Tuesday, July 26, 2005

I Am a Patient Boy

It was not a bottom of the 9th home run to win the World Series; more like a bloop single to end an 0-for-25 drought. Will I take it?

Does a hobby horse have a hickory dick?

I finished 32nd (of 940) last night in the $20 MTT on Stars. Hooray for me. I was exceptionally cold-decked the entire way to the tune of seeing 8% of the flops in four hours. Not playing any hands drastically decreases the chance of bad beats. But I picked the right ones to play.

You might think all that folding would be boring. And you'd be right if not for two factors:

1. I had the company of a couple railbirds
2. I hung a bad beat on a guy and he bitched about it for 45 minutes

Just before I laid the beat, April popped into chat to offer a "good luck." It worked, as my short-stack push with A5s made a river flush against Big Slick. Two hands later, I doubled up on the same guy, my AJs (spades even, my ALL-TIME favorite AJ configuration) out-ran his pocket 8s. At which point he called me "lucky," and bemoaned that I'd done it to him twice.

I ignored him, as I nearly always do. He was severly short and figured I wouldn't have to deal with him much longer. Until the deck started beating him about the head and shoulders. Three huge pocket pairs in the next two levels and he was back in. And still yakking.

I continued to ignore him until he called me an "idiot." This is like a half-hour later. He asked if I ran idiotpoker.com. Which is kinda clever. I suggested he register the domain at crybaby.com.

And we're off.

About this time, WCOOP Qualifier Jason arrives. I explain to him what's happening and he jumps into chat to stir the pot, hilariously so. The Crybaby is lamenting that he gets "run down way more than most" (a fact my poorly-running self would quibble with) and Jason responds with the classic Hellmuthian "If it wasn't for luck..." quote to the delight of several. Karma's a whore and Crybaby gets his KK cracked by 88 to exit stage left.

Thanks much to April and Jason for hanging around to watch me fold fold fold.


Seems to be a few people at various crossroads in their poker/blogger/human existence. Now, I'm not the guy with the deep thoughts. I'm the guy with the dick jokes. But I will say this...


The feelings are all natural. Malaise creeps into all facets of life so why should this be any different? Stepping back and getting a fresh look is always a great idea. Change is good, but can also be hard to adapt to. Give yourself time and space and do something--anything--that brings a smile to your face. Even if it's a single tiny little thing. Those tend to add up. Most of all, whatever you decide to do, do it for you.


For me, writing is therapy. It's when I confuse the purpose of that writing that I struggle. I stopped writing for a long time because...well, because of many reasons, the most damaging of which was that I didn't have time to do it anymore with a family and the responsibilities that go with that. That writing was a silly pursuit that would never lead anywhere.

And that was the problem. I was writing in order to "get" somewhere. I wasn't writing to fulfill the need that I have to do it. Not just to satisfy a creative jones, but to get my thoughts out, order them on the page--real or virtual. I get a different view when I do that. Occasionally, I stumble upon something that hadn't previously occurred to me.

I have struggled here recently, too. For much of the early months of this blog, I toiled in anonymity. That didn't really bother me, but I can't deny some satisfaction when my site hits began to climb, some measure of pride that I was being read by those who came before, those I vastly respected. Along with the increased readership, however, came a burden, a responsibility I placed on myself to "be" a certain way. To compete with the best stuff out there. To push myself elsewhere. Not that those are bad goals. But I think the motivation was mis-placed, causing me to force the writing, to over-play a marginal hand.

I got away from writing down what I wanted because I was spending to much time thinking about what the reader reaction would be, what the reader wanted, as if I was under some obligation. I'm not good when trying to "be." I'm good when I "am."

Those stories I wrote last week...I fucking love them. They aren't perfect and I even kinda fucked up the last one, but they are ME. They flowed and I was proud of how they came out and I was gonna be proud no matter the reaction (though I'm grateful for the kind words, believe me). But I didn't write 'em for you.

Simple little things. They add up.


Plenty of times I've entertained thoughts and expectations about where this all could lead. There are several examples one can point to, success stories already written and still evolving that spurted from our community. Would I like to be one of those stories someday?

I suppose so. But that can't be my goal. Because its constricting. I'm with Marlo Thomas on this one. I am free to be, you and me. If me is good enough for a paying gig, I accept. But that's not what I'm here for. I'm trying to get better. I'm trying to maximize whatever level of ability I may have. Play to my strengths and work on my weaknesses.

Sounds a little like poker, doesn't it?


Okay, so maybe I don't "order" my thoughts very well. Maybe I just like to sit down and blow out an o-ring of my particular brand of babble. It works for me.

Finding what works is all the battle. Take your time.


At 11:30 AM, Blogger April said...

Always happy to railbird. You did goot.

At 12:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yay Joe! Back on the horse!

At 2:16 PM, Blogger Heather said...

This is like a half-hour later. He asked if I ran idiotpoker.com. Which is kinda clever. I suggested he register the domain at crybaby.com.

i LOVE this part :)

At 3:09 PM, Blogger The Bracelet said...

Maybe someday, when I've spent as many years on this earth as you have, I will be half as wise.

(That's wise as in, wise-ass, it's the only kind I can be.)

At 12:36 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Welcome to the land of cashes again!

Awesome post by the way.


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