Monday, December 15, 2008


Changed Priorities AheadWill not be able to be there this afternoon for the initial event of the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker. Thing starts at 2:00 p.m. Eastern, and I have business to take care of until a little while after that today. You know how it is. Priorities.

I would have registered early and taken my seat sometime after the tourney had begun, but one is not allowed to register until noon. And I can’t do that. A minor bummer, as today’s event is the pot-limit Omaha one. But I should be able to play some of the other ones this week, I believe.

Then again, it might not be such a bad thing I won’t be making the PLO event, as the game has been beating me down big time over the last week or so. Last week I mentioned an especially bad hand in which I’d lost a monstrous pot when the river card that gave me aces full also gave my opponent a straight flush. We were both super deep-stacked, and I lost a bundle on the hand.

Looking back, I can see pretty clearly how that one hand precipitated what has since become a lengthy sequence of bad sessions that have been kind of a greatest hits of bad habits for me -- playing too long, too loose, too passive, too emotionally, too stubbornly, and, of course, chasing losses.

All of which means, I think it is time for me to step back a bit. Gonna try to limit the playing over the next few weeks, and perhaps instead devote the time to other ventures.

Am going to start working out more regularly. There was a time when I’d go to the gym several times a week, but lately I’ve been lucky to get there once in two weeks. I need to get some exercise, if only to help keep the noggin’ clear.

Am going to do a big grocery run this afternoon and get the fixins to make several real meals. Have a great penne pasta recipe I like. Gonna get a bushel of veggies, too. Gotta start eating better, no question.

Am going to start reading again -- non-poker books, that is. Has been a while since I’ve read any fiction for fun, and I like fun.

Am going to try to reignite my interest in music, too -- playing, that is. Used to do a lot of four-track recording, creating lots of little instrumentals (for guitar and bass, as well as synth stuff). (Almost all of the incidental music on the Hard-Boiled Poker Radio Show comes from those tapes, actually.) At some point the four-track wore out and I never got around to replacing it. I think getting back into playing and recording would be fun, too.

Am also going to start writing -- again, non-pokery stuff. I used to write a lot of fiction, and even managed to complete a novel (hard-boiled, natch) some time ago. For a long time I continued to ponder story and novel ideas pretty much on a regular basis, jotting notes and outlines and occasionally writing out character sketches and scenes. But that, too, has basically stopped over the last couple of years.

Truth be told, between the blog and writing for other poker outlets, I’ve probably written more words during 2008 than in any previous year of my entire life. And while I still want to write the blog (and the other pokery stuff), I’m feeling a strong urge to get back to the other varieties of creative writing that used to mean so much to me. That used to help me figure out who I am.

So I believe I’ll stay away from the tables for a while, maybe just playing short (less than one hour) sessions now and then. I will take my shot at the WBCOOP later in the week, but that’ll be it for now, I think.

Wish me luck. At all of it.

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Blogger Tim Peters said...

Excellent strategy, Shamus. Distance and distraction are what you need after running bad, so do everything on your list, limit your playing time (even if the game is good), and let it go. "Letting go" may be one of the hardest skills in poker, but you have to be able to do it in order to survive.

You'll emerge better equipped for the game.


12/15/2008 1:26 PM  
Blogger Short-Stacked Shamus said...

Thanks a bunch for them good vibes, Tim.

12/15/2008 6:00 PM  

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