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Learning How to Lose

The streak is really over. After returning to Tuna Club yesterday for the $160 Sunday tournament, I left a loser, the first time that has happened in a Tuna Club Sunday tourney in my last four tries.

I'll tell you one thing experience has taught me in poker: How to Lose.

I don't mean How to Lose as in, How can I lose these chips? That's easy. I mean How to Lose as in, What does one do after losing.

But first let's get to the loss.

I started off running over my table. It helped that I was getting major hands, AA, KK and QQ within the first 40 minutes. I started to amass a stack, but it finally went to shit when I held AK and called a raise from a chick who I had played with numerous times in the past. The flop was KKx with two clubs. I believe I may have slowplayed here, confident that she was not flush drawing. The flush card hit the turn and the money went all in. I had about 8k, she had about 4k. Her AA included an Ace of clubs. A club hit the river and she doubled through me.

From there, I just made an error. I gambled about 1.8k of my 4.5k stack (having made some small ground back) when I called an all-in from Harris, a solid player who was on a shorter stack. Part of me wanted to take him out of the tourney early. Another part of me must've been a bit on tilt, since in hindsight, the odds were slightly not in my favor, given the price I was getting. Whatever the case, I didn't hit and Harris doubled through me, too. Leaving me with a shorter stack.

I eventually went out of the tournament when I flopped middle pair on an all spade board after being the preflop raiser and pushed all-in after the only preflop caller, Harris, checked. He actually flopped the nuts, and so I busted, about 5 minutes after the re-registration period.

Granted, this was not my best tournament. That's a different subject altogether, and its not lost on me. But part of this game is dealing with loss, sometimes caused by bad play and other times by bad luck. I've seen players go into rages or self-loathing spells. I've seen misplaced anger, useless grief and self-destruction, all in the name of a lost tournament or hand. But that's stuff for the amateurs.

When I lost the tournament, I made my usual gags: "I didn't want to re-register anyway!" I was cool as a cucumber. I gathered my stuff, made some friendly goodbyes and headed for the door.

It blows my mind when I see these guys freak out over a losing hand, or mumble under their breath about this donkey or that stupid play. This gets the player nowhere. Critical thinking about the hand is one thing, but misdirected anger, hell, any anger, over poker is just useless. It's self-flagulation and masturbation all at the same time.

Let's be real for a moment. I'm no poker pro. But I do strive to take on the qualities of a poker pro when I'm at the table. And the reality is, if you play poker professionally, you will lose sometimes. That's the nature of this masochistic game we play. So you can handle it one of two ways: you can be a bitch, or you can man up. I simply choose to man up.

Poker is a fickle bitch and the worst thing you can do when it comes to fickle bitches is to give them the attention they want. They'll just suck you into their misery, like a modern day succubus. You are much better off brushing the bitch aside and ignoring her completely. Water off a duck's back and all that jazz.

So, I didn't reach my annual goal. I still have about $350 to go, but it's within spitting distance. Live poker may be scarce this week. I'll probably be able to squeeze one night in, if I'm lucky. The real prize is New Orleans in late November and Vegas/AC in December. I'm already thinking I'd like to make an AC trip sooner, though, so you never know.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 9:26 AM,

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