I think I may know what's wrong with my poker game. I've lost all sense of patience. I'm looking for big hands to play for big pots to make big moves. I'm making terrible calls knowing I'm way behind just to play for all my chips. I need that quick gratification. That's not the way to win a tournament.
I blame the ponies.
Today, I won $1250 in 2 1/2 minutes. Poker is hard-pressed to match the kind of building excitement I got in watching my top pick, Jazil, come from dead last to first.
I remember when I won a $1700 pot in Tunica in a NL cash game, but then it was more a sense of relief when my opponent failed to turn over a better hand. I won a tournament at the MGM last time we were all in Vegas, after making a questionable, but profitable call. I guess I was in more disbelief than anything else after the cards fell that time.
Today, my blood was pumping. The adrenaline was as much as I've ever felt at a poker table. It started and was over faster than most of your biggest poker hands last.
When I bet a race card, it's 2 minutes of pure adrenaline broken up by 20 minutes of intense consideration. At the poker table, it's long periods of mind-numbing folding broken up by flashes of excitement.
This is dangerous territory I'm entering. If I'm looking for the best place to gamble my money based on the best rush I receive, I might as well throw dice, or worse yet, play the Roulette wheel. Gambling shouldn't be primarly about the rush.
Lots of compulsive gamblers rely on that rush to remind them they're alive. It fills a gap in their life. They're constantly willing to risk everything they have because it won't matter whether they win or lose, it's that moment in which their future is balanced on a needle that they seek.
I haven't been playing as much poker recently, but I have been betting the ponies more often. In many cases, they're bets based on little-to-no information, which is akin to playing the lottery. If that's all I'm doing, I might as well hit a NL table and push with any two cards. I would never do that, so why am I doing this?
I don't want to live for the rush. Part of me thinks I should step away from all gambling for a week or so. Or maybe I should just prove to myself that the discipline exists. Maybe I should get back into a few tourneys and play the way I know how. Maybe I should refrain from betting any race unless I've spent good time handicapping it.
I can beat the Rush. I don't think it has me yet.