I mentioned yesterday about how I'd been "playing angry." I'm certain that emotional reaction stems from my competitive nature. I hate to lose. And throughout my athletic life, I've always pushed myself as far as I could go in order to prevent that from happening.
But nobody wins all the time.
I was having a discussion with good pal and frequent reader poker_ghost the other day. It began with us poking fun at guys who lose their shit when sucked out on (raises hand sheepishly), even in a $5 buy-in SnG. It's only five bucks, dude! But it really has nothing to do with money. It has to do with competition. Above the buy-in, in addition to losing because of someone else's horrid play, there's also that draining feeling of loss. I feel it every single time I bust out of a multi-table tournament. To varying degrees certainly, but it's always there.
Lately, I've taken my losses (which include both bad beats and poor plays) harshly. There have been four-letter words. Often combined with other words to make longer, mure vulgar terms. Occassionally, I would string together several, resulting in a non-sensical, yet decidedly filthy soliloquoy.
That's a good album title, "Filthy Soliloquoy."
I'm aware of how dumb my behavior is. I'm aware it detracts from my poker game. I am the type of person, however, who sometimes needs a hammer blow to the forehead to get my full attention. Ask anyone who's ever tried to have a conversation with me while I'm reading the newspaper.
Today's hammer blow comes from an interview with new Oakland A's owner Lew Wolff, who describes below what he wants out of his team and what he expects of himself:
"(I want them to) do their very best every day. That's all we can do. I prefer wins, but I don't want my competitiveness to get ahead of my good sense."
Let me repeat that.
I prefer wins, but I don't want my competitiveness to get ahead of my good sense.
Words to live by. Now, where is my good sense? I know it's around here somewhere.
I'm on track for my first losing week in a while, mostly due to my apparent addiciton to those $11 re-buy tourneys on Stars. Two of them account for 2/3rds of the week's losses. I really need to stop playing those. Or start playing them better.
Otherwise, I just seem to be making the wrong decisions at crucial times. Or find myself on the wrong end of the spinning wheel of fortuna. A couple examples from last night.
Playing .10/.25 PL Omaha/8, I have a solid low on the turn and four outs (the duece) to the nut low/straight. But I'm corruptable, facing a $7 bet and two other callers, so I lay it down. Duece falls on the river and I would have scooped the entire $90 pot. Ouch.
Playing the $20 MTT and getting along just fine. Average chip stack, 15x the BB and in the top 35 with the bubble approaching. I'd been cold-decked for a while, but had a good read on my table, one player in particular. He was one of the top 3 stacks in the tourney, immediately to my left, and he called a lot of pre-flop raises, eventually showing down marginal holdings like QJ or A9. He was catching quite a bit with those cards, though. Hence, his stack. I hoped I'd get a shot at him.
One from the button, I see A8s and with no action in front of me raise 4x (blinds at 300/600). Naturally, loose guy next to me calls. I'm probably behind here, but let's see what the flop brings. And it brings something very attractive: 8-high, backdoor flush draw. Now, I think I'm good here. Based on what I've seen from loose guy, he's got a couple big cards and just whiffed. I'd think a pre-flop re-raise if he was holding overpairs. I bet the pot, a bit more than half my remaining stack. He raises. Trying to buy it. I push and he flips JJ. I don't improve.
Remember those blue streaks I mentioned earlier? Well, I thought them, but didn't speak them.
I finished 10 off the money (73rd of 670) and it was entirely my own fault. I was just waiting to line that guy up, but trying to do it with A8s probably wasn't the most patient tactic. In my defense, I was hoping for the blinds with my pre-flop raise. In my further defense, I would have easily goten away from the hand if I didn't flop top pair. A bit unlucky there. But I forced myself into a pot I could have avoided.
Regardless, I'm working on not letting the losing, the competitiveness, overwhelm the lesson learned or the future play.
Halfway home to an epic All-Premiership Champions League semifinal. Road work to do for both my beloved Liverpool and Al's beloved Chelski, but I believe. And boy, if there's anyone in the world of football who's scored more clutch goals for his side than Frankie Lampard, I'm not aware of him. That second was gorgeous.
What could we possibly come up with as a wager for potential matches with such massive stakes? Maybe Al would have to wear my Steven Gerrard jersey in the WPBT Aladdin Classic. Maybe I'd have to climb atop a Plaza blackjack table and sing Chelsea songs. Permanent forehead tattoos? Naming children after Didier Drogba?
The possibilities are endless.