Thursday, April 21, 2005

Perspective Tidbits

Yesterday was a good day for gaining a bit of perspective. Whether it was one of the poker deities sending signs, God himself, or simply the all too human need to see patterns or signs where they don’t necessarily exist, I got a bit of the perspective I try to always look for. I just hope I can make it last more than a week.

The last 2-3 weeks have been a combination of the cards not running so hot combined with some admittedly sub-optimal (see: Idiotic) play. Last night is a good example. I jumped into a $10 + 1 PL tourney on Stars, just the type of tourney I normally excel in. Good hands were few and far between, but I was hanging tough, and with blinds at 150/300 I made a completely rotten bluff. I didn’t even have a longshot draw when I did it…dumb,dumb,dumb. So there’s my brief example of poor cards + poor play. More details would likely send you running away screaming from these pages.

The flash of perspective came while watching the final table of the US Poker Championships on ESPN before I headed off to work. John D’Agostino had his nearest competitor at the table outchipped over 4 to 1 and was well on his way to cruising into the win for over 700K. I won’t go into too many details and ruin the show for those who Tivo’d it or anything, but aside from one questionably played hand, D’Agostino proceeded to get drawn and quartered on every single good holding. Insult piling up on injury, culminating with Hoyt Corkins going for a blind steal (all-in with 87o), D’Agostino calling with pocket 10’s, and Corkins getting quad 7’s. D’Agostino lost it (but regained composure with admirable speed), and went home with 50K or so. A decent amount of money, to be sure, but when you have a seeming lock on the top 3 for a six figure payday, that pill must be VERY bitter.

Perspective? It happens online, and it also happens live, time and time again. I am not special. I am the all-singing all-dancing crap of the poker world (yes, that was a blatant Fight Club reference).

I also overheard a guy yesterday telling someone that he was facing eviction if the student financial aid bureaucracy didn’t quit dragging their asses, he was basically living off of a good portion of that money. The guy wasn’t some kid, he was mid-40’s, at least. Now, I’m reasonably sure that several poor choices along the way contributed to him being in this spot in the first place, but nonetheless it snapped on the bulb illuminating the good fortune I do have.

Perspective? Granted, I’ve put in a lot of work, but I’m still very fortunate to be in a position to sit around and play poker like a struggling donk, whine about running bad, brag about running and playing well, etc. There’s a lot of folks out there that have things much worse.

Well, it’s that, or the entire thing is rigged to the tits and I’m seeing lessons and patterns where none exist. Again.