I don't believe in superstition. It's a crutch for the weak to say that they forgot their lucky bloody rabbit stump and that's why their hand lost to a three-outer on the river.
But I do believe in variance. I am, in fact, a follower of it, and that leads me to practice some superstition.
The problem with being on a hot streak, as I've enjoyed lately (well, I WAS enjoying it, but I'll get to that in a bit) is I know eventually it has to end. That's an incredibly cynical way to look at it, but I've always believed that cynicism really is just a comfortable relationship with the truth.
I've played enough poker to know that the good times eventually end. That's especially because I'm a solid, tight player who relies on cards more than I should to determine whether I have a good session or not.
Sure, I play my cards and play them well, but I still have to have the weapons to kidnap chips, and my weapons come more from good hands rather than super-powerful-retarded-aggressive play.
So because of this, rather than most players who can't wait to hit the felt when they're hot, I hesitate to play. I fear that bad session that I know is right around the corner and may spoil the golden, happy aura that surrounds me when I run hot.
It's probably cost me some money. Poker can be pretty self-fulfilling, and if you think you're going to lose, the chances are you will lose. But also when you're hot, you're playing with confidence, and by not playing, I'm not taking advantage of that confidence, which, unfortunately, deteriorates along with my luck.
All of this is a good way of saying I found myself somewhat relieved last night when I took the worst beating of my life. I lost six buy-ins before making a really good comeback and finishing only a couple down.
When I was in the throes of it, I did not win a pot, not even the blinds, for almost five hours.
So why was I relieved? Well, just as I believe good fortunes end, I also believe you put in your time for a bad session, and once you've paid that tax, your fortunes will reverse again.
That's variance, the God I follow.
And what better way to burn off a bad session than to your friends, during a Saturday night poker game, with Arena Rock on the tube, queso in your bowl and, best of all, $5 worth of chips in front of you?