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5 Ways Poker Is Like Blogging

Posted by on Jan 4, 2010

Many of you know that I love playing poker. I’ve talked about it a few times here. I talked about it when I was in Reno last year around this time. I talked about it when I talked about the psychology of gambling. I talked about it when I wrote about my first big poker tournament this summer. And I talked about it when I talked about joining the affiliate program for Pokerstars.

I think about poker often. I don’t go to the casino as often as I have in the past, mainly because my income is a little lower than it was, so I have to pick and choose when I can go. I’ve also learned a couple of things about my game, which is odd and strange, and in a way, can relate to blogging. I’d like to share 5 things that seem to tie poker and blogging together, at least for me.

1. When I’m tired, I don’t play poker or blog all that well. I think that when I blog when I’m very tired, my articles aren’t all that good. Some might think they are, but I don’t feel much for them. Only when I’m tired does blogging feel like a chore. The same actually goes for poker. When I’m tired I really don’t want to be there, but sometimes I stay because it’s late in the evening and I also don’t feel like having to get up from the table if I don’t have to. I lose money when I play tired, and I’ve often wondered if I lose readers when I blog tired.

2. I actually have times when I blog and play poker very well. Most of you know that, unless I’m doing a research post, I write my blog posts fairly quickly. My mind is clear in what I want to say, and I can produce some pretty good posts, if I say so myself. The same goes for poker. Oddly enough, if I tell myself that I’m going to the casino during the day and I’m only staying 3 hours, I almost always come home ahead. There’s something about being focused on a goal that works really well, no matter what it is. The same also goes for chess, which Sire and I play through email. When I’m focused, I see the board 5 moves ahead in my mind and I play very well; I just need to write down those moves when I’m in the zone. 🙂

3. I love poker and blogging because of the camaraderie. When I play poker, I’m not only there to try to win. I love talking to people, and many times, I’m sitting at a table with all new people, which seems strange for as many times as I’ve gone over the years. Every table has a different vibe, but there’s always someone who wants to talk. and when I do get to play with people I know, it enhances the day even more. Knowing the dealers brings at least some stability to the process.

When I blog, I know most of the people who are coming to make a comment. When new people come, I know it’s a new opportunity to make a connection with a new friend. Every post brings a new perspective from someone, whether I know them or not. I have a great time with it, and it’s one of the reasons why I love blogging.

4. I understand poker, and I also understand blogging very well. I may not always make money when I play poker, but I really understand all the nuances of the game. I know when to bluff and I know when to go all in. I know how to stick around and wait for a good hand. I know how to pace myself based on the time limit I’ve set for myself. And I know when I’ve devoted too much time to it, even if I don’t always listen to myself.

The same goes for blogging. I really do understand blogging a lot. I know how to craft posts. I actually do know the process for putting together posts that have a lot of keywords and linkbait associated with them; I just choose not to do it. I could blog all day; I write for other people’s blogs here and there, and if my entire life was just writing blogs and I could make a full time living from it, life would be sweet. I like to think I know how to engage people. Sure, I might not make a lot of money at it, at least right now, which is like not winning all the time at poker, but I know some things, and I’m going to hopefully apply many of them over this next year.

5. I have fun playing poker, just like I have fun blogging. Fun is what it’s all about after all. Poker is my favorite offline activity; blogging is my favorite online activity. With each, I meet new people all the time that are engaging. I get to hear and read other people’s stories and words. I get to participate in the process. I sometimes make money, which is never a bad thing. If I didn’t have both poker and blogging, I don’t know that my life would have much enjoyment in it. Well, okay, my wife and I have a lot of fun, but you know what I mean. 🙂

Both of these things really are passions of mine. I don’t have a lot of passions, but these two are enough for me. What are your passions, things that you enjoy, that you know very well, that you could probably do better at but don’t because that’s not the most important thing to you? And, do you really enjoy blogging as much as I do? I’d love to hear about it.

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40 Comments »

Jane @ Mobile Phones with Free TV:

That was an interesting and entertaining read. Its great that your two favourite hobbies (or activities?) are so different and yet so similar when it comes to you. I have to say that I don’t enjoy blogging as much as you do, I think this is because I don’t have enough time to dedicate to it! Keep on doing what your doing!

January 4th, 2010 | 12:08 PM
Mitch:

Thanks Jane. Truthfully, it’s not that I really have tons of free time to blog, it’s just that I’ve made a commitment to do so much, so I just plan those times and get it done.

