Friday, January 13, 2006

Welcome Back, kiddo.

My game is rusty, which is not news. Spend a few weeks not doing something skill-based and you’re bound to be lacking at least a bit in that something, whatever it is. It helps that the players at the low limits are typically are so bad they could be outplayed by a comatard (oh truly, I really might be going to hell for that term).

And so it was last night, but poker is very touchy. She doesn’t like her men (or women) to stray for very long, just as she doesn’t like to have company 24/7. I’ve stayed away for the last weeks in an effort to maintain discipline and not bleed away my roll by playing in a sub-optimal mindset. With all of the junk we’ve been dealing with here at HEAD-quarters (I kill me), I’m ripe for drop-of-the-hat tilt so I stayed away. I played a couple of cheap SnG’s last night while dealing with the insomnia monkey, and I didn’t cash in either one.

The first one was on Stars, where I went in worried about the rust. I should have been worried about that nasty fickle bitch that is poker herself, who proved yet again that holding a grudge is no problem. I played, quite literally, as perfect as I could. I even pored over the hand history post-tourney in an effort to find something wrong. Every hand I bet, I was ahead. Every bet I called, ahead. It mattered not. From chip leader to bubble out in three hands, all courtesy of one amoeba with a penchant for bluffing on the turn with three outs.

Cue 3 AM mini-tilt.

It’s a little known fact that when you’re awake at 3 AM, you’re actually smarter than you are during the day. Case in point, since poker was busy wiping junk blood off of her steel-toe boots at Stars, I decided to take the opportunity to head over to neighbor Full Tilt’s house while she wasn’t looking. The less said about that smart move, the better. Great poker was definitely not played. In fact, I don’t even think I can honestly say that a mediocre game was played. Bad, bad, bad.

Then I read BadBlood this morning. He’s not the first to post on the subject, but it was a good confirmation that I was doing the right thing by not playing for so long, even though it didn’t feel like it. I played simply because I thought I should, even though I knew it wasn’t yet the right time. I was putting completely unnecessary pressure on myself. Yet another case of what can (and likely will) happen when you ignore your instincts.

As I logged off, I swear I could hear poker around the corner, chuckling. I realized that it wasn’t the derisive laugh of someone who takes great pleasure in another’s pain. I noticed for once that it was the laugh of someone who actually does know it all, amused at the person who just thinks they do. Poker doesn’t hate me and it doesn’t hate you, its place is simply to remind and teach whether we think we need it or not. If poker was actually a living entity, it would probably be just as annoyed having to constantly remind us of our shortcoming as we are of being reminded of them.

“Good to see you again, kiddo.”

Whatever. I’m going to sleep.