Maybe it's something in the water, but it seems like there's an awful lot of malaise floating around the blogosphere of late. Myself included. Which is kind of odd, as it's been quite a run for me lately, as far as staying upbeat and plowing ahead, keeping busy, trying to stay one step ahead of whatever game it is I'm currently playing.
Even I hit the wall sometimes. Not so much as in the past, when I tussled with more serious questionings of the universe and what the hell was I doing in it, but it's still there, lingering. Maybe it's only natural to hit the wall, fall on your ass, and get back up. I dunno. All I know is that of late it's been harder to wrestle the bear and get to work, instead of simply zoning out on watching yet another house flipping show or Full House re-run (okay, kidding, I haven't quite sunken that low).
I don't think semi-bubbling another EPT prize package yesterday helped me mindset very much, going out 4th after 7 hours of play and being 1st or 2nd in chips for most of the final table. The structure in these leads to much, much play (starting stacks of 2,500, 30 minute levels, and blinds start at 10/20) and, at the risk of tooting my own whistle, I do pretty damn well in slow structures like that.
But I also have to admit that I'm not good at closing the deal, as all these bubbles point towards. Yesterday was pretty frustrating, as I stayed aggressive, chipped up, and was determined to put people to the test, if I got deep and had chips. I was poised to take a huge lead when I got it all in with KK versus A8o, except he flopped two pair and rivered a boat. The very next hand I couldn't get another short stack to lay down J8o on a board of K Q 8, and my J10 got no help. The very next hand after that I couldn't outflip AJo with 1010, and suddenly I was the shorty.
Which would have been fine if it ended there, and I could whine about bad beats, but I hung around and chipped back up, then benefited from a horrible suckout myself with QQ, in a battle of the blinds where the SB had JJ. He just called my hefty pre-flop re-raise, so we saw a flop of J 8 5, got it all in, and I was already out of my chair, ready to kick the dog we don't own, when the turn and river put a four flush on the board, and I happened to have the queen of spades for the flush.
Suddenly I'm back to 2nd, ready to rock and roll. Except I proceeded to play scared and didn't really force things, ultimately making a boneheaded play when I absolutely knew I was beaten by a junk hand from the BB. I absolutely knew he flopped trips with a crap hand and that my KK was mortally wounded, absolutely knew it, but I still called off 2/3 of my stack. Even then I still had chips but couldn't outrace AQo with my push with 55. Boo, me.
Jebus forbid I actually talk about poker, but it's a tough mistress sometimes. Especially in tournaments with ultra-slow structures, where you can play close to perfectly for many hours and undue all of that in a fit of a few seconds of hasty action.
It's easy to bang your head on the wall and say "What's the point, in any of this?" (especially when the two biggest donkeys at the table went on to win the ~$7K trip packages), but, in the end, the reality is that it always leads back to you, in some way or another.
Which I guess is both the frustrating and ultimately redeeming nature of banging your head against a hard, solid object. It's your own damn fault but you can also stop anytime.