A New Poker Journey Begins

Welcome to PokerBug's Brand New Website: Exceptional Poker

Well, this is my first post on the new Exceptional Poker site. Like heading out on a new road trip to parts unknown, it feels fresh and exciting… and if I’m completely honest, it’s a little scary, too. After all, I’ve been posting regularly over on the PokerBug.Blogspot.com blog now for ten years. Yes, a full decade.

Photo by Marcin Milewski

Photo by Marcin Milewski

Over those years, I’ve built up a loyal readership on PokerBug. I’ve grown, both as a player and as a person, writing that rambling and wriggling blog on all-things poker. I’ve made friends there. I cut my virtual teeth there on live and online Hold’em, Omaha, Stud… and, well, you name it. I’ve learned a ton along the way, and occasionally (frequently?) embarrassed myself describing the journey. It’s not always been pretty, but it has been genuine and as honest as I could make it. PokerBug has been my online home for more than a decade…

…but it was time for a change. A big change. Back when I started the old blog, the purpose of writing it was to make me a better player. I’m a diehard believer that if you want to truly learn and master a subject, try explaining it to others. Over the years, I used PokerBug for that exact purpose: I worked on becoming a better player by trying to explain it to my readers. Sometimes things got ugly, but the bottom line is that over time I learned the skills, tools, techniques, tactics, and strategies to beat this crazy game. I did this by reading and studying, experimenting on the tables, and then documenting what I learned on the blog. I tried hard to accurately explain concepts and ideas, and in doing so it made me better understand those same concepts and ideas. The motto/tag-line of PokerBug will forever be docendo disco, scribendo cogito, which loosely translates from the Latin as “I learn by explaining, I think by writing.”  This was why I kept Pokerbug alive all those years; I was learning by writing all those posts.

So, did it work? Absolutely. I don’t profess to being an elite nosebleed professional player, but nowadays I’m actually not bad. Pretty good, in fact, if I do say so myself. Over the ten-plus years of writing PokerBug, I went from being a clueless, marginally break-even player, to what I am today: an advanced semi-pro cash game specialist, who can and does crush the $100NL and lower online games for regular and consistent profit. In simple terms, I’m a winning player, and I owe a huge part of the credit to my success to the process of penning PokerBug.

Even more satisfying than my win rate and bankroll, however, are the various students I’ve picked up along the way via the blog, turning them into equally dominant players. See, in the long run, poker is indeed a game of skill. It’s a contest waged against other players, not the house. If you are better at the “skills” part of the game than your opponents, you will eventually take all their money, period. More importantly, these skills are completely teachable and learnable, as evidenced by the success my students have had. No, it’s not particularly easy to master these poker skills–like all worthwhile endeavors, learning winning poker takes discipline and hard work–but it’s also not rocket science, either. There’s a sequential hierarchy of skills and abilities that all players have to learn, but every single one of these things is straightforward and teachable…

…which brings me to the purpose of this brand new Exceptional Poker website/blog: I want to shift the focus from my journey to yours. I want to describe herein these new blog posts the fundamental truths to poker. I want to teach you how to win. I want to describe the hierarchy of skills, and I want to do so by breaking it all down for you into digestible bites. In recent years, PokerBug was slowly but surely heading that direction anyway, so it’s time to do it in a more concerted and focused manner.  I want to change poker for you from something that is perhaps frustrating and costly, into something that you love and that makes you money. A lot of money. I sincerely want to take you to the same level that I’ve taken myself. I love poker, I love writing about it, and I honestly love that feeling of helping someone go from “not-so-good” to “oh-so-great.”

So, with all that out of the way, I’d like to formally welcome you to Exceptional Poker. I hope you stick around. I also hope that you not just read, but also participate in the discussion. As before on Poker Bug, I still want need your input, good and bad alike. To do this, you can tell me what you think either via the comments section within each individual post, or directly by email to bugeyebug@gmail.com. And if you’re socially adept, there’s also now Facebook, Twitter, and email share buttons at the top of each and every blog post to spread the word.

In any case, I’m very glad you found your way here. So please bookmark this site, buckle-up, and hang on– it’s going to be exciting road trip for all of us!

Learn. Master. Crush


PS. A few additional things worth noting:

  • The old PokerBug blog will stay up and running for the foreseeable future, but I won’t be posting any new content there. I will of course continue penning posts, but all new material will be posted here on Exceptional Poker, not the old site. To ensure you don’t miss anything, you can click on this Exceptional Poker site’s Home Button here, then bookmark the URL in your browser. Even better is to add “www.ExceptionalPoker.com” to your blog reader so that you don’t miss any posts. I personally use Feedly with good results for the blogs I follow, but there are plenty of other good RSS readers around that work equally well.
  • I have nearly a thousand posts back on the old site. Over time, I’ll be migrating duplicats of what I consider the best of those posts over to this new Exceptional site. But don’t expect it all to happen immediately; there’s a lot of words therein, and separating the wheat from the chaff, organizing and tagging the material, editing and updating, and then re-posting it here is going to to take some time. Please be patient.
  • You might also be wondering about the name change. First and foremost, I wanted/needed to go to a self-hosted site. Blogger (Blogspot) is perfectly fine for casual and amateur blogs, but for the past year I’ve wanted to take things to the next level. It’s a long story, but stepping up my blogging game has meant a required move to WordPress, and that in turn has meant self-hosting– which of course has led to purchasing a dot-com domain name, securing hosting services, buying and installing a theme, etc. While I initially considered procuring the “PokerBug dot com” URL, someone else beat me to it. Grrr. Yes, I could have repurchased it from the squatter, but the price was an upwardly-moving target every time I got near it and/or put a bid in on it via an auction. Ergo, it was time for a brand new name and a fresh start.
  • The other reason for the name change relates to the new core focus on this Exceptional site: teaching high-quality poker skills to others, not documenting Bug’s own journey, per se. Ergo again, the brand new name, with the brand new look, feel, and focus.
  • Finally, the appearance of this new Exceptional site will be changing (hopefully for the better!) over the coming weeks and months. It’s currently a little clunky and non-professional appearing. I’m not an HTML guy, and WordPress doesn’t have the most intuitive interface ever invented. More to the point, the site honestly needs a professional’s touch on the graphics and layout side of things– but I didn’t want to wait. The simple truth is I’m much, much more interested in getting things up and running now,  than I am in waiting to make everything perfect first. As friends and coworkers of mine will attest, I live life by the adage of “Perfect is the Enemy of Good Enough.” (Or as the founder of LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman, is  so frequently quoted: “If you’re not embarrassed by the first release of your [website], you’ve launched too late.”) I don’t mind being embarrassed in the short-run, if it means getting this new, long-running blog off the ground now.

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3 thoughts on “A New Poker Journey Begins

    • One of the main reasons I switched was because WordPress allows so much more control, and has literally thousands of so-called “plug-ins” that can allow all manner of additional functionality. You can have more control over the look and feel, add things like e-commerce, opt-in forms, etc. That’s the good news.

      The bad news is it’s not intuitive at all to set up and use. I’m relatively computer savvy, and can usually figure out most software and apps with little fanfare, but WP is bizarre and very difficult. Then you factor in a custom “theme,” with all it’s own eccentricities. Worse, I’ve had to go to a host provider, which means another layer of complexity. I literally now have control panels for Bluehost, WordPress, and the GetNoticed Theme that I have to muck with to get the site looking and operating a certain way. Not easy at all, at least for me.

      In contrast, the beauty of blogspot (blogger) was a) it’s free; and b) it’s incredibly easy to use. The downside, of course, is I wasn’t able to do some of the things I want to do on the new site.