The Poker Comeback
It’s been approximately six months or so since I’ve won a live tournament. No doubt the longest cold streak in tournament play I’ve endured in my 11 year poker history. Prior to this I went through one of the toughest runs racking up heavy losses. It got to the point where the house was lending out credit to me. That’s something I’ll never do again. Fortunately, I was able to snap both of those losing streaks. Certainly a moral victory. It was great to finally get the monkey off the back. I can probably write an entire essay on running bad, but I’m going to condense this article and outline what I went through.
Playing bad vs running bad.
Most people confuse the former with the latter. They’re simply not perceptive enough to see their own shortcomings. Most of us run bad because of wrong decisions that propel us to lose mental focus. This is exacerbated by critical miscalculations based on emotional duress rather than intuition, basic statistic probabilities, or mere common sense. How many times have you seen a player lose a large pot only to ship it in the next few hands out of desperation and frustration. A few miraculously regain their chip stacks, most spiral downwards onto the rail. It is at that very moment which is very telling of a players’ psyche and mental toughness. I’ve seen everything from minor to major arguments, sardonic remarks traded, berating of players, pounding of the table out of frustration, among other amusing actions. One amusing anecdote was a player who decided to do drugs to take the edge off his losses. Highly recommended if you’re planning on going busto. After I left the game I heard he ended up losing several grand. Maybe I should have stayed after all.
My most recent cold streak began at a final table where I almost knocked out a player whom I’ll call Big Sardine who previously knocked me out twice. He somehow doubled up and stayed in the game until he had Ace rag and shipped it on the flop with top pair. Ironically another player who held AQ folded. He covered him too. It was mind boggling at the time. Everybody on the table gasped at the fold. A few hands later I had AQ which I raised pre-flop, and Big Sardine re-raised which I called. Flop comes AKQ rainbow. I ship and on the turn it’s a J. Oh craps he’s got Broadway. Then the Ace from space came on the river. I’ve got Aces full of Queens. Hallelujah! Big Sardine with his big fat grin shows Aces full of Kings. FML. Not only did I lose with a major cooler I lost to a player who knocked me out for a third time! I was definitely pretty tilted for the fact that the other player who held AQ earlier could have knocked him out. That’s why I say poker is circumstantial. In another session another player shipped making a play. I held QQs and snapped call. He was holding 78 suited. Of course he flopped a straight and I’m crippled losing right before the final table and he ended up winning the tourney.
The next session I’m in top form and I run into another all in type of player who made his move with 9c10c. I called with AsQs. He hit his 10 and I’m out. Go figure. I decided to take my luck elsewhere by playing in a different venue. I started off with a bang taking out two players with a set of KKs vs two pair vs a pair of Aces. Eventually I somehow dwindled and lost to a runner runner straight cooler. No surprise there. My life tilt continued for another session which was around the four month mark. Then something strange happened. I played my next poker tourney with the mindset of not caring at all. I got down to only 100 chips and going on the run of my life ending up with 630 x my chip stack. I doubled up non-stop for about an hour and ended up with approximately 63,000 chips. Ironically I changed up my style and actually played more conservatively and ended up losing, but not til I hit the final table. I really thought I was going to win that one, but that truly defined the meaning of a “chip and a chair” concept. On the next tourney I lost with KKs vs a set of 5s and consequently took a month off from live poker.
The Poker Comeback.
After a much needed hiatus from the felts I came back with a renewed interest with a much more relaxed approach. Decided to cut out ring games and focus on tourneys again. I almost approached the game where I knew losing wasn’t going to effect me too much anymore. After all, losing for 180 days straight gets one numb to the pain. In time I was able to win back to back tournies, although nothing major. But it helped regained my confidence and love for the game. I equate it to alleviating a serious case of constipation. Winning not one, but two tournies in a row was an assuagement for all those losses I had to endure.
The key take way is to always have fun. Ya can’t take it personally. Everyone and everybody have all experienced those miserable neverending coolers. I’ve learned it’s a state of mind. When you see what’s happening in the world with the wars, famine, and recession, losing isn’t so bad. These days I pretty much laugh off the bad beats. In fact as of writing this I played online and lost against 7c2c vs my two pair as the player hit a runner runner straight. Then I lost AA vs QQ. The player hit quads.
Only on Pokerstars aka Jokerstars.
Here we go again!
To be continued…