Curious title, but that's just where we are right now. I've bought in for the WSOP main event, today is July 4th, and I have a window of doing nothing at all for a few days until it all kicks off on Sunday 6th for me. I've got some bits to ramble on about, so I'll just type and let it come out as it does haphazardly. Come on, you all know you love it really...
First off. A small thank you (again). People have been hugely supportive of both the website in general, and also of my bonehead style of writing and posting little videos, or things that either I find funny, or I think the reader might. I've made new contacts who wanted shares or just to give views who have never met me, but just saw and liked the site and what I'm saying. Curiously enough, this was never intended as any kind of journal or blog(shudder, yes I know I hate that word). It just unfolded the way it did. I'm not a fan of baring my soul about stuff in print generally. If you think some of the things I mention here are off the wall, you should hear some of the stuff I leave out. It's not peer pressure,but I do think the site needs content. I know some people who invest are sitting at home refreshing a page when I play, and I think "level 1-4675, level 2-4450" etc isn't really giving anyone much of a sweat, so I do what I can to make it more readable. For the most part it seems like I've succeeded because it seems popular,so irrespective of any big scores that's got to be a good thing.
OK, now the results bit.
I'm around 20 grand from winning a million dollars playing live events. In actual fact I passed this point a long time back but in the dusty old days before poker databases a lot of results were never recorded. I'm a bit of a rarity, in that I really don't care much about the trinkets and milestones you collect along the way playing poker. To me it's mainly about playing well and being profitable, and anything else is a happy accident if it happens to go well. That not withstanding, actually still not passing the million dollar live cashes mark is irking me a bit now, because it's feeling a bit like fate doesn't actually want me to do it just yet. I was going to write a mock piece about how unlucky I'm feeling, and how life is conspiring against me when I keep getting horribly runner-runnered at key points and that these idiots alway get so lucky when I deserve a big result,but the truth(and those who know me will bear this out)is that I just feel it's a part of the big picture and if I'm playing well I just have to dig in and keep playing well until the turning point comes. Someone told me a long time ago"if you're going to play tournaments, then get used to getting outdrawn because it's going to happen A LOT". That still holds true to this day,and it puzzles me a great deal why some players,even very good players,have some air of entitlement about them. Like because they had the best starting hand,they deserve to win,and that if they lose the opponent deserves to be ripped a new one for daring to be in the pot to begin with. It makes little sense. It's a game of chances,trap doors,picking your moments,and very occasionally getting it in as a favourite and being fortunate enough to get out at the other end unscathed. There are plenty of people who just don't "get" this at all, and are just petulant children when someone who can do whatever they like with their own chips takes their toys away with a carefully planned 3 outer. It still befuddles me, but poker is still trying to become standardised, with the pretty people telling the rest of the world how it's supposed to be, and how a hand is supposed to be played,so I guess I'll remain part of the befuddled minority.
It's a nice segway into a moment talking about the winner of the One Drop Event here,a 23 year old kid who bagged a cool $15 million after beating Negreanu heads-up. He reluctantly posed for a few pictures, clearly miffed at being obligated to do so, and then left with his loot. No interviews,no product endorsements,no ugly celebrations(see last years One Drop for plenty of that). The media largely tried to pillory him, and called him a multitude of things, saying he basically "owed" the poker industry a quota of interviews and happy snaps, and that he wasn't acting in the way a champion of anything was deemed to properly behave after such a huge result.
The community and industry were divided, but I'm firmly on the side of the winner here. As he pointed out, he doesn't "owe" poker a single thing. It's a means to an end, the end being to make money. Whilst a few friends think I'm possibly jaded or bitter about some such things, the reverse couldn't be more true. I'm just realistic and experienced. When big businesses get involved in anything, they promote it, glorify it, distort it, suck the life out of it, and when they're done with it and it has no market value left, they throw it aside and look for the next fad to make a buck from. I have some wonderful friends in poker. Some very insightful and clever people with tons of passion for the game,integrity and a strong moral compass. However I'm under no illusion as to what the casinos and poker sites really care about. It isn't individuals. It isn't "the good of the game". It most certainly isn't fairness and integrity. It's making money, plain and simple. Over the years I've seen them quite callously throw aside people with real talent and passion, and go on a single minded mission to make stars out of some truly loathesome people who might just get more sign ups because of how they look in a bikini or because they're currently the new fad. Of course, this is just business. What I don't like is when the business isn't honest. I've always had a real problem with anyone or anything that tries to feather their own nest, or suck the life out of poker whilst simultaneously pretending to actually be one of its saviours. They assume that the public are stupid enough to blindly eat whatever is spoon-fed to them by the PR department, and sadly, they're often correct. The players themselves get treated pretty crappily at the WSOP(unless they're a big star, in which case the rules don't apply and there's plenty of fawning). From poor conditions to scheduling mismanagement, to meagre food comps, to overpriced everything. Of course, no one has to play, and I must also say that running the WSOP is a truly huge task logistically, and though I thnk a lot of stuff is bad, on the other foot they sometimes do a great job considering the size of the task at hand. But make no mistake, they get paid well for it, and they get paid well by us the players. It still needs a hell of a lot of improvement, and maybe someone like this kid making a stand and showing the industry to not be as lip-glossy and paved with gold as the media would have you believe, is just what is actually needed. I for one agree with what he said, whatever his motives.
OK. That looked a bit like a rant, even to me. Screw it. It's what I think so there it is in print anyway.
Here's a snap of some paperwork that'll never be taken to the payout window.
Without specifically picking stuff to bits, I'd estimate on the trip I've probably had about 20% of bad exits(I played it bad or got it in bad), 30% where it was just a standard thing and it didn't go my way, and the other 50% was real poker pain where I'm either right near the loot making the right move to win the hand, or I've played the big pot for all the marbles in great shape and it's gone horribly wrong when that one victory gets me into cruising position with healthy chips. No whining, just observation. It's all part and parcel but I like to have an idea of what's gone on. If you get complacent and just think you're always just the best player who always simply gets unlucky, then a decline may be imminent, so being critical of what's happened is always good in my book.
Regrets, I've had a few...
I think if I can draw something from this trip to date, it's that I feel I made an error restricting myself to the WSOP and not simply incorporating other casinos events into the schedule and trimming down my WSOP schedule a bit to keep the money about the same. This was the first time I've done this(played solely at the WSOP) but even though I talk about the events being good and the structures being great, I think next year I'd play maybe half as many WSOP sides, and incorporate some Wynn, Venetian or other events into the calendar. I think it's good to mix it up a bit, and though it's not the big score someone with 3% wants, maybe shooting at a $25k win somewhere with 260 players and a 20k start stack is easier than always trying for $400k with 2740 players and a 4500 start stack over 3 days. You get the idea. Nothing set in stone, and obviously if you cash big early that's great, but just saying maybe next WSOP I'll have a rethink. As always any opinions welcome.
Today is a celebration of the day that the USA hacked us to pieces and threw us out of the country in order to govern themselves. I'm pretty sure they were right to do it, though I question the refusal to do the metric system to this day. You can still buy drugs in kilogrammes guys, and I'm told a kilo of weed is more fun anyway, so get with it. Best wishes to all my lovely American friends, and in particular the Las Vegas ones who constantly give me shit about destroying their language. I love you all x
Well this was a ramble. More to come in due course... maybe even a video if you're really good to me.