“Don’t Give Up…Don’t ever give up.”
“Don’t Give Up…Don’t ever give up.”
The World Series Main Event starts tomorrow! It was my dream to even play in the “Big One” as they called it just a decade ago. Since 2002 I have been lucky enough to compete in many “Big One’s” around the world but nothing, except perhaps the Aussie Millions, comes close to the electricity you feel at the World Series of Poker. It is the Mecca for poker players as they converge on The Rio from around the world in droves looking to capture a piece of immortality which comes with winning the main event.
With all the excitement, parties, appearances you would think that I would be on top of the world and I probably should be. I feel a bit guilty when so many players would dream of being in my position to talk of “bad beats.” However, the reality is when you face them no matter where you’re at in your life they are tough to take. So it’s important to keep an overall perspective of how truly fortunate I am to live the dream of playing poker professionally. I was struggling with this because I had such high hopes for this World Series and even though I’ve cashed four times I have not made a final table and have been worn down emotionally not just from the bad beats on the table but from the personal difficulties I have faced in the separation from my wife.
There are so many excuses and so many reasons to give up when you are faced with what seems like insurmountable circumstances. I remember encouraging my son when he was six or seven and was struggling with his baseball. Along with some words of wisdom, I gave him a cap in which was sewn on the back “Don’t Give Up! Don’t Ever Give Up!” I wish I was wearing the cap myself because as we approach the main event I feel like packing it up. Today marks my fourth WSOP cash this year of around 20 events which is about 20%. That’s a good percentage but the problem is if you don’t make a final table then the amount of money you win only keeps you treading water. It’s like swimming up stream when you play for two days, 16-20 hours and walk away with very little to show for it because of a bad turn card, misjudgment or a mistake that costs you the tournament. “Bad Beats” are tough to take in the best of times but when your facing personal difficulties ironically they seem to find you that much easier. And so, yesterday I reminded myself to keep a proper perspective on the whole picture and it did relieve some of the tension I feel inside. I was elated to win my first Shoot Out table which contained two notables. Mike Schneider who beat me heads up for the Party Poker Million title in 2005, and Matt Glanz who is a well known very high stakes online player. Lady luck was on my side this time as I hit a set of sixes against Matt’s pocket Aces to eliminate him. He played great but couldn’t overcome some real bad luck and Mike just couldn’t get anything going from the start.
We began our second shoot out table last night starting with 30,000 in chips. I lost to four sets, yes four – deuces, Jacks, Tens, Sixes – well, actually sixes made quads to my straight and also was dealt Jacks against Queens in which I lost a monster pot with two over pairs to the board and a draw in there pushing the action to the limit. So with that I was down to 2,300 in chips. I take some responsibility of not playing my best as well by putting myself in bad situations and overplaying some of my hands. But when I was down to the felt I reminded myself of the quote above and perhaps that is the message of this blog. Now I find myself sitting with over 20,000 and still in the hunt with eight players left on my table.
So I am off to venture down to the aptly named Amazon room to see if they have a bracelet waiting for me today. But if not, my main event starts on the 4th of July and I’m sure to enjoy some fireworks at the “Big Dance.” My friend Andy Griggs is in town and he’ll be singing to kick off the event and I’m looking forward to hanging out with him. Also, anyone is in town I will be down at the Lifestyle show here at the Rio in Vegas at the Aussie Millions booth so please make sure you stop by to say hello. Till then,
Enjoy the Journey,
"Smile, Shake Hands, Give Hugs. Surround yourself with positive energy and positive people.
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