I´m in the car going to Jaco beach. Thought it would be a good idea to get out of San Jose for a minute with the CR family. I’m looking forward to jumping into some waves and seeing movies at the local movie theater.
I used to drink at nights there but that’s out. I saw this documentary last night on Nat Geo about stress, and what it does to human minds. I’ve read a number of essays on the subject, and they were all garbage compared to this documentary. It’s called “Stress, Portrait Of a Killer”. It’s available on Youtube. I’d definitely recommend you check it out if you’re a geek into documentaries like I am.
They discussed how primates and animals on the bottom of the totem pole have way higher rates of heart disease and psychiatric disorders. Their stress load releases chemicals that literally fray nerve endings. Their brain fails to make new connections. Their brain fails to receive chemicals that make them feel safe and secure.
I have several reasons why my brain should be far more frayed than most people’s. Super fun life experiences, learning disabilities, extensive drug use, and multiple head injuries. I often feel like an alien. I feel as if I intellectually grasp many things but I am not present.
I’ve been feeling especially fragmented this week mentally. As I write this it’s the Friday during the first week of WCOOP. I have completely blanked all the No Limit events this week except for the Ante Up…which I missed because there was a 7.6 earthquake in my area which knocked out my power. I also blanked all the other tournaments I played this week. I final table bubbled two $530 High Rollers, one $215 High Roller, a 30r, a 55, and two 109r final tables. Other than that I have cashed in nothing.
So I’m down 15 or 20k over four sessions totaling 60+ hours. Feels good man.
Honestly, this has been one of the most frustrating years of my career. I have a ton of major final tables with so-so finishes, and a bunch of blown deep runs. Not to mention flipping out at the final two tables of what…my third EPT I’ve final two tabled? Fifth Pokerstars live main event. Blah.
I really love MTTs but people are way better. Every day I am surprised by the technical knowledge of my students. I still think I understand some things other people struggle with, but I’ve made some crap game time decisions lately and just ran like shit every time it mattered.
I am not really mad about it. It just makes me realize how overrated high stakes MTTers are. Yeah it looks cool when you just stack up five figure scores, and your banner years are huge, but I know a ton of high stakes MTTers. Most are backed and not doing that well.
Sure, I’ve had multiple chances to make a million, and I had a lot of money at one time, but there’s just so many damn good players now.
There’s many more who always speak about how they want to pursue something else or try another form of poker, then they get their big score and hang around for another five years going broke.
The thing that puzzles me is I know most of these guys personally, and they really don’t enjoy tournaments that much. Of course, some of them do, and some of them are high, but a lot of them just act like they are going to the dentist every time they play. I’ve been getting my ass handed to me more this year than any other year before, but I still love to play. I still show up excited to gun. I know another huge upswing is around the corner.
The real question is what I’m going to do once that happens. I’d have a hard time staying in high stakes MTTs. I made a lot more stable money playing cash. Granted, there’s no million dollar shots at 200 NL, but there’s no here’s-the-flip-to-determine-your-whole month….awwwwwww.
I feel really blessed for all the shots I’ve had, and I’m going to be hanging around till I have one more, but after that it’s really time to think about it. I have 16,790 days till I turn 70. I’ve already spent more than 3,000 days of my life obsessively thinking about poker. It’s been good fun, and I feel like I have a skill that could feed me anywhere on Earth, but I’m not feeling this exclusively for the next 3,000 days.
I want to make enough to fix some legal things, buy a house, and put some money in savings. Until I’ve done that I won’t rest.
There’s no reason I can’t have fun on the way to doing that now.
I have a hard time feeling anything really deeply sober. Sure, the surface of my mind is going “this is awesome” or “I am pissed right now” but there’s a large room in the back of my mind that’s saying “I’m bored, and for no reason in particular nervous, but mostly bored.” I do what I need to do. I get heated. I smile and enjoy myself. But when it comes time to really man up, hold a grudge, or burst through the door of opportunity I’m just not open for business. You’d think I’d be more assertive in life given where I started and where I ended up, but I’m more content with less.
For years, before I knew anything about brain chemistry, it felt like my brain was a tangle of wires that were constantly on fire. It literally felt like things were shorted there, and just lighting the walls with their missed connections. Drinking and pills would make them fire in a more interesting way, and would stop the pain, but the next day they just felt like they were soaked in gasoline. They were just primed to set off again and the results were not going to be pretty.
The first night I took my medication I felt like something had tied together in my brain. I understood what sleep was for the first time. I was now one of those people that was groggy in the morning and not running around like a hedgehog.
It was as if every image had softened in my eyes. The world wasn’t as threatening. I didn’t need anything to feel normal. I could sit at my desk for a few hours without wanting to slam my head into a wall.
Now those wires feel a bit frayed again. The medication doesn’t work as good as it once did. Things are still much better, but I’m feeling…well I guess this is me after what I did to myself.
Everything reminds me of one thing that reminds me of another, but nothing stays in focus for long. Random views in different countries pop up all the time, sometimes with nothing to remind me of them. I just close my eyes and I’m there.
I also dream much more vividly, but I don’t really like the results. Last night, I was near some guy in a condo somewhere in the Mediterranean. I was speaking to him about what he had done. I couldn’t believe what had taken place, or that he was going to somehow blame me and everyone else in this town.
I walked down to the beach and into the swamplands. Two African babies were floating in the water. They were peaceful, they were alive, but I knew deep down somehow their lives had been sacrificed by the man high on the mountain. I held them and wondered what I could do, before I mournfully knew there was nothing.
I swear to God that’s what I woke up with this morning in my head. When I was using I had dreams of Eminem having a featured table at Full Tilt.
I can’t listen to what I heard for years. I hate typical rap so much. I need to hear trippy hip hop, classical, bebop jazz, opera, or trance. Then the beat fires off a thousand other thoughts, but I don’t feel anything deep in my gut anymore.
I feel shrewd and hardened now. I’m stable. Consulting and the coaching business is growing so much its hard to keep up. I feel like I’ve really studied my game a ton and a huge score is around the corner.
I seem to feel some appreciation for something when it’s written about or creates an idea. I try to just keep writing whatever the hell I feel is interesting, in my laptop, on Facebook, in this blog, whatever. It keeps me scribbling in my little books. It keeps me thinking. It helps me feel some bastardized connection and presence, even if it’s only through half remembering something because you wrote it down.
My Plugs: Check out my vids at Pocketfives Training, contact me for lessons at email@example.com, see other stuff I write with my friends at www.pokerheadrush.com, and follow my Twitter at TheAssassinato