Thursday, February 08, 2007


“There were a lot of similarities to how we played Saturday, except this time we made shot. The difference between playing average and playing great is whether the ball goes in the hole or not."

— KU Coach Bill Self after last night's victory against K-State.

Last night was, I hope, the climax in a week of brutal beats, tough breaks and a downright disgusting display of suckouts. I wasn't going to write about it. There's enough of that shit around already, and I really don't want to be Waffles.
I was really having a hard time letting last night go, however, even after I stopped playing, fired up Zelda and then watched "X-Men III" (my review: Eh). I took it to bed with me and woke up with it. Until I read that quote above.

My Jayhawks have had an up and down year, and Saturday they faced the same kind of gut-wretching loss that I've taken all this week, ahead by Texas A&M, the conference leader, to start counting their chips before they were shipped, and instead the lead was chipped, chipped and chipped, until they blew the final 6 points in a minute-and-a-half and lost at magical Allen Fieldhouse.
They played pretty well but fell to the No. 8 team in the country and lost.
The shots, as Self said, didn't go in.

Wednesday my Hawks played the Wildcats, one of our biggest rivals but a team that has acted more like our punching bag. In fact, K-State has not beaten KU, in its own arena, in almost a quarter-century. If that isn't the most embarassing streak in sports, I don't know what is.
Still, K-State was hot, beating a good Texas team at home and winners of seven straight; KU was down and facing a barrage of criticism, and many thought my Hawks might lose.
They pounced early and often and looked like world-beaters and crushed K-State.
The shots, as Self said, went in.

Lately I've thought about how poker, especially tournament poker, is much the same way. You can play great and lose because of bad luck. Horrible luck. Last night was the worst: I was a 9-1 favorite and lost on the river against the other chip leader. I win that pot and I'm a huge chip leader with 20 to go and the favorite to take down a 45-person SnG. Plus how much fun would it have been to be that much of a chip leader? Loads of fun. Instead, after a week of brutal suckout after suckout, my 90 percent favorite does not hold, and IGHN, just one of the guys finishing out of the money.
A week ago I won the Mookie. I did not suckout once (unless you count Q,J versus 6,6 as a suckout, which I don't), but I did win many coinflips. I lose one of those races, and there were three before the final table, and I"m just one of the guys finishing out of the money. Yet I won, and I felt awesome afterward. Last night I felt terrible, and I played exactly the same way. In fact, you could argue I played better last night, and all week, since I got my money in with much better odds.
My shots went in last week. Last night they clanked.
If it's that simple, why am I still so frustrated right now?

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