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Positives of being -ev in poker!

Posted by Bhavesh Mandalia on 2013-06-21 at 12:00 AM

I write for films, plays and television. I watched rounders few years back, didn’t understand much of the poker part since i didn’t know the game but i thought India too should have a good poker film where, we should not only show essence of the game but also a good story. I read some basic stuff on internet about how the game is played. I knew teen-patti so didn’t take me long to understand the rules.

During that time i had come to Goa for a film, thought i should visit the casino, meet, interact with some players, i would get to know their lives and how they play and all. Coincidentally that was the first day of IPC tourney. 5k event. i registered for that and i came third in the tourney!! Danish Shaikh was 2nd and Aditya ‘donkab0mber’ sushant shipped it. I remember asking one of the players on the FT – three of kind win or two pairs.? he looked at me for sometime and smiled. I was running good, was betting hard when i hit, so when we were three handed danish mumbled to Aditya once – ‘Fish is hitting it all the time’. I didn’t know what is fish or what means ‘hitting it!!’ anyway that was beginner’s luck, but i was so charged up that i registered for the next day’s event too that was a knock-out tourney i guess. Sameer Rattonsey sucked me out soon.

Movie on poker didn’t work-out but i got hooked to the game! The more i learnt, the more i realized i know so little. I watched lot of videos, watched wsop 2012 on youtube. Got myself a t-shirt with a hood, a dark sunglasses too, just in case, and then i opened account on 888poker and PokerStars. After busting out 3 or 4 times i got to know there is something called Bankroll Management. After knowing that and then again busting out few more times i realized that i can’t follow BRM. I also realized, i completely lack patience, decision making skills and discipline.

Above mentioned skills help you in all other aspects of my life and not just in poker. i have so far lost considerable amount of money in poker but poker taught me a lot about life, which no other teacher or university could have taught me.

Patience : Wait till you have a position, there is always a next time! So what you’ve pocket aces, if you know you’re beat on the river LET IT GO! I tried to adapt that in day to day life and i feel much more relaxed and calm. Haven’t bought a new phone since iPhone 4, waiting for 6 now 🙂

Not to be result oriented : You can fail even after taking a right decision. This shouldn’t stop you from taking the right decision next time also! i have been regularly going through hand advice forums on PokerGuru, reading comments from mentors like prabhat, intervention etc., and i realized how they have detached themselves from the results of the hand. It took me a lot of time and efforts to mould my mind to think that way. i don’t think so people who don’t have poker background will be able to understand it so well and thoroughly. This has helped me take some very important decisions that didn’t work out in my favor eventually but it didn’t affect me because i knew my decision was right then!

3 bet-fold / 4 bet-shove : – Now this concept helped me a lot in negotiating with producers. A fellow writer once told me why were you changing your stand with every argument of producer. i told him – dude, i was re-evaluating!

Pot control : – This is something very crucial in life! Don’t spew most of your chips when you’re not sure! Don’t go over budget, it may be film or any other business. The key to survival.

Implied odds : This helped me convince some producers to back a project which doesn’t have a great star cast but a superb script! Smart producers have sometimes, unknowingly, taught me reverse-implied odds!

Table Image : I have given up certain assignments which would have paid me well upfront but weren’t good for my reputation long term.

Flop, Turn, River : The hand can’t improve once river is dealt, unlike life. Take each day as a new river and Re-evaluate!

Position play : You need not have great cards all the time, a button raise on an unopened pot can earn you the blinds and antes. You got to take calculated risk here and there to conquer.

Review your play : People who know the difference between playing bad and running bad will eventually come +ev! So don’t blame your destiny for your wrong decisions.

BankRoll Management : I have stopped depositing on PokerStars until i learn more and have a PLAN, and i also don’t regret loosing all that money because one shouldn’t be result oriented in poker:)

Finally, what invntion is doing for indian poker community is commendable! Knowledge sharing for free when half the MBA grads are surviving on consultancy services!! In spite of posting n number of times – how to cash-out from the PokerStars, the guy has patience to reply and explain again to a new bee on fb! Dude, you’re like a super-star who can also act:)


May river always be with you!,

Bhavesh Mandalia (shark_dinner).

Life is like a deep stack MTT. You got to let go some semi best hands, you got to win some crucial flips, and you got hang on till the last chip!

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Bhavesh Mandalia

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