Friday, June 16, 2006

I Think I'm Dumb

Strange that a 111th place finish in the Full Tilt (now with new client goodness!) $18K last night, what with it being 30 places off the money, could make me feel invigorated about my poker game, but it did.

The previous poker post generated further discussion (a typically-literate post from Absinthe) and an e-mail from a respected blogger/tourney player. Both of them, while rich with mechanical and theoretical truisms, spoke to me in a way that can be boiled down to just a few words:

Pull your fucking head out, Speaker.

(Before we move on, can I just say I love referring to my fake internet name in the 3rd person? Thanks.)

At the most basic, these posts/discussions/e-mails made me think about the game, about my game, and it quickly became apparent that is something I have not done nearly enough of in a while. I let the endless parade of 94o make me lazy. Click the fold button and go back to watching the World Cup (speaking of which, I saw the first half-hour of Argentina's clinical dismantling of S&M this morning and coupled with their classy win over a tough Ivory Coast side on Saturday, they have stamped themselves the favorite. Brazil looked like...well...the US team...v. Croatia compared the the free-flowing moves of Argentina).

So, the result was me...and this is important...PAYING ATTENTION to the poker last night and I made good plays and great plays and only one poor (non-fatal) one, which could be explained by the fact the guy had proven himself to be a moron and just happened to wake up with aces that hand. On the hand that I went out on, just before the second break, I made my best play of the night, pushing my 33 into a J74 flop, a play I would be LOATHE to make if I was just playing the cards, was not in tune with the table or the players. One of the two other players in the hand called 90% of his stack with KQo and made a runner-runner flush (after I made a set on the turn).

And I was happy! I was happy I a) worked through the action b) came to the conclusion I was ahead c) bet d) was right. Too often lately, I simply played the cards. I was reminded that's no way to win a tournament. I didn't worry that I was well below par with the antes kicking in. I didn't worry about how many players remained. And I thought through every hand.

You'd think these sorts of things, this skill set, would be second nature by now. I'm chagrined to say that's not the case for me. But thanks to the refreshers, I'm gonna turn it around, get back to playing my A game. I wasn't card dead. I was brain dead.

Of course, I have no time to play poker this weekend, not even the Blogger freeroll at Stars. That's okay. I have ideas.


At 2:08 PM, Blogger Mark said...

I've been feeling the same way. It's amazing what good a little focus can do.

At 6:08 AM, Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

I'm so with you, Joe. It's amazing how without even realizing it you can find yourself failing to focus on the games you're playing, even the ones you really want to win. And there is no doubt, none whatsoever, that one plays much, much better when paying attention to the game. Every player, every hand.

Glad you were able to find this leak and plug that shizz up. I'm sure you'll enjoy the results.


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