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Fighting Online

After Sunday's foray into online poker, I was feeling the crave last night. Of course, I was also elbow-deep in flour, trying my hand at baking an apple cake for wifey Kim's potluck dinner party with her girlfriends tonight. I am well trained.

Once the cake was baking, I took my usual spot on the couch and pulled my laptop over from the coffee table. I logged on to Full Tilt, looked at the tournament lobby and paused.

This felt too familiar. It was the tug of the online poker black hole.

It wasn't too long ago that I spent a lot of time in the black hole. It became routine, and from that my play became routine, until I was routinely losing money without any real thought-process behind it.

I don't agree with the Frist-fuckers who (unsuccessfully) tried to ban online poker because of the dangers of addiction and underage gambling, but I can see where addiction could be a serious issue. People can become addicted to anything, from hard drugs to Ho-Hos, to just plain ho's. Online poker is no different, especially in a world where people readily admit to email addictions via "Crack"berries.

I took a moment to reflect on my poker. Online poker really is the methadone to my poker addiction, but I knew I would be getting the real stuff in just 24 hours (now, a mere 9 hours). Tonight is Tuna Club's weekly $120 tournament, and a fine occasion to go for my fivepeat.

With live poker in my head, online poker lost a bit of its luster. I imagined starting a tournament or SNG and then getting that familiar feeling at midnight: "What am I doing?" I'd get these thoughts that I just wanted to go to bed, but didn't want to lose. On some subconscious level, I was sabotaging myself, playing games too late and then not playing my best because I was distracted by the late hour or self-flagellating because I should have been sleeping. I saw myself falling into the pattern that night, ignoring wifey Kim for the cold glow of the laptop monitor. I saw myself anxious at midnight or losing and unhappy. I saw myself at the Tuna Club in 24 hours with the poker-loss hangover messing with my head. And then I shut down Full Tilt.

Maybe online poker isn't my methadone. Maybe it's my heroine. And live poker is my rehab.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 9:49 AM,


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