I Am a Poker Dinosaur
When most people meet me in person, most cannot believe that I am 34. Most think that at worst I am in my mid 20's. I don't "act 34" according to most. This was once again pointed out last weekend at a camp that I help out with each summer. They were doing training with teenagers around the district and during one lunch, several were shocked to learn I was "in my 30's."
I don't feel 34. I definitely don't think like most people my age do. I don't even have some of the same interests. Most women my age bore the hell out of me. Most of my friends are a few years younger than me. That is the way I have always been except in one area, and that is poker.
I noticed really early in my poker career that I came into the game about 15 years too late. While I play Holdem, it is not the game I love by any stretch of the imagination. I like limit poker, and my favorite game is Stud 8. When I started playing poker, it seemed that I had a lot more in common with the older players than the younger. In fact, for a time there were several events where I was the youngest player in the field.
I really feel that if I would have been in the game in the 80's and 90's, I would have probably been a stud player almost exclusively. I might have played Holdem, and that would be limit Holdem. I know one thing for certain. I would not still be living in Virginia. I would have moved to a casino town to be near the games.
However, that is not the case. Instead, I troll the online games looking for something that interest me. Occasionally, I see some live events that have a decent spread. However, most of the time the turnout is less than hoped. When I go to live casinos and ask for something other than Holdem or Omaha, my reaction is usually mixed. I get the standard replies from some, such as "only on the weekends" or "on Wednesdays when the old folks home comes into town." Other responses include "You running bad in Holdem?" or "Why would you want to play that? It's like watching paint dry."
The events held at other venues around the time of the WSOP used to be great for players like myself who would like to play mixed games. They were very juicy. Now, a lot of pros and lower tier pros are going to these smaller events for practice or bankroll padding. I went to an event at Binions last summer and there were seven bracelet winners in the field of just over 200. There were at least 20 to 25 other players that were pros or lower tier pros. It was great practice and I finished 9th, but the field was tough.
As a result, there are times I feel like a 34 year old dinosaur when it comes to poker, especially live. Poker should be fun and not such a chore to find a game you want to play. However, that is what happens when you don't jump aboard the NL Holdem bandwagon. I play the game, I just don't enjoy it. I do give Los Angeles credit for spreading decent games. If you are a lower limit player, you usually can find a nice spread of games at the Bike and Hawaiian Gardens. Otherwise, many times I am resigned to having to grind away online.
In a couple of months, I will join many of my fellow dinosaur buddies as we trek out to Vegas in an effort to find games we enjoy playing. We all realize that we are up against the giant meteor known as Holdem. However, there is some hope that the Player's Championship and other games will help to reignite some of the "dinosaur games." Only time will tell. If we are lucky, maybe we won't go extinct after all.