January 4th, 2010 | 1:30 PM

I agree with Mitch. If you’re not enjoying doing something, you’ll automatically feel like it’s a big burden on your part. Otherwise, if you enjoy what you’re doing, you won’t definitely notice that a day is over.
.-= Mark´s last blog ..School Grants For Studying Abroad =-.

January 4th, 2010 | 5:05 PM
Mitch:

Glad you agree, Mark; I hope you’re doing what you enjoy as well.

January 4th, 2010 | 7:28 PM

Very interesting read, I must say. And the way you connected poker with blogging is amazing. Agree with you, it’s all about fun and passion.
.-= Marko´s last blog ..Disqus Comment System Review =-.

January 4th, 2010 | 6:40 PM
Mitch:

Thanks Marko; if I can’t be creative every once in awhile, life would be dull indeed.

January 4th, 2010 | 7:31 PM
Rose:

To be honest at first i thought this was a PTP for the keyword poker & then I got thinking maybe you wrote it because of my post- lol…… I hope not? 🙂

Writing poetry is a passion of mine. One that I do, but not as often as I would like. Not because it’s not important to me, because it is.

I don’t think I really have any passions that I could do better, but don’t because they are not important. lol

January 4th, 2010 | 8:20 PM
Mitch:

Rose, you’re got me with the terminology; PTP? I went to look it up and so many things came up that it confused me even more. And I’m not sure which post of yours you’re referring to either.

No, I’d been thinking about writing this poker post ever since Christmas, and finally got around to it last night. It needed to get done; had a special reason for getting it done, which comes out tomorrow (now no peeking lol).

January 4th, 2010 | 8:39 PM

Lucky for me Mitch you don’t play chess all that well when your tired, it’s probably the only time I win. 😀

Me, I don’t think I would do all that well sitting around a table with people I don’t know. I would more than likely try and tune them out, unless they were hot, and then I’d be losing at poker.
.-= Sire´s last blog ..What Is This World Coming To When It Comes To Morals =-.

January 4th, 2010 | 8:11 PM
Mitch:

I find that funny, Sire, because you seem to be the type who’d easily be more social than me in public. I mean, at most casinos you could sit there and drink all the time while you’re gambling. Where I go they don’t have a liquor license, so I don’t have to deal with it as much.

January 4th, 2010 | 8:37 PM

Nope, completely the opposite, and I’m only a social drinker. I’ve only ever been drunk once in my life and that was more than enough.
.-= Sire´s last blog ..What Is This World Coming To When It Comes To Morals =-.

January 4th, 2010 | 10:14 PM
Mitch:

Well, how about that; someone would think we’ve reversed roles. lol

January 4th, 2010 | 10:43 PM

I do not know how to play game poker. But the way that you resemble blogging with poker really awesome.
.-= chandan´s last blog ..Search work at home opportunities at digital point forum =-.

January 5th, 2010 | 2:32 AM
Mitch:

Thanks Chandan. Poker can be a pretty fun game if you’re not afraid to lose a little bit of money. In another weird way of linking it to poker, blogging can be a fun game if you’re not afraid to lose a little bit of time and put your opinion out in the world for other people to comment on.

January 5th, 2010 | 12:30 PM
Mitch:

Dennis, you’re living my dream. Even though I didn’t enjoy the one big poker tournament I was in back in August, I think that if I play again now I’d do much better and be much calmer.

January 5th, 2010 | 11:06 PM
Mitch:

Heck, I only play on PokerStars, and for free; nope, ain’t ponying up any of my money! lol Look for Mitch Three many evenings.

January 6th, 2010 | 2:00 PM
Rose:

PTP- Pay to Post
.-= Rose´s last blog ..Twitter Etiquette =-.

January 6th, 2010 | 1:01 AM
Mitch:

Man, I’d have never gotten that one right!

January 6th, 2010 | 1:12 AM

You don’t do PTP’s do you Mitch? I think I tried to corrupt you some time ago in regards to taking some on.
.-= Sire´s last blog ..Why I Will Never Be A ProBlogger =-.

January 6th, 2010 | 1:37 AM
Mitch:

Nope; wrote that I never would, and I don’t break promises I make to anyone.

January 6th, 2010 | 1:44 AM

Cool, it’s good to know my memory isn’t failing me.
.-= Sire´s last blog ..What Is This World Coming To When It Comes To Morals =-.

