[21:45] G-Rob: Dear CJ,
[21:46] G-Rob: I miss you. Please come home.
[21:46] G-Rob: Love,
[21:46] G-Rob: Up For Poker
So my fellow contributor was on the girly message thingy tonight and that's what I got pinged with. He's right. I've been missing in action. I guess you can say poker disillusioned me a bit. When the Hilton Sisters take you out back and molest you with their 4-inch heels on three consecutive days, you don't exactly want to sit back down at the tables.
But losing isn't it. I've done that before. So what is it?
Two For the Money
It's a terrible movie. It's the kind of movie that I wouldn't have minded if all the main characters died in some kind of horrible accident. And when I don't care about the characters there damn well better be some sex or action to keep me interested. This had neither. What it had, however, is an Al Pacino monologue that made me think about what I'm doing:
We look like everyone else but we're defective because when most people make a bet they want to win, while we, the degenerate gamblers of the world, we're subconsciously playing to lose. All humans like going to the edge of the abyss, but what makes us different is we go all the way and hurl ourselves off into the void! And we like doing it so much we do it time after time after time! Me? I always felt most alive when they were raking away the chips, and every one here knows what I'm talking about. People like us, even when we win, it's just a matter of time before we give it all back. But when we lose there's a moment when you're standing there and you've just recreated the worst possible nightmare this side of malignant cancer for the 20th goddamn time and you suddenly realize -- hey, I'm still here, I'm still breathing, I'm still alive!
Is he talking about you? Because I can tell you this, on some days, he's definitely talking about me.
My Mom worries I'm becoming a compulsive gambler. I told her it's not gambling when you win, but I'm not sure she appreciates that joke anymore. I also say that the first step of overcoming a gambling addiction is to admit you have a problem. Well, I've been at step one for 4 years.
Okay, it's not that bad. I've taken the 20 question quiz online and I'm still in the clear. The bottom line is that I (and many of my poker-playing friends) have an addictive personality. I become attached to things pretty easily.
For more than a year, I played the online game Star Wars Galaxies. I played so long that my character became a Jedi. That's not easy to do. It means that I managed to waste hours and hours and hours of my life. I would play late into the night and fail to get enough sleep. I would come home from work and play at lunch.
I spent money playing this game. I bought it and paid a monthly fee. I never made a dime in return. At least poker has given me a return on my investment. Of course, maybe I should put my jedi on EBay. Anyone interested?
The two hurricanes that hit Louisiana helped wean me off SWG, but that's not really what did it. I actually become addicted to The Blonde. We chatted online almost every night. I was really looking forward to seeing her in Vegas, but it didn't work out. I actually got back into poker around that time, and winning a few thousand dollars from a few tourney cashes helped.
Feburary was a bad poker month for me. I'm on my second short poker break since the end of January. My head just hasn't been in the game. I've been "that guy" Al Pacino was talking about. I take the majority of my roll and try to blow it as quickly as possible.
I made $2300 playing poker in January. I lost $2100 in February. I'm down $380 in live play and up about $800 (including March) in online play so far this year. This is the first time I've closely tracked my poker playing. It helps. Looking at the numbers makes a difference for me.
February was a tough month for me at work. It was a ratings month, it ended with extensive Mardi Gras coverage, and I was involved in an intense negotiation to bring a high profile anchor back to the station. It all turned out pretty well, but I wasn't in a good place to play poker.
I was sloppy. I played poorly. I let my emotions play me. And I wanted to lose. It's the only way I can explain the kind of plays that cost me money. And then I would push even harder, knowing I would lose it in the end.
I can't do that anymore.
I'm not going on a break. I'm going to play when I feel like it. I played a little last night and did well in a couple SNG's. I'm probably going to avoid live poker for awhile unless I really get the urge.
In the meantime, I'll fill in the gaps with the ponies. I haven't learned yet how to overcome my addictive personality. Like SWG, I'm getting hocked on horses. I'll try to be as smart about it, but I'm sure I'll lose some money. It will all come out of my poker roll, though, so I hope my Mom doesn't worry too much.
Hmmmm... maybe I should just find a girlfriend instead. Now that would make my Mom happy!