Tea or coffee? Coffee or tea? Ooh, or hot chocolate, or…
Monday, 9 November 2009
Ever since jury service finished, I’ve been paralyzed by indecisiveness. Don’t get me wrong, I’m always pretty indecisive; I can stand in a supermarket for half an hour trying to choose between two identical brands of washing powder. (That’s why I like poker, because there’s a time limit on each decision. Being absolutely obliged to commit one way or the other, and quickly, is excellent therapy for me.)
At the moment, though, my one hand / other hand brain has reached pathological stasis. I can’t decide ANYTHING. All I do is weigh up decisions for hours, dithering this way and that, never getting anything done. Big things, small things, I’m not doing anything; I’m just wasting time worrying. Did I use up all my remaining decisive powers on delivering legal verdicts?
There are so many things I need to decide at the moment, and can’t, it’s just ridiculous. I feel absolutely out of control of my entire life. Here’s my most immediate one - compared to most of the others (and certainly compared to most things in the world) it’s tiny, but the deadline is looming so it’s the one causing most worry. I’ll talk you through the details and if you stay awake long enough to stick with it, you’ll see how loony I’m generally going.
The Master Classics of Poker begins in Amsterdam on Tuesday (tomorrow). I’m not sure whether to go or not. To keep my options open, I bought a ticket for an Easyjet flight this afternoon at 2pm. But I can’t decide whether or not that’s too soon to go, so I’ve also bought a ticket for a British Airways flight tomorrow morning at 9. Don’t worry, the flights were incredibly cheap. But how nuts is it to buy TWO of them, for any price, when I don’t even know WHETHER TO GO AT ALL?
So I’m going to throw it open to the floor. Help! Tell me what to do. This is how far I’ve got with the pros and cons.
1) Everything feels stressful and busy at home, I’d like to run away.
2) It’s a great tournament.
3) I love Amsterdam. I once lived there for a few months and I haven’t been for ages. Twinkly lights, beautiful canals, legal dope, winding streets, trams, fondue.
4) I could really do with winning some money.
5) I’ve bought two flights (although admittedly for not much money. If I’m not going to cash in the tournament, it would be about 8 million percent cheaper to swallow the flights and not go).
6) Some very nice people are going. The Boatman brothers, Mr Big, The Camel & Mrs Camel & Camel jnr and Bonified and probably some others I don’t even know about. That’s probably the biggest attraction: nice people to hang around with in Amsterdam and drink hot chocolate and furiously debate hands. It would be a properly lovely poker holiday.
1) I hate flying. I’m terrified of it. And I’m not much fonder of packing suitcases.
2) I can’t really afford it. I wouldn’t be sponsored into this tournament and it’s €6000. That will sound UTTERLY INSANE to anyone who doesn’t play serious poker, and it’s a huge amount even if you do. Before joining Team Pro, I only ever played these big tournaments if I had won the money in cash games beforehand. This time I haven’t done that - and I recently bought a new flat, the builders took much longer and cost much more than I originally planned (duh….) so I have Temporary Cash Flow Issues. Not terrible; I should be fine again next year. And I could lay my hands on the buy-in. But I’d really feel it, it would properly dent the bankroll, this is a very bad time to be spending that kind of money on something optional / unnecessary / a luxury indulgence.
3) I should be here sorting out the new flat ready to move in. I should be getting the internet & TV set up, I should be starting to pack boxes, I should be making sure the last “snagging” gets done, I should be doing all the stuff with utility companies and addresses and whatnot. It would be incredibly useful to have the week here to get that stuff done.
4) There’ll be other tournaments. They happen all the time. There’s one in the Vic in about a fortnight.
THEN AGAIN, I could always put off the admin stuff for another week, move later…. And it’s only money… And what’s the point of getting to my age with no real responsibilities or dependents if you can’t run away, irresponsibly, take a risk, be stupid, because it might be fun and there’s nobody relying on me to be sensible anyway? Then again, that’s all I’ve ever done. Got to grow up some time.
I dunno. One minute I think OF COURSE I MUST GO, it’ll be all lovely and escapist and life’s only short, why stay here and do dull stuff and worry about money when I could run off and have an adventure and WHAT IF I WON THE TOURNAMENT, then there’d be no worrying about money for a very long time….. And the next minute I think OF COURSE I CAN’T GO, I really must be here sorting stuff out and what’s the first thing I always say when asked for a poker tip? *Play comfortably within your bankroll* ! And what’s the second thing? *Playing tournaments is chasing rainbows; if you don’t exercise caution and judgment, you’ll go skint doing it.* So, of course I can’t go, because I can’t afford it. Open and shut.
I think the problem may be that my heart says go and my head says stay. When these two are in conflict, resolution is impossible. So: I need jurors. Examine the evidence and give me a verdict. Please don’t tell me these are luxury problems, it doesn’t matter, I’m obscene to worry about it when people are starving in Africa. I know that. But it’s no use to me as advice. I need: Go or not go? (If this works, we’ll move onto “Whether or not to have children”...)