Two sides of the same coin
"Don't be discouraged by a failure. It can be a positive experience. Failure is, in a sense, the highway to success, inasmuch as every discovery of what is false leads us to seek earnestly after what is true, and every fresh experience points out some form of error which we shall afterwards carefully avoid." - John Keats (1795 - 1821)
Bear with me here, it's taken two hours to get past the first sentence on this post and the ride isn't going to be smooth, with a little luck and good strategy we might just get this jumble of emotions out of my head…
Let's start with something simple to get the ball rolling - Tuesday night I decide to give ladbrokes a look-in and sign up to their $20 rebuy. I play ok and finally bust out with my KsKc v AhKh that turned a flush to finish 23/268 for $84, which was only $22 profit but better than a kick in the junk.
If you were with me last week you knew I was playing the best poker of my short career so on Wednesday night I entered another satellite, this time on Doyles Room. It was a $3 rebuy satellite to their WSOP tourney on Saturday night and started with 83 players.
The payouts were -
1 & 2 - $217.80 seat
3 - $173.40 cash
I took down 1st after investing the rebuy minimum ($9) for a seat on Saturday. When the time came for that tourney to start I was round at Hooks' place with Twister, Action Rich and Tension Girl. We played a bit of ProEvo whilst the tournament progressed and the payouts in this one were -
1 & 2 - $12,000 WSOP package
3 - $10,400 cash
Of the 217 entrants I busted out in 12th, which wasn't a bad showing and I was reasonably pleased with the way I played.
Sunday arrived and I woke up with a splitting headache, and no it was not a hangover, but it was not a good start to the day considering it would be the $1M later that night and I'd be playing using my $500+$30 seat that I'd won earlier in the week. I logged in to play a couple of $4 180's for a warm up, I was playing terribly. Fortunately Hooks' popped up with an IM and told me that everyone wanted to play a home game that night. Now I had a decision. My options were:
a) Unregister from the tourney and keep $530 Tournament $'s, which would double my bankroll and allow me to play in the live game
b) Play the $1M and stay at home and miss the live game
c) Go round to Hooks' with my laptop and play the live game and the $1M at the same time
I told Hooks that I was going for option B unless we had 6 or more players. 40 minutes later he called to say he had 6 and so 20 minutes after that I was round at his place counting out chip stacks… game on :o) I took a big early lead in the live game, but my concentration was on the $1M and I busted in 3rd place, but not before I had time to put one of Caro's tells to the test, and it’s a sure-thing, but unfortunately I can’t reveal it here lest the player(s) from our home game get wind of it !
So I focused on the $1M, and boy did I need to focus, the first two hours or so I was cold decked, I played one hand to showdown (AQ off) which lost and cost me half my stack. I spent the rest of the time stealing blinds, and I had to get dealt Aces twice with no action, before I realised the table was playing tight and giving me respect! That made things a little easier, but I was still just hanging on to the bottom rung of the ladder... then the gods smiled on me. In consecutive hands I was dealt the black Kings and got action against AK, those double ups put me back in action. In the next hour I went on an incredible rush which included the Kings twice more, and a flopped full house. By the fourth break I was the chip leader and couldn’t believe my luck, at the fifth break I was still the chip leader. I was getting hands, I was playing good, it was all going swimmingly, we were in the money and I was still right up there ! And then the inevitable happened… I totally lost focus. Maybe it was that we were 6 hours in and it was 3.30 am here. Maybe I just got over confident. Whatever it was I screwed up, I remember making one bad call and then one bad fold soon after, which is often the way. When you’re not living ‘in the moment’ at the table you let a mistake on an earlier hand screw up the decision you’re making in the here and now. No horrible suckout to tell you about, I just messed up. My final hand was AK off in MP, I pushed and JJ called right behind me which flopped trips, sending me to the rail in 97th place. I have learnt a hell of a lot from it, but I hope you can see why finishing 97th out of 2323 is generating such mixed emotions for me now. My success resembles a tragic failure.
I’m so disappointed in myself it’s untrue, but I should be proud of the fact I finished ITM for the first time and made $1,742.25. It’s a learning experience that will be etched in my poker memory forever. I can only hope I’m lucky enough to be in such a fortunate position again some day so that I can, as Keats would say, seek earnestly after what is true.