Life on the Line

As I was talking to my good friend and poker coach today because he had gotten a gift for me so I went over to hang out with him and another friend of mine who is also a poker grinder.

We started breaking down hands, lets call my coach Jay, and my friend Icy.

Jay is testing me on hypothetical hands that Icy played in Omaha last couple of sessions and I seemed to score pretty well on all of them, where Icy made several sizing mistakes throughout the hand. We joked a bit about how I’m so good in the “classroom” but how I can’t translate that success to the table.

I wish dearly I were a stoic individual, however I am quite the opposite. I am based 100% in my own “state” whether I am daygaming or playing poker. A terrible quality for both these ventures.

If I am playing well, or it’s a big tournament I give my absolute A game and I feel great.

When I am playing bad, the world is ending and I’m a total failure.

I had worked through these parts of my game in poker (it doesn’t affect me so much in game) but this downswing has caused me to lose 100% of everything I own. About 20k in 8 weeks. Yet I still have no sense or urgency that the world is ending…

When it kinda has.

So my friend asked me “How would you play, if your life was on the line?”

Well of course I would be super patient and disciplined. I can’t lose my life right!

It struck me like a hammer. This entire time I have been letting others influence me. I have kept my ego at the table, letting other’s judge me and changing myself for it.

I would berate players for being so tight and worse players paying them off. But if they make money, why would they change? I need to stop caring about ego and other’s perceptions. Check my ego at the door.

All that matters is you win.

All this time I have been impatient, in a place of scarcity, looking at how much I’ve lost, how close I came to getting out of debt and living free on my own terms.

That’s all wrong. This lack of discipline is what caused the downswing. I am in control of my destiny. I can play well, I can put in more hours. I CAN WIN. I WILL succeed. I have no choice.

Why?

My life is on the line.

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