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Regrets... I have a few; It's time to follow that big stakes dream now.

Byline: Jon Barbuti

THE last couple of weeks I've broken with habit and concentrated on trying to give a bit of poker insight.

I was thinking I'd repeat the trick this week, but then I noticed a couple of emails from people saying they actually enjoy the waffle and filler (they politely used the word anecdote).

So it's back to chat this week - which I have to admit is a relief as just giving advice is pretty hard work when there are millions of poker sites out there and endless tips.

There are only so many ways you can say "play tight, play aggressive, play within your means" before it gets boring.

I suppose I could offer novel ideas - mortgage your house and bet the lot it could make you a millionaire; play drunk as it's more exciting; go all-in every hand, you'll win more pots than everyone else and when you get a monster you'll be bound to get paid.

Only problem is, those tips might lead to a few angry punters and as an 11-stone relative weakling (my friends would question the relative bit) I'm not sure I want to take on Scotland's hardest.

So instead I'm going to talk about regret. Unlike Edith Piaf, I definitely regret something and it's not making the most of my big wins a while back.

A while ago, I was on a great streak, $110 buy-in tournaments, five cashouts in a row including successive third and first-place finishes.

I then had a few days off, logged back in and it felt different. I had a few thousand sitting in the account but suddenly, without playing, I felt the roll was over; my luck had to change.

So rather than try moving on to $200 tournaments, or even taking a risk in a $1000 buy in and potentially winning a fortune, I cashed almost all of it and went back to $10 sit and gos, cash games and small buy-in tourneys.

As a hobby, that's all fine - the thrill of the game is similar whatever the buy-in, but as a new dad I'm not sure I want to play just for the thrill.

The little fella is starting to make all manner of cooing noises which are pretty cute (I'm fairly sure he said hello today which, at six weeks, is pretty damned impressive).

He also laughs whenever I blow on his face- a charming reaction I'm hoping continues to work into his teens. Dad, can I have a car? Aaaffffoooooo (that's me blowing), giggle, giggle, giggle.

On top of that, I want him to think it's good to follow your dreams, which is actually just an excuse for me to follow mine by way of inspiring him.

So I'm thinking I might write the on-hold sitcom, quit the job and show him that anything, even unemployment, is possible.

If I stick to the low limits, I'll never get rich and, while I'd love to claim money isn't a motivating factor, it is poker we're talking about - winning cash is all it's about.

And so, against all my own advice and last week's super system, I'm going to risk too much of my stack and discover the literal meaning of going for broke.

This week it's going to be serious stakes, serious bets and a serious column for next week.

I'VE got a few questions lined up to answer, but there's room for a couple more. Send them in to

Don't get obsessed by odds. Yes, it's important to know your outs and pot odds and implied odds, but there is still room for old school poker with a bit of instinct and bit of nous. Sometimes that gutshot or flush is worth chasing.

Got a question? Email me at
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Apr 14, 2010
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