Monday, December 19, 2005

Forces of Evil in a Bozo Nightmare

I’m not a big fan of posts like this one.  This is an instance where I’m mainly writing for my own edification rather than attempting to provide any insight for others.  I confess to going back and reading old posts of mine at times, mainly to see where I’ve been and determine if I’ve made any progress.  This post is for the future me to read.


I hate to lose.  I mean I really hate it.  My poker play of late has been horrible as have been my results.  In the month of December, I’ve lost half my bankroll – most of it the live portion thanks to Vegas.  Introspection leads me to believe that I’m not handling things the proper way.  The joy of winning doesn’t hold a candle to the frustration of losing.  And if that’s the case, then why am I playing?

I recall the feelings that I had when I won the 180SNG on Stars.  My bankroll was a cool grand richer and I was content.  But I was only barely content.  The winnings ensured a grand holiday season for the miniBloods but other than that, I didn’t feel much else.

My own pessimism compartmentalized the win into the “didn’t get unlucky” box.  I didn’t take any credit for playing well.  Even when others mentioned how well I played, I shrugged it off as still just getting a bit lucky.  I’m very reluctant to take any credit for my play because I know how quickly things can turn around.  And they just have.

As a result, I’m probably too hard on myself when I’m losing.  In fact, I pretty much manage to put myself in a realm from which there is no return.  At least not immediately.  All facets of my life are affected for the worse.  I put too much of my self-worth into my poker results and frankly, it’s hard for me to stop.  Knowing you’re doing the wrong thing is one thing, but preventing yourself from doing the wrong thing is another.

My rational side can look at the past two calendar years and see financial success.  My irrational side can look to this past trip to Vegas when I lost a huge chunk of change and see how poorly I reacted.

I tell you this, putting on a smile on any one of those days was a chore for me.  Deep down, I was pissed off.  Ultra pissed-off.  In fact, I purposely didn’t even drink that much because that would have been a very bad idea to combine the alcohol with my mood.

I regret my behavior, even if I hid my true feelings well.

In fact, I let down one of my best friends because I was too mired in self-pity.

Conventional wisdom would dictate some time off.  But I’m a junkie and can’t do that.  I can scale back the time and the stakes, but cold turkey isn’t in my vocabulary.  Time heals all wounds and this deep cut will eventually heal.  The scar tissue will be stronger than the original flesh in its place even if it’s a bit less pleasant to look at.  But all veterans of the poker battle have their scars if only to remind them that they survived.


On Sunday, I played in two $10+1 SNG’s.  I didn’t cash in either.  I managed to find solace in a place where it’s always there.  Without fail.


miniBlood and I shot some hoops in the driveway and then played some catch with a new nerf football.  Then I smoked his little butt in Madden 2004.  Granted, a 53-50 overtime win doesn’t qualify as smoked, but he’s a prodigy.  Unsurprisingly, he took the loss without so much as a passing frown.  He was just happy to play.

Lesson learned.

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