Narrator: "Now it's time for silly songs with Otis, the part of the show where Otis comes out and sings a silly song, or, in fact, rambles without purpose for many paragraphs, nearly deletes the post, then says screw it, and hits publish"
Friday night was one of those homegames, the kind where people are drinking and having fun, the kind where the stakes aren't going to break anybody, and, verily, the kind where I'm relaxed and have little doubt I'm going to win. And I did. Sure, I got a little lucky once or twice. Sure, the cards were coming my way. Still, I was in a relaxed zone in which I wasn't so much trying to win as waiting for it to happen.
The Yin and Yang in my life (capitalized here because I see them more as ancient Asian spirit guides that offer me miso soup when I'm feeling low) are really, really confusing poker sherpas. Recently, my live game has been at a reasonable 91% effectiveness whereas my online game has been running at about 12%. That's not ROI. It's more a like a power meter from an old video game.
There's two paragraphs that don't begin to explain what I want to write.
And the thing is, I don't know what I want to write. It's somewhere in between a topic a fellow southeasterner has explored in recent weeks and the reality check offered by the best sit and go player around. In short, in recent weeks, I've lost touch with reality and I've lost touch with fantasy. That is, in pursuit of fantasy I have raced far too far ahead of my real life. What's more, I raced ahead of the fantasy itself.
It's good, I think, that I took BadBlood's lead and have been keeping meticulous win and loss records of both my live and online play since January 1. What's funny is, after three months, I've already determined that everything I thought was true is false. That is, if three months of records are any indication, I am not a better limit player than no-limit player. What's more, I may not be a better online player than live player. The only thing I may have been telling the truth about is that I am an above-average tournament player. Then again, I could prove that wrong pretty fast, too.
Sure, I'm extrapolating far past where I should here. What's more, I'm rambling. I'm just not prepared to accept (in written form) that I may have taken this little hobby a bit far. I think I am ready to accept that I've been running a bit too fast, however. It's funny. I've always been patient to a fault, yet recently, I've been anything but. I want the brass ring and I want it in a responsible way. However, I may have escaped the boundries of responsibility in my methods. I think I have forgotten some important bankroll management tools. I think I may have neglected my family. That is, I think I got caught up in my own little whirlwind.
So, what? I dunno. There is a part of me (a part that, at least, I think is pretty smart) that tells me that any kind of poker break will result in nothing but rust. There is a part of me that screams, "Ride the wave because the breakers are coming!" However, there is a part of me (a part I don't listen to much any more) that says, "Give it a rest, chico. You're a hobbyist. That's all."
You know, there is something good about being a succesful hobbyist. I should be happy with that. Somehow, though, I don't think I will be. And yet, as spring turns the real world warm and blossomy, I get the sense that I need to slow down a little bit.
Thankfully, this realization has hit me before I got broke or divorced. The money swings have been, in a word, stupid (someone--I think Matt from the Poker Chronicles--wrote the other day, "I was stuck a Camry before coming back"). I didn't blink. Mrs. Otis, too, has been patient, but I sense the patience waning.
I've not yet formed a real strategy on where to go from here. Most of the pros I know (not that I'm considering going pro, mind you) are single men with fewer responsibilities or guys with rolls that most folks would consider life-changing. Being neither single nor filthy rich leaves me few people to consult on my current malaise.
Yeah, I don't really know where I'm going with this. I only know that I'm not going broke. And I know I need to think about my game a little bit. I need to decide if I have a game. I need to decide if I'm having fun anymore or playing out of habit--you know, like turning on Seinfeld reruns and watching the worst episode because, even if it sucks, it's still Seinfeld. And I need to decide WHY I'm playing.
Okay, since I'm rambling, let's explore that for a second. Why am I playing?
1) I'm playing because I have more fun playing poker than playing any other game? Answer: Yes.
2) I'm playing because I want to challenge myself and actually believe I am good at something? Answer: Yes.
3) I'm playing because I think I have the potential to eventually win life-changing money? Answer: Maybe
4) I'm playing because I want to play professionally? Answer: Not really.
5) I'm playing because I can't afford not to play? Answer: No.
6) I'm playing because I'm addicted to action? Answer: Admittedly, maybe.
Okay, with that out of the way, I guess I should decide if the above reasons are worth the time and effort I put into them. That's probably an exercise for another day.
In short, as the title suggested, I need to define my game. I need to define who I am. I need to define how the two go together.
That shouldn't be too hard, right?