Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Tilt and Tourney's, Pt. I

When anger rises, think of the consequences.
--Confucius (551 BC - 479 BC)

As I read through a load of posts this morning, most of which express and/or tell a tale of tilt and frustration, I can’t help but ask myself the question(s): Since this poker blogging community is indeed a ‘community’, are we subject to some form of mild mass hysteria? If I didn’t read various blogs every single day, would I be tilting as badly as I have been over the last few days? If a poker player tilts at their PC, and no one is around hear him/her, do they still sound like a tilting idiot? (OK, fine, that last question wasn’t a real question—be nice, I’m trying to be pseudo-deep)

Due to a dog and pony show at work yesterday requiring my presence, when Regional VP and State VP (who I have dubbed Zeus and mini-Zeus) came down for a visit, I arrived home earlier than normal and just in time to jump into the PokerStars $5 rebuy tourney. After a day of watching the other corporate peasants scurry around trying to gain favor with the overlords who deigned to come down from their mountain, some poker would be a welcome respite.

Following my rebuy doctrine to the letter, I exited the tourney in a swift 23 minutes after the typical card-catching nimrod called an all-in bet and sucked out on my vastly superior hand. Bing! Tilt’s done, and piping fresh from the oven, eat up!

Next step, join the $3 crapshoot MTT that’s about to start.

I settled in and actually managed to play well, in spite of the steaming. Before I knew it, out of the nearly 1800 entrants, we were down to around 150 and I was sitting approximately 50th in chips. True to form, PokerStars drops the chip leader onto my table (it never fails), and all I can think about is BadBlood’s ‘Whither Aggression’ post (01/21). From the post in question:

It's such a fine line between stupid and clever. - Nigel Tufnel”

I saw this proverbial line last night as the tournament field narrowed, and up to that point I managed to dance on the correct side of it. Then, that little man that lives in my head, the one who persuades me to do all things idiotic, encouraged and convinced me to stick my head in a bucket and go sprinting over said line. (Given the fact that I share Bob’s love of the McDonalds ads, I can only imagine that the person in my head who makes me do these things looks and talks an awful lot like the person who came up with that gawdawful idea for MacDees.)

The stack of the chip leader at this point had been whittled down by a couple of nasty beats to about half of what he came to the table with. This puts him and I about even, and we’re the two biggest stacks at the table. With blinds at 600/1200 (I forget the ante) I am dealt AKh in late position. Two limpers and he min-raises. This guy doesn’t play like a schmuck, and I know this…I smell a trap. I consider just cold calling and bailing the hand if/when I miss. Naaaaah.

Uh-oh. Here comes the MacDees marketing manager, and it looks like he wants to talk.

“Dude!” he says, “you always do this in the later stages of the tournament, you play like a pussy. You’ve got to start pushing people around! Just look at us. Where would MacDees be if I hadn’t pushed the fact that ‘I’m Lovin’ It’ upon the world?”

“But that campaign sucks” I reply, “I don’t want to be like you.”

“That doesn’t matter. If you push it, it will magically work out, stupid or no. Besides, you need to play to win on this one.”

Fuck me, I have succumbed to the ultimate in self delusion. The one where I think I have to suddenly kick into high gear and accumulate a mass of chips, because I’m ‘playing to win.’

I ignored my instincts and good sense, opting instead to listen to that persuasive marketing whore in my head. Instead of giving myself a real chance to win, I exited the tourney with a real impressive $4.57.

I have a lot more thoughts to relate on the current wave of frustration, and as well wanting to relate my ‘How the cards are running on any given day’ theory (all VERY scientific, mind you). Rather than cause your eyes an unnecessary ache, I will save it for tomorrow, so see you there….

…and I’ll be Thinking Big, while my head is Much Bigger.