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Put On A Clean Pair
Posted at 10/25/2005 06:05:05 AM in Personal Poker Experiences by Sack.
I was always a pretty good hitter in baseball. Sure I’ve always been smaller, and in my younger days if I was going to hit a homerun it would have to be an in the park one. As I grew up to what was generously listed in your program as 5’7” and a buck sixty I even began to get respected as a good hitter with true home run potential, thanks in great part to weight lifting and nutritional supplements. But even the best of batsmen find themselves in slumps from time to time, and your lucky unwashed socks and underwear find their way to the wash along with your high batting average. You see everything clearly, you know you are better than what you are showing, but for some reason the hits just wont come. Eventually you make a change-- your stance, your grip, your mentality… your drawers. Then at some point you feel the ball fly crisply off your bat, you round the bases, and things are finally back in order.

I can’t say I’m in a “slump” per say right now in poker… I’ve still had a winning couple of weeks, but today was harsh. I felt good, played well, and came up short. I played a big hand perfectly, only to have my opponent make a better one at the river to bust me down. I could see the cards my opponent held, and knew exactly what draw he was on- so I’d bet enough to make it not worth it to him, only to have him chase it anyway. And of course the one card I wouldn’t want to see would come out and I’d find myself making a crying call just to make sure my read was right in the first place (note: moral victories are not good way to build a bankroll).

So then as my frustration and boredom beset me, I would increasingly play worse and worse, and suddenly I could no longer blame the cards or suck outs, I was left alone with blame’s bloody dagger in my hand. I felt myself slipping and did not know my own game at that moment. Fortunately for me I realized what I was doing and was true enough to myself to take action.

Usually I’ll take a break to alleviate the situation. I came back with high hopes after my 4 hour hiatus from playing, only to find myself doing the same thing after losing to a 2 outer in a big pot. Now I figure I do what gets me going the best sometimes… absolute pressure. I put on some slow sappy music and I hit up a more expensive tournament than I had been playing to motivate me a little better, and I made it a nitro (fast) tournament to force me to think quicker and play by feel. If you’re familiar with these, there’s not really much opportunity to lay back and wait. You have to get down and dirty making move after move to survive. Otherwise the blinds will eat you alive. During this tournament suddenly “it” was there again, and I played great. I didn’t win it, sometimes you just get beat, but I was back in my groove again.

“Crack” and it’s outta here!

I continued my play throughout tonight, cashing in every tournament since my slump-buster. I’ve won over half of them and thankfully more than made up for the lackluster performances I gave during daylight hours. I feel so good right now it’s going to be hard to get off of here and go to sleep. The cards I’m getting are no better than earlier, but I’m playing what I call my “perfect poker”, and with the rare exception I’m taking every pot that I’ve tried for- best hand or not. If only I can make myself do this all the time now.

Boxers... not Briefs, Sack

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