Thursday, August 13, 2009

What's your motivation?

Last night, PushMonkey, NumbBono, and I were talking on Buddy Dank Radio about what motivates you in poker. The conversation started when Numb brought up my recent victory at Poker League. Push had mentioned that it takes at least $10 for him to really care about a poker game. To many, bar poker lacks the necessary motivation for people to play poker correctly. It's a freeroll and the prizes are usually not life altering.

Last week, I wrote a post and talked about how I am an extremely competitive person. I hate losing. Be it for $1 or $1000, losing to me is more important then the money. Sick, I know. I began this season of poker league with one goal, win it. Second wasn't an option. Second sucks. I've placed second, it sucks monster huge monkey balls.

I'm sitting here wondering how I use this information about myself and others. I remember watching an episode of (can't remember the name so I'm making this one up) Cribs CardPlayer edition, where they should the home of Barry Greenstein. I've always found it fascinating how he talked about how huge a bet needed to be to get his "juices flowing".

I've played poker where the only outcome was bragging rights...and fought my ass off to win them. Probably my most motivating prop bets of all time were not wanting to by Bodie25 a bowel of soup at Olive Garden. For me, it was never about the money, it was about making sure Bodie25 had to buy me soup.

Why is it that for me, the thrill of competition is enough and for others there has to be a much more tangible sting? An even more important question for a competitive person like me is how do I exploit this at the card table? I think I'll be using this as means to control my opponents motivation. If I know they are playing for the money, minimize it. If they play for a sick desire to win, fasten my seat belt. Not sure.

So, what motivates you? How do you use other's motivation to your favor? Why did I just send my brain down this path? Is four flushing Push more fun then one person should have playing the Mookie? (the answer to that last one is you must try it to taste just how sweet it is :-P)


The Monster Stack said...

My motivation changes depending on the game. If I am playing in a casino tournament, for example, it's purely for the money. That means that, although I'd like to win because first usually pays the most money, a top three or four spot is acceptable (or perhpas even a FT) if the payout is high enough. If I'm playing with friends, even for no money, I just want to outplay them. Not necessarily win but to beat them at the mind game that is poker. There's nothing I can do if they hit the two-outer but getting them to put their money in drawing thin is what does it for me. As sappy as it is, I like to play well because if I always make the seemingly "correct" play I should be a winner often enough. So doing the right thing, whatever that may be at the time, is my motivation. Play well and hope to be rewarded, at least in the long term if not the short term as well.