The main part of my game that I have been trying to improve over the last couple of months is playing more aggressively. It can be a hard thing to do as raising in the wrong spot will get a re-raise coming back and give you a difficult decision, or if you are behind in a hand to an opponent who just isn't going to lay his down it can be fair costly. On the other hand there are many situations in a game where you just know that your opponent is weak and a substantial raise (even with nothing) will often win the pot. It's all a case of picking the right times. The only way to get to know these times is with experience and not being afraid of raising sometime. It won't always work, but you will get better at it with practice. As a benchmark the general rule is that if your total aggression factor in a full ring game in Poker Tracker is below 2 then you are way too passive. I currently have mine sitting just under 3 and would like to see it moving up closer to the 4 mark.
Today's topic: Ergonomics
Anyone who plays online poker for any length of time will eventually start to feel a dull pain in their wrist and forearm area. This could be the start of a condition known as "Carpal Tunnel Syndrome". The bad news is that it is only going to get worse unless you look at a solution early on.
What is carpal tunnel syndrome? Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the hand, becomes pressed or squeezed at the wrist. Sometimes, thickening from irritated tendons or other swelling narrows the tunnel and causes the median nerve to be compressed. The result may be pain, weakness, or numbness in the hand and wrist, radiating up the arm.
What is the Solution? When I first started getting the dull pain in my wrist I changed my mouse from my right to left hand. This worked for a while but then started to get the same dull pain in both my wrists after a time. My next step was to purchase a wrist brace, available from most chemists. This works by keeping the wrist straight and stopping the tendon from twisting which causes the inflammation. While this solution worked I found the brace to become cumbersome and uncomfortable.
Next I purchased a Logitech Marble mouse, which is basically a trackball. It works really well once you get use to it and goes a long way towards solving the problem if you use it in conjunction with a gel wrist pad.
The best solution that I have found is the Evoluent vertical mouse . This mouse is available from Amazon.com and really does a great job of keeping your wrist straight and stable. Some days I use the trackball and other days I use my Evoluent mouse and I find that the combination has completely alleviated any of the symptoms I have encountered in the past.
If you are starting to feel any pain in your wrist, or tingling in your fingers or palms, then I would recommend looking at one of these solutions sooner rather than later. Once the condition has reached a certain point it can be a lot harder to correct and in some case require surgery to fix.
For anyone not aware of or not utilizing the 2 + 2 forums it is one of the best poker resources on the internet. While there is a lot of average posts in the forums, if you spend a bit of time searching you will find some really valuable information to help you game.