Monday, November 14, 2005

The English Edge

It occurs to me that a great advantage I have to being a poker player in Japan is that I can read English fluently. This opens up a huge amount of poker knowledge to me that is not so easily available to Japanese-speaking players. Look at the huge number of poker books, web sites, blogs, and podcasts out there! I can go through this stuff quite easily and learn from it as best I can. Japanese players either won't be able to read the material at all, or at least will have an additional burden of trying to unravel meaning from a foreign language first, and then to try to comprehend the poker strategy points being presented.

If poker really takes off in Japan, somebody had better be in a position to translate some of the big English-language poker resources and resell to the Japanese market. That person or company could make a lot of money.

My recent tournament play in the JPPA games prompted this realization. I had just read Harrington on Holdem Volume 1, and it really had an impact on my head, and how I looked at the game and responded to it while playing. I noticed that my continuation bets seemed to be getting a lot more respect than I would have thought - a lot of JPPA games have long, long stretches of bet-fold, or bet-raise-fold. Many of the players seem trained to respect a bet or raise, so if they aren't familiar with the idea of a continuation bet, then they're going to subconsciously fear my bets more than they should.

Damn, I wish my Japanese skills were a lot better than they are. This could be a nice business to get into.

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