As I try and wrap my head around why I do some of the things that I do to myself, I find it harder and harder to understand. What always makes it worse is, I know I’m the one doing it !
Last night, perfect example. I rushed and rushed to make it in time for The mookie. “Aren’t you tired?” Pebbles asked, as she kissed me good night and headed for Zzz-town. The look in her eye's clearly saying, "look idiot! You played pretty late in The Skillz game last night. You were up and out the door at 4:00am. this morning. You look like hell and should really probably go to sleep."
My response.... "G'nite hun, I love you."
I know, I know.... I have issues. That's what this is all about.
Since I made it back in time, (with an 11 minute cushion!) I hit register for The mookie. The 10:00pm. start has always been an issue for me, what with typically heading off for work by 5:00’ish am. through the week. But The mookie is special to me. My friends are there and I love the feel of the play, the crowd and the chat. I can't wait for some form of remedy to my 79 miles of dial-up issue, so I can get actual BuddyDank coverage instead of the garbled mess I'm forced to listen to now.
I never really expect to get too far in these nightly games, mostly because I have some real issues with focus. I do have a Skillz win, A Riverchasers 2nd. place and multiple final table appearances. But typically, I find myself becoming another player rather than who I really am. I know how to play poker and I understand the importance of paying attention. The problem is that “other player” comes out hard, the split second I let my guard down for even a moment. I don’t know where he comes from exactly but in a late night game, it seems I can always count on him showing up.
The cycle in a late night game through the week, almost always runs like clockwork. For me, it’s as predictable as the sun eventually coming up every single day.
1) Realize how late it is and yet still hit the register button.
2) Try and find a comfortable position and grab a Scotch.
3) Say my hello’s to those friends I can see.
4) Try and play some damn good poker and see what happens.
5) Constantly find myself in a decent position chip wise by first break.
6) Struggle to maintain my position in the game while being easily distracted by anything at all! The chat, the TV, the weather, the Ladybug(?) crawling across the floor etc… etc…. It can be anything at all that has my attention, just not the poker game.
7) Drift off into a relaxing state of donkatuded’ness and let “that guy” handle the mouse until I find myself all-in, with a hand that looks just like a foot.
8) Say G’nite to all my friends and feel embarrassed about my play in the end.
9) Lather, rinse, repeat.
It doesn’t matter lately if it’s The Skillz game, The mookie or Al’s Riverchasers. I can hold on to my poker persona and play the game ½ decent for only so long apparently. I then start to lose focus, do not pay attention and have almost no resemblance to the player that started the game. This never happens to me in a live game. WHY ?
If you asked Carson, DonKaaa, Pebbles or hell, even from the one game I played with Mr. Bankwell and the ever lovely PokerTart and Katitude you could probably ask them. What is the one thing I do at a live game that stands out the most? I’m positive the answer would be focus. That picture Kat posted of me and labeled "card-dead," I know exactly when she took that picture and what I was doing. I was trying to learn something from DonKaaa. Ask him. He'll remember that exact moment too. I've actually had people so annoyed with my study technique when I want information, that they've called a T.D. over to give me a warning. My favorite was at the game with Antonio "The magician" Esfandiari and Phil Laak. I remember "The Uni-Bomber" asking the guy when we were down to the final table, "what, should he get a penalty for staring or something?"
Yes I clown around and I love to chat, but I am never at a loss for words when or where ever I happen to be anyways. But in a live game, I will most definitely know what is going on, who did it, how many times they’ve done it and how they did it each and every time. It's my number one weapon and I use it in full force when I'm on my game.
The challenge I seem to be faced with right now, is transferring that skill over to my MTT on-line poker game. And it seems to me, that I'm struggling with it immensely. I lost focus for two hands last night. IGHN. On Tuesday night, I lost focus on three separate occasions and IGH. I’ve captured around 18-20 hand histories from all of the “big 3” events over the last few weeks and studied them intently for where I went wrong. I can see the point where I know 'what' happened in every one. But I’ll be damned if I can figure out why. Why do I turn from player to idiot? Why is it that I’m continually so profitable at the ‘work’ side of on-line poker? Why don’t I lose interest in the games that I’m winning to make the necessary funds to play in the Blonkaments? Is it the length of the games? Is it the hour that the MTT’s take place? Am I expecting too much out of myself, on far too little sleep? Should I pick and choose an event to play in and give a pass on the other two every week. Am I just plain and simple, not built for the on-line game?
I do have answers for most of the questions above. Length of time should not be an issue. I consider myself, (based solely on actual results) an MTT specialist in a live environment. DonKaaa and I hold our summer game on Thursday’s and they often go on a lot later than any of these Blonkaments do, so time of night and day of the week shouldn’t matter too much at all. I don't know if I can say I'm exactly built for on-line poker or not, but I do manage to sit down for a hour or two here and there and generate the necessary funds required to play in all five weekly games of choice, so I seem to be able to handle my own for the most part.
I have no clue what the solution to my problem is right now.
The good news is this is important to me, so I know I’ll get it figured out.
The bad news is I’m going to continue to look and feel like an idiot until I do.
My sincerest thanks for dropping by....