Friday, July 14, 2006

It's A Funny Old Game

Some hobbies can be a welcome escape from the harsh realities of day-to-day life.

People can have fun blowing off steam by hitting the gym, going to a gig, watching a game of football, or just having a few beers with their pals.

Poker isn't quite like that. The mental strain can actually accentuate, rather than ease, the tensions of the 'real world'.

Not always though. Much as I used to do with computer games, I find when I'm 'in the zone' other worries fade away and only the game matters.

Last night was one of the bad nights. I played five SNG on Stars, finishing 97766.

A pretty abysmal showing, and while I could point to the usual array of bad beats, I made just as many mistakes as my opponents.

I wasn't actually feeling a great urge to play, but I felt obliged to get a few games in. Some PC problems have kept me otherwise engaged over the last few nights, and I wanted to rack up a few games.

Even the number of games played is indicative of my state of mind. I've been playing sets of four, but somehow I managed to simultaneously sign up for five. Not concentrating. No focus. Lazy, distracted thinking.

The most +EV thing I did all night was log out before I could commit to another set.

Tonight was a different story. For whatever reason I felt focused and ready.

The result? Success number one, I managed to register for the correct number of games. Success number two, four cashes - finishing 2131

Yeah baby. That's more like it!

The most gratifying game was the final win, not just because it put the icing on the cake, but because at one point a truly donktastic call - and subsequent suck-out - by an opponent left me with less than 2BB when we were seven handed.

Yet I clawed my way back and ultimately defeated the earlier misguided caller in heads up play.

Perhaps I should be back at the tables instead of writing this, but I'm knackered tonight, and an early morning optician appointment awaits.

Can't win at poker if I can't see the cards!

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