Saturday, 16 March 2013
There’s a famous short story about a time-traveller stepping on a butterfly and affecting the development of the universe. In poker, there are many situations where a series of apparently random things (the small blind having a superstition about A8, the waitress arriving at a particular moment, the cut-off having a train to catch) feed in to the outcome of a pot and, perhaps, a whole tournament.
On Day 3 of the EPT London Main Event, as per my previous blog post, a series of little dominoes (a doorbell too early when I needed sleep, a morning of headachy work crises, a badly-timed table draw, an emotional moment, a blinds blind spot) led to my exiting just before the money and being pretty depressed all round.
But it was exactly that series of events, plus embarrassment at having handled a situation badly, that caused me to go into the ensuing High Roller tournament with a level of determination I can’t remember ever feeling before. I was utterly committed, emotionally and mentally, to having a good run in this next event. I felt like I had something to prove to myself, and maybe to others watching.
Well, the end of my London 2013 saga is that I made it to Day 3 of the High Roller too, with much happier results: I’ve just been knocked out in 6th place for £67,130. It’s not an outright win, but I’m incredibly pleased and proud - it was quite an intensely tough field. Alongside my final table in the UKIPT High Roller event last Saturday, it turns this year’s EPT London into a very good one for me - which would always mean a lot, being my home town, but more so than ever because I know how easily I could have let it all crumble after the exasperating near-bubble on Wednesday. I feel like I managed to scrape together a bit of strength of mind to come back from that.
It also occurs to me that, to win £67,000 in the Main Event, I’d have needed to finish 7th. On that disastrous Day 3, we were scrapping over the prize money for 94th place! If things hadn’t gone wrong and I’d made it into the money there, and then (with an average fall of the cards) I’d finished something like 50th or 30th… well, I wouldn’t have felt the same determination about the HR event, might not have cashed in it or even played it, and would have finished the week worse off! Plus, I really learned something that day, and will know better if a similar situation comes up in future. So maybe it was all to the good? God moves in mysterious ways.
Not that I think God particularly troubles Himself with the prize money in poker tournaments. But I expect I will give some of it away, just in case.