Last time in Once Upon A Time, Isabelle Mercier dedicated this space to honor some poker professionals who encouraged her career. This time, however, she decided to underline the importance of the other side of poker: the ones who are just there for the fun!
I might shock more than one, but not everyone plays poker in hopes to quit their job and become a pro.
When you look at the evolution of Hold’em over a decade, it’s crazy to see that the level has risen considerably, and that theory has taken a super important place in the ecosystem.
Whether it is coaching offers (mental or technical), tools made available to players (HUD, solvers), theoretical video content (YouTube, Twitch), without forgetting Master Class offers, including the recent one created by none other than our Bruno “King” Fitoussi!
You also need to know your open ranges, your push or fold moves and have a minimal mastery of cutting-edge concepts such as ICM to optimize your game and especially your final tables profits.
Why Amateur Players Are So Important
This is all very interesting, but this story is not about these kinds of players. It’s not them that I want to talk about here, but the others, who in my opinion make up the vast majority of players. I want to talk about poker players who play for fun only.
To them, don’t talk about bankroll management. They never had a bankroll and they never will. They have a budget. It’s completely different. Just as they put money aside for their weeks’ vacation in August, they are giving themselves money they can afford to spend at the tables.
I know a lot of these amateur players who are only motivated by the desire to have a good time with friends or in online tournaments. These casual players who have fun playing poker are amateurs, but in the etymological sense of the word (amateur in French also means “to love”).
They never try to lose obviously, but let’s say that their primary goal is not to have their line on a HendonMob profile. Nevertheless, even the most beginner amateurs can finish ITM, and that’s the beauty of the game!
The Language Differences Between Pros And Amateurs
It’s very interesting to observe the language differences between needy poker looking for EV + moves as well as others looking for fun and for having a good time.
In a complicated game that requires a lot of thought, the former will seek to determine if their decision will make them lose money in the long term or not. They will throw a sentence like “Hmmm, he doesn’t have AK in his open range, he never has the flush here, my odds are good, I call him!”.
An amateur player, like my friend Jean-Louis (a real fan of the game), will come to the same conclusion (make the call), except that he will base his decision on something other than the pure analysis of the potentialities of the game.
My friend Jean-Louis will just think something like “Come on, I’ll try it!” strongly hoping to hit his straight or flush. There is no such thing as a strategy, I’ll admit, and it’s almost closer to roulette and slots than poker, but it doesn’t matter.
What Do Amateurs Look For In Poker?
What he wants above all is that addictive adrenaline rush that runs through his veins when he is trying to hit his big draw.
He knows deep down that it’s a very, very gambling move and that he is surely behind, but he has outs, only 2 outers sometimes, which is enough to gamble. Possibly even propel him, chip leader of the tournament, for one moment.
He takes risks, too, and when the time comes to go all-in, he stands up like a human antenna and tries to attract the good vibes from poker Gods.
When the prayers don’t work and the river is fatal to him, Jean-Louis is quick to say that he was unlucky or that his opponents “hit everything”.
Still, when he catches his magic card which will crack the pocket aces of the villain, then you must hear him jump, laugh and yell like a skunk coming out of confinement. It’s an exclamation that comes close to what you give when you are on a roller-coaster descent.
For my pal Jean-Louis, playing poker is always going to be about fun and about doing a lot of roller coasters. It’s the absolute pleasure of playing in its purest form.
Long live poker fans who shout too loudly when they move all-in when they shouldn’t! Deep down, it’s just a game. Forget about theory, long live the fun as long as there is a budget for it.
Whether you are a pro or an amateur player, there is a place for everyone at the poker table. And there is always a possibility that an amateur becomes a pro with practice, as it happened in the past several times.
CoinPoker doesn’t care about your game level and encourages everyone to play for fun and to have a good time at the tables.
Meet me at the tables on CoinPoker to practice your skills and enjoy the action. Open yourself a CoinPoker account today.
Isabelle “No Mercy” Mercier
WPT Winner & OFC “Progressive” World Champion