Yesterday hurt. No other way to put it.
You see people displaying all kinds of histrionics when they bust out of poker tournaments, best hand or not. Right or wrong, my approach is always to keep it even, and just say good luck and get up and leave. In all the time I've been playing, no-one's ever given me the chips back because I originally had the best of it, or just that I deserved to win the pot more than the other guy based on my play. I really believe it's just not productive to get upset or bitter because of a poker loss. Having said that I still feel bad. For me, for the backers, the readers, anyone who actually cares.
A few years back I came 18th in another WSOP side event, losing two consecutive pots to the guy who went on to win the bracelet. I was disappointed then too, but as I say to people who ask (or even people who don't) the second you let it go and stop it gnawing away at you, you'll feel better about it. I still think that's the truth, so I'll put yesterday behind me and just move on. What could have been if I made my draw is what never was. So that was that.
I guess I'm talking a bit about different stuff mentally. Taking a stake from investors to play lessens my personal poker outlay for these trips certainly, but also means I'm effectively a sponsored player which to me imposes a new element of pressure. Doing my best and not letting people down is something that matters to me. Not to the point that I'd ever knowingly just make what I think is the "wrong" decision just to try to squeak into the money in an event. I've been doing this (poker) a long time and I trust my instincts. Sometimes I'm wrong. Mostly I think I'm right. Sometimes I'm right and then I go and lose the hand anyway. That'll be poker for you. Yesterday when dangerously short, I jammed twice with literally nothing on a kid on my table who was shaking like a shitting dog. It was clearly his first World Series and he didn't (in my perception) want to go out on a marginal hand. He had the chips at the time, and I needed them, so it had to be done. That's where the instincts come in especially when you're short on chips in bigger events.
All I'm saying is it's not always simply about a run of cards or lack thereof. Sometimes temperament and mindset just takes over, at least with me. Not going all Obi-Wan-Kenobi on the reader, I'm just saying what I think. I've been knocked about so badly at key moments in poker over the years That I really don't feel the blows anymore, but it is important to me that people see where I'm coming from and why I do what I do. Yesterday doing what I did meant folding for about 9 solid hours, then getting busy when I could get busy, and playing a pot to have a real shot at something, which unfortunately turned into sawdust at the magical moment.
I'm lucky I think to have certain things when away and alone like this. My wife isn't really a poker girl, which is great, but she is hugely supportive and will always keep me smiling and keep me positive when we talk. I have some really great friends in poker, both out here in Las Vegas, and in the UK. They know me well enough to know I don't labour the point and analyse a hand to absolute pieces, but likewise they generally say the right thing and give me worthwhile opinions on stuff if I'm starting to flag a bit, or they are honest enough to tell me if they think I've just made a mistake when I need a sounding board. I'd always rather have a small core of knowledgable friends who's opinions I value and respect, than 2000 Facebook added "friends" whose opinions I really don't.
Next event is PLO. Fasten your safety belts.