April 06, 2012
There is an inherent problem with poker that I will call The Mike McDermott Problem. It's a problem of a few parts.
1. People tend to respect players who have earned buckets of money by being an incredible super awesome lag super hero, or are perceived to be, and have no respect for players who have earned buckets of money by not being an incredible super awesome lag super hero. Lets look at some, granted very extreme, examples: Isildur1. The archetypal incredible super awesome lag super hero. leatherass: The archetypal "terrible regfish who kills the games and only made any money because he was a huge luckbox nit, right?"
2. Imagine how much money a training site would make if they could sign Isildur1 to make videos. The owners would probably never need to work again. Would the people watching the videos actually improve? No, they wouldn't. This brings us to the core of the second part of the problem: Just because player X crushes does not mean you are going to improve by watching his or her videos. You might improve if you use the video as a small part of your overall plan for improvement, but more often the video watcher ends up trying to emulate the video maker and that never works. Now lets imagine leatherass is making videos*. Most people won't watch them because he's a "terrible regfish who kills the games and only made any money because he was a huge luckbox nit, right?"
* He might be somewhere, I have no idea. I don't know leatherass at all, he's just good for this example.
3. Which brings us to the third part of the problem. Most people have the wrong goal. They want to be Player X crushing high/nosebleed stakes [game of choice] on [site of the moment] without realising that 1) It's a lot, lot harder to be that person now and it will probably get harder, 2) You won't get there by watching videos, no matter who the author is. You might get there if you work incredibly hard, have no social pressures, are smart enough to fill in the gaps yourself and have a group of great players to talk poker with. If it's been 2 years+ and you're still playing 1/2 NHLE, it's not going to happen.
It was a lot easier to be Mike McDermott in 2007. Those days are gone. If all the people who had tried and failed to become a superstar had followed a different route they would probably have a lot more money if only they adjusted their goals slightly and their attitudes greatly. But then they would have to live with themselves for not being a total balla. I guess the extra money just isn't worth the sacrifice of that dream. Does the dream matter? For some people it always will, but last time I checked leatherass was still a millionaire.
Even Joey Knish gets tilted sometimes. For those times, I recommend you bookmark the following (NSFW bla bla bla)