Quick Work In Deauville
Tuesday, 25 January 2011
I’ve just gone out of the EPT Deauville - like, just now, only two hours into the tournament. This blasted event has never been lucky for me; I love the location but I’ve played it several times and, as far as I can remember, never even made day two. But it feels different this time.. more significant.
I think it’s because I entered the tournament in quite a Zen frame of mind, for an un-Zen type of person like me, and decided to turn the whole thing into a giant metaphor. It’s a cliché to say that poker offers lessons for life (and vice versa), but true nonetheless. I went into the tournament today thinking: you know what? All you can ever do is act fearlessly and with hope, do everything that’s in in your power and be philosophical about everything that isn’t. Put it out there and see what comes back.
More technically: I wanted to play tight on day one. My mistake in the past, in this particular field, has been to play too many hands and see too many flops. I’ve always found myself on gambly tables and been anxious to get the chips before they disappear. Actually, though, the old rule remains wise: play loose on a tight table and tight on a loose one. Discipline was going to be my watchword today.
And I didn’t play too many hands. I played two big hands. On the first, I flopped a set of tens and my opponent turned a middle-pin straight. He shouldn’t have had that hand, but I knew he did. Knew he did with 100% certainty. We were three-way so I called his undersized bet on the turn, knowing I’d get paid off if the board paired. It didn’t and I made a good pass of my set - the luckbox showed his straight, cheering loudly as he did so.
An hour or so later, I raised with AQ of diamonds and got one caller. The flop came 10, 3, 7, two diamonds. We both checked. The turn was Jd. He bet, I raised, he called and we got it all in on the river. He had a straight flush. Thanks Deauville and goodnight.
If I woke up today full of ideas about hope and powerlessness, I certainly had the message confirmed. The outcome was so far out of my hands, I couldn’t reach it if I had fingers like Freddie Krueger. I tried my best. I was patient but fearless. I did what I thought was right, for the right reasons. The universe said: nope.
I feel strange now, and sad. I’m sanguine about going out of the tournament - I always am. I’m glad I didn’t do anything stupid, and I really didn’t. But I feel sad. I was the one who turned it into a big metaphor for life, before the tournament started, and the message “The deck’s against you and you’re OUT” came so fast and so definitively, it was almost satirical. Powerlessness wasn’t much fun today. I wish the universe had been in a more benign mood. I dunno. I’m tired. I miss my dad. Poker’s cruel sometimes. (But if my dad was here, he’d say, “You don’t come here for the hunting, do you?” He loved that joke.)
Oh, shut up Victoria. Accept the things you can’t control and some of them turn out beautifully, don’t they? Hope springs e. and all that. The principle’s still right - you can only do what you can. Just because the guy had a straight flush, doesn’t mean everything will always turn out terrible. One game doesn’t actually mean anything at all, about poker generally, never mind life. That’s just superstition, like thinking it matters if you wear pink socks. I think I shall go to sleep for a bit and wake up full of positive energy and renewed optimism, make a note never to blog again straight after a tournament exit, and then go sign up for a side event.