Sunday, April 16, 2006

Change of season

Poker is a pastime, not a job.
Poker is a game, not an exercise.
Poker is a hobby, not work.
Poker is supposed to be fun.
The game, however, was not fun during March, my worst month, a month when I actually lost money, when suckouts were a plenty (and none for me) and card-dead sessions blossomed like tulips in a cemetary.
That's poker. That's the game. That's also what makes those sessions when you're on a rush so much more fun, you know, like Easter, a fun holiday that only happens a few times a year.
But March got to me a little bit too much. Restless nights. Occasional upset stomachs. Many, many pillows slammed on the floor.
I think I know why.
Two reasons.
The first, unfortunately, is that I'm uber competitive. I like to win. Don't worry: I'm not the guy who will scream at my kid's wiffle ball game when he gets old enough to play, or beat up his friends when we play tag (do kids play that anymore? They will at my house).
But I do like to win a little too much. I keep it under control for the most part because I'm aware of my need to win. However, it has caused a couple embarassing moments out on the softball diamond, for instance.
The second was a goal. I wanted, no, needed, to buy a new computer, and I planned to pay for it with poker money.
So even $50 lost for the week put me $50 away from my goal. I actually started saying scary things to the screen, like, "come on, I really need this pot." Like, if I don't win this $35 pot, the mob will break my 10-month-old's legs.
I am not a gambler. I am a poker player. Yes, there is a difference. But chasing that computer, I became a gambler, someone who "needed" to win all the time, someone who played just another hour, honey, and then I'll go to bed.
Well, it's April now, and my poker game is in a rebirth, much like our new season. After my incredible, fortunate takedown at the casino in Blackhawk, CO, and a nice tax refund (thank you, tax credit, I knew kids were good for something besides lots of love, lol), I had enough to pay for a new computer,
I purchased it on E-bay, and while I'm still waiting for it, a bit uneasily, I might add, the guy assured me he sent it Friday.
And I'm enjoying the game again.
If I lose, and I have, it's not a big deal. If I win, and I have, I get to keep playing. My bankroll is paltry after my huge cashouts, but that's OK, too.
I am up this month, by quite a bit, actually, thanks to some live home tournaments filled with fish. My ring game isn't kick ass, not like it was in February, but I'm not losing much on it, either. The small-stakes SnGs, as they always do, are going fine.
Most of all, I'm enjoying myself.
Poker is not a game. It is fun. Again.


TripJax said...

Yeah it is a rollercoaster.

Cool that a computer is on the way. Congrats!

cc said...

Poker has some similarities to baseball when it comes to getting into a hitting slump (maybe it does, so follow me). You start pressing too much (most often I've seen this in a session or players when they're in a major slide), and you play differently, chasing more, speculating more, looking for the big break. Delicate balance, I'm sure made even more challenging when you move from a goal to an obligation to win a certain amount. It's a rollercoaster as TripJax says, but beware when you start adding to the variance. From one who has.