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Ring Rust, Poker Hangovers and Latent Tilt

I played in the WWdn last night. Well, I didn't really play, so much as I publicly embarassed myself and then made a hurried exit. I may have been the Gigli, but I was too ashamed to look.

My play was just horrible. I tried to make something happen with AQo, and when it didn't improve, I tried to bluff my way out of the situation. Instead, I just bluffed my way out of the tournament. Looking at it now, it kinda reminds me of that post-it note I used to put on my laptop screen when playing a long tournament. It was just two words, "No Bluffing," and its advice that I have to recapture.

The bottom line was, I was playing horribly, worse than my worst days when I was a daily online poker player. Part of it, I'm sure, is due to the usual problems I have with online poker, the lack of concentration and the tendency to be inebriated, but it felt like the other issue was ole fashioned ring rust. I was just not in tune with the game. Can I fix it? Probably, by returning to a schedule where I play online poker more often. Will I fix it? Hell no.

Ring rust sucks, but I just cannot recommit to the pursuit that is online poker. I have about $100 left online, and it will keep me in blogger tournaments for as long as I need. Ring rust sucks, but at least it hasn't affected my live game.

At the very least, I'm glad I don't play online as much because I've found myself to be prone to poker hangovers. If you haven't experienced this soul-crushing phenomenom, this is how it goes: You play poker and lose. You wake up the next day feeling like shit because you lost at poker. It might not be obvious that that is the reason you are in a crabby mood, but for me, I can read the writing on the wall. In fact, after I lost the three buy-ins at the Salami tournament last Friday, I woke up Saturday and stared my poker hangover right in the face. I had a restless sleep, complete with anxiety nightmare, and woke up feeling like a loser. I even said it to wifey Kim, "I'm still fucked up about the loss last night." She was comforting, albeit in passing while she prepared for the day, but it was enough that I was able to face the poker hangover reality in the face.

When I played online a lot, I remember a stretch of nights when I was winner steadily. I slept happy. Then came a cold spell and I was miserable. Each morning preparing for work became a energy-sapping task. I just could not get in gear. So, at the very least, those days are less common. Now I just need to work on eliminating them altogether.

Truth is, the poker hangover has changed from a hangover to a latent tilt. Since losing those three buy-ins at Salami on Friday, I've been wary of live poker. I haven't set up any days to play this week, and while I could squeeze in a Salami tournament tonight, I just don't wanna. I'm practically scared, and its god damn humorous because prior to that loss, I moneyed in all 4 Salami tournaments I played this year and in 70% of the live tournaments I played in general. I was on a freakin' tear, and I can say with utmost confidence that it was not due to amazing hole cards (although in isolated instances, I did get lucky, but no moreso than I got unlucky in other instances).

So, what to do? Well, I need to get over myself. I have the WSOP Circuit this weekend (I'm giddy as a school girl), and I am praying that I can get in via a satellite, but even if I don't, I have to remind myself that I can win. I have all of the things I need. Self-doubt is not something that anyone should carry with them to the poker table. I've said time and time again, to win, I need to believe that I can beat everyone at the table. Some people need to feel like the underdog. I need to feel super confident. So, from here until Saturday, my goal is to keep positive. I lost three buy-ins in a Salami tournament. Whoopdeedoo! I will lose from time to time, but that is not a reflection on my lack of ability (here is where self doubt comes in and reminds me that, yes, I lost that tournament -- at least one of the buy-ins, because of my lack of control). But I can reclaim that loss of control, and I have to believe that I can win, because if you go in a loser, you're going to come out a loser. Game face on.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 9:35 AM,


At 1:42 PM, Blogger TripJax said...

Wow, we are both giddy as school girls on the same day. However, I totally pwn yours cause I also added "on pink m&m's."

Take that school girl!

Now quit worrying about your game and get to the salami...

At 3:20 PM, Blogger SoxLover said...

I know exactly what you mean by poker hangover.

It's very analgous to the real thing, complete with the desire to go over in your head all the stupid things you rember doing and the "what the hell was I thinking" refrain.

At 5:41 PM, Blogger loona said...

I don't get the poker hangover but I always have a hard time falling asleep after playing poker. I usually toss and turn and mull over everything I thought I did wrong, how I should have played hands differently, etc.



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