Wednesday, July 25, 2007

State of the Union

Where I'm at, where I've been, where I will be.


I've been given an opportunity to take a full week's break from live poker, effective yesterday. My wife and daughter are flying up to New York City to visit my sister for the weekend and are leaving Thursday. (FYI: My sister is single, hear that Rooster?) As such, I'll be a full time Dad for a few days and although I'm not completely sure, taking miniBlood to the underground games in town is most likely a bad idea. Unless of course I stake him.

I've lost my last three sessions and the timing for this break couldn't be better. Is there a growing disillusionment with poker festering somewhere inside my mind? Maybe. Maybe not. If there is, its source is the thoughts of playing just-slightly-above-break-even poker for nearly seven months.

In January, I was riding high on a very positive month and purchased new furniture for the wife. I managed to negotiate another poker night per week out of the deal, but still used it only sparingly. Still, when there's very little money coming in, thoughts of lost time fill my head.

You know, as you age and approach 40, you realize time is the most precious of resources. We each have a finite, and yet unknown amount of it. You can't get it back. Ever.


Certainly over the past four years, I've taken more out of the game than I've put in. Monetarily that is. But what about everything else? Obviously I have doubts.

The facets of poker that interest me are not often found at a local 1/2 table. Playing ABC poker, getting a hand and getting paid off is simply brain-dead, mechanical play. There is no intellectual stimulation there. And lately, I've not had the patience to play that way. I want a different challenge.

The question is, where do I find it? Higher limits? Maybe. But I've not the roll for that since I invested 2/3rds of my winnings. Stupid or smart? You decide. I haven't yet.


Monday night, The Depot was rolling. There were three 1/2 tables and one full 5/10 table. It was sick. As I sat there and lost, I thought that this evening was the culmination of everything that's been happening in the G-Vegas poker scene for the past few years. I consider myself partly responsible, but there's basically no chance of ever having a regular home game again.

And as much as I used to consider live, mixed-game limit poker the least stimulating of games, I confess to yearning for at least one night of doing just that.

I will probably schedule a 4/8 HORSE game for the house sometime after Otis detoxes and for a night G-Rob can make it. After speaking with them, I have a feeling that may be what we all need.


Where is this all going? I'm not sure. If you look up mid-life crisis on wikipedia, the sixth characteristic states "a deep sense of remorse for goals not accomplished."

My goals in life have really never been discrete ones. They've been continuous. Raising and providing for a family is not something you just do one day, it's something that happens little by little over long periods of time. There is no watershed moment when you say to yourself, "I've done it." It's just something that you do. It gives you guidance when you need to make a decision. Kind of like playing good poker.

I have no defining moment in poker. No "big win" per se. I just have a bunch of little decisions whose cumulative effect has made me a winning player. Lately, I'd have to say that it's not been enough. I need and want more out of the game, but feel there's not a real way to get it. This break will be good for me. I want to squash the lingering doubt that I just may have been playing too much, the cost of which being something too high for me to pay.

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