Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Question

My trip to the series is right around the corner. I'm gearing up for the basics by trying to make sure simple stuff is out of the way - like getting my hairs did, gathering for the packing all the things I know I'm going to want during this sojourn, and making sure as much of my "work work" is out of the way as possible.  But something feels off. 

The last time I made a trip to play a bunch of live tournaments, I was playing a ton of online poker. I wasn't having a ton of success, but I was playing. A lot. Obviously that scene's changed for all of us since Black Friday. Aside from that lack, though, something else feels different for me, and I can't quite articulate it...I'm thinking, though, that it has to do with mi familia.  We've been putting a ton of work in on the house and the backyard lately and it's starting to come together. Plus, it's summertime and my baby's home with me as I work from my home office during the day (at least on those days she's not at summer camp). 

This week, she's in Miami with my better half and my MIL. I was supposed to go, but I had a last minute hearing this morning that I just couldn't get changed. As a result, I'm without my loves this week AND the next two weeks. While I'll get to see them briefly this weekend before I leave on Monday, I'm already missing them.

As I write all this, I guess what I'm feeling is conflicted. My trip to Vegas, while I know it's going to be fun, is a business trip for me - just like my trip to Reno was. If I go and I do not play my best and do not score well, then I know I'm going to feel as though I've wasted two weeks out of my regular work schedule and two weeks from my loves. Even though my eyes are open about the variance involved in tournament poker and I know enough to recognize the futility of being results oriented, I want to win and anything less than a win is going to suck and feel like a waste to me. Is it that way for you, too? I can't be the only one...

 Every year for the past two years I've spent time in Vegas during the series. I did better last year then I did the year before. I've got my goals for this year, too. All I can do is play my best, learn as much as I can, and grow from the experience.  

Looking at the tweets of so many good and great players during the course of this year's series, I know I'm just one of many looking to win. But just like each of them, that's exactly what I'll be trying my hardest to do.

What an opportunity it is to play this game that is so fun (FUN!) fun to play, and yet so difficult to master. Every hand, every table, every moment - it's such a challenge, such an adventure, such a journey, played against an opponent(s), but often times played solely against self as we struggle with decisions.  So very much like life in so many ways. Each hand, like each new moment, an opportunity. The question, each time: what will you do with this opportunity?


  1. The memoirist, May Sarton, once wrote, "There is a proper balance between not asking enough of oneself and asking or expecting too much." Go and play with joy, whatever happens happens, winning and losing in this context is often beyond your control. It is the journey not the destination that matters in the end.

  2. Thanks much for that reminder, Laoch. Think I'm writing that down to take with me on this journey. I appreciate you.

  3. I've learned over time to try to make the most of what Vegas offers. For me, I relish in the opportunities to see friends, soak up the madness around me, and participate in fun dinners, drinks, etc. When I focus on wins/losses, I allow the darkness to take over, so I try to avoid that when I can.

  4. I really like this, Jen. The trip's going to be fun, poker is never ending and will always be there. Meeting you will be icing on the cake! =)

  5. They're right, of course. Focusing on results is a one way trip to InsanityLand. Says the guy who's been wallowing in three weeks of runbad.

  6. I liked what John Mercier said the other day in an interview. "Winning is not expected. Putting myself in a position to win is always expected". Have fun in Las Vegas.

  7. That's a great quote, Steve. Thanks for sharing it! I'm enjoying seeing the success you've been having live, too. Keep going!


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