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Ryan McLane

Ryan  McLane
Ryan McLane was a poker reporter for Casino City. Although he has a strong background in reporting, the same can't be said for his poker skills. He has never won a major tournament nor is he a professional player. Currently, Ryan lives in Boston and occasionally makes international treks to cover tournament poker and news.

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My 2007 New Year's Poker Resolutions

8 Jan 2007

By Ryan McLane

Since poker and making/breaking New Year's resolutions are both American institutions, I decided to start 2007 by combining the two. So I hereby resolve to:

1.) Stop whining about bad beats

Every tournament-poker player feels like they are the most unlucky person to ever live – unless they're Jamie Gold. From river beats to cracked aces, a tournament player like myself can't play without feeling the pain of a hand gone wrong.

So if bad beats are a prevalent part of the game, why do we keep throwing tantrums at the table? And why do we continue to regale people with our stories of woe?

Because losing sucks and losing when you're supposed to win sucks even more.

But, honestly, bad beats are as much a part of the game as pocket aces. And while I want torture the next person who says to me "hey, that's poker," I have to accept that poker involves an element of luck and it really is just a natural part of the game. Bottom line: The more you play, the more you'll experience the horrific bad beats -- get over it.

So in 2007, I will act like I've played before and not whine about my bad beats…much.

2.) Put an end to bad poker clichés

The following phrases irk me. The first person who says one of these things to me in 2007 will immediately be punched in the face…and no, this does not violate Resolution No. 1.

a.) But that's my favorite hand…
b.) I just had a feeling…
c.) I thought you had nothing (while holding nothing themselves)…
d.) The dealer just gave you aces (said to the guy who left the table to go to the bathroom).
e.) How do you play this game?
f.) Let's play heads-up right now!

3.) Continue to play online poker from American soil

Just say no to Bill Frist. If he doesn't like me because I play online poker, so be it. I don't like him either. Several major online poker sites will let me play – so I will gladly give them all of my money and continue to shake my fist at the former Senator who supported gambling on horses, but not online poker.

4.) Teach someone new how to play poker

This past year, I spent a fair amount of time mentoring my girlfriend and watching her blossom into a good little player. It was a very rewarding experience, especially after she to won some tournaments and started to understand the texture of the game.

Sometimes it's hard to teach someone else how to play. The curse words, the tears, the yelling and the inevitable "my student is better than me" feelings can sometimes be overwhelming. But in the end, teaching someone the game brings another person to the sport…and helps your own play considerably.

5.) Start a regular home game

The last time I had a regular poker game with a group of friends was two years ago when I was serving in Iraq. I haven't had the time to put together a consistent game since then. This is a shame, especially considering that as I grow older, I have less time to spend catching up with friends.

Late in 2006, I started an eight-person poker league. The league had five matches that culminated with a big-stack winner-take-all final table. At first, the play was weak and the conversation was minimal. But by the final table, everyone who played made a new friend and agreed that a weekly poker league was something to look forward to. I plan on running the league again soon.

So this is my invitation to all my friends (all three of them) who read my musings here -- Let's start up a regular game. I promise not to throw any tantrums.

Mucking McLane
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