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Tournaments & the Trauma Factor
I’m sure my title spurred some shivering among you. We have all experienced the ordeal of poker tournaments with the coupled pain, shock, and disbelief that occurs during the bout. It can be quite traumatic when your pocket aces get cracked and send you to the rails. Or when the set you flopped ends up being second best to a better set – it’s like a bomb just exploded right in front of you.
These are bad memories certainly, but they are just like life in general which is full of baggage that we find the strength to overcome and move forward. Imagine if we did not. Living with constant shame and fear would be madness! It’s no way to live and be happy.
I recently bubbled for the second time in a major tournament. For the first few days I carried the baggage around with me. Sadness and anxiety consumed me and the thought of facing my opponents and friends again even felt embarrassing. My husband was very supportive and didn’t understand why I would feel so defeated over one tournament. He reminded me of all my grand successes over the past several years of my poker life. He also said, “What’s done is done” and feeling depressed about it is a waste of energy. Wow, how true.
I decided to start reading about overcoming trauma in general. It became my cure and I started smiling again almost immediately with my new found knowledge. Here are some highlights to get you back on your feet after defeat:
- If you are being plagued with negative thoughts or memories from the past, then maybe it's time to overcome emotional trauma and regain your peace of mind.
- What a waste of energy to spend your day focused on a memory that makes you feel bad about yourself, rather than being able to create some positive memories of today.
- Over time, negative thoughts and emotions that have not been put in the past can turn into major health issues like high blood pressure and heart attacks. If you do not erase bad memories, you are literally choosing to be a walking time-bomb!
- You cannot revisit the past but you can certainly change your thoughts and feelings so that you are no longer a slave to whatever negative event chooses to pop into your mind.
- Trauma can become an obstacle in our way and can block us from succeeding in all areas of life. We have less and less energy to focus on creating what we want as the energy is diverted toward remembering negative situations we cannot physically change. This undermines our self esteem.
WIN IF YOU CAN, LOSE IF YOU MUST, BUT ALWAYS “Try” TO SURVIVE THE BUST,
but if you do get over it!
RANDOM POKER THOUGHTS - The week that was....
Poker is funny game. One day, you're on top of the world. The next day your scrapping the bottom of the barrel.
This is what I felt like last week.
Had a late-night session at the Aliante Casino $1-$2 game and ran so bad and disgusting it was beyond words. I lost two buy ins basically on two hands SET OVER SET both times!!! If you've played enough poker you know the worst feeling in the world is being on the negative end of a set of set. I don't think I played either hand wrong, it's just so disgusting that it happened to me twice in one night and for my entire stack twice!! Oh well..
The next day I decided to play $4-$8 Limit at Orleans
I got a great set of cards!! AA, KK, QQ JJ, 10'S!! One a few occasions I got them two of three times, but after 2 hrs, I lost my entire buy in of $140!! Of all those premium hands I think I only won 2 of them!! And to put salt in the wound..I had this old fart, slow roll me for a big pot, which really pissed me off. I had it out with this guy! I was very angry, almost to the point where I wanted to fight, but what would that solve? All I know is the Orleans crew is a group of the most misarable people I've ever been around. It reminded me of my trip to The Bicycle Club in Los Angeles a few years ago, where almost every hand, people were yelling at each other, the dealers, the floors, the chip runners, the porters, anyone who would go in their way. I really don't like playing at the Orleans, but the games especially the limit games are extremely juicy, so I tolerate, but that day, I couldn't get anything going with none of my hands holding up...Again..oh well...
The day after that, I decided to play the Binions 2PM Deepstack, and despite being card dead, I managed to make a mid-cash. I played extremely well throughout the tournament, making minimal mistakes (Although I made a horrible all-in call with J8 suited). One of the highlights of the day was meeting Rob of http://robvegaspoker.blogspot.com/ He has one of the most entertaining poker blogs in the blog-sphere, feel free to read it, you'll definitely enjoy it.
Now it's time to brag...Probably the best hand I played in a long time. It also cemented the fact that despite my bad run of poker lately, I still believe I'm a good poker player:
Forgot what the blinds were, but player opened limp from middle position out of a 40kish stack and it's folded to me in the BB and I tap the table holding 10-4 offsuit. I have around 74K...The flop comes 5 5 4 with two hearts...With one player who just limps, I wanted to see where I was so I lead for 2K...He calls. The assigned him a range of small pairs and suited connectors...The Turn is a Q diamonds...I didn't think this card fit my opponents range, so I decided to bet again..this time 5K...He calls again...At this point, I eliminate pairs from his range and sqaurely on a draw heart flush or straight draw...The River is a A of hearts, completing the flush..I check...My opponent quickly shoots out 12K. This was a little bit over a pot-sized bet....I thought about a flush, but I just didn't believe my opponent would continue with a flush draw especially with the paired board. From the hands I've seen him played, he seemed like a solid player who wouldn't chase too much, but then again...what possible holdings could I possibly beat...7 6 was the only hand I could beat giving the betting action. I really didn't believe he had an ace cause he just didn't make sense that he's calling the entire was with an Ace in his hand unless he had some hand like A2 and got lucky, but then again it was possible to have that hand....I decided 7-6 was his holding..I took a deep breath, cutout 12K from my stack and relunctly shoved it towards the pot.
"Nice Call" he said, as he turns over 7 6!!My 4 wins a pretty good-sized pot.
After the tournament, My confidence in my poker ability was sky-high...sometimes I can't let the awful results of my cash games affect my thinking on a poker level.
I know I'm a good player...just got to continue chugging along and believe in myself...yeah, from time to time, you'll have doubts but if you believe in your ability the results will
This Friday, I'll be playing the first event of the BINIONS CLASSIC...the $110 Employee Event, I'm looking to play well and run well...wish me luck!!
**To access previous blogs by Ron Baltazar Click Here