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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Nature of The Game...



...as humiliating as this game can be sometimes, what with the river beats that just stack up over and over again, and having to gather up all your 'stuff' and exit the playing area...all while hearing the mumbles and whispers of other players as they comment on your current disaster...it just happens to be part of the big picture that controls this game of poker.

And on top of it all, it is all playing a pretty big role in my becoming more and more numb to the emotional fluctuations that are experienced, it seems, on a daily basis. I have always shown such amazement and respect for older, experienced pros (Barry Greenstein is a good example) who will take a horrendous beat and just sit there, emotionless, as the dealer pushes half or more of their stack to the other side of the table.

It might not be as much about them being 'cool as a cucumber' and simply them just becoming desensitized to the gut-wrenching suckouts. These things just add up....and build...to the point where when you DO actually dodge all the BS, have your hands hold up...and oh gee, yeah, play GOOD poker...and win a tourney, that the ability to celebrate that win, to truly enjoy it...just don't really last very long. It's just a reason to take a deep breath and know you finally stopped the bleeding. That you made your backer happy that they back you. That you put some money back IN your account, instead of doing nothing but taking it OUT for as long as you've been running bad. That maybe your significant other finds you sexy again, and magically decides to start sleeping with you again. Your dogs even seem to like you more.

No. Check that last one off. That's just not true. Not at all. Which is why if I had my druthers, and the option was on the table...I would turn the world into a bunch of black labradors. They don't care how much I win or lose. Only that I am home to spend time with them. To throw them the ball. That's all they require of me.

To sum up this week....IT HAS SUCKED!

I won't go into hand over hand...why? Who cares? Am I ahead 95% of the time when I am losing? Sure. Sure I am. Would I say the Beau Rivage has been filled with donkeys? Mmm...not really, no. There are a few, sure...there always is. But honestly, there are more good players than bad ones. The structures are great, totally conducive to a deep run. The dealers are exceptional. And with the exception of a few floor calls that I couldn't have disagreed with more...the floor people have been great. The room is great, the space between the tables is great. I mean...everything is there for me to just show up and kick some ass. But the deck has been murdering me. The dealers are all talking about it.

"Oh my God...you should have seen what I did to Monkey.....damn!"

"Wow, did you hear how Monkey went out of that tourney yesterday? Holy crap...one outer on the river. So gross."

Yeah yeah....blah blah blah. And honestly, I've really been handling it well. Not only I think that, but its been repeated back to me by a lot of other players and dealers as well. And I have to admit, this was truly one of my goals in 2010, to eliminate some of the negative impression that other players and dealers had of me. And I think its fair to say I have progressed well in that area.

What is tough...is that since I have been focused on being a lot less negative, a lot more positive, and talking to a lot more people...mainly because so many of you read this blog, and I really don't want any of you thinking badly of me....its hard to get repeatedly hammered at the table...and when leaving the tourney area, running into someone who is just being nice by making a comment to me:

"Hi Monkey!!! How are you!!!???"

"Hey Monkey, good to see you...how's everything going? How you running.?"

This is happening a lot. And I'm not a very good liar. So its hard not to just say..."Well, honestly, I'm running like total dogshit. I'm about to kill myself."

But the alternative is to lie. To make up a bunch of stuff that sounds good.

A better alternative would be to just start running good. To have a few hands hold up. To actually MAKE A DINNER BREAK!!! To stop losing all three tourneys each day! Twice I have pulled the famous 'hat trick' out of four days!

Yeah...I took Sunday off to clear my head of the bad...came back Monday, ran just as terrible...then took today off. Slept in. Read my book. Got caught up on all my football pools, my mail....and even played some XBox360. Didn't play a single hand of poker. Tomorrow, I will go back and start over again. With a positive attitude...and a rosy outlook. It can't stay this bad.