January 6th, 2010 | 1:50 AM
Mitch:

Nope. Now, what I want to know is how is it Aussies have this reputation for being wild and loving to go out and have a good time whenever they can, and I end up meeting the two Aussies online who’d rather stay home and not be with crowds? You two are really messing up my Crocodile Dundee experience. lol

January 6th, 2010 | 1:55 AM

Who’s the other Aussie? Anyway, I’m not the atypical Aussie male.
.-= Sire´s last blog ..A Blogger’s Opinion Is Highly Valued =-.

January 6th, 2010 | 2:06 AM
Mitch:

Another long time friend of mine who I met, as it figures, through email chess. I’ve told you about him before, older gentleman who is pretty much a loner except for his family. And, just making sure, are you saying more Aussies are like you, since you said you’re not atypical?

January 6th, 2010 | 2:18 AM

I don’t recall that gentleman Mitch, maybe if you drop his name in our chess game I’ll remember him.

As to atypical, trust me to use the wrong word. I’m far from being the norm.
.-= Sire´s last blog ..Top 7 Reasons Why People Don’t Return To Comment On Your Blog =-.

January 6th, 2010 | 2:40 AM
Mitch:

And there we go; just had to clarify that, Sire. Don’t worry about the name; you didn’t know him, and I learned y’all didn’t live close to each other either.

January 6th, 2010 | 10:34 AM
Glen:

If I were to pick two passions they would be people and writing. My assumption is that you don’t have to be brilliant at either to be passionate about them.

I am good at business.
I’m just not passionate about it.

Really like to have your ability to knock off posts so quickly.
I’ve struggled with my writing lately.

January 7th, 2010 | 2:47 AM
Mitch:

Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Glen. Not sure if it will help, but at the top you see my little thing about book writing tips and blog writing tips. I offer ideas on, well, how to come up with ideas of things to write about. Sometimes, commenting on what you read on another blog inspires a blog post, like the one I just did on racist tech, and people will always appreciate the links. Good luck with that part.

January 7th, 2010 | 2:51 AM

Being a poker player as well (mostly online, but not much recently), I completely agree with all five of your points.

There’s really a difference between how well you can blog/poker when you’re tired compared to when you’re not and when it doesn’t feel like a chore.
.-= Klaus @ TechPatio´s last blog ..Zooming In With The Tamron 70-300mm & Nikon D5000 =-.

January 11th, 2010 | 4:28 AM
Mitch:

Sure is, Klaus. I tend to keep late hours, and though I can still produce things at a late hour, sometimes I’m dragging trying to get that last thing finished, something that I could probably finish quicker if I’d just go to bed and wait until I woke up again.

January 11th, 2010 | 10:22 AM

Hmmm….this could spark a whole new post…

5 ways _______is like blogging…..

August 24th, 2010 | 6:56 PM
Mitch:

I like it if you can do it lol

August 24th, 2010 | 9:50 PM
Jessica Sieghart:

great post! I, too, am a poker enthusiast. I enjoy the many levels to the game, the psychology involved and even the poker chitchat with people. It’s funny because I’m always comparing life things with poker game and strategy, too. yeah, tired is my major downfall with poker, blogging and creativity in general. well rested, I’m a fireball at all three 🙂 Really enjoying your blog, Mitch!

September 6th, 2010 | 2:06 AM
Mitch:

Thanks Jessica. And I’m glad you enjoyed the poker analogies; I’m thinking about writing a book on poker and management.

September 6th, 2010 | 11:56 AM
Andrew Walker:

Excellent post, Mitch. I only know a little about poker. And my knowledge about blogging is limited. But I use my heart in doing those two activities. That’s the important point. Do everything with your heart. It’s the the main key.

May 23rd, 2011 | 8:48 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

That’s not a bad thought, Andrew. I’ll have to incorporate that into a post one of these days. 🙂

May 23rd, 2011 | 11:30 PM
Ajaypratap Sidhu:

HATS OFF,MITCH!I also love poker and am a new blogger,so it was a treat to read this article,connecting poker and blogging. Very helpful article,thanks!!

July 8th, 2011 | 9:02 AM
Alison:

Hi Mitch!
I think it’s everything about having FUN, as well. I try to do most of the time things that fill my heart with joy. We have only one life 🙂
Alison

July 9th, 2011 | 8:04 AM
Susane D:

Hi Mitch! First time on your blog 🙂 I would compare blogging with modeling, lol. But it’s all about the passions we have! Susane

July 9th, 2011 | 8:07 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

That’s true Susane; it would be interesting to see your comparison of blogging to modeling.

July 9th, 2011 | 8:28 PM