What are exactly poker buddies
A poker buddy, or a poker mate for the Britons, is someone that you befriend on the Internet for the purposes of creating a mutually beneficial relationship formed around the discussion of online poker.
How to get poker friends
Poker buddies usually come from forums or people introduced to you by forums, but they can come from the poker tables, both live and online. In fact, my very first poker buddy was a New Zealander who was playing 50nl with me on Full Tilt and asked if I wanted to talk shop and offered up his contact information. I don't remember his name, real or otherwise, and when I checked up on his website a couple of years ago, it seemed poker had left his life.
Nevertheless, having someone to be there to share results and strategies with helped me start to figure out how other regulars thought about poker and how well they did.
To start making relationships in the online poker world, start posting at one of the major forums and start posting in the strategy sections. Be thoughtful and stick to forums relevant to your experience (that means don't post strategy advice in the High Stakes section), and you can ask around in a general discussion thread if anyone wants to swap skype names.
If there is a poster who is a good poster and might be a good discussion partner, send him a private message, use a little bit of flattery and you will likely have a new friend. Alternatively, you can use something like this new poker study group website. Just make sure to cultivate relationships that are mutually beneficial, don't contact some random high stakes poker player to try to pick his brain, he will ignore you. Only contact someone like that if you have something good to offer.
For example, my friend has coached nosebleed stakes NL players in mixed games and has made some friends and backers as a result, even though he plays much lower stakes. On the flipside, avoid people who try to leech off of you.
Benefits of Having Lots of Poker Friends
- Learn how other winning players think, especially those with different playing styles. Once you reach a certain level you will play 80% of your hands against four regulars and one fish.
- Have someone to talk to who understands poker. Telling your girlfriend about your 50000 hand breakeven stretch will only lead to silly questions.
- Instant friends at popular live events
- Potential roommates if you are interested in the poker house lifestyle
- Have trusted individuals to do site to site transfers and stakes/swaps
- Business and job opportunities. I got offered jobs at the all the major training sites based on a period of stellar results at 200nl a very long time ago. My good fortune was due to a dataminer making results public on 2p2, in the days before PTR. As PTR gets blocked at more sites, you might have to know someone to get involved in training sites. That's not the only form of online poker business either, several forum posters have become paid community ambassadors for poker sites, and I'll bet my last dollar they knew someone who knew someone who knew someone.
I definitely didn't do very well in this aspect. I frequently neglect to participate in the poker community for long stretches of time and consequently I have a lot of names on my AIM, but not many I could just say "What's up" to. This is somewhat due to my independent nature and I really hate the idea of "networking." By networking, I mean where people try to meet as many people as possible and do the minimum to maintain that relationship to keep it viable for future favors. Remember to make poker buddies because it will be interesting and rewarding to you, not because it financially benefits you. If shooting the shit with other poker players on Skype doesn't interest you, don't bother doing it. You could become a successful pro without making a single forum post, or talking to a single other poker player. It just not the easiest or the most fun way to do it.
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