Wednesday, September 14, 2005


I've lived out here in the Godforsaken Desert for 18 months now and I miss a lot of things about L.A. proper. Carnitas burritos from Poquito Mas, the occasional ocean breeze, a pitcher of Newcastle at Scotland Yard Pub. I'd lived near or within the city limits for so long that I knew exactly where I could find whatever--or whomever--it was I needed, at whatever hour. Not so out here in the Exurbs.

It's been quite a transition and, at times, slow goin'. Yet, I've no doubt I'm in the right place for now.

And so it is with poker. I haven't been playing much at all lately. I'm not even sure Bob and I would have made it into a Poker Room this past weekend if it wasn't for MrSubliminal sending us those hidden messages. I'd been in town for 6 hours by the time he convinced us to abandon blackjack and I'd yet to feel the impulse to check-raise a single douchebag.

It's not that I don't WANT to play. I do. But I'm picking my spots. Like goofing around with bloggers at the .05/.10 NL tables.

The result of this is not just added time doing other things that interest me, but also that I look forward to sitting at a table. This is a marked contrast with much of my poker life, relatively brief as it is, where I played regardless of how I was feeling. I sat because it's what I did, for too many hours a week.

When I decided to cut back a month ago, it was not an easy conclusion. Because I didn't want to cut back. I wanted to keep playing. It's my nature. But I knew it was the right choice. And I forced myself away...eventually.

With the benefit of hindsight, it's pretty clear to me I was on the verge of burn-out. There was little, if any, fun involved. Head down, bulling forward, check, raise, fold. Wash, rinse, repeat.

What's odd is that I'm really enjoying poker though I'm not playing. Talk about counter-intuitive. I've read no less than three poker-related books, only one of them that could be considered "instructive." Yet, there are lessons to be mined nonetheless. I've empathized with the wildly unlucky John Gale on the WSOP broadcasts. I've sweated others online, discussing hands and plays. I've gratefully received encouragement and support from my fellow bloggers, those who've trod this path before and are infinitely more knowledgeable than I can hope to be.

The result is a lot of thinking about Poker. Not about My Game. Not about My Bankroll. And it excites me. It makes me look forward to playing. It makes me play better.

Not so fast, though. I'm heading out on vacation with the family this Friday. A few days in Lake Shasta, getting back to nature, fishing with The Boy and his Grandpa. On to San Francisco, seeing old friends and taking the dear and patient wife to as many touristy spots we can cram into a week. I can't begin to relate how anxious I am to spend this time with them.

Sad to say, two months ago, I may have been mumbling about "two weeks without poker." Now, it's "two weeks without poker!"

It's been quite a transition and, at times, slow goin'. Yet, I've no doubt I'm in the right place for now.


At 11:25 PM, Blogger April said...

I find myself feeling very much the same way real time to play, no real frustration, disappointment, etc. over the fact. You however, of course do a much better job of articulating those feelings than I ever could.

Enjoy your vacation!

At 8:11 AM, Blogger Drizztdj said...

Your words hit home once again.

I'll use my normal mono-syllbolic way of saying nice post.

Nice post.


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