This game just drives you nuts! It really does! Which...if you all haven't figured out by now, is responsible for me NEVER getting to caught up in the successes when I do have them. Most of the good players that I know, are the same way. They don't go around bragging. They don't change their playing habits. And when we all sit around, maybe over dinner, and talk about it...we all kind of say the same things.

"Yeah...its been a really nice run. And it feels good to win some money. But now I'm just waiting for the cold run to hit me....and hope that I can deal with it."

And it just seems inevitable that it always comes. Why? And when it does come...why must it always last SO long? It's freaky. Hey...just let me run bad for a day or two, I can handle THAT. But when it starts out as three days in a row....then grows to a week...about the time your head starts getting totally messed up, and eventually you are looking at a full month or two of running bad, you start to really drive yourself crazy. Then you go home to your wife...and you are expected to explain your day, but you can't...because you spent the 20 minutes driving home trying to just let it go.

Oh...but no, lets go home...and REHASH it! That's going to really help. But we aren't supposed to be upset or bitter about it. Because that's our wife...and they just want to know how our day went. So what? Do we sit there and explain every hand? And the emotion we felt watching that last card hit the river...and our brain getting that jolt we all know and hate? I mean...its really NOT fair of us to expect them to just leave us the hell alone. It's not. I get that. But is there a good answer to this problem? I doubt it. It just sucks.

This week....has just sucked!



There was ONE good thing that happened this weekend. I think you all know what that is.

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS 41 NEW ORLEANS SAINTS 36

Pretty proud of the game my boys played up there in Seattle. And the crowd was incredible. I've watched the replay on NFLHD today about three times. It was an interesting experience watching it in my new MONKEY Seahawks jersey. Oh there were a few jackass comments about it early on...but for the most part, no one was too annoying about it.

And after the game had ended...I finallly stood and showed some happiness. And several people came over and congratulated me. It was the first time since the the 2005 season I can remember where Matt Hasselback showed up and played like a 'real' quarterback. Can he do it again this weekend against Chicago? I sure hope so. That would be great. They did it once this season already...and I was there to watch it go down. But I'm aware that a lot more is on the line this time...and the Bears are playing a lot better. It's going to be a tough game. We are once again 10 point underdogs. But hey...its the Playoffs...and Pete Carroll has the team really believing in itself...and anything can happen. And should Green Bay happen to beat Atlanta, which I think is fully possible...and we beat Chicago, can you imagine the NFC Championship Game at Quest Field in Seattle? How crazy that would be? A team with a 9-9 overall record hosting the NFL title game? Hilarious.

Wasnt real thrilled with the outcome of the BCS Title Game. Turned out I needed Oregon to win pretty bad. They didn't. Had purchased 8 squares on my BCS TITLE BOARD....came close on a couple...and then, in the end...didn't win any! Mitch Franks...a guy a lot of you in the poker world probably know, won THREE Squares...for a total of $1650. Talk about running good!

Watching Cam Newton strut out on the field with his music playing in his headphones...walking around with that...what do you call it? Just...his cockiness, I don't know, it made me really want him to lose. But he once again led his team to a late game victory. The guy is a helluva player. Not sure how he will do at the next level. Could he be the next JaMarcus Russell?

These two commercials keep playing on TV....the one where the dogs need a home. With the sad music playing in the background. I think its Sara McLoughlin. I hate that commercial...because I love dogs. And there isn't anything I can do to save all those dogs. Then...the next one is of the hungry, disease ravaged kids in 3rd world countries...and that old guy walking in the street talking about them needing you to help them have a better life.

So...here is an idea. All those puppies that need a home? Give each one of those kids a puppy. And then, I will be more willing to 'adopt' one of those kids...sending them some money every month. I happen to know from experience that a dog makes you a lot happier. Give those kids a dog...and they will brighten up significantly. And then with a few dollars here and there...they can catch an occasional meal. Problem solved.

Okay...thats all for today. Tomorrow is a new day. Noon tourney is a $350. I'll be there. Trying to get back on track. Trying to rediscover the sweet taste of victory.



Monkey

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