Check out the first article in the series if you are so inclined http://www.pokerheadrush.com/2012/05/14/take-a-step-back-reflectionmental-itinerary/
I’ve been desperate the way I’ve been playing. Too many hours, too many tables, it takes a toll.
It’s always inspiring to see the high-volume guys like Naza114 do their thing but damn – people don’t have a real appreciation for how hard that is. I get so dazed after a couple of days. It was different when I started, I loved it so much, but poker is not as exciting as it used to be. I guess when small wins don’t noticeably change your life that dilutes things more. You have to be sick to do what those guys do, you have to real be a winner and have an almost unhealthy obsession with winning.
I’ve been sloppy. On my game I’ve gone eight winning sessions in a row (twice this year). Off my game I’ve dumped 60K. I’m so streaky it bothers me.
I know my other endeavors have prevented me from focusing totally on poker. It’s easier when all your life is waking up, running a little, and getting to the computer. Now you have a girlfriend, 100+ students, Skype meetings, articles to write, blah.
I’ve been stuck mentally, not wanting to give up my fruitful side projects, but unsatisfied with my mediocre results and at times subpar play because I’ve been spreading myself too thin.
I didn’t want to go back to grinding all the time. I don’t have fun with it when I’m doing that. I was never ranked top 100 before but I outearned and outlasted many guys because I played when I was feeling it. Sometimes that meant three months of nearly every day, other times that meant a month off for no particular reason. Sometimes that meant playing cash mostly when that was working. I enjoyed life and I did well.
I’m thinking maybe it’s time I let myself pursue some other things. I know, I’ve thought about this many times before, but I’ve never really permitted myself to leave poker. When I’ve tried to expand into other endeavors I’ve still been trying to play four or five days a week, or launch a company. Maybe now that the side business stuff has slowed down and money is thankfully coming in I should give it a rest.
I was entertaining these thoughts on Wednesday. “Maybe the solution isn’t always to go harder, but to have more fun with it.” Then on Wednesday the transfer didn’t go through. I felt really good playing a SCOOP and taking the rest of the day off. I didn’t feel like playing after that anyway. I actually read for a few hours, something I used to do daily that I hadn’t done in weeks.
I went to my girlfriend’s house that night and ended up talking to her stepfather after that. Him and I talk quite a bit, but that day for some reason he said, “you’re always working. You don’t take time for yourself to reflect. You know, sometimes you have to let things come to you.”
I didn’t say anything to lead the conversation in that direction so it kind of surprised me, but I felt I needed to hear it.
The next day my girlfriend visited my house. Pulling into the garage she saw there was one weed growing from a crack. I’d never really looked at it before.
“It’s a four leaf clover,” my girlfriend said. I looked closer. I swear, only one grew on my property, and it was a four leaf. I remember looking in yards for these as a kid, and how hard it was to find one. When I was looking for one.
I went to the grocery store the other day. I have scoured no less than five different supermarkets around my house looking for Dr. Pepper. I don’t know why, my mom loved it growing up, so it’s just some taste I attach to America and my nostalgia. Coke’s alright, but it doesn’t do that nostalgia trip because you can get it anywhere. But I’ve only ever really drank Dr. Pepper in the states, and I really like the taste of it. I don’t smoke, drink, whatever anymore, this stupid little soda is like the only guilty pleasure I have. And I haven’t been able to find it ever near where I live.
I was going to get some eggs real quick at this supermarket close to my house, and boom – there was a six pack just sitting there in the fridge. Stocked like they always sold it, when I’ve searched through their aisles multiple times while picking up other food. I wasn’t looking for it, but there it was.
It all probably means nothing but I like it when things sync up. I’m sure something in my demeanor can line up similar events, but things line up on their own in life too.
Sometimes you’re just pushing a mower, and while it sounds fine you know something’s up with the motor. You turn it off before the thing overheats. You’ve worked with it for so long you’ve come to anticipate problems. Funny coincidences in my life aside, I can feel when I need a bit of a break and re-evaluation.
I really do believe calling coincidence simply random undermines some of the incredible subconscious tools we have as humans to recognize patterns. Sometimes you’re on the way to the job and you know it’s going to be your day, somehow. Other days, you feel something is amiss.
I don’t know how many times I’ve heard one of my friends call the tournament they’re going to win and then did. There’s been so many times I’ve just known, with no logical reason, something seemingly vastly profitable was going to fail – and then seen it happen.
I saw some things lining up one time at this card game with drug dealers. I’d been in a couple of them, and this one had a few grand on the table and no one with the wherewithal to hold onto it. Still, something about the kid’s eyes, something about how they were bragging about what they had, something about the guy’s look after he lost a pot – I just said I’m leaving, something about this gives me the creeps. That and I was tired anyway. An hour after I walked out the kid went into a backroom, got high smoking some oxy, and came out waving a shotgun at everyone, demanding explanations about $20.00 or some shit.
Ever since then I didn’t feel like some fruit paying attention to what is coming together around me.
Even my favorite atheist Adam Carolla believes in some connections we can’t define or categorize. He used to have this segment on his show where people would call in with freak coincidences even.
One time he was in a small plane and noticed the guy in front of him was reading a newspaper article…about Roberto Clemente. For those who don’t know Roberto Clemente was a very famous baseball player in the states who died in a plane crash. Then, like a movie, Adam’s plane started bucking with engine trouble, turbulence started, and there were announcements of problems with the plane. Carolla was hopping up and down, “this is the end man!!”
Questioned why he’d be so freaked out when he was an atheist he stated he believed life gives you signs and clues, and while he survived he did believe things can line up and you know where things are headed.
There’s sometimes you’ve driven a car forever, and it breaks down. Every mechanic you talk to says its fixable, your buddy who does nothing but work on cars says it can be fixed, but somehow you know from the way it shut down the last time – this one’s done. This isn’t going to start again. Then 2k later you find out just that.
Poker was very fun when I played it nearly every day traveling the world, but it was newer to me then. Now I enjoy it but I can feel that I’m not a super high volume guy anymore. I took drugs to be an aggressive person because sober I’m pretty feeble. It’s just weird watching yourself change. A few years ago I’d play cash for eight hours then tournaments for eight, get ripped with my buddies at night (or morning…or early afternoon), sleep for eight hours, wake up and do the 24-28 hour day again, until the schedule was so messed up, I was sick, and people were wondering where I was.
Poker was a lot easier then. It’s way easier to be addicted to something when its paying you thousands every week. The game’s more difficult now, or something has changed in me. I’m not sure, but I have to focus a lot more and practice a much healthier lifestyle to be focused in enough to win. When I’m just rushing from meeting to lesson to work out to ten hour session – I’m breaking down and not winning.
My Plugs: Check out my vids at Pocketfives Training, hit me up for lessons at firstname.lastname@example.org, see other stuff I write with my friends at www.pokerheadrush.com, and follow my Twitter at TheAssassinato