grinder to make some money. A really enjoyable game. But I like to look out for opportunities to play other poker games as often as possible.
Here in Malta I play in a regular low stakes mixed games cash game, with a total of 24 games currently available for choice and roughly evenly split between no-limit, pot-limit and fixed-limit betting structures. It is kind of dealer's choice, but we play an orbit and one hand of each game so we all feel we have had a good crack at a few hands.
I would encourage any keen poker player to seek out some mixed games to play regularly, for several reasons:
- Repeatedly playing one game, any game, for long periods, makes it difficult to continue enjoying the game.
- Lack of enjoyment in what you are doing makes it difficult to motivate yourself to continue to work on your game and improve.
- If you don't constantly improve you are going to find yourself a weaker player in relation to others in your player pool, as they themselves put in the effort to improve, and the weakest lose interest and take up something else.
- Playing mixed games builds mental agility and stamina. This transfers itself to your NLHE game. After seven hours of play, someone reraises all in on the river — do you still have the level of control required to fold your top pair?
- Playing mixed games is just so much more FUN.
- Other people — the losers in the game — will still find a reason to play when the game is more enjoyable.
I will try to post maybe two blogs per month. Next time I will post a hand from our mixed cash game, probably a hand of "sviten special." This is a real fun action game — rules are set out here.
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