I feel like writing today, but cannot decide what to say. Writer’s block?
World Series of Poker
The 2018 WSOP starts in 34 days. I wrote some predictions for this year’s WSOP not long ago. Not planning to go this year, after going each of the last three years. Blazing hot in Las Vegas, freezing cold in the Rio’s ballrooms, don’t care much for the structure nor the economics of tournament poker anymore. Speaking of the Main Event, is there any other televised World Championship event where 100% of the prize money is provided by participant entry fees (plus some more to pad the organizer’s profits)?
Cups and Ice
When you have a job to do, do your job in a way that makes a better one out of it.
That’s a lesson from the Stoic philosophers and comically reinforced by a popular Friends episode. I’ve discussed this many times with my grown children when they feel underutilized at work. Can we make an analogy to poker here: often the two cards dealt to you in a Texas Hold’em game are the equivalent of Phoebe’s cups and ice. You didn’t choose these cards. Can you figure out a way to use them to steal the show? (Usually not, I might add…)
Negative Emotions and Distractions
A few days ago I played poker and played terribly. The poker gods certainly didn’t help, but the reality was that I made numerous bad decisions and my reads weren’t sharp at all. On some hands, I felt like my head was in a deep fog, unable to decipher what was going on around me.
I cursed under my breath the entire way home. Pulling into my driveway, it occurred that the thing I was so pissed off about wasn’t the poker game at all; it was something completely unrelated, that I could not control but was wreaking havoc on my daily life. As I thought about it more, there were actually two things going on, both uncontrollable, both significant, both creating negative emotions.
Some people seem to be really good at compartmentalizing the negativity in their lives, at dropping into a zone of laser-like focus at the poker table where decisions aren’t affected by outside distractions. I’d like to think I can do that too, just like I’d like to think I’m one of the 80% of all poker players who thinks they are better than the other 80%. Lately, however, the bad shit is taking up too much bandwidth. Is that also the cause of writer’s block?
This too shall pass.
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